June 2017 Reading Wrap Up

My reading this month was a bit on the slower side for me compared to past wrap ups. I thankfully got to complete some great comics and graphic novels I’ve been looking forward to for ages. But with the novels I had a little trouble finding the right pick.
In total I read 15 books in June:

Honorable Mention:
I watched a revolutionary film called Dangal.

Dangal is an Indian Hindi-language biographical film, spanning multiple decades as former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two wrestler daughters struggle towards glory at the Commonwealth Games in the face of societal oppression.

I went into this film not really knowing what to expect, but quickly came to realize that something unusually remarkable about it compelled me to propel through, minute by minute. It’s been ages since I’ve been this lost inside a movie.

Not only was it refreshing to experience my first Bollywood film with feminist undertones, breaking records (and barriers) left and right, the addition of strong and supporting female relationships, kickass music, and complex characters with their own arcs had me all the more enamoured.

I also, as I mentioned at the start, cherished that the time skipping that occurred from decade to decade didn’t feel rushed at all because we spent a good time in each one to feel fleshed out. Speaking of which, getting to watch from the sidelines as our main hero, Geeta Phogat, succeeded and grew into her talent was sensational to experience.

I got a surge of adrenaline from watching her amazing fighting skills.

Another point I loved was the complex familial relationships. The whole film is set solely around exploring and expanding the detailed and complex characters in the Phogat family. With time they all get to grow into fully fleshed, inspirational characters, thanks to the the writing being strong enough that the whole story just breezed by.

And further drove the point home by showing the story unfold amidst the beautiful scenery. A+ cinematography skills.

I had so many epiphanies and realizations while watching Dangal. It was a revolutionary time. I want to watch a hundred more like it.

And here’s the trailer in case you’re intrigued:

Ultimately, I’d highly, highly recommend Dangal to anyone looking for an inspiring, heartfelt film with the addition of many comical moments to lighten the mood.

That was my June wrap-up, thank you for reading!


Review: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth 3-- bookspoilsThis book contains many stories, big and small, about and pertaining to the following things: Gods, monsters, mad kings, wise old crones, shamans, medicine men, brothers and sisters, strife, mystery, bad science, worse geography, and did we already mention true love?

I’ve had my sight on this graphic novel for nearly a year, so I was sad to see myself barely pushing through it now. The set up for The Encyclopedia of Early Earth sounded right up my alley, but the execution turned out to be less so.

Since this has many adventurous short stories set throughout the book, I was waiting patiently for some much need correlation to occur, but it never did… With Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero I cherished the fact that each tale was either a prequel or sequel of sorts. But the narrative became tedious real quick with the many unrelated anecdotes thrown your way. You get to meet this new set of characters, but then you never see them again for it to make sense why they showed up in the first place. They had no real purpose other than to fill the pages of this book.

That’s not to say that all is bad, I did really enjoy the numerous fourth wall breaks and the skilled storyteller protagonist with his rather-quick-of-wit and savvy tales. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth 9-- bookspoilsPlus, the art had some heart-stopping moments throughout:The Encyclopedia of Early Earth 1-- bookspoils

That last line in parentheses had me crack a smile.

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Stitched Panorama

All in all: Though my hope that Greenberg had penned another gem was squandered, I’m still grateful that I got to read this graphic novel after months of anticipation.

3/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré

Carré’s elegant short stories read like the gothic, family narratives of Flannery O’Connor or Carson McCullers, but told visually. Poetic rhythms — a coin flip, a circling ferris wheel — are punctuated by elements of melancholy fantasy pushed forward by character-driven, naturalistic dialogue.

I’ve been eyeing this illustrated collection full of short stories ever since I read a similar book titled: How To Be Happy by Eleanor Davis. But unlike the aforementioned, Carré’s visually stunning art never falters. The color pallets in particular stand out the most here when you turn from page to page. The sole act of flipping through this was a joy to experience.

Heads or Tails tells of strange tales and ideas about the world and humans. From a competition judge that is involved in a car accident and loses his taste for opinionated pieces to a woman encountering versions of herself through her routine-like day. “The lifestyle of shadowing herself was exhausting.” To a short story of rain dropping from the ceiling and flooding the apartment.

These nuanced and melancholy pieces are guaranteed to leave you thinking on life and all its aspects while leaving no emotion unexpressed.

Here are some of my favorite illustrations:

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Ultimately, Heads or Tails is a beautifully written, heartfelt, and deeply illuminating collection.

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Heads or Tails, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!