Wednesday, October 19, 2011

National Reading Group Month! Part III

Continuing my posts of the lists of recommended books by the Charlotte chapter of the Women's National Book Association for National Reading Group Month, I think this list in particular is quite interesting. I know many people do not consider "Graphic novels" to be reading, but I suspect many of those people haven't read the modern ones, particularly not the ones that have nothing to do with superheros. I first delved into them two years ago with The Imposter's Daughter, and I have since read 4 others and have another one on my TBR shelf. Oddly, the ones I have read have all been memoirs, and I must admit to being uncomfortable calling them graphic novels when these definitely aren't novels, but that's become the name of the genre, even if it's not 100% accurate, so I sigh and move on.

This list and the list of short stories from yesterday are perfect if your book club members have a history of not finishing the books. Most graphic novels (memoirs) that I've read took me no more than 2 hours from beginning to end, some were even shorter. With short stories the trick is to only really assign 2-3 stories from the collection (otherwise the collection can be just as long as a novel). Obviously this wouldn't work as well with series of linked short stories like Olive Kitteridge or Let The Great World Spin, but it can still work. One thing you'd need to do though to make this work is get on person (the book club leader? The person who recommended the book?) to commit to reading the book a month ahead of time in order to select the 2-3 most discussable stories.

Graphic Novels and Memoirs
Are you more of a visual person? Do you like the idea of mixing art and words? Have you been interested to try this burgeoning genre? It’s not just for kids, we promise!

The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman $15.95
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi $24.95
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel $13.95
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small $15.95
Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons $19.99
Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware $19.95
Ghost World by Daniel Clause $11.95
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller $14.99
The Greatest of Marlys by Lynda Barry $15.95
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang $8.99
The Complete Essex County by Jeff Lemire $29.95
Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, Niko Henrichon (illustrator) $14.99

List by: Jenni Franz, chapter Treasurer

1 comment:

Christina T said...

I will have to keep this in mind for my book discussion group. My afternoon group of retired ladies might not go for it but the evening group probably would. I enjoyed Persepolis I but haven't read the second book yet. American Born Chinese was pretty good too. I've also wanted to read Maus and Pride of Baghdad. It is funny that they are called "graphic novels". I guess it works better than "graphic biographies/memoirs" though some might get confused. Thanks for sharing this list!