Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Isabel Greenberg - The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

Title: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth
Author: Isabel Greenberg
Pub. year: 2013
Pages: 176
Editor: Little, Brown & Company

Summary: Before our history began, another--now forgotten--civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a young man as he paddles from his home in the North Pole to the South Pole. There, he meets his true love, but their romance is ill-fated. Early Earth's unusual and finicky polarity means the lovers can never touch.

I started reading Graphic Novels lately and I discovered this one on Sanne's vlog. It looked gorgeous and what she had to say about it gave me the push I needed to buy it.

The book is divided in different stories, which are chapters of the life of the storyteller or of the people he met during his journey. We see those people, hear about their beliefs, their problems, as a foreigner discovering a country for the first time. It's funny how, by showing this new deity, she melt religions of our world into something new who feels old and known.

The tales are sweet and at the same time somewhat dark and violent, but it's told in a way that makes it look laughable and turn the "mean" characters into dumb people. The tone is sometimes funny and sarcastic, and we can feel the pleasure Isabel Greenberg took in making this. At the end of the book, we learn that someone created a font to match her handwriting for the graphic novel. I find it to be a very good idea, as you can see below on the picture. It's pretty, it goes well with the pictures, whether it's in speech bubbles or above/under the drawings.

Moreover, the author primarely uses black and white, with hints of reds and yellows, to tell the story. This fits perfectly with the universe, where the main colored stuff are fires and blood or armurs, and the world seems snowy everywere. It gives a really tale-ish feeling to the entire book. The kind you want to read around Christmas, warming in front of a fireplace.

Anyway, as you can see, it was a great reading and I'm really curious to see if she did any other graphic novels!

If you're a Graphic Novel avide consumer, feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

Monday, 17 September 2012

The End of the Challenge!

So, I know we're late, but the past few weeks were kind of busy (you know, graduating, going on holidays, and so on).

So let's end this challenge where you were to read French books, either in French, or a translations of them.

I hope you had a great time, discovering those books and authors!

But let's stop talking and see what you guys did! Feel free to clic on the links of the different reviews!

Jeremy - Goal: 1 book (Antoine de St-Exupéry level)

-The Little Prince

=> 1 book - SUCCESS

Julia - Goal: 3 books (Alexandre Dumas level)

=> 0 book

Patty - Goal: 3 books (Alexandre Dumas level)

-Une gourmandise

-Le Tour du monde en 80 jours


=> 3 books - SUCCESS

Emma - Goal: 5 to 10 books (Albert Camus/Jules Verne level)

-The Adventures of Hergé

-Le Dieu du carnage

-Du côté de chez Swann

-An Accident in August

-Le Grand Meaulnes

-The Lovers of Algeria

=> 6 books - SUCCESS for the Albert Camus level

Charlotte - Goal: 10 books (Jules Verne level)

-Une Forme de vie

-Cahier d'un retour au pays natal

-Sierra Brulante

=> 3 books - That still makes the Alexandre Dumas level!

Ismé - Goal: 10 books (Jules Verne level)

=> 0 book

Cheri - Goal: 20 books (Victor Hugo level)

-The Rights of the Reader

=> 1 book - That still makes the Antoine de St-Exupéry level!

Congrats for those who tried and/or succeed!

Monday, 30 July 2012

John Green - An Abundance of Katherines

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Pub. year: 2006
Pages: 229
Editor: Speak

Summary: When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home [..I skip this part because it tells too much of the story IMO..] Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

That was the last solo book from John Green I haven't read yet (that is... until he writes another one). I was in a phase where I couldn't read much, because of the work I had to do and because I was too tired and not motivated and so on. So I had to pick a book that I was sure to read fast and to enjoy. Otherwise I would have spend too much time on it and I hate that. And it worked perfectly (even if the not-in-the-mood phase is back now...).

So Colin has this awesome friend, Hassan, who takes him on a road trip to help him to get over his former girlfriend. That's a pretty good idea, if you want my opinion. But it also means that you have a lot of time to think in the car. Not that cool. But anyway, Colin end up trying to have his Eureka moment by creating The Theorem, so having time is a good starting point. What I appreciate is that even if he spends a long time mourning his relationship, he stopped just before bothering me, because Colin doesn't stay in a state of nothingness. He gets over it slowly without really realising it.

Obviously, they meet people and settle somewhere for a while, they get to do stuff that they weren't expecting to do. I really enjoyed this "we're leaving what we know for a while to somewhere where everything is different and people don't do the same stuff" aspect of the story. They get to see another point of view of the world and that makes them think about who they are and where they're going. And apparently, Colin's ability to anagram very quickly helps him doing that too.

It isn't my favorite John Green book, but I enjoyed it very much. It's funny, smart and even if some parts are predictable, you still get some surprise on the way. So, if you want to discover what happened at Gunshot in this story and how the grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand managed to be there instead of in Europe, you know what you'll have to do!

Monday, 23 July 2012

John Scalzi - Redshirts

Title: Redshirts
Author: John Scalzi
Pub. year: 2012
Pages: 320
Editor: Tor Books

Summary: Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid," flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

It's Scalzi time, folks! I think everyone knows by now that I kinda love what he does, and I couldn't have been more impatient to read this new book—which you must have had heard about if you live on this planet (no, really?). To the point, now: how was it?

Weeell... When I read the beginning on Tor, I was thrilled. It sounded fun, and a bit crazy, and it was totally what I was looking for. When I read a bit further though, I realized several things, the first and main one being: I don't know the references of this story. In fact, I turned to my other half at that point and asked "so, red shirts... is that a Star Trek thing?" and he had to explain it to me. And I couldn't think anything else than "crap, this is gonna be full of inside jokes that I'm gonna miss".

I wasn't right, but I wasn't so wrong either. I can not tell you what this book is about, because for once the summary is not spoiling anything and you need to read it to believe it (err, or not). But there is no boundaries to the craziness of this book, and it's really some kind of homage to the old Sci-Fi series (did you know Scalzi worked on Stargate: Universe? Yeah, me neither) and silly stuff that happens in space. It's a bit gross, a bit emotional, a lot WTF?!, and the codas at the end are the cherry on the (space) cake.

I did enjoy it but not as much as I wish I would, and that's maybe due to my lack of interest for old Sci-Fi series, or maybe I'm just a grumpy lady who does not like to not understand the title of the book she's reading, who knows? Maybe it's because the book was dedicated to Wil Wheaton and this guy gets on my nerves!! Sorry, that's my Sheldon side, I guess.

I heard that Scalzi is planning a new book in the Old Man War series... now THAT's something I want to see!