Monday, March 31, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

It's Non-fiction Monday! Start your week with a heavy dose of reality! But not heavy reality. Well, one of mine is kinda heavy. Now I'm just babbling.

The facts are as follows:
1. It's Monday. NON-FICTION Monday.
2. Anastasia has the roundup.
3. I have a headache.
4. Numbers 1 and 2 are related. Number 3 has nothing to do with anything except that my head hurts and I felt like complaining.

Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography Andrew Helfer and Randy DuBurke

This book is pretty much what the title promises--a biography of Malcolm X in graphic novel format. I can't comment too much on content, as I knew very little about Malcolm X before hand and therefore have no frame of reference.

I will say it's extremely engaging for both heavy readers (me) and reluctant readers as well. The drawing style is pretty straight forward black and white. There's a lot of information, and sometimes quite a few panels on each page--it's not crowded but it's a bit intense. But, intense in that way that draws you further into the story, not intense in the way that gives you a headache and makes you put the book down. (Not that my current headache was caused by a book. Well, maybe by 3 linear feet of books strewn across the floor, but...)

I especially enjoyed the little photo essay at the end of the book that showed where the artist got some of his background material--however I could have used more of it--more photos, and maybe an artists rendering, or which panel the material was used in...

Overall, a good pick. It makes me want to read more about Malcolm X (how sad is it that I haven't?!)

And now, a really old book (I read it in April of 2007)

Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences Kitty Burns Florey

Go read this book. Read it NOW. It seriously warped my brain and was one of my favorites of 2007. After reading about the history of grammar education in the US, and of diagramming sentences, as well as Florey's own history with loving to diagram sentences, plus how famous authors have viewed grammar (who knew Gertrude Stein loved grammar? Just because she broke every rule didn't mean she didn't know the rules) with lots of examples... I became obsessed with diagramming sentences. I taught myself how to diagram. Sometimes, I still do it for fun. It also inspired me to be more into the grammar rules (not necessarily follow them, as you are aware, but more aware of them)... I also now lust after a copies of The Elements of Style Illustrated (Strunk and White) Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style and The Chicago Manual of Style

Yes, this book will inspire you to new levels of geekdom. Embrace it.

But more than anything, it's a fascinating look at a practice most school kids dread.

Mr. Lee, I'm sorry I never paid attention when you tried to explain this stuff.

1 comment:

MotherReader said...

I just put Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog on reserve on your glowing review. If it turns me into a grammar geek, I'm holding you responsible.