Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: The Night Bookmobile

The Night Bookmobile
Audrey Niffenegger

Author of The Time Traveler's Wife (and The Time Traveler's Wife movie)

This is a book for people who find comfort in books. Maybe I should say, ...for people who live through books.

I enjoyed this book as a book lover and partly because my first library experience was with a bookmobile, a service provided at the time to rural New Mexico by the State Library. I don't want to give away the story since it is so short, but I'll give you my broad perceptions of it.

I come away from this book thinking, "Life is stories." Period. Stories are how we make meaning, how we make sense of our experiences, of our existence. I think that encapsulating moments of our lives as stories can help us appreciate the experience, even if it is painful at the time. I think that is what this book is about.

This book is a graphic novel, or rather a graphic short story. I'm usually not a fan of graphic novels, but the simplicity of these pictures seems to help the story seem personal, like a story any of us could have written.

While the book is illustrated, it is not a children's book. There are several adult themes that are probably not appropriate for young children.

I recommend this book, especially to reader's--like myself--who are prejudiced against graphic novels!

I also recommend:

The American Splendor comicbooks by Harvey Pekar

(Harvey was a featured speaker last April at the Clark County Library before passing away July 12. Harvey worked as a file clerk at the Cleveland VA Hospital, writing comic books about his life on the side. We miss you, Harvey!)

and the movie American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti.

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