Readathon April 29, 2017

 

Hour 4 

Read:



The Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 2 – Christopher Hastings 

I didn’t start reading until about 1.5 hours in, at 630 am here and then the kids were up so there was breakfast to make and also laundry to do and piano practise. But now I’m on to book two! 

Hour 0 – Opening Meme
Happy readathon day!
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

The San Francisco Bay Area. The start time is 5 am and I may possibly have scheduled this to post while I’m still asleep.

 

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 

Spider Woman Vol 2

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Leftover chocolate birthday cake. Also lots of tea. I start with Yorkshire Gold, plan to move to Jasmine then green and finally rooibos! 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! 

I love chocolate. I love tea. I also like to bake – when I find the time (I’m a full time mum to two rowdy little boys). 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

 I always want to take part in more challenges but never manage to. Maybe this time? 

Good luck everyone! 

Comics good, comics bad

Angel Catbird

Perhaps I had too high expectations of this series. I mean, it’s written by Margaret Atwood after all. Yes that very Margaret Atwood, writer of The Handmaid’s Tale. And she has written a comic series about a man who can morph into a catbird. There are other half-human creatures around like half-rats and half-cats and half-ravens and even a bat-cat-man. That’s fine, that’s all good and fine, because hey, it’s a comic and anything can happen.

But there are so many issues with this comic I don’t know where to begin.

Perhaps with the very obvious villain (a rat-man of course) you can see coming a mile away, or rather, from that very first page that he appears.

Perhaps with the way so little seems to happen on each page.

Perhaps with all those very many cat puns.

Perhaps with the idea of this being Margaret Atwood, who as a kid probably read some comics and thought, eh I could do this. And then goes and writes this extremely simplistic and cheesy comic because, of course people who read comics can only understand black and white. I mean complex and subtle is meant only for readers of actual books, not comics. Pffft.

Perhaps with Dark Horse, who published these books and, I imagined, cowered at the thought of telling Margaret Atwood, THE Atwood, that her comics could be improved upon.

Perhaps the fact that with some hope of an improvement in Volume Two, I actually read Volume Two and groaned audibly when two female characters immediately start fighting over the man. Blech. (Making me think once again that her image of comic book readers equals young teenaged boys).

Ok I don’t want to think about this series anymore. I’m done!

 

And on to the Comics Good section of this post.


Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One, Vol. 1 (Injustice: Gods Among Us #1)


by Tom Taylor (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Jheremy Raapack (Artist), Mike S. Miller (Artist), Tom Derenick (Artist), David Yardin (Artist)

I read a comic BASED ON A VIDEO GAME you guys!!

And it was AWESOME.

I hate the cover but I picked it up partly because I thought the husband might want to read it. He’s a fan of Batman and Superman and this promised both of them in one comic. Then I saw the ‘Based on the hit video game’ blurb at the bottom, shuddered, but still threw it in my bag to bring home.

Why I actually read it myself, I am not entirely sure. Curiosity I guess. I have read a few Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman comics. I am not a fan of DC Comics and tend towards comics like Ms Marvel, Saga, Captain Marvel and my latest love, Spider Woman, with more prominent, less stereotyped female characters.

But I found myself intrigued by this very dark Superman, a Wonder Woman who’s pretty much egging him on, and a Batman who is like the voice of reason (!).

Also it was kinda funny.

This Will Make Me NOT Want To Read A Book

toptentues

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

  • “The next Gone Girl” or wait, something worse would be a book described as “the next Fifty Shades
  • Gendered book covers (especially see the two different covers of the same Alice Munro book above). I mean, I would still read the book, but ugh I do not need the “feminine” covers
  • Stereotyped POCs – like the nerdy Asian, the blonde cheerleader, the rat villain (see Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird series – actually wait, don’t go see that series, it’s just bad, take my word for it)
  • Written by James Patterson
  • Too experimental (eg Jesse Ball’s Silence Once Begun)

  • Covers that are too “Oriental”. I do kind of like chinoiserie but when books that are written by or about Asians/Asia are given the ‘Oriental’ treatment, it really puts me off. This also includes the use of fans on covers, dragons, and cheongsams (see above)

Instead, please see some simple yet effective covers done by East Asians themselves. 

Also here is a fascinating collage  of covers of books that feature South Asian or African settings)

 

What turns you off books?

It’s Monday and my boy is 4!

 

badge
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

 

 

The kids were on spring break last week and well they exhausted me. We couldn’t go anywhere as the husband had to work. Poor thing, he had tried to take Thursday off but ended up working at home all day instead. It’s the busy season for him so hopefully his workload will improve soon.  

Some of the stuff we did last week

 

And my younger boy turns four today! We celebrated it yesterday starting with breakfast out at our favourite diner and a barbeque at home. 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui

 Last Train to Paris – Michele Zackheim

 

 

Watching:

 The kids have discovered this kids show called Wanda and the Alien. Well other than that I rewatched 10 Things I Hate About You.  

Eating:

 Cake!

Drinking:

Tea

 



Last week:

I read:

Injustice Gods Among Us: Year One, Vol. 1  – Tom Taylor (Writer), Jheremy Raapack (Artist), Mike S. Miller (Artist), Tom Derenick (Artist), David Yardin (Artist)


Dreamfever (Fever #4) – Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever (Fever #5) – Karen Marie Moning


Kaptara, Volume One · Fear Not, Tiny Alien – Chip Zdarsky (Creator), Kagan McLeod (Creator), Becka Kinzie (Colour Assist)


Clean Room, Volume 1: Immaculate Conception – Gail Simone (Writer), Jon Davis-Hunt (Illustrator)

Angel Catbird Vol 1 – Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas (Artist), Tamra Bonvillain (Artist)
Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Casula – Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas (Artist), Tamra Bonvillain (Artist)

I had high expectations for this one. It’s Atwood after all! But sadly it was quite trite, slow moving, and a villain you could spot a mile away. 

I posted:

This Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

 

This Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

toptentues

Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

  • Works in translation – it always makes me glad to see more works in translation!
  • Own voices – I recently had a prompt on the photo challenge I run on Litsy, “set in Southeast Asia” and despaired a little at the very few books that showed up on Litsy that were by Southeast Asians (true, I did not say “written by Southeast Asians” as I thought that would have been too difficult for many participants). But my point is that if I were to read a book set in, say Thailand, I would prefer it to be by a Thai writer.
  • An unusual setting – countries I’ve never been to like Turkey, Russia, Iceland, Trinidad. Or something set in space or other worlds

  • Comics/graphic novels – the truth is, put something in comic form and I would happily give it a try. Even if it’s by a writer I’ve had no success with previously. Of course I recently had the reverse happen – a writer I’ve adored whose comic book debut was sadly very clichéd. 
  • A great cover – well, who doesn’t judge a book by its cover? Sadly that also works the other way – if it’s a terrible cover, I would tend to shun it, unless I read otherwise about it!
  • Retellings of myths and fairytales

  • International crime series – I am especially intrigued by Japanese crime fiction. Just don’t call Higashino the “Japanese Stieg Larsson”. Gaaaahhh….
  • Recommended by my favourite bloggers and Littens!

 

What are some things that would make you want to read a book?

It’s Monday and I’m reading The Best We Could Do

 

badge

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

 

 

Happy Easter!

It’s the first day of Spring Break for my boys. Well the Kindergartener’s Spring Break started on Friday so he’s had a nice long weekend too.

On Saturday, we took my in-laws to do some outlet shopping. And good thing too as I needed some sneakers and came away with two pairs, thanks to New Balance’s buy one get one half off sale!

Currently…

 

Reading:

Faefever – Karen Marie Moning

The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui

The Strays – Emily Bitto
(SO GOOD)

Octavia’s Brood
Watching:

Parenthood

10 Things I Hate About You (which I’ve seen so many times but it’s always fun to rewatch)

Eating:


Homemade raisin bread

Drinking:

Green tea

Browsing:

I’m intrigued by a steamed chocolate cake (Bake for Happy Kids)

Always love reading Buried in Print’s posts about her reading plans!

Picture books about refugees (Booklist Reader)

You’ve probably seen this already, but the Dublin Literary Prize shortlist is out:

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn

Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto, translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw

The Green Road by Anne Enright

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine, translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by  Christina MacSweeney

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler, translated from the German by Charlotte Collins

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 

Added to my TBR:

Deerbrook by Harriet Martineau (via Books and Chocolate)

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale, illustrated and designed by Eleanor Shakespeare (via Book Dragon)

Last week:

I read:


Serenity: Leaves on the Wind – Zack Whedon (Creator), Fábio Moon (Artist), Dan Dos Santos (Cover Artist), Georges Jeanty (Artist)

Thorn – Intisar Khanani

Wonder Woman Earth One – Grant Morrison (Writer), Yanick Paquette (Artist), Nathan Fairbairn (Colourist), Todd Klein (Letterer)


Angel Catbird Vol 1 – Margaret Atwood

(It was so disappointingly simplistic. I also borrowed Vol 2 from the library and may give it a try, wth extremely low expectations)

I posted:

 

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

Kiffe Kiffe what?

Well, the title is a play on words. Kif-kif is Arabic slang that means “same old, same old” and kiffer (used mainly by young teens in France) kind of means ‘to be crazy for’.

“…it’s just kif-kif tomorrow. Same shit, different day.”

 

This book is a different look at life in France, one from the perspective of a teenager of Moroccan descent. Her father has returned to Morocco to start a different family there – i.e. one with a son. And so  her mother has to work desperately hard at a housekeeping job in a crappy motel.

“Everyone calls her ‘Fatma’ at the Formula 1. They shout at her all the time, and keep a close watch on her to make sure she doesn’t steal anything from the rooms.

Of course Mom’s name isn’t Fatma, it’s Yasmina. It must really give Monsieur Winner a charge to call all the Arabs ‘Fatma’, all the blacks ‘Mamadou’, and all the Chinese ‘Ping-Pong’. Pretty freaking lame.”

Doria is 15 so you can expect all the usual teenager problems and angst. And being abandoned by her father, she feels lost.

“What a shitty destiny. Fate is all trial and misery and you can’t do anything about it. Basically no matter what you do you’ll always get screwed over.”

But it’s an especially interesting one as she is a young Muslim girl in France. For instance, she has to get her mother to write her note explaining that she won’t be eating in the school cafeteria because it’s Ramadan, and the principal thinks she forged it because her mother’s signature is a poor one.

Her family is poor and they survive on help from their neighbours, the grocer letting them rack up a bill, and this being France, help from the government – social workers come by and Doria even gets access to a psychologist. But it’s not an easy life for Doria, who doesn’t do well in school, doesn’t seem to have many friends, and has to wear horrible hand-me-down clothes. TV is her main escape.

It is perhaps the ordinariness of her life that appeals to me. That she is just a regular teenager living in France, her life isn’t terribly full of drama in the YA sense – some stuff happens to people in the neighbourhood but you wouldn’t find it hard to believe that this happens out there in the world today.

“Once, he told my mom that in ten years on this job, this was the first time he’d seen ‘people like you with only one child.’ He was thinking ‘Arabs,’ but he didn’t say so.”

I don’t read much translated French literature. And I find it difficult to name any contemporary French writers. Muriel Barbery is the only contemporary translated French author whose work I have recently read. (Please enlighten me!).

And perhaps because of this, I felt that it was rather refreshing reading this authentic teenager’s voice by French-Algerian writer Faïza Guène. This first book of hers was published in 2004 when she was just 19 years old. It’s been translated into 22 different languages. Kiffe kiffe demain was translated into English in 2006  under the title Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow.

She’s had another of her books translated into English, it’s called Men Don’t Cry.