Thursday, January 8, 2015

BoB Day 3....changing things up

When I finished the biography of Gracie Allen, I decided it was time to do a genre switch. I want to read as many varied types of books during this R.A.T. as I can. I poured over my too-full bookshelves (I have gathered hundreds of books over 10 years and keep them in the beautiful floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves my husband built for me.  But I never really had time to read any of them. They were more decor than literature because I was on a crazy schedule and had too many irons in the fire. Systematically removing irons.....and making time to read. Now I'm reading my homey ambiance!)

I pulled book after book off the shelf....only to put it back, knowing there was a better genre switch up elsewhere.

Found it!! Tucked away back behind some mystery novels (I need to desperately re-organize my books...CHAOS, of course!) were 3 graphic novels I was gifted about 4 years ago. Published by Tokyo Pop and a sequel to one of my favorite movies: Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth. I only have books 1-3. There is a 4th that I don't have on my shelf. If I like the first 3, then I will seek out the 4th to complete the story.

So, during Bout of Books so far, I have read a children's classic, a biography...and now will move on to add Manga/graphic novel to my list.

I don't have a lot of experience with Manga, or its relative, Anime. I do know that the few times I have delved into either, I have enjoyed the experience. I like the coupling of written word and artwork. Comic books are awesome.....and Manga has such a delightful range of plot lines and character types. What's not to love? I have heard the debate for years over what is considered literature and what is not. Voices shouting Young Adult fiction....graphic novels.....pulp fiction is NOT "real'' literature....this and that is not creative enough to deserve credibility....on and on. I poo poo this belief. Any coupling of ideas, imagination and the written word is literature. Whether it is a good example, or the best example, is subjective and personal opinion.

Warning: I am now I'm going to digress a bit. Here is my rant. lol. Although I have read many books I considered to be pulp nonsense and poorly written, there have always been great writers and not-so-great writers......ever since the written word came on the scene, there have been hacks. Without hacks, there would be no greatness. Mainly because greatness has to stand out of a crowd of some sort, right? If greatness were all there was, then there could be no classics or best-sellers, as all written language would be on the same level. I would rather there be drivel or lesser published writings than to have reading the greatest book be mundane rather than an exciting find. BUT, I do not classify any genre as non-literature or drivel, not even supernatural creature erotic romance lit or other new mainstream arrivals on the scene. There are stinky examples of every genre but no complete class of books so outrageous that it deserves to be stared down from the heights of lit-snobbery. (Yes, I said it.....lit-snobbery!) Literature is the expression of ideas, imagination, the soul, emotion.....everything of life....through the written word. Anything that does that deserves the classification. Even the back of an oatmeal box. Is the description of oatmeal as wholesome, fat free possibly life-saving nourishment and the story of its origins "good'' literature? Nope. But it does get an idea across. And a great cookie recipe too.

The great thing about don't have to read it. If you open a book and it starts out "It was a dark and stormy night''.....shut the book and walk away. Simple solution. :) I don't have to read supernatural creature erotic cozy mystery DIY cookbooks if I don't like them. But somewhere out there is someone who enjoys that genre. Let them.

I think what makes graphic novels/Manga stand out is that they convey a message through their art more than the words that accompany it. I've read a few horror selections in this genre that creeped the hell out of me more than any scary movie. And it was the artwork that set the tone. So creative!!! I can't wait to find out how the story of Labyrinth will continue in these sequels!

Bout of Books completed reading:
1. Under the Lilacs - Louisa May Alcott
2. Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns
3. Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth 1 - Jake T. Forbes (in progress)

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