April 11th, 2012

Books

Book 16: Some New Kind Of Slaughter

"Some New Kind Of Slaughter -or- Lost in the Flood (and how we found home again) Diluvian Myths from Around the World"

By mpMann and A. David Lewis

A very long title indeed, but as the authors note- one with significant meaning... This is one of at least two books these folks have done, and I am itching to read the other already! This particular graphic novel dances an intricate dance with a difficult story-telling method:

The king Ziusudra, of ancient mesopotamian mythos, built an ark... which he used to help his people survive a world-wide flood... sound familliar? It isn't the only 'flood story' in mankind's history, not by a long shot! ...in this book, the king has stayed awake for seven days and seven nights, and begins to hallucinate- or get dreams from the gods- of other times... and other places... in which this monumental world-ending event has occurred.

From native americans, to africans, to the modern day survivors of tsunamis and hurricane flooding, the stories tell a similar tale... ones laced with fear and faith, of belief in gods or men, and the drive to SURVIVE.

I was facinated by the emotion the simplistic style of this graphic novel could convey... of the stories, some so difficult to follow I had to remind myself that we're seeing them through King Ziusudra's eyes... and our own culture's misunderstandings as well. What happened- or what did we believe, as a people, happened, each time the flood waters rose to seemingly wipe us all from the face of the earth?

It's universal. It's spellbinding in it's own way. ...and it is VERY relevant. No matter your religon (or lack thereof), you'll find SOME common ground in this graphic novel. Something you can identify with. connect with.

After all...We all want to LIVE.
  • Current Mood
    awake
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Since returning from Portland, I've finished two books, both electronic.

First was Osprey Men-at-Arms #122: Napoleon’s German Allies 5 Hesse, which is another of those miniature figure painting items, but there's a reasonable amount of background hinting at what Central Europe was like, divvied up into small principalities. Better than some others of this same general topic...

Second was Osprey Campaign #11: Kaiserschlacht 1918: The Final German Offensive which dealt with the events late in WWI, as the US forces started to arrive. Generally, WWI isn't the era that most interests me; that tends to be WWII, or ancient eras. This book did do a reasonable job of retaining my interest, though; can't pinpoint why, exactly.
did you know you could fly?

(no subject)

#33 Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, 320 pages.

First of all, I can't believe I got this far into my life as a geek without having read this seminal book. And it's not like people haven't recommended it to me before. It's not like I haven't sat in shame when I'm forced to tell other geeks that I've never read any LeGuin, no, not even Left Hand. It's just that hard sci-fi that makes you think is something I'm not often in the mood for. But finally I got around it it.

To be honest, while I can see why it's as well-regarded as it is it didn't bowl me over the way Roadside Picnic did. For one thing, the politics bored me. It was intellectually interesting from a philosophical point of view, but political intrigue has never really been my thing. The gender-stuff, while definitely the best part of the book, isn't nearly as groundbreaking to someone reading it in 2012 as it would have been to readers in 1969.

That said, it *is* a great book, and I'm glad to have read it. LeGuin is a wonderful writer (no surprise there) and I definitely need to make an effort to read more of her stuff.

#34 Rebecca York, New Moon (The Moon Series, Book 6), 336 pages.

Another book in the horrible werewolf porn series I'm addicted to. We've now graduated from werewolves to add psychics, magic-users, and shapeshifters from another dimension. They're like candy corn -- horrible, but addictive.

#35 Kimberley Pauley, Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe), 304 pages.

I would have never believed anyone could do a unique teen vampire novel, but Pauley's pulled it off. Mina Hamilton's parents are blood-sucking fiends. Literally, not figuratively. Actually they're quite nice - they're just vampires. Mina's known for ages, but now the Vampire Council has found out and she has to decide if she will join her parents in undeath - or live a mortal life believing her parents are dead once the Council's mind-wipers are through with her.

#36 Amber McRee Turner, Sway, 320 pages.

Cass idolizes her mom, who does disaster recovery and travels a lot. Cass's life is marked by long stretches of time alone with her boring father in between mom's visits home. But when Mom comes home this time Cass immediately senses something's not right. Seems Mom's decided to get herself another family. Cass blames her father - maybe if he wasn't so boring, Mom would have stuck around. The last thing she wants to do is take a road trip in the beat-up RV her father's been restoring. But Dad's insistent. Cass wants to go convince her mom to come home, not spend time with her boring dad. Then again, maybe Dad's not as boring as she always thought. Enter M.B. McClean and his amazing magical historical soaps.

This is one of those sappy, feel-good books about kids dealing with difficult family issues and learning about what's really important in life. And it's a good one.

Progress toward goals: 102/366 = 27.9%

Books: 36/100 = 36.0%

Pages: 11517/30000 = 38.4%

2012 Book List

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven
book and cup

#39 Bid me To Live - H.D

H.D was Hilda Doolittle an American imagist poet. She published this novel in 1960 a year before her death. It is a deeply autobiographical novel the characters thinly veiled recreations of her friends and lovers.
Set in London and Cornwall in 1917 – Julia Ashton is married to Rafe (representations of H D and husband Richard Aldington) who returns on leave from the trenches, leaves writes letters to his wife and returns again. Among their friends are Frederick and Elsa (DH and Frieda Lawrence) Bella (Dorothy Yorke) and Vane (Cecil Gray).

Julia is still mourning the loss of her baby, as she tries to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. The world of the people surrounding her is a peculiar one – one of a dreamlike unreality – like actors on a stage they play out their relationships to a background of war. When Frederick arrives on the scene he persuades Julia to go to Cornwall, and it is here that she is finally able to make sense of what has happened, and start to face the future.

The novel has a rather claustrophobic and dreamlike quality; the writing is very beautiful, the prose having a very poetic feel to it – which is not surprising given that the author was best known as a poet. There are some very poignant moments – the scenes between Julia and Rafe as their marriage is ending were brilliantly portrayed and quite obviously hugely personal to the writer.

Interestingly in the afterword to this edition H.D’s daughter Perdita Schaffer describes how she came to meet her natural father Cecil Gray in 1947 – she was the result of the brief liaison between H.D and Cecil Gray after H.D’s marriage to fellow poet Richard Aldington came to an end. This is part of the story, of the people who are behind the characters in the novel.