It is Sunday and I can finally get at this house ~ most of the family is out from under my feet for a few days ~ and because I suspect I will be *on-call* for my mother's visiting relatives next weekend, it's best to do it sooner than later.
Before I get to that I wanted to finish making this post (which I started about 4 days ago) about things I've been reading while
sulking due to
hiding from reality.
First off, when looking-up the title of the missing volume of a series by Tamora Pierce
, that I was inhailing recently, I discovered that she had penned a short White Tiger
series for Marvel, and since I love all her strong female characters I had to check it out.
It definately was worth the effort ~ not only because this is a female super heroine written by a woman, but her sense of humor if not sardonic outlook marries very well with the Marvel universe and I couldn't help but laugh aloud at the banter between the female crime fighter and the friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, among many others. It was a real pleausure to read, and the scene(s) where she is dealing with finding a *super hero costume* are something that a female reader can not only appreciates, but totally gets
on every level.
It reminds me of the companion book for the Metropolitain Museum of Art's current exhibit
; Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
~ I am rather annoyed that I will not have the opportunity to see the actual show, so I got the book (of course she did)...and am amused by the fact that it has a METAL cover and PLASTISIZED pages...
...not something you grab and stuff in your purse for casual reading, but it is cool in a over- the-top-sorta way. Possibly the most dense book I have ever encountered ~ on several levels. The introductory essay by Michael Chabon is an exercise in editorial masturbation and *snaps* I keep forgetting to bring a DICTIONARY up to the W.C., where I have it as casual reading material.
Dear Mr. Chabon ~ casually throwing around big words that only acedemics use does not make unitards & capes in neon-colours high-brow. If the entire exhibition is plastered with this kind of explanitory drivel then someone at the MMA needs to be slapped.
I am not so much *reading* the introductory essay as I am *working my way through it*. Oh I will learn new words to be sure, but it strikes me that the point of the book should be to engage all reader's imaginations, not scare or confuse them. *rolls eyes*....really, really hate the art establishment and nothing they do or say has yet to change my mind. Taking the humble superhero costume and elevating it from pulp to art COULD have been a way to bridge the gap between the classes ~ instead the great unwashed are merely plundered for their street smart, popculture bounty and left outside the glass window peering in. Meh!
Read White Tiger instead.
I've read the latest volume of Kazuo Koike
and Goseki Kojima's
manga epic, Path of the Assassin
and omg, this stuff just gets better and better.
Based on the life of historical figure Hattori Hanzo
~ and the political and military manipulation that lead to the unification of the warring states in 14th century Japan is fascinating reading, not to mention a rip snorting good adventure story.
My mothers' eyes lit-up when I passed her this chapter in the tale ~ always an indication of a good book for me. Sure I might like something, but what of others? Her grabby-hand motions for a manga pretty well cinch it for me. While I like this writing/drawing teams' Samurai Executioner
better, this one is definately up there on my must read list.
Speaking of must read
lists ~ I have finally gone back to Keiji Nakazawa's
semi-autobiographical, Hiroshima series;Barefoot Gen
and finished volume one. This is not something I can read all at once...it's just too heart- wrenching...but it is definately a series that I will force myself to absorb...
...and perhaps that is the point. One doesn't so much *read* the story but absorb the tale. The manga-ka lived through the bombing of the city and decades of physical, emotional and social fallout...this isn't fantasy or distant history, but a very personal, very real telling of a horrific story that is part of our times. The characters on the pages are just simple people trying to make the best of whatever situation life finds them in and as you read, you become absorbed in their personal triumphs and tragedies ~ you laugh, you cry, you stare blankly at pages as try to comprehend that this actually happened.
If I were to recommend a series for a high school library...this would be it.
I have been continuing on with House Lust
and am finishing off the section of the book discussing the *real estate gurus* who were teaching people speculative buying practices...for a fee. This book is its own little horror show of sorts, as I am lead to conclude that there are two kinds of greedy people ~ the smart ones, and the stupid ones.
From the state of the U.S. economy following the sub-prime meltdown....I think the latter outnumber the former by 1000 to one. Seriously ...dudes! People blame the crashing economy on lots of things but NO ONE is willing to look in the mirror and say *Hello you greedy bastard...what was your role in this national financial fiasco?"
Kathy (my Kyoto travel companion) kindly sent me a package this past week, which included the book;Secrets of Mariko
, by Elisabeth Bumiller. Like House Lust, it's written by a journalist and reads very easily ~ in other words, it's not a work of scholastic integrity but you know...that's not the point of the exercise.
It's a fascinating read about a year in the life of a middle aged Tokyo mother/wife/woman. She's my age ~ has a busy, workaholic husband and 3 kids....around the same age as mine. EVERY time I open this book it is like sitting down to coffee with a peer and listening to her dish....when I was 30 or when I am 50 this book may mean nothing to me...but I have NEVER read a book I related to so well before in my life. While she may or may not be a *typical* middle class Japanese housewife, she is someone who was, at the time the book was written ~ at the same junction of life that I have come to....and it's fascinating to learn how someone else copes.
On that note, have a good one! :)