All right, another month has come and gone. Let’s get down to business! I read some great books this month!
First off, I had the pleasure of reading Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, his latest collection of short stories. I usually enjoy Gaiman’s work, and this case was no different. The stories are engaging and frequently made me feel a sense of wonder; many of the stories had fairy tale elements, which I felt contributed. To my delight, the collection featured a story about Shadow, the protagonist from American Gods (one of my favorite books!). Overall, Trigger Warning is a fantastic collection–I was sad to have to return it to the library.
Another interesting read was Jo Walton’s The Just City. This book follows a group of individuals gathered by the goddess Athena to build a city based on Plato’s Republic. I found myself drawn into the world and the questions that sprung from it. Once Socrates comes on the scene, the questions fly! My somewhat limited humanities background was definitely put to the test, but I found the book enjoyable. If you love philosophical works or utopia tales, pick this one up.
I also finally finished The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders . This book discusses the role of the press in the murder frenzy that captured Victorian England. The book is dense, yet fascinating reading; Flanders does a great job of highlighting the interplay of the press and society in the portrayal of murders. I sometimes felt at a bit lost in the anecdotes, but ultimately found the argument compelling. If I was taking my Representing the Metropolis history seminar (where we talked a lot about the role of the press) now, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this book on the syllabus.
I also enjoyed The Autumn Republic,the conclusion to Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage trilogy . I have discussed this series on this blog before, and I suppose it doesn’t come as a surprise that I’m talking about it again. In this final book, Tamas must defend his country from new invaders while still fighting to crush the Kez assault. I enjoyed McClellan’s exploration of the consequences of Tamas’ anger; I also dig Nila and Ka-poel–they’re both awesome female characters who I really think get more done than the male heroes. The action is top notch, and the story concluded the series in a properly bittersweet fashion. I look forward to seeing more from this author.
I also had the pleasure of reading Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. This book of poetry describes Woodson’s experiences growing up. I really loved Woodson’s language and self-reflection; this one was a treat to read.
I can’t skip over my graphic novels! I got my hands on the latest in George O’Connor’s Olympians series, in the latest, Ares: Bringer of War, he tells the reader about Ares through the lens of the Trojan War; I was really impressed how accessible he made the complex story of The Iliad (where there’s a lot of detail that can obscure the story). The art is top-notch as well.
I also enjoyed Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella’s Neurocomic. A man finds himself trapped in a brain and learns all kinds of things about the research and historical figures of neuroscience as he tries to find the way out. The situation sounds a bit odd, but the visuals make a tricky concept accessible. I could see this being a good introduction for middle school students.
That’s it for March! See you next time!