Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Of Books and Reading

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang Title: Boxers and Saints
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Publisher: First Second
ISBN: 9781596439245
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 512
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

I had heard a lot about this graphic novel. Almost every book haul had it; almost everyone was talking about it online and offline (to some extent). I knew I had to pick this one up and I did and let me tell you that this one just did not disappoint at all. I had read, “American Born Chinese” as well, so I sort of knew what I was expecting from this one.

“Boxers & Saints” are two individual graphic novels, but can only be read as one, for them to make sense to the reader. The book is set in the late 1800s and at the beginning of 1900. The year is 1898. The place: China. The foreign missionaries are here to stay and not only…

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Film Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

A Little Blog of Books

The Hundred-Year-Old ManLast week, I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of the film adaptation of ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ at the Soho Hotel in London ahead of its general release on Friday. Thanks to the likes of Steig Larsson and Henning Mankell, Sweden is generally more famous for producing atmospheric crime fiction. However, the comic novel by Jonas Jonasson has been a worldwide hit and has been translated into more than thirty languages with more than six million copies sold since 2009. The film is likely to match the book’s success across the globe this summer having already broken box office records in Sweden when it was released last December.

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The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson

Blogging for a Good Book

disappearedWith a life like Allan Karlsson’s, who wouldn’t want to live to be 100 years old? Befriended by Francisco Franco and Robert Oppenheimer, creator of both the American and Soviet atomic bombs, drinking buddies with Harry S. Truman, consultant to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and rescuer of Mao Tse-Tung’s wife, smuggled in a Russian submarine, imprisoned in both the Soviet gulag and a North Korean prison, Bali beach bum, translator for an ambassador to France… All this because Allan had that most 20th Century of skills – blowing stuff up.

Now, at the age of 100 (having blown up his home) Allan is in a nursing home. He’s not finished with life, so an hour or so before the local dignitaries are coming to begrudgingly celebrate his centenary, Allan goes AWOL. Not that he has anyplace in particular to go –  although that’s never been a problem – but he doesn’t…

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Here’s to the ladies who punch …

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book and review it along with the books I’ve already reviewed about *men* boxing–this is a much needed project. See Malissa Smith’s post below:

Girlboxing

Here’s to the ladies who punch …

A History Of Women's Boxing

Today’s my big day.

The culmination of over two years of work on my new book, A History Of Women’s Boxing.

I get to strut my stuff in the ring at Gleason’s Gym and speak to an audience of assembled friends about the courage, bravery and pure gumption that women have shown for the past three hundred years each time they’ve donned the gloves. Oh yes, and smile a lot, sign books and jump around with glee!

It’ll be a moment to savor — though I admit to a plethora of doubts:  Did I get everything right? Did I forget someone? Did I make the point about pushing social and legal boundaries enough? Will the reader understand just how brave it was for a young and plucky Barbara Buttrick to insist that she had the right to box in 1949?

The historian’s lament…

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Five Fascinating Facts about George Orwell’s 1984

Interesting Literature

1. George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on this day, 8 June, in 1949. But this wasn’t the original title of the novel. According to the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition, Orwell initially planned to set the novel in 1980; this then became 1982, and finally 1984 (or Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the title is usually rendered).

Orwell12. Orwell named Room 101 after a conference room in BBC Broadcasting House. In this room, during the Second World War, he had to sit through tedious meetings when he worked for the Ministry of Information. Indeed, the Ministry also served as the inspiration for the Ministry of Truth, where the novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, works. ‘Room 101’ has, of course, entered wider linguistic use as a term for something containing one’s pet hates or worst fears. Although the novel also popularised the terms ‘thoughtcrime’ and ‘thought police’, these…

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FLASH BOYS: The Unforgiving Hand of Truth

BookPeople

flash boys
Flash Boys
by Michael Lewis

review by Andrew H.

Flash Boys, the latest from the ever prolific Michael Lewis, is a fantastic eye-opening account of the inherent corruption of the financial system. Not only the corruption, but Lewis exposes the fact that most bankers were too ignorant of the complex systems that ran the stock market to even realize what was happening. If you thought that after the Great Recession of 2009 the banks were forced to act more responsibly… this book will slap you in the face with the unforgiving hand of truth.

Luckily, the banks are run by humans, some of which have a moral compass and a sense of doing right by those whose interests they are supposed to protect. Flash Boys is their story. It’s common in populist rhetoric to believe the financial system is a well thought out machine, designed on purpose to…

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William T. Vollmann’s Europe Central | A Short Riff on a Long Book

Biblioklept

Kilian Eng Kilian Eng

1. William T. Vollmann’s Europe Central,  811 pages in my Penguin trade paperback edition (including end notes), is a virtuoso attempt to describe or measure or assess or explain or analyze the Eastern front of WWII, a part of the war that in my American ignorance I know, or knew (no, know) so little about.

2. The book covers 1914-1975, most of the composer Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich’s life. If Europe Central has a hero, it is Shostakovich.

From the book’s last end note, “An Imaginary Love Triangle: Shostakovich, Karmen, Konstantinovaskya”:

When I think of Shostakovich, and when I listen to his music, I imagine a person consumed by fear and regret, a person who (like Kurt Gerstein) did what little he could to uphold the good—in this case, freedom of artistic creation, and the mitigation of other people’s emergencies. He became progressively more beaten down, and certainly experienced…

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Review: I Want to Show You More, by Jamie Quatro, Grove Press 2013, 206 pp.

Purchased / Reading With: The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermott, Summer Reading edition of Tin House

Type of Book: Loosely linked short stories / story cycle

My Research Interest: For entertainment

Structure: 15 stores of varying length, set around Lookout Mountain on the border of Georgia and Tennessee

Impression: I knew these stories would be “good” and “competent” short stories, because I trusted the recommendations. However, I was not prepared for the aching psychological depth of these stories. Quatro’s characters and narratives are not superficial, and anything but slight. This impression was solidified when the fourth story, “Here,” made me cry. I do not cry often when reading, yet this book made me tear up at least three times. Quatro demands the reader consider the mysteries, pains, and joys of parenting, marriage, illness, death, fear, and faith. The stories are intimate, visceral, and very much for today—but also timeless. The book is dark and light at once, challenging the reader to reconcile the two.

Readability: Everyone should read this book. This is one of those books that, if read with an open heart, will make the reader a better person.

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