Monthly Roundup โ†ช Oct๐ŸŽƒ


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IN SEARCH OF LOST BOOKS: THE FORGOTTEN STORIES OF EIGHT MYTHICAL VOLUMES| by Giorgio Van Straten & translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre ๐Ÿ“šโ“๐Ÿ”

This essay is a really interesting take on lost books and how the things we lose are still alive in the way we remember or imagine them. I got this via NetGalley AGES ago but as with pretty much all my NetGalley loot, I uhโ€ฆ don’t read them till much laterโ€ฆ. Grabby hands, it’s a curse.

Before reading this book got me thinking of other lost tomes that I would have loved to go through or libraries even, which NATURALLY had me sad about the Library of Alexandria again. IT’S ALWAYS TOO SOON!!!!!!!!! But also had me thinking of the ungodly amount of historical fanned fictions I have been reading about Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens, and how Aziraphale in particular must have had access to countless books in the past and probably even managed to rescue so many of them from various forms of destruction and has them squirreled away in his shop in Soho, away from us useless humansโ€ฆ ANYWAY.

Straten has chosen to write about 8 books in particular that were ‘lost’ soon after. One destroyed to protect a marriage, the other thrown away to save a reputation, another lost within a suitcase which then caused discord in a marriage, and two becoming one of the millions of casualties at the hands of Nazi’s. Giorgio Van Straten writes in a really direct but engaging way that doesn’t feel too academic to understand, and you can tell he has done copious amounts of research and is extremely respectful to all the works and people mentioned.

Could it be the void itself which fascinates us, since it is possible to fill it with the notion that what is missing might be something crucial, perfect, incomparable?… I realised that lost books possess something that others do not: they bequeath to those who have not read them the possibility of imagining them, of telling stories about them, of re-inventing them.

And if on the one hand they continue to elude us, to move further off the more we try to seize hold of them, on the other they come back to life in us – and ultimately, as in Proustian time, we can lay claim to having found them.

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HOUSE OF WOMEN| by Sophie Goldstein ๐Ÿ‘ฝ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ‘๏ธโ€๐Ÿ—จ๏ธ

I picked this up while I was in London recently while popping into the Barbican, which is something I always love to do when I’m in town. I just love that building so much. Anyway, the library has a great little selection of graphic novels and comics and I figured I’d sit for an hour or so and read some. I picked this one simply because it looked beautiful from the outside. The ‘inside’ is pretty too and the story itself is kinda spooky? It’s about a group of women from some space organisation or nunnery (?) who are in charge of civilizing a population of a new planet with the help of some mysterious man. It’s heavy on atmosphere via the art which I saw someone say was very Audrey Beardsley, which is on point, and weird sexual tension with the man in question and the aliens. I honestly quite enjoyed it as it was a kinda gothic-scifi tale with beautiful art!!! IDK why it has such low reviews on goodreads.. WELP.

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THE PROBLEM OF SUSAN AND OTHER STORIES| by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by P. Craig Russell ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿ“š

I had been meaning to read this short by ol’ Neilman for AGES and then when I saw this graphic novel in the Barbican library in London, I decided I would sit and read it there and then. I never read the Narnia books as a kid because my mum started with The Magician’s Nephew, which was probably a bad idea because it’s the most boring of the lot (if you ask me). So I read them while in High School and was so charmed by the stories, and how simple but rich they were. BUT!! SUSAN!!! I WAS SO MAD ABOUT SUSAN!!!!! SHE WASN’T ALLOWED TO RETURN BECAUSE SHE LIKED MAKEUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AKA!!!!!!!! SHE WASN’T VIRTUOUS AND CHRISTIAN I GUESS!!!!!!!!

UGH. Anyway. Gaiman’s take on Susan is that she chose not to return because she found it childish and inferior and preferred to make something of herself in the real world. And because of that, she survived the train crash that killed her family at the end of The Last Battle. Which is illustrated in this book, but I think it’s justified because he explores how devastating it must have been for her to lose her entire family. What isn’t justified is illustrating Aslan having SEX with The White Witch. HELLO??? WHY?!? Anyhow since I have never read this story by Gaiman before and this being my first reading, I quite like this ‘explanation’ and take on her fate. I also like Russell’s art so there’s that too. Don’t ask me about the other stories because I remember 0 about them lol – I read this just for Susan SO SUE ME.

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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: EDGE OF THE SPIDER-VERSE | by David Hine, Jason Latour, Fabrice Sapolsky, Clay McLeod Chapman, Gerard Way & illustrated by Dustin Weaver, Elia Benetti, Richard Isanove, Robbi Rodriguez ๐Ÿ•ท๏ธ๐Ÿฆธ๐Ÿ’ฌ

I saw this on the Libby app via my local library in SG and decided to read it because I loved the Spider-Verse animated film so much but uhhhhโ€ฆ this is not itโ€ฆ I mean. It has most of the characters from the film featured in it and they do get pulled together butโ€ฆ deffo not the sameโ€ฆ It’s just basically the trade collecting the issues that bring the other Spidey’s together for a Spider-man event in the comics. Art wise it’s good but plot wise I don’t think I can properly judge it since I have not read any of the comics otherwise or followed the event at all. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

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PASHMINA| by Nidhi Chanani ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ›ซ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ง

Pashmina is a touching story about first generation immigrant kids, and how they often look at the homeland with romanticism when those in the homeland are like, “wtf are you on about.” Which reminds me of this:

artists in the diaspora: home is / mango leaves rustling in the monsoon / a sound drowning in assimilation / mama / why did you crush my tongue

artists in the origin country: HELLO WE ARE VOMIT REVOLT AND WE LOVE DEATH METAL \m/

SOURCE: tumblr
This was originally a tweet but the OP locked their account and this tumblr repost was the only version I could find…

The art was kinda grating for me as it wasn’t great but it’s fine I guess since the target audience of this book I feel is for younger kids. Not that young kids don’t need refined art but IDK I guess they are more forgiving lolโ€ฆ Anyway, I’d liken it to being the South-Asian version of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang in ‘vibe’ at least. There’s a bit of a ‘magical realism’/fantasy element to it with the pashmina shawl which is cute vehicle for the Immigrant Feels to make sense for kids I suppose.

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THE WITCH BOY| by Molly Ostertag โœจ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿ‘ซ

I had SOME expectations for this book as I’ve heard so many positive things about it and safe to say they were accurate and well met! This boy is meant to be a shape-shifter like all the other men in his community but all he wants is to learn magic, which is only for women. So he sets about to sneaking in on their classes and trying it out for himself. Then one day a dark force enters their community and steals away the young boys and changing them into something darker.. It’s fast paced but without losing any story detail and the art is really cute!! The symbols used in the magic are also really cool and I’d love to know what is the origin or story behind their creation. This is def a cute story about how gender binaries are silly and if the opposite thing feels right for you even if society says no, that is very a-ok and what makes you special and important.

Also. I see u molly. I see u…

Is that Pearl and Garnet from Steven Universe they are watching? ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿคญ

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BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA| by Roy Thomas & illustrated by Mike Mignola ๐Ÿง›โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿฐ

This is basically an illustrated version of the film. Why did I bother? I love Mignola’s art and it was on the Libby app via the national library in SG and it’s Spooktober. Is it worth reading? Only if you love Mignola’s art and have time to spare and enjoyed the beautiful mess that was this Coppola film.

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โ€œEven now I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books.โ€ - [Beatrice Sparks] Go Ask Alice ๐Ÿƒโ˜•

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