SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #55-56

Book #55 was "El Deafo" by Cece Bell, a graphic nonfiction memoir of growing up deaf. This author and illustrator, whose previous credits include the children's book "Rabbit and Robot," creates a memoir where all the characters are portrayed as bunny-people, including the main character, who becomes deaf and wears a giant "Sonic Ear" to school. The Sonic Ear is meant to help her hear her instructors in the classroom, but it also gives her the super-hero-like ability to hear the teacher all over the school, including smoking in the teacher's lounge or tinkling in the faculty bathroom. She uses her "super abilities" as "El Deafo" to make friends at school. Super cute book aimed at tweens but a fun read for adults as well. I loved it and would like to look up some of her children's books as well. See Cece Bell talking about creating El Deafo here.

Book #56 was "Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism" by Alice Walker. I have read 4 of Walker's novels and really liked them, and I was curious about this essay collection. My final verdict is: Uneven. I'd say I liked 6 or 8 essays a lot, found a handful more entertaining but a bit dated, and felt like many letters and short pieces were filler to make the collection seem more hefty. My favorites were "The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven," an essay about her evolving ideas on god and spirituality; the title piece about the enduring appeal of Zora Neale Hurston; "Sunniness and Shade" about Walker's complicated relationship with her daughter, Rebecca; her essay about the Million Man March; and a few essays where she talks about the writing of "The Temple of My Familiar" and "Possessing the Secret of Joy." I think it's worth reading, but I'd probably pick and choose among my favorites and skip some of the slighter pieces if I decide to re-read this in the future.

1. The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood [non-fiction]- James Gleick
2. Stones from the River [fiction]- Ursula Hegi
3. The Penelopiad [fiction]- Margaret Atwood
4. Woman Warrior [non-fiction/memoir]- Maxine Hong Kingston
5. The Son of Neptune [ficiton]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
6. The Poe Shadow [fiction]- Matthew Pearl
7. Nat Turner [non-fiction graphic "novel"]- Kyle Baker (illustrator)
8. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
9. The Daughter of Time [fiction]- Josephine Tey
10. Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) [non-fiction/biography]- Stacy Schiff
11. Gilgamesh: A New English Version [literary criticism/epic poetry]- Stephen Mitchell
12. Back When We Were Grownups [fiction]- Anne Tyler
13. Red Azalea [non-fiction/memoir]- Anchee Min
14. The Mark of Athena (#3 in the "Heroes of Olympus" series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
15. The Mosquito Coast [fiction]- Paul Theroux
16. The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis [non-fiction]- Arthur Allen
17. The City of Devi [fiction]- Manil Suri
18. The Lovely Bones [fiction]- Alice Sebold (unabridged audiobook)
19. The Office of Mercy [fiction]- Ariel Djanikian (unabridged audiobook)
20. A Thousand Acres [fiction]- Jane Smiley
21. The Snow Queen [fiction]- Joan Vinge
22. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian [fiction]- Sherman Alexie
23. Memoirs of a Survivor [fiction]- Doris Lessing
24. Moral Disorder, [fiction/short stories]- Margaret Atwood (unabridged audiobook)
25. Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father [non-fiction]- John Matteson
26. The Wasp Factory [fiction]- Iaian Banks
27. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
28. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing [fiction]- May Sarton
29. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day [fiction]- Pearl Cleage (unabridged audiobook)
30. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction [non-ficiton]- Annalee Newitz
31. Free Enterprise [fiction]- Michelle Cliff
32. The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin's Theory [nonfiction/memoir]- Kenny Fries
33. Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void [non-fiction]- Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook)
34. Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir [non-ficiton/memoir/graphic book]- Roz Chast
35. Two Serious Ladies [fiction]- Jane Bowles
36. Herland [fiction]- Charlotte Perkins Gilman (unabridged audiobook)
37. The House of Hades  (Book #4 in the Heroes of Olympus series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
38. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books [nonfiction/memoir]- Azar Nafisi
39. Thinking In Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math [non-fiction]- Daniel Tammet
40. The Bellini Madonna [fiction]- Elizabeth Lowry
41. A Perfect Blood (Book #10 in The Hollows series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
42. Crossing to Safety [fiction]- Wallace Stegner
43. The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story [graphic non-fiction]- Vivek J. Tiwary (author), Andrew C Robinson (illustrator), with additional illustrations by Kyle Baker
44. The Round House [fiction]- Louise Erdrich (unabridged audiobook)
45. The Crisis: The President, the Prophet, and the Shah-1979 and the Coming of Militant Islam [non-fiction]- David Harris 46. A Fire Upon the Deep [fiction]- Vernor Vinge
47. Die for You [fiction]- Lisa Unger (unabridged audiobook)
48. What I Lived For [fiction]- Joyce Carol Oates
49. Three Parts Dead [fiction]- Max Gladstone (unabridged audiobook)
50. The Satyricon [fiction]- Petronius (translation and commentaries by Sarah Ruden)
51. The Best of Margaret St. Clair [fiction/short stories]- Margaret St. Clair
52. The Basque History of the World [non-fiction]- Mark Kurlansky
53. Mockingjay [fiction]- Suzanne Collins (unabridged audiobook)
54. In the Woods [fiction]- Tana French


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