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Monday, October 10th, 2011

I’ve only ever read one graphic novel before this year, and that was for a queer lit course – Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. I enjoyed it, and the format wasn’t really what I was expecting, but still didn’t go out of my way to read others.

Yesterday, a friend presented me with a copy of Blankets by Craig Thompson. Despite the fact that I’m in the middle of two other books, I dutifully began it immediately, as requested, and was engrossed from the first frames. The story is compelling enough, but the added visual mayhem, details of a life remembered, even the small grammatical errors – they create such an experience.

And panels like this one… so simple, but so expressive. I’m maybe a bit smitten.

If you’re a graphic novel reader, was there one that got you hooked? Which one? What are some of your favorites? Have links to reviews that aren’t spoiler-y? Drop them in the comments!

Out of the comfort zone

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Last year I read three memoirs, a genre I’d never really gotten into in the past. My now-girlfriend (Rachel – she’s going to be around for a while, so you may as well get to know her by name, *grin*) recommended Augusten Burroughs, and I read (or rather, devoured) Running with Scissors and Dry, followed by Lillian Faderman’s Naked in the Promised Land, a suggestion from my best friend, Melissa.

I think I always expected memoirs to be slow-moving, rather musty reads – I’m not sure why, but I think I connect them to “history” in my mind. These books busted my expectation of the genre wide open, and I realize now that this is an accessible way for me – the history dunce – to absorb history on some level: through the life stories of people with whom I share common traits or experiences.

Is there a genre you always swore you could never, would never, get into? Were you “tricked” into reading something in that category, or someone you know insisted that you borrow a specific title? Did you decide to suck it up and give it a shot, and find yourself immersed?