Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Graphic Novel Portion...Complete!

The Exile
by Diana Gabaldon
The best part of our 2012 Summer Reading Challenge is our ability to choose the books we want to read. We are given guidelines and even choices inside the guidelines in order to make the challenge a little more personal and interesting to complete. I am not a big graphic novel reader, but with this challenge I was able to find books in which I had an interest to fit this category. As I previously posted I read three Oz graphic novels last week while visiting the TWU. Today I completed the challenge by reading Diana Gabaldon's The Exile. This graphic novel is based on Gabaldon's The Outlander series. There are many similarities between the graphic novel and the first book in the series, Outlanderk, but the biggest difference is the perspective from which the story is told. In this graphic novel we read about the most basic of the story line from Jamie's perspective. For anyone who might consider reading the series, I would not recommend reading this graphic novel first. It might actually turn you away from this wonderful series. The graphic novel was a little hard to follow because so much had to be cut in order to fit the story line into this very condensed version of a 896 page novel.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Graphic Novels

2012 Summer Reading Challenge Update...

The Forgotten Forest of Oz
by Eric Shanower
The Ice King of Oz
by Eric Shanower
The Secret Island of Oz
by Eric Shanower
The  Big Book of Grimm
by Jonathan Vankin
You know I was at TWU last week if you read my previous post. You also know about the book that captured my attention. I found a wonderful place outside on the balcony of the library and started reading this new found friend when I realized I was at a library! :-) Okay, yes I can be a little nuts at times, but it occurred to me that while I was at said library I could check off a few of the readings I need for our summer reading challenge. I went downstairs to the children's department and found some graphic novels. I knew this was the perfect place to locate said genre. The best part was finding some that 1.) I was very interested in reading because of the subject matter and 2.) I did not know they existed. I love the Wizard of Oz and these were perfect for me to read while I was waiting for Walter to finish his meeting. I also started reading The Big Book of Grimm by Jonathan Vankin, which included over 50 of the wonderfully gruesome tales illustrated by various DC Comic cartoonists.. I loved it. Unfortunately I did not have time to read all 192 pages of the book and since I am no longer a student I was not able to check the book out to bring home to finish. Since I need four graphic novels to complete this portion of the reading challenge I will need to find one more book to fit into this category. Since my husband has been collecting Asterix for years, I might just have to break down and read one.

The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy

Last week my sweet husband, Walter, needed to go to  Texas Woman's University to a meeting. He asked if I wanted to go with him, and since I hadn't been on campus in a number of years I decided to go along. At first I thought I would just sit somewhere quiet and read, but then we parked near the bookstore. You know what that means! Well, of course I HAD to go in and look around. Now, it has been 14 years since we graduated from TWU, but I still got a thrill when I walked through the doors. One of the best thrills was that I was not there to spend hundreds of dollars on text books (even though I have seriously thought about going back to school to work on my doctorate). As I walked around I really tried not to go over to the books. I knew I did not NEED any new books, but I could not control myself. I walked over and the very first book I saw was yelling my name, not calling mind you, but YELLING for me to pick it up. It must have known that once I picked it up and started reading through the table of contents there would be no turning back. Boy, am I that easy of a mark?!? I guess so. Here is the cover of the book that now lives in our home.
The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy:
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke
Edited by William Irwin and Dean A. Kowalski
For those  who know my family well, or even if you just casually know us I guess, you will see why this book just HAD to come home with me! My sweet son is Sheldon Cooper! Not really, but he has a lot of the same characteristics (good and bad) of this Big Bang Theory character. We love the show and can hardly watch a rerun without MY little Sheldon saying the dialogue along with the actors.

I have to say, this book came to me at an important time in my life, all joking aside. I enjoyed the philosophy class I took in college (although not at TWU, the other university in town, UNT). Since that class so many years ago, I have not really thought about reading a book on philosophy. I have by no means finished reading the book. I am slowly absorbing the information and actually highlighting passages that I want to remember and refer to later. I know this sounds a little ridiculous, but this book has made me understand some issues that I have been dealing with in my personal life. You probably think I'm crazy, but it is true. The way the authors make connections between the philosophers statements of so long ago, specifically Aristotle, and the relationships and antics of the BBT characters is wonderful. 

Earlier in the year, my son presented a speech on Shakespeare. He had been working on this speech since last summer. It was his Academic Decathlon speech for competition and very important to him. Seeing my little boy grow into a young man and create has amazed me. I know you are probably wondering why I am including this randomness, but I do have a point. His speech was about Shakespeare's writings and how so many people just don't "get" him. (I being one of them.) I was amazed how he developed his speech around the wonderful productions he has been a part of through the Stolen Shakespeare Guild by making the connection between the entertainment of the days when Shakespeare's plays were debuting and the television of now. He made reference to The Big Bang Theory and Love's Labour's Lost, Two and a Half Men and A Comedy of Errors , even CSI and Othello and Julius Cesar.  The same is true for the above mentioned book. We might not always understand the information from the scholars of long ago but when connections are made for us based on the things we know and love it is so much easier to understand.

By the way, this book will fit into my 2012 Summer Reading Challenge...non-fiction!