Challenge Update # 16 – Week 5 of War & Pages + Things & Stuff

Salutations my glorious, distinguished Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the fifth update of  War & Pages + a wee bit of news regarding my first Old Books October choices 🙂

war &  pages challenge badge

As I said in my last update, I finished World War Z by Max Brooks last Tuesday, so this challenge has started to get to the pointy end! Plus, since I also read some of Catch 22 on the weekend this week’s total has made up a little for last weeks poor effort:

Catch 22:

catch22

12 pages (1 chapter)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

43 pages – Finished! 😀

Total:

55 pages

As I have finished World War Z (which I absolutely loved and it definitely is one of my top 10 reads of this year) the challenge now falls solely on Catch 22. I will be keeping up the 50 pages a week quota and from a quick look at the number of pages remaining, I can tell that the challenge only has a max of 4 or so weeks to go. Perfect timing for Catch 22‘s replacement to be a contender in New Books November 😀

Now to the Things & Stuff:

comiccompanions-badge

I thought I’d do a little Comic Companions update since I’ve been reading some excellent graphic novels this week, and it hasn’t gotten its own look-in for a while what with the other challenges.

Firstly, last weekend I also read all my Free Comic Book Day comics – Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless

free comic books day1

They were of course all very short and besides the front-runners, each one had other short previews of different comics, which was fun. I think of the three my favourite was the Mouseguard/Rust flip book because the art for both the main stories and the other snippets was lovely, and the little stories were just enough to gather interest in the series’ without making zero sense on their own. I also thought Princeless was quite cute and funny, and the Star WarsCaptain Midnight; Avatar: The Last Airbender and Molly Danger stories were all action-packed and colourful.

Then early this week I read the second half of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis #2 – The Story of a Return)

persepolis cover

While it wasn’t quite as confronting as the first half, with the author/main character studying abroad in Austria for most of her teenage years, it still didn’t shy away from tough topics, and introduced new ones that many teenagers face regardless of race and upbringing – exploring a developing identity, the balance between fitting in and being unique, experimentation with drugs and other rebelions, the expectations and confusion of hormones and sexuality etc. I was generally surprised by how much I enjoyed this graphic novel, as I don’t usually like autobiographical, or biographical stories. Yes it was hard to read in parts, but with every account of oppression, every death or every heart-breaking moment, there was an account of triumph, a hilarious story or an uplifting moment. Satrapi’s simple black ink artwork paired with the more complex written work created something which touched me without pushing me away, and in the whole I learnt a lot about Iran’s culture and politics (plus how the outside world perseived the country at that time) and ultimately about a young woman’s struggle to find herself and BE herself in a world trying to stifle her. it really made me think about our preconceived perceptions and asumptions of countries like Iran, and how as a westerner, I have been guilty of seeing a whole nation through the choices of a radical few. I hope that these realisations stay with me and make me take pause if I ever I find myself lumping people together rather than seeing an individual’s actions as their own.

I am glad I finally read Persepolis; cheers Banned Books Week :). It is definitely one of the best graphic novels I’ve read this year and will be featured in one of  my Top 10 Reads of 2013 posts (this year because I’ve read so many graphic novels I thought I’d do a Top 10 purely of graphic novels plus the usual one of books 🙂 )

Besides Persepolis I also started one of my other Comic Companions yesterday –  The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists 

sandman4

which I would’ve continued all the way through if it wasn’t one of my favorite TV nights (Wednesday night has a great line-up on Australia’s non-commercial channel ABC) and I plan to delve into the world of the Endless again tonight, and maybe also start my other Comic CompanionSoulless 

soulless manga

Old Books October challenge badge

There is only a tiny bit of news on the Old Books October front, but I’ll share it anyway 😛

This week I started one of the two books chosen: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

guards guards

which even 15 pages in is already very funny in Terry Pratchett’s wonderfully weird and witty style (as seen in my most recent Notable Quotable). I haven’t opened Brisingr yet, but I hope to do so this weekend when I have some spare time.

Well, that’s all folks, for the moment anyway 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for more Stuff and likely more Things as well next week, but until then:

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, plenty of books, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.

(As The Blues Brothers is probably my favourite movie of all time, and I caught some of it last weekend I thought this tweaking of a famous line was appropriate. I even use to have a sound bite of this quote [minus the books part obviously :P] as my SMS tone for years, but I lost it when changing to my current phone 😦 If any of my clever, nerdy Bookbaggers can think of other pop culture references/quotes I can adapt to be book related, share away in the comments, drop me a line at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or saunter on over to the Facebook page 🙂 )

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2 thoughts on “Challenge Update # 16 – Week 5 of War & Pages + Things & Stuff

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