Monday, April 9, 2012

Reading Roundup: Memoirs Memoirs

I know lots of you can read multiple books at a time and have a long queue of books to write about that, and I don't know how you do it! I have a single track mind. I told you I was really behind on posting, and it's just stressing me out. This week, I'm finally starting a long-awaited read-along of Lions of the West with the wonderful Aarti, and I want to be focused.'s reading roundup time!

I can't remember what inspired me to put Samantha Bee's memoir I Know I Am, But What Are You? on my to-read list. I think maybe I heard her on NPR, but it actually took me forever to get my hands on a copy. Samantha Bee is most well-known as the first woman (and first Canadian) correspondant on The Daily Show. Her memoir is a collection of essays and anecdotes chronicling such things as Bee's awkward adolescent years, her stint as a Japanese anime character, and her rise out of obscurity on Comedy Central.

This is just a funny, entertaining book to read. If you liked Tina Fey's memoir, this is written in a similar style (though this was actually published first), and you'll probably enjoy this one as well. Bee has got some amusing stories to tell, often awkward, sometimes a bit vulgar. It caused me to laugh out loud a few times on the subway, and you can't ask for much more than that.

Marzi by Marzena Sowa caught my eye in the Random House booth at the ALA Midwinter conference, and the nice booth rep gave me an extra copy at the end of the show. (Thanks, person!) It's been a while since I've read a graphic novel, and I do enjoy those of the memoir variety. This one tells the story of Marzi's childhood growing up in Communist Poland in the 1980s. Political events unfold through the eyes of a child, and though Marzi sees what is happening around her and understands that it is important, she doesn't fully grasp its meaning (and thus, the same for us, the reader). There is a great mix of the big events happening in Marzi's world around her and in her own little day-to-day world. The interaction of the two create a very rich, full picture of Marzi's childhood.

My only feeling of unfulfillment is wanting to know more about Marzi's relationship with her mother. You can just feel tension between the two through the words and pictures, but it's not explored in much depth. I don't know why I need to know this intimate aspect of the author's life, but it's just hinted at so strongly that it left me curious! But beyond that, this was a good graphic pick-up.

1 comment:

Jethro 005 said...

I read Tina Fey's memoir, and really enjoyed it, so I think I shall give I Know I am, but What Are You a chance. I also heard a great review on it on The Book Report a while back, go try it -