April 27, 2015

Recent Reads

40. Paint Mojo, a Mixed-Media Workshop: Creative Layering Techniques for Personal Expression
I picked this up for inspiration, and while I liked the colorful art the author creates, this book did not work for me. None of the text I mean. Simply not my style. There are mini artist essays interspersed in this book, and though I already knew and really love some of their work, I was not moved by any of their essays here. Not a book I'd recommend, though if you are a fan of the author's work and manner of teaching, you'll probably like it. Rating: 1 star.

41. Almost Famous Women: Stories
I love big books and I cannot lie, so short story collections are not my go-to genre. I'd heard great things about this author, who will be attending Booktopia Vermont this year, and I look forward to meeting her then. I listened to this collection well narrated by Lesa Lockford.

This is a collection of stories about Almost Famous Women. Some are longer pieces, while others are so short that I barely had time to register them before they were over. The one thing I will say about this collection is that I knew nothing about all but one of these women, and that in itself was fascinating. Another thing is that the writing is wonderful through out.

My faves in the collections were:
#4 - Romaine remains
#6 - Autobiography of Allegra Byron
#8 - Saving Butterfly McQueen
#11 - Lottery, redux

Rating: 3 stars.

42. Flowers of Evil, Volume 2
This volume continues the story of bookworm Takao, class bully Sawa, and pretty girl Nanako, and picks up right where Volume One ended. It is painful to watch the story unfold, and I kept hoping some adult would step in. But as is usual in middle school, the Takao feels isolated and helpless. I'd be curious what middle school kids think about this Manga novel. Rating: 3 stars.

43. Flowers of Evil, Volume 3
Middle school can be rough enough without being in the situation that our three characters are in. Emotions spill out all over the place, and things come to a head where Takao must pick between the two girls - not the girls themselves, as much as the paths forward they represent to him. The author's last note has an interesting question about adolescence. How do we define it? We cannot control the onset of adolescence, as it is often physically visible, but when does it end? Rating: 3 stars.

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