Which booklover can resist a book about books? A book about readers? And also ticking some boxes for me, a book written by a woman, and translated into English from French.
And then it begins with one of my favourite quotes, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library” by Jorge Luis Borges.
We begin on the metro where Juliette spends her commute watching people who are reading. There’s the man in the green hat reading a history of insects. The young woman reading romance novels whose eyes begin to tear around page 247. Juliette prefers watching readers to reading her own book.
One day, Juliette steps off the train at a different stop, takes a walk around the strange neighborhood, and finds herself at a house with the front door wedged open with a book.
There she meets Soliman whose house is full of books. And book passeurs come by, they deliver books to people. Not just randomly, but people they have watched, followed, until they can sense the book that person needs.
And it all sounds kind of lovely, the way I’m describing it, but while I expected to be enchanted by this book, I just wasn’t. Although I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe because she doesn’t seem to really do much as a book passeur. And maybe because I didn’t really feel much of a connection to any of the characters. Maybe I was looking for something more whimsical.
This bookwasn’t quite for me but maybe it will be for you.
We tried a new-to-us eatery. Unfortunately it wasn’t great although it was quite crowded. I thought the meat in the xiaolongbao was strangely a bit sweet. They had this bun that was panfried and had a nice crunchy bottom. But still, for me, the pork mixture was too sweet.
The boys and I finished a 1000 piece puzzle. That’s the most number of pieces that we’ve done together so we’re quite proud of it.
And a nice walk around the lake.
All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
Cheer on Netflix
Notes from a young black chef – Kwame Onwuachi
I had a cheese sandwich for breakfast
Yorkshire Gold with milk
Grilled hamachi kama or yellowtail cheek
The girl from the other side vol 2 – Nagabe Nancy – Olivia Jaimes New Kid – Jerry Craft The White Card: A Play in One Act – Claudia Rankine The Girl Who Reads on the Metro – Christine Féret-Fleury
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.
First read of the year is a strange one. Also it’s the second volume in the series as I started and finished the first one on the last day of 2019. A series I hadn’t heard of until browsing the library’s ebook catalogue and the cover just stood out for me.
Who is this strange creature and why is this little girl with it? I also loved the stark colors. And the inside, like pretty much all manga I’ve read, is only in black and white.
There is a fairy tale-likeness to this series. A young innocent girl separated from her family and into the house of this beast with horns. But he is no vile monster. He looks after her, feeds her, and cares for her. She calls him Teacher. But she can not touch him for those who touch these beasts are cursed.
The curse itself isn’t really explained much in the first two volumes but it is horrible enough that people have died, villages emptied, and armed soldiers sent to look for this possibly cursed young child in the woods.
A fascinating series with beautiful artwork
NANCY BY OLIVIA JAIMES
Book 2 of 2020 is another comic. This one also one I hadn’t heard of before. Apparently it started in 1938 and was at its height in the 70s (in over 700 newspapers). Growing up in Singapore, our one newspaper was (and pretty much still is) The Straits Times and they didn’t carry Nancy. Or at least I don’t remember that they did. I remember they had Sherman’s Lagoon and Baby Blues. Probably Peanuts.
So it was another case of browse the ebook catalogue and oh this looks fun and hit download.
And what a delight this was. Seeing the cover I expected an older comic so I was thrilled to see how phone addicted Nancy was – and also soon realized this was the new Nancy. One that was published from 2018 with its first-ever female author who goes by the pen name Olivia Jaimes.
And Nancy is such a hoot. She’s grouchy and she’s sassy. And it was such an absolute delight to read. I just loved every page of it, especially those meta ones!