What were our favourite reads this month? Read rave reviews from Team Just Write.
I am very late to this party, but Saga is one of the most mind-blowing, well-written comic book series I’ve read. Detailing a galactic war complete with star-crossed lovers, bounty hunters, and a race of half-human, half-robots, you’ll get sucked into every beautifully-drawn page. If you like bloody violence, dark humour, poignant moments and a whole host of colourful characters, including a cat that can detect when you’re lying or telling the truth, then I urge you to pick up a copy. Each new volume is as consistently brilliant as the last, and if you haven’t started reading these yet, then you’re in for a treat.
This short, genre-busting book is a satirical reflection on the horrors of war seen through the eyes of a hapless American soldier, Billy Pilgrim. Billy has become ‘unstuck in time’ following an alien abduction and his reality – and the narrative in the book – shifts back and forth between the past, present and future. Central to this is the hugely traumatising experience of war, death and suffering. It’s an incredibly poignant and timeless book, made all the more powerful by its comic, absurdist treatment of the subject. Kurt Vonnegut was himself an American prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII when the city was heavily bombed by allied forces in on 13-15 February 1945. Some 25,000 people were killed in the bombing, but Vonnegut survived by sheltering in a meat locker in an abattoir.
This month I read The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, a genrebending, mind altering memoir. It was a book recommended to me earlier this year when I visited Pages of Hackney as part of Independent Bookshop Week (which by the way is a fantastic bookstore in NE London, snugly crouched among a strip of shops on Lower Clapton Road).
It’s a difficult book to describe and I have spent the last while simply thrusting it into people’s hands and saying you must read this, which is pretty much what I am doing here too! Maggie’s writing is brilliant – sharp, clean and thought-provoking. It’s most definitely a book centred on love, exploring her relationship with her partner Harry Dodge and her journey into motherhood. But it also examines and blows wide open perceptions, of each and every kind. An incredibly important book to read and one I will remember for a long time. You must read it!