Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Have I Been Doing??

Yes, I know, you are probably all wondering what I have been doing and why I have not been posting! Well, shockingly, I have been reading. I have finished 5 books since I last wrote. Yikes. I'm up to 19.5 hours, which was exciting when I beat last year's total of 12, and I have read 7 books (3 graphic novels). I still have over 12 available hours and am hoping to get in at least 5 more hours to hit 24. The caffeine has kicked in so I'm pretty confident. Also, I decided to take myself out of the $2/hr sponsoring and just match the total that I get in donations and sponsors. So we'd be up to $77x2=$154 and then there are three other people I've heard from that will donate but haven't specified an amount yet. So it's going better than I hoped instead of worse than I feared.

So what have I been reading? The two graphic novels that I haven't posted about are Iron West by Doug Ten Napel and City of Light, City of Dark by Avi and art by Brian Floca. I think I took out the Ten Napel one last year but didn't get around to it.

It's classified as a sci-fi western. The sci-fi part I'm cool with, but the western part I don't really do. So even though I love everything Ten Napel (Bad Island, Ghostopolis, Creature Tech), it got off to a slow start for me. However, once it hit Sasquatch, I was hooked. That character, or the way that the main character interacted with him, was hilarious. I like that Ten Napel's drawings have a typical him look to them -the strong jawline, the facial expressions, and the only as much detail needed and no extra. If you haven't read any of his books yet, I would start with a different one, like Ghostopolis,unless you are a Western fan, but if you are a fan, don't put this one down right away because it takes on a life of its own.

The other graphic novel was a surprise to me. I went down to the YA section of graphic novels specifically for this challenge and saw the Avi book. I was surprised and figured I would have read it already because I used to read everything Avi. (If you can't already tell, once I like an author, I read everything by that author I can get my hands on). I fell in love with Avi back in 5th grade, so it'd be surprising if I hadn't read this one.

But, I didn't know Avi had written anything classified as a graphic novel, nor did I know what that meant til a couple of years ago. Having Brian Floca illustrate it could only make it better. I think he did Moonshot, of which I have a print of a picture that I adore. It started off with more words than pictures, but I gave it a chance. Once you get past the pre stuff and get to Chapter 1, it picks up and gets interesting. Floca shines the most when he gets full page spreads and doesn't have to work around dialogue, but he definitely adds to the story. Turned out I hadn't read this one ever and it was from 1993! Also, it seems to be the first work Brian Floca did, as the biographical note says he was working on illustrations for a second book. I kind of felt like I was reading something sacred, the beginning of Floca's career taking off, literally, since airplanes are part of this story and one is on the cover.

I think it's a different Avi but still takes place in the past like many of his books, though I couldn't call it historical because it seems like he made up this long ago world in New York. I was engrossed in it, though, from beginning to end. Definitely a pageturner.

I'll write about the others I read - The Anybodies, The Nobodies, and Lexapros and Cons next time around.


  1. Thank you for your work on donations and for pledging to RIF, we are deeply appreciative! Found fascinating your information on Floca above, I will have to locate this. Thank you again, Book People Unite!

  2. I decided to donate $1/book I finish to RIF. The rest of the money is actually going to a school library as part of a project I was doing with my own schooling and from an ache in my heart. You can read about it in my first post.

    Here's what it says in the biographical information in the book:
    "Brian Floca, of Temple, Texas, recently graduated from Brown University with a degree in history and art. For four years he drew cartoons for the college newspaper. While in Providence, he also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. When City of Light, City of Dark is published, he will be studying in Prague, in the Czech Republic, working on the illustrations for a second book."
    I'm guessing him and Avi got linked up because Floca was in RI and it says Avi lived in Providence, RI, too.