Love and Love – Shadow Rock

Shadow Rock by Jeremy Love and Robert Love
Date read: 06 June 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

LoveLoveShadowRock

Paperback, 80 pages
Published 2006 by Dark Horse Books
Source: Deschutes Public Library [J Graphic Novel LOVE JEREMY]

This is a cute book by various members of the Love family that I requested from my public library, due to looking for the Bayou books.

This is certainly for a younger audience than the Bayou books. It is a paranormal murder mystery that while perhaps missing some nuance as such has African American characters including one of the main ones, and class and race issues, along with other important topics being brought in. Life is complicated even if the mystery aspect of the book is not.

The artwork is solid and always supports the story quite well.

Highly recommended for 10-years or so on up.

This is the 30th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

Dysart, et al. – Neil Young’s Greendale

Neil Young’s Greendale by Joshua Dysart (writer), Cliff Chiang (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), Todd Klein (letterer)

Date read: 30 May 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Neil Young's Greendale by Joshua Dysar

Hardback, unnumbered
Published 2010 by Young Family Trust and DC Comics
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Teen Graphic novel DYSART JOSH]

I greatly enjoyed this. It went places I hadn’t imagined and it’s far more complex than it needs to be as if there are more Green family stories out there still to be told. Almost makes me tingle.

Let me back up. I heard and acquired this album when it came out in mid-2003 and listened to it many, many times. I was fully immersed in Greendale lore as either directly elucidated or as hinted at on the album. I truly wanted to have a serious “book discussion group” about this album as a text, as a narrative. I was at university at the time and was well-integrated into a couple of those sorts of discussion groups then so it made some sense. Sadly, it never happened. The album truly is that complex. There is one other album from around the same time that I believe merits the same treatment, Poe’s Haunted.

Greendale (the album is Young’s twenty-sixth studio album and his ninth with Crazy Horse. My copy was one of those which “… was originally released with a DVD of live “Neil-only” acoustic performance of the Greendale material from Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland.” So this was another interpretation.

At some point I also got the movie, which gave another spin on the story. Clearly, Greendale was a rich mental ecosystem for Young.

This graphic novel adaptation by Joshua Dysart and others, with a short intro by Neil (and supposedly some direct involvement) really expands the world while keeping the story the same. It really is pretty brilliant. I honestly think I want to own a copy of this. As I said above, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Greendale on a fairly serious level.

Highly recommended whether or not you know the album or even if you can’t stand Neil Young (I know those people exist; I don’t hold it against them.).

I really wish there was more of this world, perhaps exploring more of those members of the family who barely made a complicating appearance.

Description from Vertigo website:

“Legendary singer-songwriter, musician and activist Neil Young brings one of his most personal albums, GREENDALE, to comics. Overseeing the work of acclaimed writer Joshua Dysart (UNKNOWN SOLDIER) and fan-favorite artist Cliff Chiang (HUMAN TARGET), they compose a graphic novel that explores a whole new dimension to the album that Rolling Stone voted as one of the best of its year.In the Fall of 2003, as the nation gallops into war, a politically active teenage girl named Sun lives, loves and dreams in a small California town named Greendale.Sun’s always been different. There’s been talk that the women in her family have all had a preternatural communion with nature. And when a Stranger comes to town – a character whose presence causes Greendale to, well, go to hell – she’ll find herself on a journey both mystical and mythical. To face the Stranger, she’ll unearth the secrets of her family in a political coming-of-age story infused with its own special magic.”

This is the 26th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

McQuaid – Tasty

Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat by John McQuaid

Date read: 21 February – 05 March 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc, 2016poss

Cover image of Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat by John McQuaid

Hardback, vii, 291 pages
Published 2015 by Scribner
Source: Own. Bought via Amazon July 2015 (released January 2015).

Contents:

  • 1 The Tongue Map
  • 2 The Birth of Flavor in Five Meals
  • 3 The Bitter Gene
  • 4 Flavor Cultures
  • 5 The Seduction
  • 6 Gusto and Disgust
  • 7 Quest for Fire
  • 8 The Great Bombardment
  • 9 The DNA of Deliciousness
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

1 The Tongue Map

Covers the origin and spread of the infamous tongue map.

Edwin G. Boring, in his “magisterial survey of the science of the human senses,” Sensation and Perception in the History of Experimental Psychology (1942), reviewed an experiment (1901) by David P. Hänig (2):

“He [Hänig] found the threshold for detecting each taste varied around the edge of the tongue. The tip, for example, was more sensitive to sweetness and to salt than was the base.

It wasn’t clear what this meant—if anything—and the differences were very small. But Boring found this notion interesting and went to some lengths to illustrate it. He borrowed the data from Hänig’s study and turned it into a graph. The graph was just a visual aid; it had no units, and its curves were impressionistic. But the result was that—perhaps to dramatize the point, or perhaps inadvertently—Boring made small difference in perception appear huge.

The wayward chart became the basis for a famous diagram of the tongue, divided into zones for each taste: …. Linda Bartoshuk, a professor of psychology who has studied the map’s origins, believes it came about through a game of “telephone”: First, Boring exaggerated Hänig’s findings. Then researchers and textbook editors misinterpreted Boring’s graph, using the peaks of its curves to label specific areas on the tongue. A final round of confusion produced a diagram with taste boundaries clearer than those on a world map” (2-3).

“The old diagram has lost much of its cachet in recent years. But it still lingers in some areas of the culinary world, including coffee and wine tasting, which value tradition and continuity as much as science” (4).

The chapter goes on to explain the research that has proved the tongue map wrong and also discusses some other topics, such as the development of taste in children. We learn that  flavor science made great strides in the 20th century, and is progressing with astonishing speed in 21st.

Beginning early on, I found it quite interesting, but the endnotes are that asinine textual selection thing. Grrr.

2 The Birth of Flavor in Five Meals

“The first inklings of flavor appeared as early life-forms began to sense the world around them and the taste of nutrients floating by in seawater excited primitive nervous systems. … Five ancient meals, each taking place at a turning point in evolutionary history, help explain where the ensue of flavor, and Homo sapiens’ talent for culinary invention, came from” (17).

3 The Bitter Gene

While not exactly a hop head, I do like many bitter foods and drinks and—like most everyone—had to learn to like them. As a serious beer drinker, homebrewer, student of brewing, friend of hop growers, …, I am especially interested in bitterness and its detection.

There is a test to determine if one is a non-taster of bitterness, which includes about a quarter of the US population [PROP test, 6-n-propylthiouracil]. 58

The biology of flavor perception, and particularly bitterness, is crazy intriguing and as we learn more it will only get more so (68-71).

“… the preponderance of them [correlations] indicates that bitter taste biology influences the whole body. Since the DNA of taste receptors was decoded over the last decade, it has been found all over the body: along the digestive tract, in the pancreas and liver, in the brain, and in the testicles. (Smell receptors have also been isolated in the liver, heart, kidneys, sperm, and skin.)” (69).

4 Flavor Cultures [Fermentation]

5 The Seduction [Sweetness]

6 Gusto and Disgust

Brain damage, “wild children,” and other topics to show that “Feeling and observing disgust generate similar patterns of brain activity, and similar feelings” (146) because “Distaste and the “yuck” face are the products of an ancient circuit of firing neurons, blood flow, and neurotransmitter activity in the brain that includes the insula and orbitofrontal cortex. Disgust uses the same circuit.” (145).

“The insula, remember, is also a hub for many of the body’s internal states and feelings. … It also contains a distinct kind of neuron found only in the brains of humans, great apes, elephants, and whales and dolphins” (147).

Which goes to show that, “This means that visceral taste reactions underlie our most sophisticated behavior, animating our thoughts and judgments about everything from politics to money.” 148

7 Quest for Fire [capsaicin]

Quite interesting and includes a good bit on the search for the hottest peppers.

8 The Great Bombardment

Potato chips, fats, flavor’s deep connection to pleasure, and why there’s always room for dessert, among other topics.

9 The DNA of Deliciousness

Gastroscience, new mappings of the flavor space, and umami.

Wrap-up

I know I could’ve done a better job with this review but I want to re-read it in the not too distant future anyway. I also need to go back and get the sources I marked and read those. So it is what it is. Take my word, very intriguing.

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone interested in our senses of taste, aroma and flavor, but especially for anyone seriously tasting (and/or judging) beer, wine, coffee, etc.

This is the 15th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

This book also is one of my 2016poss books.

Gunders – Waste Free Kitchen Handbook

Waste Free Kitchen Handbook: A guide to eating well and saving money by wasting less food by Dana Gunders

Date read: 17 February – 01 March 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc

Cover image of Gunder's Waste Free Kitchen Handbook

Paperback, 200 pages
Published 2015 by Chronicle Books
Source: Own

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Making a Difference
  • Part One: Strategies for Everyday Life
  • Part Two: Recipes
  • Part Three: Directory
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Notes
  • Index

“The author is a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and leads NRDC’s work on reducing the amount of food wasted across the country” (back cover).

The Introduction covers where food is wasted, what contributes to food waste in homes, what it takes to produce food, how wasting food saves money and resources, and how this is about “small, easy changes you can make in your daily food rhythm that will streamline your consumption” (21).

“My journey into becoming a food-waste warrior started at work, where I was researching how to improve farming. My aim was to help farmers use less water, fertilizers, and pesticides. But what I found startled me. After all the effort and resources that were being invested to get food to our plates, a huge amount of it was going uneaten! It occurred to me that no matter how organically or sustainably we grow our food, if it doesn’t get eaten, it doesn’t do anyone any good.

About 40 percent of all food in the United States does not get eaten.1 That’s crazy! It’s like buying five bags of groceries and then dropping two of the bags in the grocery store parking lot and not bothering to pick them up.

Collectively, consumers are responsible for more wasted food than farmers, grocery stores, or any other part of the food supply chain” (Introduction, 9).

You may have noticed the footnote in the above quote. The book contains a fair few (61 total) endnotes, many of which are to free and open sources. I have added the two citations used in quotes I am using near the bottom of this post.

Growing portion sizes come in for a bit of analysis in the Intro. “Portion sizes are now sometimes 2 to 8 tines larger than the standard serving sizes defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration7” (11). There is a chart on p. 12 showing the growth in portion sizes from 1982 to 2002 for nine food items. The smallest increase of 70% was for pepperoni pizza to 205% for soda and 400% for a chocolate chip cookie!

Part One covers Sage Shopping (tricks of the grocery trade, meal planning, shopping guidelines, and waste diagnostics), Smarter Storage (refrigerators, freezers, blanching, canning, pickling, drying, and root cellars; although these last four are simply overviews), The Crafty Kitchen (setting up your kitchen, tenets of mindful cooking, making the right amount, salvaging kitchen crises, leftovers, keeping food safe, and food waste management for parties), Can I Eat It? (what happens to food as it ages, expiration dates, and who should be particularly careful), Getting Scrappy (food scraps for and not for pets, things that can be (re)planted, household uses for scraps, and composting), and Go Forth and Go For It, which provides a short recap so far.

Part Two consists of 20 recipes ranging from infused vodkas through desserts and main dishes to side dishes by using food items that are nearing or just past prime.

Part Three covers Fruits; Vegetables; Meat, Poultry, and Seafood; Pantry Staples; Dairy and Eggs; Beans, Nuts, and Vegetarian Proteins; Oils, Condiments, and Spices. The Directory “… offers advice on how to store foods, how to freeze them, and how long they stay at their best quality. It also has helpful tidbits on ways to use parts that you might have thought were inedible, tips for reviving foods, and answers to questions like, “What are those brown spots?” (146)

It clearly cannot cover everything but it does have many, if not most, of the more normal fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.

Foodborne Illness addessses pathogens, toxins, Listeria, and pasteurization.

Recommended. A fairly quick read with lots of ideas, some more practical than others depending on your situation, which she does acknowledge. Early on the author comes across as a bit of a zealot but then this is a huge problem worldwide. See, for instance, Food Waste: The Facts by the United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office of North Africa.

The scale of food waste is truly terrifying and criminally unjust.

1 K. D. Hall, J. Guo, M. Dore, and C. C. Chow, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “The Progressive Increase of Food Waste in American and its Environmental Impact,” PloS One 4 no. 11 (2009), e7940.

7 L. Young and M. Nestle, “Expanding Portion Sizes in the U.S. Marketplace: Implications for U.S. Counsleing,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103, no. 2 (February 2003): portionteller.com/pdf/portsize.pdf [link verified 05 March 2016]

Actually the 12th nonfiction book for me this year but the review for number 11 is taking a while.

This is the 11th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Morrison, et al. – The Invisibles, Vol. 1: Say You Want a Revolution

The Invisibles, Vol. 1: Say You Want a Revolution by Grant Morrison (writer, creator), others

Date read: 15-16 February 2016
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles

Paperback, 222 pages
Published 1996 by DC Comics [Originally published in single magazine form as THE INVISIBLES 1-8 1994-5]
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Graphic Novel MORRISON GRANT]

This was OK. Pretty strange.

Mostly a rant against/questioning the seemingly never-dying, yet highly dangerous, concept of utopia. The art was reasonably well done yet still somewhat confusing at times. It also jumps around in time narratively, just as some of the characters do in time. Also present are forms of astral projection, mind control and other complicated topics. The Marquis de Sade makes an appearance, as does Shelley, Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.

If you like such things then recommended. Not for children; note the de Sade, amongst other things.

This is the 19th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

Alanguilan – Elmer

Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan

Date read: 09 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Alanguilan's Elmer

Paperback, 1 vol. unpaged
Published 2010 by SLG Publishing [originally self-published by the author in the Philippines]
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN 6727 .A383 E46 2010]

This book kicked my ass! I am declaring it my favorite book of 2016. Calling it now.

I was tweeting about it all evening while I was reading it. I almost never tweet about books while I am reading them. Seven tweets in total. Simply unprecedented for me.

Utterly recommended! For everyone and anyone who may be considered “mature readers,” as labeled on the back cover.

This edition collects together all four of the originally issued comics into a single, coherent whole.

From the back cover:

Elmer is a window into an alternate Earth where chickens have suddenly acquired the intelligence and consciousness of humans, where they consider themselves a race no different from whites, browns, or blacks. Recognizing themselves to be sentient, the inexplicably evolved chickens push to attain rights for themselves as the newest members of the human race.

Elmer tells the story of a family of chickens who lives and struggles to survive in a suddenly complicated, dangerous and yet beautiful world.”

It could serve as commentary on our eating of chickens and other animals, and it does some, but its main focus is a commentary on race, hatred, the irrationality of humans, love, fathers and sons, compartmentalization of roles in society, and humanity at its best in the individual where it ultimately resides.

It is quite graphic in spots, which I will not downplay, but it is in black & white so is not as bad as if red had been splashed everywhere.

Single panel from Elmer

There are many ways to tell the story of bigotry, racism, and hatred and this may be one of the seemingly more absurd but it works very well. Of course, a “mature reader” will also explore other perspectives on these topics as one should, be it the lived experience of individual persons of color (or other targets of bigotry) to the collective movements, such as Black Lives Matter, to the things disciplines such as psychology, sociology and anthropology can teach us, to explorations of the structures of racism (and other -isms) built into our laws and societies.

Single panel from Elmer

This book can be difficult. But my heart is ripped apart every single day when I see where American society is still on these topics at this point in history. And, no, this book does not solve any of that. It is not supposed to. Its purpose is to illuminate, perhaps educate, to make one think, to make one question. Maybe even to help one love.

There were a few spots where the transition from one time frame to another was abrupt and not as clear as most, but in the end the story was so powerful that this did not detract from it for me.

I give this the highest recommendation I possibly can. Beautiful. Haunting. Hits so close to the bone that it drills in and starts sucking the marrow out.

Two panels from Elmer

This is the 16th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

Backes – Cannabis Pharmacy

Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana by Michael Backes

Date read: 08 January – 06 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc

Cover image of Backes' Cannabis Pharmacy

Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2014 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Source: Deschutes Public Library [615.7827 BACKES MICHAEL] [Updated]

This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it for all public and academic libraries. It would be even more useful in states with medical cannabis laws but would be an excellent educational resource even in those without.

Contents:

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Cannabis as a Medicine
  • Historical Context
  • The Cannabis Plant
  • How Medical Cannabis Does and Doesn’t Work
  • How Cannabis Works Within the Body
  • Adverse Effects of Medical Cannabis
  • The Endocannabinoid System: A Brief Primer
  • Phytocannabinoids and terpenoids—The Principle Active Ingredients of Medical Cannabis
  • Genotypes, Phenotypes, and Chemotypes of Medical Cannabis
  • Part 2: Using Medical Cannabis
  • Metabolizing Medical Cannabis
  • Dosage: A Short Introduction
  • Storing Cannabis
  • Cannabis Contaminants, Pathogens, Pesticides, and Adulterants
  • Forms of Cannabis
  • Delivery and Dosing
  • Using Medical Cannabis in the Workplace
  • Part 3: Varieties of Medical Cannabis
  • What Makes a Cannabis Variety and Why It’s Important
  • … [Information on 27 specific varieties (see below)]
  • Part 4: Medical Uses of Cannabis
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • … [Information on 27 other conditions]
  • Stress
  • Cannabis and Adolescence
  • Cannabis and Children
  • Cannabis and Pregnancy
  • Cannabis and Preventive Medicine
  • Cannabis and Women’s Health
  • Cannabis  Dependence and Withdrawal
  • Notes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

Comments

Not an all out pro-Cannabis stance by any means. Cannabis use—like anything we can put in our bodies—comes with risks. This book takes a clear-eyed look at all of them—as best as possible within our current knowledge. He discusses contaminants, pathogens, pesticides, and adulterants, THC tolerance, dependence and withdrawal, which terpenes do (or may) exacerbate which conditions, along with Cannabis use by adolescents, children, and pregnant women.

Backes also discusses the direction research (and the medical Cannabis  market) seems to be heading. As he writes in the Intro:

“The research collected herein is drawn from hundreds of recent studies, but this book hopes to present this evidence in an accessible manner for the layperson. Cannabis Pharmacy is designed to encourage further inquiry, so I have attempted to avail myself of as many open and accessible sources as possible in its creation, so that patients and physicians wishing to dig deeper may do so easily and inexpensively” (9).

Bravo, sir! And speaking of those references, there are 63 citations in Part 1, 11 in Part 2, and 235 in Part 4; 15 pages in total. The Selected Bibliography covers 5 full pages of the same small but legible type.

Strains

The basic template for each strain, all of which cover two pages (or more), is a couple opening paragraphs, a couple paragraph Notes section, a Medical Uses breakout box, and comments on each of the following items: type, species, breeding date, genetics, similar varieties, availability, ease of cultivation, aroma, taste, potency, duration of effects, psychoactivity, analgesia, muscle relaxation, dissociation, stimulant, and sedation.

Taste usually includes comments on smoking and vaporizing. The last six comment sections are, of course, relating the effect of that strain in that arena; so, the stimulant effect, for instance.

The Medical Uses section covers 29 disorders and some borader information in 5 sections under the head of “Cannabis and …,” along with one on dependence and withdrawal.

The disorders covered are: Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, arthritis, asthma, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, autoimmune disorders, cachexia and appetite disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gerontology, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, insomnia and sleeping disorders, migraine and headache, multiple sclerosis and movement disorders, nausea and vomiting, neuropathy, pain, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, seizure disorders, skin conditions, and stress.

The five “Cannabis and …” sections are listed above in the Contents listing.

Final comments

Well-balanced and as up-to-date as is currently possible. I hope that the author, or at a minimum the publisher, keeps this book current by revising it in the next couple years.

Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries, along with anyone interested in/concerned with medical cannabis; either as a patient, a caregiver, or a doctor or other medical folks.

This is the 8th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Williams & Crowell – A Pictorial History of the Bend Country

A Pictorial History of the Bend Country by Elsie Horn Williams and Jim Crowell

Date read: 15 January – 05 February 2016
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016nfc
No pic available
Hardback, 223 pages
Published 1998 [Rev., 2nd ed. cover title: The Bend Country: Past to Present] by The Donning Company Publishers
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [F 884 .B38 W54 1998]

I enjoyed this well enough; it had its moments. To either side of the pendulum. I learned a few things about Bend I hadn’t known and had a few others reinforced.

Contents:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • I. 1825-1877
  • II. 1877-1900
  • III. 1900-1904
  • IV. 1904-1911
  • V. 1911-1915
  • VI. 1915-1920
  • VII. 1920-1933
  • VIII. 1933-1950
  • IX. 1950-1970
  • X. 1970-1983
  • XI. 1984-1998*
  • Bibliography
  • Author Biographies
  • Index

* Rev., 2nd ed. Ch. XI 1984-1998 (c)1998 by Jim Crowell. 1st ed. was 1983.

This is book of photos of the Bend area and its residents, along with captions providing context, divided up into chronological order. The photos within sections—and even across once or twice—are a bit looser.

Recommended if you are interested in Bend history. Not exactly a history as such but it is captioned historical photos.

[Of interest to no one except other book metadata geeks]

As a cataloger, let me say that this book is a mess! It does not help that the work itself doesn’t do the best job of representing itself, at least in the rev. 2nd edition I have at hand. There are records for both editions in Worldcat but the title is clearly different in the newer one. Or is it? The title page still says “A pictorial history of the Bend Country,” which according to the records should be the title of the first edition. But clearly on the cover, the spine, and the dust jacket of this edition it says the title is: “The Bend Country: Past to Present.” Title page verso has LC CIP which has the title as “Bend: a pictorial history.” Considering we use the title page as our main source it is correct. The MARC record does have an alternate title for the cover title. Still. Publishers you need to understand how things are cataloged if you want to rename works. Or generally.

This is the 7th book in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Modan – Jamilti & Other Stories

Jamilti & Other Stories by Rutu Modan

Date read: 06-07 February 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc 2016transl

Cover image of Rutu Modan's Jamilti & Other Stories

Hardback, 174 pages
Published 2008 First hardcover edition by drawn & quarterly
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Graphic Novel MODAN RUTU]

This is my fourth Modan book this year. I also read The Property, exit wounds, and the children’s book Maya Makes a Mess. In general I quite liked them. The children’s one not as much but the others all got 4 or 5 stars out of 5.

This is a collection of seven short graphic stories:

  • Jamilti 2
  • Energy Blockage 1
  • Bygone 2
  • The Panty Killer 1
  • Homecoming 2
  • The King of Lillies 1
  • Your Number One Fan

Translation credit: 1 Noah Stollman, 2 Jesse Mishori

Most of these are a slight bit twisted, to say the least, but they provide some interesting commentary on assorted aspects of modern Western culture, and on Israeli culture in particular.

Jamilti describes a day in the life of a couple trying to plan their wedding. Based on the course of the day I’d say things aren’t looking up for the prospective groom. Very powerful.

Energy Blockage has to do with our search for solutions to well-being, charlatans, and the damage families do to themselves for some sort of closure.

Bygone is about mothers and daughters, or sisters, and the secrets families keep.

The Panty Killer is about the differences between an adult’s and a child’s version of memories and how they impact us in the longterm.

Homecoming. Well. I’ll let you read it and decide. There are some things I would like to say about this and some aspects of several of the stories but the topic is beyond fraught. Whether justified or not, there is a lot of Israeli aggression in this book, as one might expect.

The King of Lillies reflects on plastic surgery and the ideal of beauty, especially as embodied in an unrequited love.

Your Number One Fan visits the topic of fandom and the relations between Israeli Jews and the Diaspora.

All in all, I really enjoyed this and highly recommend it, particularly if you are interested in translations and/our perspectives from other cultures.

This is the 14th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups

This is the 7th book in my Books in Translation Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

Wang – Koko Be Good

Koko Be Good by Jen Wang

Date read: 01 February 2016
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2016gnc

Cover image of Wang's Koko Be Good

Paperback, 1 volume unpaged
Published 2010 by First Second
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [PN 6727.W284 K65 2010]

A sort of -coming-of-age story and one of finding oneself in the world. It was alright but between the artwork and even the narrative I was lost far too often. I either had no idea what took place to generate some reaction in one of the characters or I could not understand their motivation when I did.

I generally really liked the artwork but sometimes it just wasn’t clear what was going on.

Your mileage may vary.

This is the 13th book in my 2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge Sign-Ups