The Reluctant Romantic Challenge: Speed Dating

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This month, I’m joining in the Reluctant Romantic challenge over at Doing Dewey. Katie is challenging us to take up a genre we’re not so familiar with, or maybe even reluctant to read. With her it’s romance, thus the challenge title…

The challenge discussion question for this week is: What genre are you getting to know this month? Why do you want to give it a chance?

I’ve decided this is a great time to explore some of the graphic fiction and nonfiction that has become so popular in recent years. It’s not where I normally gravitate, but I don’t have a good reason for that, other than I’m just used to reading books with more words than pictures. There’s a pretty astonishing range within the genre, from memoirs to history to humor to satire to adventure — I should be able to find something to love.

Here are some of the titles I’d like to check out this month:

  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  • Relish by Lucy Knisley

Have you read any of these? Have any other suggestions for me?

19 thoughts on “The Reluctant Romantic Challenge: Speed Dating

  1. I’ve heard such good things about Persepolis but have yet to tackle it; and I’m unfamiliar with the other titles. This genre is such a big pool to fish in, it seems to me, a bit like starting ‘serious literature’ from scratch after a diet of thrillers or bodice-rippers! Well done you, Lory, for getting stuck in!

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    1. It really is a big pool! There are so many to choose from now. The good thing is that most take me no more than a couple of hours to finish, so it’s not such a huge time commitment. I haven’t started Persepolis yet, but I’m really looking forward to that one.

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    1. Thanks Katherine! I do hope you find some graphic books (I’m not sure what to call them, as they are not all novels) to catch your fancy.

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  2. Great list! Many of those are on my tbr. I have what we could call a holy trio of short comics that I utterly love: Marjane Satrapi’s Embroideries, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Julie Maroh’s Blue is the Warmest Color. All of them powerful books written by amazin women.

    I also love Maus, but I think I’ve seen you mention elsewhere that you’ve already read it? If not, it’s a masterpiece. Only comic with a Pulitzer that I know of.

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    1. Maus is indeed quite amazing. I have only read part one so far, I need to get part two. Thanks for the other recommendations.

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  3. Persepolis is actually the only graphic novel I’ve read (and that was five or six years ago) but I remember enjoying it so I’m not sure why I haven’t read more! Good luck with the challenge – I hope you enjoy whatever you choose to read.

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  4. Good for you for expanding your horizons, and I hope you discover a new genre to love! I’d like to dip a toe in the graphic novel/nonfiction field, myself. The Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage appeals on the title alone!

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    1. That one does look really fun. It’s more text heavy than some of the others so I need to set aside a good chunk of time for it.

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  5. I can recommend Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, and anything by Chris Ware. And of course Alison Bechdel. From your list I’ve read Satrapi, Yang, and Tan (and I’ve heard both Yang and Tan speak at conferences – wonderful!), so I know you have some good reading ahead of you

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  6. I have read all of those except the Shaun Tan, and they are all good in their different ways. I am going to second the recommendation above for This One Summer. A+ recommendation. If you want to dip your toe in the Marvel superhero waters, Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is a really great superhero comic that doesn’t require much knowledge at all of the wider universe. Rutu Modan is also a fabulous comics writer — her most recent book The Property was underappreciated, but I really loved it.

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    1. More great suggestions! The Property looks especially wonderful, but my library doesn’t have it. I can try to get them to order it.

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  7. It is good to get out of our reading comfort zones sometimes.

    I Googled your choices. It looks like you picked some really interesting and different books.

    I look forward to your commentary on them.

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