Alright guys. I’m late to the party. And not just because we’re already over a week into June. This is my first ever reading wrap-up. Enjoy!
May was a busy month as I had several freelance assignments due outside of my regular day job. It’s been a fun month of reading, and a good balance between work and play. I’ve finally discovered how enjoyable visual books (comics, manga) can be, and I read a literary journal cover to cover for the first time. Let’s dive in!
Count the Waves by Sandra Beasley
Count the Waves was the May selection of The Rumpus Poetry Book Club. If you enjoy contemporary poetry and can spare $27 a month on a soon-to-be-released poetry collection, then I highly suggest checking it out. I’ve been a member since January, and have been loving it.
Many of the poems here were inspired by The Traveler’s Vade Mecum by A. C. Baldwin, “…a compendium of phrases that could be referenced by number, a code for conversations over long distances.” (21) I noticed themes of travel, hunger, and lust. Some of the poems are sexy. A couple made me cringe (particularly the very graphic “The Sword Swallower’s Valentine”). This was a really excellent read, and Beasley was tremendously fun to talk to during the online book discussion.
I found Saga on May 2–Free Comic Book Day–when, searching for a book store, I stumbled upon a comic store with a hoard of young people in superhero costumes loitering outside. I had been seeing a lot of buzz about Saga on the bookish corner of the web and figured I ought to buy an issue. I read volume one that evening and was absolutely hooked. I purchased volume two a couple days later, and volume three in another week or so. This series is absolutely addicting.
I’ll try to refrain from regurgitating what you already know about the series (yeah, yeah, it’s like Romeo and Juliet in space)… If you haven’t read it yet, please do. Don’t know anything about Saga? Great. Go in blind. That’s what I did, and now I’m itching to read more comics, something I never thought I’d get into.
Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 1 – Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
This is another unique reading selection for me. I was originally introduced to Neon Genesis Evangelion (the anime) in high school. No doubt, the show is incredible. It wasn’t until a month ago that I even knew a manga version existed. I spotted it on my friend’s bookshelf and he insisted that I borrow it. The story takes place in a world that–years earlier–had been ravished by a mysterious “impact” that wiped out much of the human population. The plot follows Shinji Ikari, a young, very lonely boy, as he is called to action by his absent father to pilot an Eva (a giant robot) against invaders called Angels.
From what I can remember, this first volume seems to follow the anime very closely, and this is a nice way to recap the story. It’s a quick read. I was shocked that I was able to get through the entire volume (equivalent to 3 manga books) in just a few days. I did find that some of the artwork was difficult to distinguish, but it didn’t keep me from understanding the general flow of the story. It was really fun to read from right to left, too!
I’m looking forward to continuing to read the series. I also read the May issue of Poetry, which you can read here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/toc/2476. Overall, it was a successful month of reading! I allowed myself to read comic books purely for pleasure, and am excited to dive deeper into the genre. I predict that June will likely be full of more poetry collections and less comics, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Until next time, happy reading!