Some books I’ve had to read for school… and actually enjoyed.

Guys, I have confession to make, if I have not made it as of yet- I probably have, but I’m sure no one remembers and I’m also sure it’ll surprise at least a few of you.

I… am not… a big reader.

I know, I know- boooooo.

But, really, I do love writing. And clearly reading goes hand-in-hand with that… but, to be completely honest, reading annoys me to no end. It takes too much time… time that I could be using for writing or what-have-you else.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do still read. I mean, actually, I have to, right? Like, the dosage information on the back of the NyQuil label; if I didn’t pay any attention to that, I could literally kill myself.

Okay, okay, now I’m just trying to be funny.

Really, though, I do still do some “pleasure” reading. I recently got myself back into reading magazines, and I do, on occasion, pick up a book from the library if it really has some sort of aesthetic appeal to me. Oh, and I also started kind of collecting poetry books last winter, so I do read about one of those every other month, too. But I am, for sure, not an avid novel reader.

And when I find out I have to read a full dang novel for a school class… I get annoyed to a whole ‘nother level.

But, I guess when I signed up for an English degree, I should have expected a lot of reading to come…

So, now, I’m taking my first “modern writings” class in school this semester. And I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not somewhere in a post before… but it’s a “modern nonfiction comic literature” course. Sounds interesting enough, right? And, well… I may or may not have picked it because I figured reading comics would be quicker and easier than reading generally lengthy novels (and, as I’ve thankfully discovered, it is).

And, two books into the term, I’m actually… enjoying reading…

So, what is it about these two books that I seem to like?

Let’s see.

The first book I’ve read is the graphic novel Flying Couch by Amy Kurtzweil.

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In a nutshell, this is Amy’s memoir in which she finds her identity as a Jewish woman while learning her grandmother’s story of being a survivor of WWII and the Holocaust.

It sounds like a lot, but her drawings are really calming (I think) and she balances the light and dark aspects of her story really well with them.

Now, would I recommend this book to any of y’all to pick up?

Yes, definitely. 

I know there’s probably some people who get tired of hearing war story after war story, but this book is not just a war story. It’s mostly about identity, but it’s also a lot about survival. And it’s not a history lesson- it’s much more personal than that.

Secondly, also a comic surrounding the Holocaust, is Maus by Art Spiegalman.

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This book is similar to the last in that it is a survivor’s story retold by a younger family member, though this time it is the son of the survivor. This book is a little more in-depth in its ‘retelling’ than the other, and I also think a lot darker.

The illustrations of this book are very unique, as they depict different ethnicities and nationalities of people as different animals. I’ll admit, it seems a little odd to be reading at first, but you get used to it and start to actually prefer these drawings than the typical, realistic ones.

Now… do I recommend this book to anyone?

Yes, of course. 

This book is pretty common among lists of Holocaust books, and it’s really worth a read. Also, if you find it interesting enough, there’s a part two to accompany it (which I, too, will be reading soon… completely voluntarily!!!).

So, there you have it, folks. My two recommendations of the week… that I, a non-avid reader, actually enjoyed. And, I’m sure if I really liked them… then all the rest of y’all are bound to at least somewhat be tolerable of them!

Let me know if have read/plan to read these books and what you think of them!

-iKari

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