Wednesday, September 30, 2020

What I'm Reading Now

Tillie Walden, Are You Listening?

I read an earlier graphic novel (really a graphic short story) by Walden, and liked it a lot. So when this one showed up at the library, I hit the link at once. 

It's a beautifully drawn work, with the same eerie surrealism as her earlier work. The basic story is a road trip -- a 27 year old befriends an 18 year old who is running from a dark secret, and they travel through Texas together. But there is a cat who can slip through dimensions and rearrange roads and bridges and rivers, and their quest to return this cat to its home (while being chased by a pair of disturbing agents who want the cat for their own uses) forms the bulk of the novel.

Very much worth reading just for the art. But I also love the two main characters and the cat.

Kaori Mori, The Bride's Story, Vol. 12

This is the latest volume of a manga I've been reading for years. It follows the journey of an anthropologist/linguist who is traveling along the Silk Road during the 19th century, meeting and staying with people along the way. 

The first several volumes focused on the "bride," who came from a family of nomads to live with the family of her husband. The anthropologist was very much in the background of these early volumes, which focused on the quotidian details of life in the town and among the nomads.

These later volumes have focused more on the anthropologist. Still worth reading, though I miss the bride and her family. This latest one involves how people occupy themselves when nothing much is going on. There's also a short section concerning the anthropologist's family back in England, which makes me think we might be going there in some future volume.

I love these books. Highly recommended.

Rachel Cohen, The Austen Years: A memoir in five novels

I would have liked this book better if I hadn't taken such an irrational dislike to the author. I love books about Austen, and Cohen has some insightful things to say about the books. Something about her tone just irks me. 

The basic premise of the book is that she spent years reading nothing but Jane Austen, over and over again. She intersperses her interpretations of the novels with her memories of her life while she was reading the novels. Her writing is a bit turgid, but perfectly serviceable.

I don't know. If you like reading about Austen, you might like this one better than I did.

No comments: