This week’s mini review round-up includes the following:
- all-ages nonfiction poem
- adult contemporary manga duology
- adult horror graphic novel
TITLE: Sea Prayer
AUTHOR: Khaled Hosseini
AGE RANGE: All Ages
A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.
I have heard it said we are the uninvited.
We are the unwelcome.
We should take our misfortune elsewhere.
Wow. Wow. This is such a powerful little poetry book. In just a few pages, Khaled Hosseini paints an absolutely gut-wrenching picture of a family beginning their journey to seek asylum. I can’t even begin to fathom how truly privileged I am to not live in that position, but Sea Prayeroffers a tiny window into the terror and hurt that refugees must face — especially a parent trying to save their young child(ren).
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hug my little one very tightly and thank my stars a little extra tonight.
TITLE: My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1
AUTHOR: Gengoroh Tagame
AGE RANGE: Adult
Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in.
My Brother’s Husband has to be one of the most precious, heartwarming, lovable things I’ve ever read in my life. I was totally smitten from the very first page, and that feeling only grew stronger with each passing moment. I read the entire book over my lunch break and immediately placed a hold on the second (and final, sadly!) volume, because I have to continue it as soon as possible.
This manga covers so many emotions, it’s wild — it’s tragic due to both of these men having just lost someone valuable in their lives, it’s a little frustrating because Yaichi is still coming to terms with his own homophobia, and it’s enlightening as the author discusses cultural norms in Japan (such as the lack of hugging that Mike finds so bizarre). More than anything, though, it’s sweet, cute, and full of feel-good vibes as Yaichi becomes a more accepting and open-minded person, Mike learns about his lost love’s home and upbringings, and Kana gets to form an adorable, tightly-knit bond with her exciting new Canadian uncle.
I love this so, so, so much, and I would highly recommend it to absolutely anyone. ♥
TITLE: My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 2
AUTHOR: Gengoroh Tagame
AGE RANGE: Adult
As Mike continues his journey of discovery concerning Ryoji’s past, Yaichi gradually comes to understand that being gay is just another way of being human. And that, in many ways, remains a radical concept in Japan even today. In the meantime, the bond between Mike and young Kana grows ever stronger, and yet he is going to have to return to Canada soon–a fact that fills them both with impending heartbreak. But not before more than a few revelations come to light.
Do you have any idea how painful it is to go through a 352-page manga trying not to cry? ?
I adored this manga series so, so much, and I’m totally heartbroken that it’s over already. I wanted so much more time with Yaichi and Kana and Mike, and I loved every single interaction between them all. They’re the most wonderful, precious little family, and watching Yaichi grow so much over this three-week span with Mike in his home? It was everything. ♥
AUTHOR: Pornsak Pichetshote
AGE RANGE: Adult
A haunted house story for the 21st century, INFIDEL follows an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbors who move into a building haunted by entities that feed off xenophobia.
Something I adore but can never seem to find enough of is solid, well-written horror with diverse representation and political undertones. Much like the introduction to this graphic novel states, much of the inclusive horror we find ends up lacking in one department or the other; most often, it does well in the social commentary department but loses the “horror” elements in the process. Infidel does not suffer from that problem at all.
Not only does it offer a varied cast of characters and some heart-wrenchingly painful scenes of racism and xenophobia, it also is downright creepy as hell with some of the most twisted, bizarro-freaky illustrations I’ve ever seen. I loved every minute of this and can’t wait for the film adaptation!
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A lot of good reading going on here! Awesome :]
I might look into the poetry book, that author name rings a bell. While otherwise not books in my scope I do appreciate these Saturday smalls. Thank you!
I keep seeing my brothers husband everywhere, and everyone loves it, I really need to check that one out!
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I really need to get my hands on Sea Prayer! It just started popping up on my radar, but I can already tell it’s something that I need to read!
Infidel looks so spooky and so good! Adding it to my TBR now. 🙂
I don’t know if you’ve read Infidel yet, but I feel like it might be super up your alley!
I haven’t, but it’s def still on my list! 🙂
I want to read My Brother’s Husband so bad! It looks so good