It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 10/22/18


On the blog:

In reading:

the art of stillness

I enjoyed The Art of Stillness, though I will say that there’s not a tremendous amount of content here. If you watch the TED Talk and listen to his (excellent) interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast, you’ve probably heard the key stories and main points.

paper girls 4

I read Volumes 1-4 of Brian Vaughan’s Paper Girls graphic novel series. There’s a great 80s setting for some of the story, time travel, crazy post-apocalyptic space battles, a funny Y2K subplot, scenes at abandoned malls that will appeal to every lover of 80s horror movies, and the heroic adventurers who need to save the world are a group of tween girls who meet on their paper delivery route. The art is moody and atmospheric (the coloring is insanely awesome), and the writing is well-crafted and tight (the future dialect is often very funny). The girl characters didn’t always ring true to me. I need to read some reviews to see if others picked up on that too, or if it was just me.


Interesting collection of comic-style biographies of women, many of whom I’d never even heard of. The art is engaging, and Bagieu packs a lot of biography into just a few pages. She also has an appreciation for irony and a wit that would appeal to teens. It’s a book I’d probably have in my high school classroom library, though I do have concerns about Bagieu’s depictions of different cultures. The diversity of women profiled is a real plus here, but I didn’t always feel that cultural differences were understood or addressed appropriately.

toms midnight garden

I really appreciate graphic novel adaptations of books that I will probably never get around to reading, especially when they’re as lovely and artful as Edith’s adaptation of Phillipa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden.

mr wolfs class

Excellent first book in a new graphic novel series for young readers. The story focuses on the first day of school, which is full of nerves and mishaps and new friendships and plenty of fun for the teacher, Mr. Wolf, and for his students. I’m looking forward to more from this author/illustrator (who’s a teacher himself!).

gordon bark to the future

I’ll be honest: I was skeptical of a story in the Binky universe that focuses on a DOG. The awesomeness of cats is a big part of what makes the Binky books work so well for me. But Gordon: Bark to the Future might be my new favorite in the series. There’s an engaging plot, plenty of cat appearances, and some very funny jokes.

check please

Don’t let the juvenile cover fool you: this is not a graphic novel for children. The setting for much of Check Please! is a college hockey frat house, and there is all the offensive language and behavior you would associate with a frat house. I nearly abandoned this one in the first twenty pages or so, because it seemed like such a caricature of a college sports story, down to the keggers and incessant gendered insults. But I stuck with it, and it did end up growing on me. As I got to know the characters, I began to find them kind of sweet and charming though I think there are still too many unexamined stereotypes at play in this book, especially for a story that is trying to challenge stereotype by featuring a gay hockey player.









12 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 10/22/18”

  1. Shaye Miller Avatar

    That cover of Tom’s Midnight Garden feels comfy and dreamlike — something I would enjoy falling into. I’m adding it to my list this morning. I’ve never read the original book, but I like that graphic novels offer another take at so many beloved books. I think, by now, YOU could write a book on how to fall in love with graphic novels. I am not naturally drawn to this genre, but maybe I just haven’t given myself enough exposure. We read them with the kids, but on my own time it’s the last thing I consider. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of giving myself a graphic novel challenge in 2019. Have a great week, Elisabeth!

  2. lindabaie Avatar

    I have read The Midnight Garden. . . so will definitely look for that picture book. I think we must be trading new titles, Elisabeth. All the others are new to me. Wow, our lists grow longer. Brazen and the Paper Girls’ books sound so good. Thanks!

  3. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Mmm… haven’t commented on your IMWAYR posts in a while, so I need to update you. Your posts are keeping me in books. Just finished The Fourteenth Goldfish (and then my 10 yo son chose it for his 5th grade Lit Circle) – such fun. Also read Drawn Together, which both my boys love mostly for the artwork and The Man with the Violin where the first drawing alone made my older boy sit up and pay attention. Have placed several of these ones on hold… when will I ever read them all? Sigh. You are my enabler, but I love your recommendations 🙂

  4. Scott Day Avatar

    Finally read Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers. Incredible illustrations. One of my favorite picture books this year is Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. Glorious. First time reading Howl’s Moving Castle (I’ve never read it before). I love Calcifer. Looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater’s exploration of this book.

  5. halliereadit Avatar

    I need to get back into reading Paper Girls. I loved the first volume and totally forgot to keep reading. Thanks for sharing your reads!

    Here’s what I’m reading:

  6. TeachersforTeachers (@ClareandTammy) Avatar

    We are big Ashley Spires fans and can’t wait to read Gordon: Bark to the Future – Love the title!

  7. Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione) Avatar

    I just put Mr. Wolf’s Class in a kid’s hands today. She asked for a funny graphic novel with animals . I’m looking forward to hearing what she thinks about it.

  8. Michele Avatar

    I’ve seen several positive reviews of Mr. Wolf’s Class. That one bothered me – of course in true fashion I remember reading it, not liking it, and then the why I didn’t like it went right out of my head!!
    I agree with Check Please – I can see an elementary student pick it up…. not the graphic novel for them!

  9. Katie @ Read-at-Home Mom Avatar

    Tom’s Midnight Garden is one of my favorite novels of all time. Part of me is curious about the graphic novel and part of me is afraid it won’t live up to my impossibly high expectations!

  10. carriegelson Avatar

    So happy that you liked this title in the Binky family of books! Wasn’t sure if I should find it and read it but now I will.

  11. cweichel Avatar

    I really really enjoyed reading your slice of life this week. I too have a wee problem with books. When we last moved I purged and still have overflowing bookshelves in two homes!
    I can’t believe that you could have doubted Ashely Spires! I think I have fallen in love with everything she has ever written. (I don’t have a choice because she is a local author, but I think I’d do it no matter where she lived!)

  12. nestinthetree Avatar

    Brian Vaughn is a favorite in our household, so I’m interested in Paper Girls. I’m always on the lookout for stronger female characters represented in graphic novels, so I’m curious if this fits the bill. I’m not too sure based on your opinion of the characters. I have noticed 80s period influences are trending lately, at least in my household’s entertainment consumption, so I would love to see how Vaughn incorporates that into his book. Thanks for the ideas!

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