"BookTube-A-Thon" – What I Read Pt. 1

“BookTube-A-Thon” just ended today, and it was a huge success for me! I read 20 books, consisting of mostly graphic novels as well as poetry and fiction, and finished all but the book-to-movie challenge. Additionally, I was pretty faithful to my TBR list, the one exception being Shakespeare. I just was not in the mood for him this week. Because I read so many books this week, I’m splitting this into two parts. Here’s part 1 of what I read this week: 

1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover. – For this challenge, I read Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints, two graphic novels that follow a young man, Little Bao, and a young woman, Four-Girl, during the Boxer Revolution in China. The young man and woman are each on different sides of the revolution and each have their own stories and motivations for being on that side. Little Bao chooses to lead the revolution, driven a childhood desire to be like the courageous figures in he admires in his favorite operas as well as anger from seeing his family and other village members brutally mistreated and disrespected at the hands of foreigners. Four-Girl, on the other hand, chooses to defect from her traditional society and convert to Christianity, stemming from a sense of alienation from her own family as well as a childhood desire to be a “foreign devil” that blossoms into a deeper understanding of Christianity. I absolutely loved these graphic novels. I love that Yang chose to show both sides of the story to show each character’s ideas and motivations, as well as to show how each character suffered. These books are not light summer reading. Both main characters suffer a great deal, and many people die. These books truly show the high costs of imperialism, missionary work, and revolution. Rating: Amazing!

2/ Read a book only after sunset. – For this challenge, I read Saga, vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I also read volumes 2-5. This is a science-fiction graphic novel series that follows a family comprised of a “Winged” mother, a “Horned” father, and their daughter, a hybrid – “Winged-Horned”. The parents’ planets are at war with each other so falling in love and having a child has gotten them into quite a pickle. They are persecuted by their planets’ forces as well as by a Freelancer. I inhaled these five volumes. The series gets better with each volume, with great character development and exploration of themes like war, violence, and parenthood. The illustrations are so gorgeous and imaginative. Combine them with the superb story and you have a comic series completely deserving of all of the praise and awards it has received. 
Rating: Amazing!

3/ Read a book you discovered through booktube. – I read Carol Ann Duffy’s Feminine Gospels, a book of poetry I learned of through JeanBookishThoughts channel. This was one of July’s books for the Feminist Orchestra Book Club, so obviously, it examined different women’s experiences. I really thought I was going to enjoy this given the subject matter, but Duffy’s style just didn’t work for me. The poems felt long-winded and I didn’t see why they had to be in verse. That is not to say that Carol Ann Duffy is a bad poet (like Lang Leav). Even though I I personally did not really enjoy this collection, I can see that Duffy is talented, and I will be picking up one of her other collections!
Rating: Okay  

4/ Read a book by one of your favourite authors – For this challenge, I had intended to read a play by Shakespeare. What happened is that I read the first like of As You Like It and immediately closed the tab. I was not in the frame of mind to read Shakespeare. So, I decided to return to one of my favorite poets, Louise Gluck, whose poetry book The Wild Iris is one of my all-time favorites. This time around, I read Gluck’s Averno, and it did not disappoint. In this book, Louise Gluck uses the myth of Persephone to explore loneliness, love, desire, and mortality, and as usual her verse is stunning. This is one I will be re-reading. 
Rating: Amazing!

Part 2 with Challenges 5-7 will be up soon!



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