Monday, January 14, 2008
Updates and new books
Well, War and Peace is going very slowly, but my other reading is moving along swimmingly.
The find of the week is definitely The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey : A graphic novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West, by Steve Sheinkin. (Click on the cover to buy from your local Booksense-affiliated bookseller!) This book contains a series of short stories starring Rabbi Harvey, a unibrowed sage who solves all kinds of problems, from convincing a young boy that he is not a chicken to breaking up a band of organized crime. Never getting too heavy or serious, it's a fun book for adults and children too- and probably for adults and children to read together and discuss the morals in each story. The art is unusual, almost like woodcut art in style but not quite, and compliments the dry wit effectively.
I picked up a couple of new manga as well, although for the most part I just add them to my Bookmooch wishlist and hope for the best. I'm reading a series called The Sand Chronicles, which is being serialized in the magazine Shojo Beat. I've been buying SB for a few months now but got a subscription for Christmas, which I'm very excited about. The Sand Chronicles, which just came out in book form (volume 1 was just published by Viz Media, which publishes Shojo Beat as well), is a sensitive story about a young girl who moves to the countryside from Tokyo with her unhappy mother. The girl, Ann, is settling in and making friends when tragedy strikes the family. She's faced with a series of challenges and decisions, and we'll see how it all turns out. It's a change from some of the more fluffy content you see in manga sometimes. I like it.
I have to say I'm very happy having interesting reading to do for work and for myself, and it's great how they intersect sometimes. I only picked up Rabbi Harvey on impulse the other day when I visited a local bookshop to get a textbook for my upcoming beginning-Hebrew language class and I'm really enjoying it. Sometimes I feel so lucky to be in a profession where reading and exploring great books counts as work!