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photo 2019-01-13 18:58
Locksmith Salt Lake City

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text 2019-01-10 10:59
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review 2019-01-05 02:00
More people should be reading Shaun Tan
Tales from the Inner City - Shaun Tan

Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan reminds me why I'm always telling everyone that Shaun Tan is my favorite illustrator. His illustrations are beautiful and his prose is wonderfully written. Organized by different animals, the chapters explore various aspects of humanity with short essays (and in some cases poems) accompanied by full page color illustrations. I broke down a few of the stories to my mom who thought they were rather dark and bleak but I explained this is how Tan gets his meaning across. This book looks at life in the inner city through the eyes of animals as a way to explore humanity both its cruel, despairing underbelly and its hopeful, optimistic fur (this analogy got away from me). For example, one story features a secretary who walks into the boardroom of the company she works for only to find that all the members of the board have inexplicably turned into frogs. She goes panics (including going back to her desk to play a few hands of computer solitaire) and worries she will be blamed and possibly fired before deciding the best course is to take these frogs home and care for them as if they were her pets. It turns out that this suits both herself and the frogs equally well because they were tired of being burdened with the troubles of being human. And here we thought all frogs wanted to be turned into handsome princes!


Tan shines a light on the darker aspects of humanity like cruelty, thoughtlessness, divisiveness, and greed because he wants to show that this isn't all that we are and we can strive for so much more. His work is considered sci-fi/fantasy because the scenarios themselves are 'unrealistic' like men turning into frogs or pigs that can survive even if you're hacking into them piece by piece over several weeks. But haven't you thought about what it would be like to walk away from all of your responsibilities and have someone else take care of you without any design or nefarious intention? What if you lived in a place where almost everything was industrialized and you were simply a cog in a giant machine slogging away in a factory hating your day to day? And what if the only bright point in your life happened at the end of your shift when you and your fellow employees climbed onto the back of the last surviving (ginormous) yak?  That seemed pretty believable up until that very last line didn't it? That's because there's a touch of reality mixed in with the absurd making this one of the loveliest things I've read in quite a while. If you've never read Tan before pick up Tales from the Inner City and then pick up everything else he's ever written because you'll be hooked. 10/10


The corporate frogs. [Source 3x3 Magazine]

Source: 3x3 Magazine


Source: BookTrust



What's Up Next: Dear Sister by Alison McGhee & illustrated by Joe Bluhm


What I'm Currently Reading: ???

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-01-03 21:05
City of God
City of God - Cecelia Holland

~First book of 2019~


I do not know too much about the Borgia family, who for a while ruled over large parts of Italy but had wider desires still. Much of what I know I got from watching Horrible Histories and playing Assassin's Creed (the one set in Rome being my favorite). City of God takes you along the path of the English Nicholas, as he tries to sneak his way in the Borgias good graces.

It is entirely my own fault that it stood on my shelves for so long, however, when I started reading I suddenly remembered why. There was an error in my e-copy, making that there wasn't a single pagebreak in the entire book. All text was pasted together, making me guess as to when the scenes had changed (considering this is a book filled with conspiracy and backstabbing, imagine my initial surprises when I missed a change of scene and thought someone present at the actual meeting where they discuss his murder). While annoying, the book was still more than readable.

While I enjoyed the setting, and the level of scheming is worthy of Game of Thrones, I missed a connection to the main character. Why does he do what he does? And more importantly, why should we, as readers, care? He always felt very distant and even when personal tragedy strikes, I didn't feel for him. I fear this will not be a book that stays with me over time.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-01-03 16:35
Tales From the Inner City
Tales from the Inner City - Shaun Tan
The cover of this novel is what drew me in but as I thumbed my initial way through this novel, it was the illustrations and the short stories that made me pick this book. I liked the way the author connected us humans with animals and although sometimes, as I read the stories, my imagination was stretched, I felt like a child again.
As I read, I was free from reality: I could see the bands of ponies navigating the street, I saw the woman giving hope to the frogs as she placed them in her purse and I saw the multitude of sharks sparkling on the street for which the end would never come.
The passages range from a few paragraphs to around 5 pages but they all were different in nature. I found that reading them once was not enough for me. Each time that I read them, I felt like I understood something else in the passage. I really enjoyed the symbolism and the word choice that was in each piece.
The enjoyed looking at the illustrations as I felt that they provided enough detail to get the gist of the piece while allowing the reader to fill in their own particulars.
Tan’s view on life and how he used the elements of humans and animals was interesting and enlightening. Inventive and clever, Tan presented this information in a fun and enjoyable novel that I really enjoyed. I feel that this novel addressed some deeper issues that some YA readers might not fully understand. They’ll still enjoy the novel but I think this novel is also for readers beyond the YA crowd, so don’t look at the YA label and walk away, it addresses issues beyond YA readers. There is a depth to this book.
This is my first novel by Shaun Tan but I feel that I need to look further into other novels that Tan has created.


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