I become so immersed in academic and technical (work) reading that books for escape and fun have become an afterthought. I feel guilty sometimes for picking up a book that’s not in some way related to a) academic pursuits or b) required reading for my job. So when I am able to read for pleasure, I find it, well, very pleasurable. My latest pursuits were Persepolis and The Key of Gold: 23 Czech Folk Tales.
Persepolis was very good; I can see why it is so often compared with one of my favorite books, Maus, by Art Speigelman. It is, like Maus, a comic book depicting horrendous real-life events. However, it is told in a very different format. The writer is giving what is basically an autobiography of her life from ages 10-25, whereas Maus is told secondhand, through the son of a survivor. It was very difficult to begin, but as I became involved in the story, I found it difficult to stop.
The Czech folk tales collection was another story. I so wanted to like these, but perhaps I’m just too old and jaded for fairy tales, at least badly fleshed out short stories rather than actual tellings with details and magic. I didn’t finish the last two stories.
Next for the reading queue (since it’s Spring Break, woohoo!): Smoke and Mirrors, by Neil Gaiman!