Today was quite a productive day, when it comes to recreational reading!
First off, I finished Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, winner of the 2008 Newbery Medal. Prior to this, I knew Selznick as an illustrator, and this book makes extensive use of those abilities. In telling the story of a boy, clockworks, early cinema, and mystery, the author combines narrative prose with wordless, illustrated passages (and some photographs), creating a silent-film feel which compliments the subject matter brilliantly.
Next, while sitting down by the lake, I read The Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers. Coincidentally, this also makes a point of integrating drawings and comic-style strips (by Myers’s son Christopher) into the narrative about a boy struggling with live on the streets of Harlem. Also coincidentally, both Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers are integral to the plot of Hate That Cat which I read yesterday. I read the book cover-to-cover in one sitting this afternoon. It’s interesting to note that Myers was unflinching, in many ways, in addressing harsh realities in his book but never became in-your-face or look-at-how-edgy-I-am-being about it, a problem I’m having with another book I’m reading. (I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it soon.) The Autobiography of My Dead Brother was a National Book Award Finalist, and it’s interesting to note that it was one of those books I’d had on my shelf, waiting to be read, and I kept skipping over it and, when I finally sat down to read it, I whipped through it.
Finally, I read The Death of Superman trade paperback, which had been giving to me last month. I’d read the comics back in the day when the whole Death of Superman storyline was unfolding, but sat down this evening to read it through again, since I’d been given it. I kept thinking, “Oh yeah!” about characters who popped up throughout the story and vaguely remembering how they fit into the bigger picture of the ole DC Universe back in the day.