Library Loot (January 16 2012)


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

 This is what happens after a long absence from the library! Ok so they’re mostly graphic novels and likely won’t take me that long to read, but still, 11 checkouts is the most I’ve had in one visit!

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Whee!

Habibi – Craig Thomson

I was a bit reluctant to pick this up because it’s such a heft of a book! But when I spotted it on the rather full graphic novel shelves, I knew it was meant to be, and that it was coming home with me.

habibi

From the internationally acclaimed author of Blankets (“A triumph for the genre.”Library Journal), a highly anticipated new graphic novel.
 
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling

Waterwise – Joel Orff

A nice long browse of the graphic novel shelves (both in the teen section and the adult non-fiction section) made for some good pickings!

waterwise

Imagine a cross between American Splendor and Alice in Wonderland…or imagine a cross between Carl Barks and Carlos Castaneda… In Joel Orff’s new graphic novel Waterwise he explores these concepts and many more. This is the story of two old friends who are reunited for one night and wander together through a surreal, vaguely apocalyptic landscape, pondering life, griping about their circumstances, and trying to connect. Along the way they explore the nature of dreams, the fragile facade of civilization and the tenderness of a true friendship.


American Widow – Alissa Torres, illustrated by Sungyoon Choi

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On September 10, 2001, Eddie Torres started his dream job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The next morning, he said goodbye to his 7½-months-pregnant wife, Alissa, and headed out the door.

In an instant, Alissa’s world was thrown into chaos. Forced to deal with unimaginable challenges, Alissa suddenly found herself cast into the role of “9/11 widow,” tossed into a storm of bureaucracy, politics, patriotism, mourning, consolation, and, soon enough, motherhood.

Beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, American Widow is the affecting account of one woman’s journey through shock, pain, birth, and rebirth in the aftermath of a great tragedy. It is also the story of a young couple’s love affair: how a Colombian immigrant and a strong-minded New Yorker met, fell in love, and struggled to fulfill their dreams. Above all, American Widow is a tribute to the resilience of the human heart and the very personal story of how one woman endured a very public tragedy.

Obernewtyn – Isobelle Carmody
Via Giraffe Days

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For Elspeth Gordie freedom is-like so much else after the Great White-a memory.

It was a time known as the Age of Chaos. In a final explosive flash everything was destroyed. The few who survived banded together and formed a Council for protection. But people like Elspeth-mysteriously born with powerful mental abilities-are feared by the Council and hunted down like animals…to be destroyed.

Her only hope for survival to is keep her power hidden. But is secrecy enough against the terrible power of the Council?

The Umbrella Academy Vol 1: Apocalypse suite – Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba

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Gerard Way, of My Chemical Romance, makes his comics writing debut in this outrageous superhero epic that Grant Morrison called “An ultraviolet psychedelic sherbet bomb of wit and ideas. The superheroes of the 21st century are here at last…” In an inexplicable, worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” These seven children form The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again

Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale – Belle Yang

This looks like it might fit into the Global Women of Colour challenge.

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Celebrated artist and writer Belle Yang makes a stunning debut as a graphic memoirist with this story of crisis and survival.

When Belle Yang was forced to take refuge in her parents’ home after an abusive boyfriend began stalking her, her father entertained her with stories of old China. The history she’d ignored while growing up became a source of comfort and inspiration, and narrowed the gap separating her—an independent, Chinese-American woman—from her Old World Chinese parents.

In Forget Sorrow, Yang makes her debut into the graphic form with the story of her father’s family, reunited under the House of Yang in Manchuria during the Second World War and struggling—both together and individually—to weather poverty, famine, and, later, Communist oppression. The parallels between Belle Yang’s journey of self-discovery and the lives and choices of her grandfather, his brothers, and their father (the Patriarch) speak powerfully of the conflicts between generations—and of possibilities for reconciliation.

Forget Sorrow demonstrates the power of storytelling and remembrance, as Belle—in telling this story—finds the strength to honor both her father and herself.

The song of everlasting sorrow: a novel of Shanghai – Wang Anyi, translated by Michael Berry and Susan Chan Egan

This one is for the Global Women of Colour challenge

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Set in post-World War II Shanghai, “The Song of Everlasting Sorrow” follows the adventures of Wang Qiyao, a girl born of the “longtong,” the crowded, labyrinthine alleys of Shanghai’s working-class neighborhoods.

Infatuated with the glitz and glamour of 1940s Hollywood, Wang Qiyao seeks fame in the Miss Shanghai beauty pageant, and this fleeting moment of stardom becomes the pinnacle of her life. During the next four decades, Wang Qiyao indulges in the decadent pleasures of pre-liberation Shanghai, secretly playing mahjong during the antirightist Movement and exchanging lovers on the eve of the Cultural Revolution. Surviving the vicissitudes of modern Chinese history, Wang Qiyao emerges in the 1980s as a purveyor of “old Shanghai”–a living incarnation of a new, commodified nostalgia that prizes splendor and sophistication–only to become embroiled in a tragedy that echoes the pulpy Hollywood noirs of her youth.

From the violent persecution of communism to the liberalism and openness of the age of reform, this sorrowful tale of old China versus new, of perseverance in the face of adversity, is a timeless rendering of our never-ending quest for transformation and beauty.

Water baby – Ross Campbell

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Brody is an unstoppable surfer girl who gets her leg bitten off by a shark and is forced to deal with her new disability–not to mention a strange, shark-like transformation that may or may not be happening to her.

Some books that I picked up for wee reader
Chopsticks – Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Scott Magoon
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Chugga-chugga Choo-choo – Kevin Lewis, Daniel Kirk
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What did you get from the library this week?

9 comments

  1. Claire (The Captive Reader)

    These all sound great (except the one with the shark, but I know that’s just my paralyzing fear of sharks talking)! I’ll be especially interested to hear what you think of Habibi, which I’ve heard a lot about, and Forget Sorrow. Enjoy your loot!

    • olduvai

      Yeah if you have a fear of sharks you’d better stay far away from these books. She has these recurring nightmares that would freak anyone out…

  2. mdbrady

    What a great bunch of books. I look forward especially to the GWC ones. I haven’t read many graphic novels and Forget the Sorrow sounds wonderful. i will try to get it.