Saga Vol. 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Single Line Synopsis: Soldiers from opposing sides of a war meet in extraordinary circumstances and fall in love, attracting the attention of the universe around them by giving birth to a child.
Thoughts: I had been hearing about Saga for quite some time, but thought it might feel a little too “comic-y” for me. Since I was hopping on the Comics February bandwagon, I figured there might not be a better time to give it a shot. I’m so glad I decided to go for it. The storytelling and art are amazing and it was nice to take a leap a little further outside the graphic novel box.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Single Line Synopsis: A deep, funny memoir of the author’s life growing up with her historic preservationist, English teacher father, who eventually reveals his secret homosexuality at the same time she decides to come out.
Thoughts: This is proof that a graphic novel that touch on the same deep themes a written novel can. Not only is Bechdel a wonderful artist, she is a stunning writer who is able to get down to the core of the relationship between her and her father. Reading this was particularly timely, as the South Carolina House of Representatives just cut funding to the College of Charleston because Fun Home was included on a summer reading list (gasp same-sex relationships).
Long Man by Amy Greene (copy provided by publisher)
Single Line Synopsis: In 1936, as the government prepares to flood a small Tennessee town in order to bring in electricity, Annie Clyde Dodson refuses to leave her home before realizing her young daughter has gone missing.
Thoughts: Though I expected to get more of a dark, Southern vibe from Long Man, I loved the depth of Amy Greene’s characters. Combined with the history around the Tennessee Valley Authority, there is plenty to dig into in Greene’s latest novel.
American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton by Joan Barthel (copy provided by publisher)
Single Line Synopsis: Born to a prominent family in New York City in the late 1700’s, Elizabeth Seton became Catholic at a time when the religion was nearly outlawed and acted as a voice for women in a world ruled by men.
Thoughts: I may not have religious connections, but what I loved about this book was the way Barthel drew a line between Elizabeth Seton’s life and the work being done by modern-day nuns fighting for reform. Sometimes being able to see a connection like that is a great reminder of how the groundwork laid in the past can pave way for today.