Tag: Marjane Satrapi

First Steps: Banned Books

Posted September 26, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in First Steps / 0 Comments

literary stepsFirst Steps is a new segment that was inspired by the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge. Each week or two, we look at books from different themes, genres or maybe authors and suggest some that are worth trying. Not necessarily all easy to read books but the ones that are worth the time and effort. My goal is to have First Steps guide you to some great books in places you don’t normally venture to.

To celebrate banned book week and because I’ve been asked for some suggestions on what to read, I thought I would share a couple of books that you should check out. I’m not going to focus on high literature or the controversial books but rather some great reads in a few different genres and styles.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the autobiography of Satrapi, growing up within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. She balances the plot between her private and public life, in a country plagued by political upheaval. I can’t recommend this graphic novel enough, if you have never tried a comic then try this one.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The ultimate book about the problems with banning books and ironically it managed to get banned. Guy Montag is a fireman, his job is to burn books; the source of all discord and unhappiness. Guy is unhappy with his life and there is discord in his marriage. A terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.

 
 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Yes, this book was banned; a classic children’s novel that is probably the best example of the literary nonsense genre. This book plays with logic and narrative structure making this book popular among adults as well as children. I love this book and it is full of witty and amusing puns.

 
 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 

One of my favourite dystopian novels out there, A Clockwork Orange is just weird and a real khorosho (horrorshow). A Clockwork Orange tells the story of Alex, your humble narrator; a disturbing 15 year old anti-hero, until the government tried some experimental behaviour-modification treatment on him.

 
 

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

My all-time favourite, a book I read again and again. There are so many different themes you can pull out of this novel and it infuses elements from the Romantic Movement, gothic, horror and science fiction. Everyone has an idea of what this book is about but just how different is it to its pop culture references.

 
 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I can’t recommend banned books without Lolita getting a look in. The highly controversial novel of Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged literature professor and his obsession with twelve year-old Dolores Haze. You may not enjoy reading this book but you might enjoy having read it.

Feel free to suggest some more banned books and even recommend some to me that I should check out. I have plans to read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (a recent addition to the banned books list) this week but I can’t seem to get a copy, so I might be late with my banned book reading.


First Steps: Graphic Novels

Posted August 3, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in First Steps / 11 Comments

literary stepsFirst Steps is a new segment that was inspired by the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge. Each week or two we look at what books from different themes, genres or maybe authors and suggest some that are worth trying. Not necessarily all easy to read books but the ones that are worth the time and effort. My goal is to have First Steps guide you to some great books in places you don’t normally venture to.

Graphic Novels is something I have found many people struggle with in the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge; they often don’t know where to start or are just scared to try one. I got the impression that they thought they were more of a guy thing or they were not into superheroes. So I wanted to offer some suggestions that would cover both.

Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

This graphic novel follows the story of a lonely and emotionally-impaired “everyman” who is given, at age 36, the opportunity to meet his father for the first time. Jimmy Corrigan is a self-conscious, mother-pleasing, middle-aged man with the angst of a teenage boy. An interesting and emotional story.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

This quasi-autobiographical story follows the adventures of two teenage girls facing the prospects of growing up. The art style of this Graphic novel is amazing, even though it’s mainly in black and white there are shadings of green that come through as well.

 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the autobiography of Satrapi, growing up within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. Balancing the plot between her private and public life, in a country plagued by political upheaval.

 
 

Maus by Art Spiegelman

The only graphic novel I know of that has won the Pulitzer Prize. Maus is the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. The Jews are mice and the Nazis are cats, this is a brilliant way to tell this type of story.

 

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley

I love this series, it follows the story of Scott Pilgrim and how he has to battle his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes. Something he would never have planned on, but love makes you do funny things. While this is six short graphic novels, I highly recommend reading the entire series. Also there is a faithful movie adaptation that is well worth seeing too The only real difference is Michael Cera doesn’t look like Scott Pilgrim.

There are many more great graphic novels out there but I hope I’ve given you a good place to start. Feel free to suggest some more graphic novels and even recommend some to me that I should check out. I’m tempted to do a similar post with more of your superhero type graphic novels but we will see how that goes.