The Allied Invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of Paris

allthelightdoerr

This year was the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy and liberation of Paris. Writers have been busy marking the occasion!  Many readers have heard of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, the story of a convergence of two lives on either side of the conflict: a Parisian girl and a German youth with a gift for electronics.   His beautifully written tale has earned spots on numerous best of lists for 2014.

whenpariswentdark

The only thing that can make a great piece of historical fiction better is a highly readable work of non-fiction to go with it.  To that end, I invite you to try When Paris Went Dark: the City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald Rosbottom.   He tells the story of the city’s occupation from a variety of perspectives: from its people (German commanders to Parisian street vendors) to its high schools (one in particular was a breeding ground for Resistance fighters—I’d watch that teen drama series) and apartments (the labyrinth of interweaving corridors and doorways of Parisian housing played a major role in hiding those at risk).  Rosbottom explores the effects of the Occupation on the French psyche as a nation ponders what it did to resist and if that was enough.

resistance

If Doerr and Rosbottom’s books sound appealing, I also encourage you to read Agnes Humbert’s wartime journal Résistance: A Woman’s Journal of Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France (1946), the story of her years in the French Resistance and as a prisoner in a forced labor camp in Germany.  A curator at the Musée de L’Homme, Humbert was among the first group of organized opponents of the Occupation.  We share her sadness and fear as her beloved city is occupied, its museums violated and its citizens arrested. But like the heroine of a favorite work of fiction, she never loses her spirit. Determined to make her internment productive for the Resistance, she sabotages the parachutes she is forced to make for the German war effort, all the time recognizing the irony of being forced to make artificial silk, a new technology that her mother had invested in before the war.

Despite her circumstances, Humbert keeps her sense of humor and refuses to surrender her humanity.  At one point during her years in slave labor, she ponders what Descartes would think of the factory’s rayon-making machines and the thoughts one has as one is at them.   After her liberation she spends her time helping the American army bring Nazis to justice and coordinating efforts to feed and house residents of the village that enslaved her.  Humbert’s journal reads like an adventure story and I found myself cheering for its inspirational heroine throughout.

Formats Available: Book (Regular Print and Large Type), Audiobook (CD), eBook

Reviewed by Valerie, Iroquois Branch

 

Girly Girl: My Late-in-Life Love of the Super Girly

Ask anyone I went to school with, and they will tell you that Lynette Ruby was not a girly girl – that is to say if I am even remembered by my name, and not “that angry short girl with the pixie haircut.”  I thought giving in and having fun with something girly like a movie, book, or pop song would ultimately undo whatever tough personae I’d worked to cultivate.   There were certain things I would not allow myself to enjoy…well, not publicly at least.  There were pop bands I’d deny enjoying, movies I’d claim I didn’t want to see, books I wouldn’t read, and more feminine looks I would refuse to wear.

In school, I ran with other kids on the fringes of society; the wanna-be hackers, skateboarders, goths, punks – the tougher you looked, and more piercings you had, the cooler I thought you were.  I thought we were the non-conformists.  I tried so hard to not conform that in the end…I was conforming.  I would deny liking certain things to keep up the image…well, whatever image it was I had.

Cut to college – wait…cut to after college – and you’ll find me to be a bit…a bit more…girly.  Becoming the awesome Lynette you may know and love today was no easy journey – and it certainly wasn’t without loads of awkwardness.  You know that MTV show, Awkward.?  Yeah, it had nothing on me.  They don’t know what real awkward is.  Let me give you a quick sampling of my awkward “becoming a butterfly” stage in life:

  • Accidentally getting a Mr. Spock haircut while trying to grow out from a pixie cut – ladies it takes more patience than you will even know to grow out a pixie.
  • Having to consult YouTube videos on how to do a proper pony tail – yeah, it was that bad.

There’s loads more stories – loads –  but I have to keep a shred of your respect.  I was almost like an alien trying to figure out how to be an Earthling girl.  There were sad and funny moments in this transformation.  I just wanted to finally do what I wanted to do – whether or not my peers agreed.  If I wanted to do something outrageously girly, I was finally giving myself permission.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that girly, but compared to what I was?  Uh…yeah!

People from high school come in to my library all the time, and hardly anyone recognizes me. So, what is my point of this post?  Be as weird and as awkward as you want – really!  But, please, make sure it’s what you want to do.  If you want to be a punk who loves Gossip Girl – you go right ahead.  You want to read Batman comics, skateboard, have pink hair, and dress like Audrey HepburnDo it!

Don’t feel like a beautiful butterfly yet?  Start with figuring out what you actually like, not just what you’re friends and everyone expects you to like.  You’ll be more beautiful the moment you act like your true self.  Your metamorphosis won’t happen overnight, and is doubtful to be without its awkwardness – but just remember I decided to get girly at 25 years old. It’s never too soon to be the person you really want to be.

Here are a few titles that might spark your interest: Creagh, Kelly.  Nevermore.  2010

Lyga, Barry.  The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.  2007

Reger, Rob.  Emily the strange. 2012.

Satrapi, Marjane.  Persepolis.  2007.

Article by Lynette, Newburg Branch

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

 

priznitfog

In the 1930’s, Germany was filled with unrest, poverty and uncertainty, where hatred marched in its city’s streets.  At seventeen, Gretchen Müller has grown up under the wing of the National Socialist (a.k.a. Nazi) Party, with very little inkling of the animosity and evil intent the Party had towards the Jewish Community.  When she was eight, her father became a martyr for the Party, when he died in place of his friend, Gretchen’s “Uncle” Dolf.

Gretchen was often invited on outings with Uncle Dolf and his family. Always treated with kindness and great care by him, Gretchen had believed he would always be there to protect her family. Until the night she watched her brother and his friend almost run over an old man and then proceeded to beat him.  When she threatened to go to Uncle Dolf with the information, she was told to stay out of the Party’s business or she would find herself in jeopardy of receiving the same treatment.

Then Daniel Cohen, a young Jewish reporter, came into her life informing her of his belief that her father’s death had not been a random shooting. He had, instead, been the intended victim. Gretchen had been taught to believe the Jewish people were at the root of all Germany’s problems. At first, she was uncertain whether or not to trust Daniel.

However, in the face of her growing distrust of the Nazis and the strong hold her brother had over the family, Gretchen made the decision to delve into her father’s death on her own. As she starts digging into the past, she comes face to face with the realization that her trust and belief in those she loves was full of smoke and mirrors.

Through Gretchen’s eyes, we see Uncle Dolf as a kindly father figure with a gentle voice who liked picnics art and fine music, cares greatly for his family and country, and wants to help Germany to become strong again.  But the country is in turmoil, its leaders looking for someone to blame. United in the search for answers, Daniel and Gretchen find themselves targeted as the enemy of their country and its people.

In Prisoner of Night and Fog, we are shown how Nazis manipulated the German people, driving them towards the inevitable horror of genocide and war.

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type), eBook

Reviewed by Katy, Shawnee Branch

‘Tis the Season for Sleeping

The holidays and winter are amongst us and with the recent first snow of the season, staying indoors or exploring outside are exciting ways to pass the day.  However, after exerting all of the energy, a time for napping sounds splendid, whether short power naps or “hibernation naps” lasting for hours and hours.

Here is a list featuring some parodies of children’s titles, now revised for adult audiences:

Goodnight Darth Vader by Jeffrey Brown

goodnitevader

 

Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés

gotheFasleep

 

Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation by Ann Droyd

goodnipad

 

All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John

allmyfriendsdead

 

If You Give a Kid a Cookie, Will He Shut the F**k Up? by Marcy Roznick and Miranda Lemming

ifugivakid

 

The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty and Lucy Ruth Cummins

takingtree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you find yourself bored, needing to escape the world before falling asleep, check out one of these titles from your local library or have it requested to be sent from another branch.

 

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type)

Reviewed by Micah, Shively Branch

Five Recently Published Picture Books

bearseascape

The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud

We meet Papa Bear and Little Bear again in this follow up to Benjamin Chaud’s The Bear’s Song. This time instead of hunting for his cub throughout an opera house, Papa Bear tails him from a snowed-in city to a faraway tropical island. Saturated colors and mountains of details to wade through make for a delightful picture book not just to read but study.

 

verylilredhood

Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy and Sue Heap

The Big Bad Wolf has his work cut out for him after encountering a pint-sized girl on her way to Grandmama’s house. Very Little Red Riding Hood insists on calling him “Foxie”, she refuses to share her delicious cakes, and throws more than one tantrum before they even reach their destination. Heapy and Heap rearrange a classic in the most adorable way possible.

 

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Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Explore the world outside at night in this brilliant and original wordless picture book by the author of Inside Outside. With the aid of a flashlight, we are shown contrasting color scenes that splice through the black and silver darkness.

 

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Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

Friendship isn’t always easy, and Pig and Bug almost give up on theirs due to having incompatible sizes. They come to realize there are more things they can do together than can’t.

 

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Digger Dog by William Bee

Put on your hard hat and join Digger Dog in his hunt for a bone that turns out to be much bigger than expected. Rhyming text and fold out pages make for an engaging read with a surprise ending.

Formats Available: Book (Regular Print)

 Reviewed by Natalie, Main Children’s

Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music by Angélique Kidjo with Rachel Wenrick

spiritrising

Put on an Angélique Kidjo album.  Listen to her voice – honest, powerful, and expressive.  Open her autobiography, Spirit Rising:  My life, My Music, and hear her tell the powerful story that made the little girl from Benin, in West Africa, into the international artist and activist she is today.

She tells her story simply, but there is great depth to her understanding of human rights issues in Africa and throughout the world.  Several themes pervade her life.

One is family. Her relationships as daughter, sister, wife and mother are portrayed as sustaining her throughout her life and career.  She grew up as 1 of 10 children; her father was a postal worker and her mother ran a theater company.  Music and conversation were abundant at her house. She was a child who asked a lot of questions and never lost the original sense of injustice she felt when she learned about slavery and apartheid.

The music she hears as a child was often intertwined with the civil rights movements in Africa and America in the 1960’s and 70’s.  She hears Miriam Makeba, “Mama Africa,” whose South African citizenship was revoked because of her activism against apartheid.  Makeba becomes her role model and eventually her mentor and friend.  Aretha Franklin is the first woman she sees on an album cover, and she realizes it’s possible to have a career in music.

Her exploration of how Africa influenced music throughout the world is another theme in her music and her life.  Through different albums she explores traditional music of Africa and the fusion of African music with the music of other cultures in the Americas.

As her career progresses, she performs at concerts to bring attention to injustices in Africa.  She’s asked to be a UNICEF ambassador.  She tells of visits to refugee camps, orphanages and villages without adequate nutrition.  “The work for UNICEF inspired my music and my music helped me recover from these trips,” she writes.

As a result of this work, she founded the Batonga Foundation to educate girls in Africa.  Her parents paid to send all their daughters to secondary school, which was unusual in Benin at the time.  She credits her family with giving her the benefits of an education and wants to pass it on.  “The solution to Africa’s problems must be provided by Africans who have experienced them firsthand, especially the African women, who are the continent’s backbone,” she writes.

This book is beautiful, including the gorgeous black and white photo of Kidjo on the cover. It’s printed on shiny paper and contains publicity shots from Kidjo’s albums, candid pics in the studio, and shots of her with her family.  Each chapter begins with colorful African patterns on the left-hand page and African motifs are used throughout.  A wonderful surprise at the end is the inclusion of the personal recipes Kidjo refers to making for family and friends throughout the book.  Spirit Rising invites us into Angélique Kidjo’s life with African hospitality.

The library currently has the following CD’s and DVD by Angélique Kidjo:

pPBS3-10407648dt

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type)

Reviewed by Laura, Main Library

Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart

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I love a good piece of non-fiction that makes learning easy and understandable, and Ms. Martha Stewart has never let me down in putting out quality material, in an easy to understand format.  She’s really on her editing game as of the last few titles, especially Living the Good Long Life.

The subject of this book is how to live the best life you can after 40 and through retirement.  It has great tips for physical and mental health, finances, eating, organizing, and how to care for older relatives.  The book was written for those who are retired, and those who take care of retirees.  It is a great go-to for referencing anything that could happen to those 40 and older.

The layout is clean and simple, with chapter breakdowns that are easy to flip through, and an index in the back for specific look ups.  This is a great resource to have in the house, and is a great title to include in any family library.  In fact, it’s quite a cheery looking book, with all kinds of muted oranges and white…kind of like a Creamsicle.

You probably won’t need to read this cover to cover; and might only find yourself looking at certain sections that apply to you and your family – and that’s what it’s set up for.  You can look at each chapter independently, and still get all the information you need, without having to read the entire book – and it’s a bigger one; coming in around 400 pages.  The text is clear and easy to read, but do expect you may have to read it to retirees with bad eyesight – as there is no large print version.  If you’re over 40, or have a family member over 40, I highly recommend reading and referencing Living the Good Long Life.

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type), eBook

Reviewed by Lynette, Newburg Branch

The Malory family series by Johanna Lindsey

Everyone in the world really should have that ONE book, that ONE series, or that ONE absolutely amazing author who inspires them in some way or another.  That inspiration can come to you in so many forms, such as:

  1. to actually go out and write the great American novel yourself (or romance novel in my case),
  2. to read more books, either by them or by others, and to do it voraciously, as reading really is a passion in and of itself, or
  3. to journey halfway around the world to visit all the places that the author talks about in the books you treasure so much.

Well in my case, I can say that I got very lucky on that whole deal because all three of my ONES fit very nicely together in one lovely little package by the name of Johanna Lindsey.  She is one of the reasons that I finally MADE myself work a second job long enough to save up enough money to fly off to the British Isles, just to see some of those places she described so perfectly for most of my life.  We are talking Bath in England, Hyde Park and the horse paths, and all the way up to the Highlands of Scotland.  Now all of those things are officially checked off my bucket list of places to go.

Johanna is very much, at least to the yearning heart of that 18 year old girl I used to be (and still feel like sometimes), fresh out of high school and picking up that very first of her novels, the absolute queen and goddess of all things historic romance.  It was my graduation trip, and only my second time flying ever, and when we landed I insisted we go to a book store sometime during the trip so I could get more of her books.  My love for her work was that instant and my suitcase was packed full with more than just souvenirs coming home.

This love has also lasted longer than all of my other relationships put together.  No one will ever top her in my eyes, and none should ever try.  It is just that simple.  Johanna is and always will be the absolute queen of my reading universe.

That first book by Lindsey that I ever read is, even still, my absolute favorite historic of hers, and possibly of all time.  Just for the iconic factor of it alone, it was also Fabio’s first cover.  Wanna see it?

Fabio

 

And look at him…a brunette!

Believe me, to this day, Johanna is still the one lady he cannot say no to if she requests the honor of his presence for one of her covers.  This particular book is the second in one of her many ‘family sagas’ but not the one I want to tell you about today.  It’s good, but it is, by far, NOT her most iconic, either book or series.

So, which series do I want to tell you about today?  Well, it is Johanna’s longest running, perhaps her most popular.  Set throughout England, but mostly in London, and often traveling to the high seas with both pirates and merchant ship owners in the same family. The adventures of the Malory family sweeps through multiple generations of rakes, rogues, and strong, stand up for themselves, heroines.  It also sweeps through the fantasies of many a hopeless romantic reader out there, including myself.

Have you ever met one of those families that truly put the fun in dysfunction?  Well if you were to set that idea in England, beginning in the early 19th century, you would have the Malory family.

LoveOnlyOnce

The series begins with the book Love Only Once and is the story of Regina Malory, a most beloved child. She is the niece to the four super-protective Malory brothers who would all be happy if she never married since no one is good enough for her, and who have all contributed to raising her since her parents passed away.

She’s an orphan but has never wanted for familial love as the brothers and her cousins have doted on her, and spoiled her, all in different ways her whole life.  The only thing she really wants for is the love of a man who is not related to her by blood.  Regina sets her cap quite firmly for one of the biggest rakes in all of London, Nicholas Eden.

She decides this, oddly enough, after he kidnaps her by mistake and, even worse, seduces her and then sends her away.  Nicholas doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Reggie (as most of the relatives call her) though.  Other than that night passion and seduction, it is unclear whether he’s attracted to her or not.

James Malory (bk 3, Gentle Rogue), the black sheep of the family as well as the infamous pirate Captain Hawke,  upon hearing of Reggie’s seduction and shaming in London’s gossiping society, seeks out Nicholas and gives him the worst beating of his life.  Talk about bitter blood, and with someone who will, eventually, be part of your family.

James, the epitome of the ne’er-do-well rakehell, has his own drama along the way.  One instance of this is when he runs into his 12 year old illegitimate son Jeremy (bk 7, A Loving Scoundrel) at a pub where the boy is working.  He’s not really all that surprised by the discovery. But James’ rakish ways are quickly curtailed when he falls hard and fast for a spitfire American shipping heiress by the name of Georgina Anderson.

And have I mentioned Uncle Tony (bk 2, Tender Rebel), the other unapologetic rake in the family?  He is one of only three in the whole bunch who take after the long lost gypsies of the family from generations back. Tony falls head over heels in love with Roslynn, the beautiful red-haired Scotswoman who’s on the run from a controlling family member bent on marrying her off (and stealing her rather large inheritance in the process).

Sound a little confusing yet?  And this is just the first full ‘generation’ of stories, because Johanna just keeps getting putting out more and more of those juicy details about this ‘family’ to end all families.  For crying out loud, it’s like the National Enquirer, only set 200 years ago, there’s so much scandal and drama that runs through this family tree.

To ease any confusion, here is a list of Malory family novels in order:

1. Love Only Once (1986)
2. Tender Rebel (1988)
3. Gentle Rogue (1991)
4. The Magic of You (1994)
5. Say You Love Me (1996)
6. The Present (1998)
7. A Loving Scoundrel (2004)
8. Captive of My Desires (2006)
9. No Choice But Seduction (2008)
10. That Perfect Someone (2010)
11. Stormy Persuasion (2014)

If you do decide to read Lindsey, and I highly recommend that you do, don’t just stop with the Malory clan.  There are so many stories she has written.  There are so many families to enjoy – ranging from London, up into Scotland, to as far west as the American West, and even a futuristic family on an alien planet.  Lindsey is so much more than just a ‘fluffy brain candy’ writer as so many think that romance authors are.  She can spin a mean tale of love, sex, and scandal like so very few others really can.

 

Formats Available: Book (Regular, Large Print), eBook, Audiobook

Reviewed by Tracie, Southwest Branch

The Florida Panhandle: Where Myth, Magic, and Reality Meet: A review of Man in the Blue Moon (2012) by Michael Morris

maninthebluemoon

In his third novel, Man in the Blue Moon, Mr. Morris presents the reader with Ella Wallace, a woman burdened by a promising past that went unrealized and a present dominated by the responsibility of raising three sons alone and the possible foreclosure on her family’s long-held land.

When her wayward husband, Harlan, disappears one day, and a local banker informs her of a second mortgage, hitherto unknown to her and signed with a forged signature, the situation could not be more dire. Or so Ella believes, that is until the arrival of a shipping crate in which unusual contents have been enclosed: that of a man claiming to be a cousin of her absent husband. This stranger, named Lanier Stillis, claims to be on the run from influential and violent in-laws who are convinced of his guilt in the death of his wife, a death with which Lanier claims no involvement. Despite Ella’s trepidation and distrust, Lanier offers her his much-needed assistance that includes his miraculous healing of her sickly son by means of “laying on of hands,” something that does not go unnoticed by her neighbors in the small town of Dead Lakes, Florida.

This situation is further complicated by the arrival of Brother Mabry, a charismatic preacher of grotesque proportions, who claims that the Wallace family land is the location of the biblical Garden of Eden, and the spring found therein to be capable of physical healing, a claim that leads to national attention that is neither needed nor wanted. Serving as the backdrop upon which the story is hung, the year is 1918 and despite the end of the First World War, which would have otherwise been great cause for celebration, an especially virulent form of the flu has begun spreading around the county causing widespread deaths, thus, putting an end to jubilation.

Deeply rooted in the Southern literary tradition, Mr. Morris weaves an engrossing tale involving well-researched historical fact, the unique setting of the Florida Panhandle, and his own family folklore, all of which are then whisked together with that essential ingredient of fine fiction: fanciful imagination. And for those readers interested primarily in plot, disappointment does not await, as the plotline progresses through twists and turns, disappointments, and fleeting victories resulting in the need to reach the denouement, whether it be tragedy or triumph. This is due, in great part, to the skill employed by Mr. Morris in vividly crafting characters that the reader can immediately picture and who are plausible. Characters in this story elicit emotion, drawing the reader in to the lives that are being chronicled.

Which characters will survive the 1918 Influenza Pandemic? Do the detestable antagonists emerge victorious, or does the side of good and right triumph? What was the fate of Harlan? Over the course of the novel, the reader develops a relationship of sorts with the characters, being both omniscient observer and concerned participant. In the end, Ella seems more friend than fictitious personage.

Other novels by Mr. Morris include:

placecalledwiregrass

slowwayhome

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type and Large Type), eBook

Reviewed by Rob, Crescent Hill

In Defense of Comics

Some – as I will call him – Random Dude recently told me, “Why don’t you read a real book?  You’re an adult, aren’t you?”  This person overheard me discussing a graphic novel with a friend and felt compelled to be a jerk, it would seem.  Jerk?  Yes, I wrote that (and wished I had said it to him rather than pointedly staring until he walked away).

The guy is a jerk for two reasons:

  1. Comics are real books. They’re not “texts” in the manner understood by structuralism where narrative can exist outside of a formal literary manifestation (common examples in structuralist writings are cinema, music, or art).  Comics have clear “beginning, middle, and end” structure and are created with an eye for some form of codex.  Even web-comics typically mimic either the comic strip or the comic book or are repackaged as such for general consumption once obtaining enough popularity to be commercially viable.
  1. Comics are not just for kids and never really were except for those with some deep investment in an arbitrary highbrow/lowbrow distinction. This distinction is one based on historically constructed relations that give privilege to very debatable aesthetic principles.

Long gone are the days when it could reasonably be said that a culture is only developed and leaves its legacy in the rarefied fields of arts and literature.  Comics, film, video games, and other pop culture artifacts are not just effluvia that can be ignored.  They shape and reflect the contours of modern society, like it or not.

The French have considered comics to be a “ninth art” (following architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, music, poetry, cinema, and television) for the past fifty years.  The term arises from a series of articles starting in 1964 by Maurice De Bevere (known by his pseudonym Morris) in the French weekly Spirou.  While Morris questioned whether comics should be considered the ninth or the seventh art (as cinema and television developed after comics), the term became accepted widely in France.

One of the largest comic conventions in the world, the Angoulême International Comics Festival, has been held every year in Angouleme, France since 1974.  The prestigious Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême prize is awarded at the Festival to creators for their body of work and/or contribution to the development of comics. This year’s recipient is Bill Watterson.  He is, of course, the reclusive creator of the beloved Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

Another example closer to home is actually a very old one at this point.  In 2001, Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize “for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life” for his work, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & ClayThe story is completely the product of comics, particularly the unique social circumstances of the late 1930’s that helped to produce the superhero genre and the American comic book industry that we know today.

Historically, the comics industry is a subset of the larger publishing world.  Like publishing in general, comics vary greatly in the type and quality of individual works but taken as a whole respond to the real and/or perceived demand of consumers. In the era of Chabon’s story, the demand for a superhero character had been building for some time due to the cultural stew of adventure tales, science fiction, and crime stories that were popular at the time.  A superhero combines all these genre elements in one brightly-colored package.

But comics and cartooning are so much more than superheroes.  So in the spirit of honest dialogue – the kind of dialogue that Random Dude was not interested in having – I will be posting a series of articles about comics in order to explain them to those who are unfamiliar.  I don’t know how often an article will appear or how long this series will run but I do hope that you’ll follow me on an exploration of this vibrant art form.

Before I go, I want to let you know that this week happens to be the annually sponsored American Library Association (ALA) event known as Banned Books Week (September 21st – September 27th).  This year, in partnership with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), Banned Books Week will be spotlighting graphic novels and the history of comic book censorship.  As the CBLDF web site states:

Comics are one of the most commonly attacked types of books, with challenges and bans happening every year. In the last few years, attempts to ban critically acclaimed graphic novels Persepolis and Barefoot Gen made international headlines. Other comics attacked in recent years include all-ages classics like Bone by Jeff Smith, which made ALA’s list of the ten most challenged books in 2013, as well as acclaimed books for adult readers like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

If you haven’t ever read a graphic novel or a comic book, I challenge you to try one out.  Come on in to your local library branch and we’ll help you find something that suits your tastes.  And if you do read graphic novels and wish to talk about them, I encourage you to come to LFPL’s Graphic Novel Discussion Group, which meets at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of every month at the Main Library.

GrNoDiGr

 Article by Tony, Main Library