Book review : Persepolis

It’s rare for me to read a book from cover to cover these days, and apart from reading Asterix the Gail books as a child, I have never read a graphic novel before.

This book was a revelation. It taught me things about life in Iran that I could never have got from the media. I guessed at some of the political issues around Iran but didn’t know much. This graphic novel tackles the early life of Marjane Satrapi and how she was affected by the Iranian revolution. It is honest talking about how people and particularly women have been repressed by the regime. It made me think.

The illustration is clear and understandable, the text clear. It is well written and engaging. Difficult themes are tackled with some graphic images of war, but they are not excessive. The support, and sometimes lack of it, from family and friends is explored.

I was engrossed. I read it from cover to cover. Now I have passed it on to my hubby.

Rating five stars. (Even though I don’t do reviews).

starting…

Where to start a story? From experience? Imagination, or a bit of both?

This was my first panel in a 9-panel illustration. You may have seen it on another blog page. Where could this go? My idea was about the problem of hoarding in the present day, consumerism, the need to have objects to comfort you. But maybe it could have gone a different route. Perhaps she visits an antiques fair and finds an undiscovered painting or a jewel that has been thought of as trash. Maybe she goes to a secondhand shop and discovers a first edition book by H Ryder Haggard. Or adds some new kittens to her family.

Is she alone, does her collection cause a conflict with relatives. Has she got enough money to feed her collecting hobby? Where does she fit all of her belongings? She might have a lock up garage that is broken into causing despair when her family heirlooms go missing. Perhaps she meets a like minded collector or the Police investigate her for keeping stolen goods?

Maybe, even, it could be a murder mystery, a jeweled dagger is amongst the effects she receives following the death of a maiden aunt from Glastonbury? Why Glastonbury? Because I’ve always wanted to visit it!

Jack of all trades

I looked at all my book cases and realised how eclectic my reading must be. I’m not sure exactly how many booked I have but I gave up counting after I reached over 1000.

Sci-fi, science (biology, chemistry, physics) novels, biography, art, graphics, illustration, history, old books, new books, even magic Eye books from a couple of decades ago.

Can your reading be too chaotic? I’ve got a book about chaos theory… There are a few cookery books and travel books. There are books that were Christmas presents, birthday presents, and ones I bought for my college course. Too many? I don’t know….

The Kraken Wakes

I don’t do book reviews, but I’ve started rereading ‘the Kraken Wakes’ by John Wyndham.

It’s not the most comfortable book to read in the midst of a global pandemic, and like his better known book ‘the day of the Triffids’, it is the story of an alien invasion of global proportions.

The book was written several decades ago when the threat from communism and the Cold War was at its height. Part of the story is the arguments between the west and the east and them blaming each other for losses of ships over deep ocean trenches.

The narrator and his wife are involved from the start, seeing fireballs hit the sea during their trip on a cruise ship.

It continues in three phases, one two and three, that gradually describe what happens as the invasion continues. Some of the language and attitudes are old fashioned because of the age when the book was written. But the book builds tension gradually and as I’m about half way I don’t know how it will turn out.

If you want to read an interesting sci- fi book have a look. There are others including the ‘Midwich Cuckoos’ and ‘The Trouble with Lichen’ that Wyndham wrote.

When the cat stops you typing

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Two seconds before she had her head on the mouse! Of course as I picked the phone up to take her photo, she had to watch what I was doing.

She managed to type. 00ppppppppppppppp and /mmmmmmmmmmmm before I got to the backspace button. At least she didn’t press send! She was stopping me from finishing off a redraft of some notes about reflexivity (don’t ask). I’d realised that I’d miss read the question and needed to add more information about the text I had read.

I was reading a book by Anthony Giddens and trying to understand it but it’s hard going. Now I’ve had a rest I can’t remember what it’s called!

 

Portrait of hubby

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He was watching a TV programme about portraits. Grayson Perry’s  Art Show. So I decided to draw my hubby. He also reads a book at the same time. Talk about multi tasking.

I woukd like to do a portrait of him but he doesn’t keep still. Might have to find a photo.

Plans..

Start painting again.

Tidy up the house.

Try and do some relaxation.

Try and sleep better.

Take care of us both.

X

Reading

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He never stopped reading. Even when the toast was burning, or when the kettle boiled. He would sit reading the cereal packet when he was a child, and still did it as an adult.

When the letter came he read it. Then ripped it in half and put it in the bin.

Off to work, silence, cataloguing, putting books back in place. Following the system of the books, the shelves. A to Z, Abracadabra to Zebra.

Enjoyment, organisation, learning. It was fun to him. He’d been there years. He had skills. He knew where the book was that someone would ask for. He knew what he was doing…..

End of day. Home again. He picked up the letter out of the bin..

“Redundancy notice. Head Librarian”.

He looked at the books on the walls of his house. He began to rearrange them.

Some of our books

Some of our books, we have shelves in three alcoves in the living room but the third was too damp to have one because of damp in the neighbours house. Don’t ask!

Then there are about 100 in our bedroom and more in the front bedroom. When I got to 1000 I stopped counting! I have to admit it’s my hubby who is the biggest reader of the two of us. But I’m definitely a bibliophile. (book lover).

Favourites sci-fi, art, fantasy, biography, science, astronomy, thrillers, autobiography, design, ceramics……

He’s only quiet with a book.

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Went for lunch with my hubby. He chats away all the time, but as soon as he gets an interesting book he’s away in his own world. This one was about the mafia, he was so enthralled that he didn’t finish his lunch!

The book was from Bread in common, a little cafe that opens on a Friday and is vegetarian. You can pay what you feel for the food. They also sell bread on a seperate counter and have a book exchange where my hubby got the book. It’s called ‘the rise of the mafia’ by Martin Short. If you want to visit its on Hartshill, in Stoke-on-Trent.

Books

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What are your favourite books?

I’ve visited people and they had none, I didn’t like to ask, occasionally there would be a tabloid newspaper but that was about it. Sometimes people would have a few romance novels, or old classic ones by Dickens or Stevenson which they probably inhereted from an older relative or were prizes from school.

I was talking about this with my partner because we are both avid readers. I know my mother collected abridged versions of books from a book club run by readers digest and she also had a subscription to their monthly booklet. I remember reading books by Hammond Innes and Alistair McLean as I became a teenager. I was also seriously interested in science fiction and particularly liked Arthur C Clarke and Issac Asimov. The three laws of robotics.

In my adult life I fell in love with Terry Pratchett who wrote fantasy fiction. That was probably because my partner introduced me to JRR Tolkien and Ursula LeGuin. I’m also interested in science, art, biography physics and science fiction. So we ended up having over a thousand books if you count all his books about trains, bikes and tractors. Sometimes I just look at all the shelves and wonder where they came from……