Of all the books I read over the summer, the following stand out for being either weirdly engrossing, wonderfully written, or what-the-hell-is-going-on?-ly head-shaking.
Angel Catbird. Margaret Atwood’s graphic novel. Is it a comic book? Is it a public service announcement about keeping your cats from killing birds? Is it meant to be funny? My favourite line is when Angel Catbird doesn’t eat the baby bird and the other cats call out: “Predator Fail!” The book is a throwback to old time superhero comics, so if you can get past the hokey dialogue then you’ll find it weirdly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to Volume Two: will Strig Feleedus and Cate Leone find love? Will Dr. Muroid and his rat army take over? What will happen at Count Catula’s Castle? I can hardly wait to find out. I just hope they change Angel Catbird’s shorts/undies. I can’t take him seriously in that outfit.
I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson. One of the best books I read all summer. A coming of age story of twins Noah and Jude, told by each twin in turn, several years apart. It’s about love and hate, life and death, jealousy, passion, belief, art, and fate. The voices are unique and the descriptive writing is wacky and wonderful.
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff. A fun rom-com read about life going off the rails, about figuring out what you want to be when you grow up, regardless of how old you are, and about whether your dogs know more than you do and are secretly conspiring to run your life.
The Hike by Drew Magary. Reading The Hike was like hearing about someone’s endless, crazy nightmare. It’s just one bizarre thing after another, and while you kind of want to know how it’s all going to turn out, you mostly just want it to end already. While I was immediately hooked when the protagonist Ben encounters two murderous men wearing the faces of Rottweilers, his interminable journey along The Path admittedly had me rooting for the dog-faced men from time to time. The book has been compared to a video game, and if I was a gamer, I could definitely see the appeal, as Ben encounters all sorts of crazy creatures that either help him or hinder him in his quest to find the end of The Path and go home. A good read if you’re you looking for something off the beaten track.