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the following is a list of books i have read this past year and would recommended others to do as well. i should start reading the harry potter books; it’s hard to deny the impact those books have had. if you didn’t read too many books this year, you can make it a new years resolution! in no particular order:
wizard of the crow – ngugi wa’thiong’o
beautifully written political and social satire about the fictional republic of abruria, the story unfolds like a folk tale with unmatched clarity and resonance. it is an obersvation of our place on this earth and the love that will keep us together. hands down, my favorite book of the year.
the zoo story – edward albee
i was given this play as a gift from a friend and i always wondered if it was symbolic. like, was this given to me for a reason? oh by the way, the play ends with a man getting stabbed at the park. just like in my life!
the man who was thursday – g.k. chesterton
then who is thursday now?
shortcomings -adrian tomine
story about a cynical asian american guy who is forced to come to terms with his life through his rocky relationship with his girlfriend and his attraction to white women. poignant observations of racial/sexual relationships. amazing illustrations, best graphic novel of the year.
laika – nick abadzis
true story of the world’s first dog (and living being) to travel space. this story about the noble pup made me cry from beginning to end. it’s absolutely deliberate, but it got me. my eyes were sore from crying too much. have not cried that much in a long while, no joke. i am so lame.
watchmen – alan moore
what’s not to say about the watchmen. one of the most important graphic novels ever.
pictor’s metamorphoses: and other fantasies – hermann hesse
hey man, nobody said it would make sense. fantasy as life, life as fantasy, fantasy as allegory.
the invention of hugo cabret – brian selznick
it’s a pretty book, man. and since it’s 526 pages, people will think you are a monster of a reader. instant cool points, right? j.k. (rowling)
the pilgrim’s progress – john bunyan
still reading this one. it’s a christian allegory. my friend gave me a 1914 pressing of the book. very cool.
Earlier in the year I purchased a book called, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It’s a 500 plus page picture book of sorts, with beautiful illustrations and inserts of old film stills. the story follows hugo cabret, orphan, clock keeper apprentice and thief, who’s secrets are eventually intertwined with the past life of a mysterious toy booth owner and his curious goddaughter. In essence, the story is a love letter to legendary film maker Georges Méliès but to find out how he fits in, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
admittedly, i found the first few chapters to be stressful due to unfortunate turns but by the time i put the book down, i was left with tenderness. very heartwarming and sweet. you can read the book in an hour but you will surely want to go back and look at the illustrations again. definitely a recommended read.
Georges Méliès’ “A Trip To the Moon” was one of the first movies ever and his use of special effects were years beyond his time. This particular film is featured in the book, and interestingly I had actually seen it not too long ago. I can’t remember how I would have ever come across the short film, but I was deeply inspired by the dreamlike visuals Méliès created. Even more amazing is the day we live in now where you can see the whole film on youtube. Check it out, it’s really something else.