Hmmm so I am the Hungry Reader. The one who reads. The one who is constantly reading or wanting to read constantly. This blog is all about the books I have read, the ones that I am reading and gems that I plan to read in the future or whenever it arrives.
Title: Killing and Dying: Six Stories
Author: Adrian Tomine
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Genre: Graphic Novel
A good graphic novel always seems to take away the blues. Well, most of the time that is if you aren’t reading one by Adrian Tomine. It will add to your blues. It will make you a bit melancholic and it will also make you never want to read it again. But it will also make you aware. It will make you realize your surroundings and the people in them and perhaps look at the world differently.
Adrian Tomine’s graphic works make you think so much more that it is sometimes unbelievable that graphic novels have that kind of power. “Killing and Dying” his latest offering is just that. It is a collection of six graphic stories. These slice of life stories depict life the way it is without any sugar coating. These stories are something which we have all experienced – ranging in themes from loneliness to body image issues to severe angst.
My favourite story in the entire collection is “Translated” which is about a Japanese mother and her child and their reconnection with the husband and the father. It is tender, funny and groundbreaking in the sense that none of the characters’ faces are shown.
“Killing and Dying” is perhaps one of the best comic books I’ve read this year. It is brief and full of small moments of sadness and joy. It is the kind of graphic book which everyone must read. Tomine does a stellar job of portraying his characters and makes the reader see the view that they would not have otherwise seen it. I would highly recommend this one.
Here are the six stories read till the 30th of October 2014:
Day 320: 25th of October 2014: The Writer by Ellis Sharp
Day 321: 26th of October 2014: The Faber Book of Adultery by Jonathan Gibbs
Day 322: 27th of October 2014: I Arrive First by Emma Jane Unsworth
Day 323: 28th of October 2014: Private Tuition with Mr. Bose by Anita Desai
Day 324: 29th of October 2014: Izzat by Ashapurna Devi
Day 325: 30th of October 2014: The Hijra by Kamala Das
Day 294: 29th of September 2014: Zelig by Benjamin Rosenblatt
Day 295: 30th of September 2014: Wild Plums by Grace Stone Coates
Day 296: 1st of October 2014: Willi by E.L. Doctorow
Day 297: 2nd of October 2014: A Poetics for Bullies by Stanley Elkin
Day 298: 3rd of October 2014: Redemption by John Gardner
Day 299: 4th of October 2014: Verona: A Young Woman Speaks by Harold Brodkey
Day 300: 5th of October 2014: The Ledge by Lawrence Sargent Hall
Day 301: 6th of October 2014: Water Liars by Barry Hannah
Day 302: 7th of October 2014: Least Resistance by Wayne Harrison
Day 303: 8th of October 2014: Into Silence by Marlin Barton
Day 304: 9th of October 2014: Bullet Number Two by Hannah Tinti
Day 305: 10th of October 2014: Do Something by Kate Walbert
Day 306: 11th of October 2014: The Bris by Eileen Polllack
Day 307: 12th of October 2014: Allegiance by Aryn Kayle
Day 308: 13th of October 2014: Balto by T.C. Boyle
Day 309: 14th of October 2014: Gunpowder Alley by Bill Pronzini
Day 310: 15th of October 2014: Midair by Frank Conroy
Day 311: 16th of October 2014: The Bystander by Gina Berriault
Day 312: 17th of October 2014: The Lover of Horses by Tess Gallagher
Day 313: 18th of October 2014: Rock Springs by Richard Ford
Day 314: 19th of October 2014: The Misfits by Arthur Miller
Day 315: 20th of October 2014: Akhnilo by James Salter
Day 316: 21st of October 2014: Walking Out by David Quammen
Day 317: 22nd of October 2014: Letters from the Samantha by Mark Helprin
Day 318: 23rd of October 2014: Bright and Morning Star by Richard Wright
A long round-up of 387 short stories, which will soon come to an end on December 31, 2014. I will for sure miss it.
Here is the list this time round:
Day 237: 3rd of August 2014: Ping by Samuel Beckett
Day 238: 4th of August 2014: The Burning Baby by Dylan Thomas
Day 239: 5th of August 2014: The Enigma by John Fowles
Day 240: 6th of August 2014: In the Hours of Darkness by Edna O’Brien
Day 241: 7th of August 2014: Weekend by Fay Weldon
Day 242: 8th of August 2014: Structural Anthropology by Adam Mars-Jones
Day 243: 9th of August 2014: Flora by David Rose
Day 244: 10th of August 2014: The Pensioner by William Caine
Day 245: 11th of August 2014: Broadsheet Ballad by A.E. Coppard
Day 246: 12th of August 2014: A Hedonist by John Galsworthy
Day 247: 13th of August 2014: The Song by May Edginton
Day 248: 14th of August 2014: Seaton’s Aunt by Walter de la Mare
Day 249: 15th of August 2014: The Christmas Present by Richard Crompton
Day 250: 16th of August 2014: The Olive by Algernon Blackwood
Day 251: 17th of August 2014: Bedbugs by Clive Sinclair
Day 252: 18th of August 2014: My Wife is a White Russian by Rose Tremain
Day 253: 19th of August 2014: The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes
Day 254: 20th of August 2014: More Friend than Lodger by Angus Wilson
Day 227: 24th of July 2014: Farmer Airlines by Yasutaka Tsutsui
Day 228: 25th of July 2014: A Very Strange, Enchanted Boy by Yuko Tsushima
Day 229: 26th of July 2014: Desert Dolphin by Masahiko Shimada
Day 230: 27th of July 2014: Blowfish by Ton Satomi
Day 231: 28th of July 2014: Night Fires by Naoya Shiga
Day 232: 29th of July 2014: Sansho the Steward by Ogai Mori
Day 233: 30th of July 2014: The Peony Garden by Kafu Nagai
Day 234: 31st of July 2014: Separate Ways by Ichiyo Higuchi
Day 235: 1st of August 2014: The White Mother by Theodor Sologub
Day 236: 2nd of August 2014: Lazarus by Leonid Andreyev
Title: Can’t and Won’t: Stories
Author: Lydia Davis
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Short Stories
When Lydia Davis writes short stories, you take notice. You observe them and linger in their bitter or sweet after-thought. You also get confused. You wonder what her stories are about. As a reader, you also want to give up some times. You do not want to turn the next page. That is what you feel like and you cannot help it. You keep the book aside and after some time you get back to the book and then it hits on you, what you have been missing out on. And then the true beauty of her writing hits you.
Lydia Davis’s new collection of stories, “Can’t and Won’t” is a fantastic collection of vignettes, of short stories and of really long stories. At some point, I did not have it in me to soldier on, and yet I did. I think most of it also had to do with the fact that I had read Davis’s stories earlier. So my recommendation would be that to read some of her works online and then you will absolutely love what she writes and the way she expresses herself.
“Can’t and Won’t” is a collection that makes you ponder, makes you doubt, leaves you confused, perplexed and at the same time wrenches your heart with the most basic observations about life and living. Most of these stories are either retellings of her dreams, or related to Flaubert’s life (which are brilliantly reconstructed) or tales that are about painful memories and indecision and wanting to deal with life.
The stories are sometimes complex, sometimes simple and sometimes just make you want to drop everything else and think about life. “Can’t and Won’t” is expansive. It is a collection that challenges you, delivered in well prose and above all conjures a sense of wonder and delight, with every turn of the page.
Author: Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Source: Personal Copy
Manga is an art that grows on you. It is also an art form that makes you appreciate the beauty of stillness and subtlety. So when there are graphic novels to be read, there is also Manga which I feel is quite different and a genre of its own than being classified under Graphic Novels. Tatsumi happened to me when I was browsing through Landmark, Bombay, about ten years ago with a very dear friend. That was another book. This time I spotted him at Blossom and could not have been more excited. I knew I had to buy it and I was not wrong about it at all.
“Good-Bye” is a collection of short stories told in Manga. Tatsumi is perhaps one writer that just brings out the best when it comes to Manga, or at least from all that I have read. Tatsumi in this collection portrays a Japanese society – during WWII, in the aftermath of the atomic bomb and post the war.
The stories are about trapped protagonists, who seem to have no choice at all. They are stuck in circumstances that are beyond their control and they have to make sense of the world around them. Right from “Hell” which is about post-Hiroshima attack to “Good-Bye” which is a story of a woman trying to survive after the war, by using her body – the stories are real and laced with pathos and sometimes tragic humour.
What struck me the most was how beautifully Tatsumi managed to bring out the emotions in the entire book. From anger to helplessness to pure love and longing, everything is meticulously laid out for the reader to savour and add in a bit of his or her angst as well. All in all, this book is meant to be relished, page by page, illustration by illustration.