Divya Manian

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Book Reviews for June 2010 - Part 1

There were a lot of comics I borrowed as soon as I landed in Seattle. As a result, I have lots of books to review, even though it is only half-way through June. So here are the reviews:

Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak

This book began as a twitter project, but also includes offline six-word stories. Most are not that interesting though, but some do impact deeply. Six-Word Memoirs is a good read for those few six-words.


I have no idea why I waited this long to start reading Vonnegut. But I am glad I did finally. Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel is absurd and insightful and definitely a must-read. I am amused it gets classified as “anti-war”. Apparently, narrating incidents of war without displaying bias makes it “anti-war”.


Wow, what an amazing start to a series! Pluto has been adapted from Astro Boy by Naoki Urasawa. It is fantastic murder mystery. The World’s top robot-killing robots are being murdered one by one and one of the them investigates the mystery. The manga series confronts the issues of what “life” and “music” mean to robots and how humans deal with robots that have “feelings”. Cannot wait to read the rest of it!


This is the wrong book to read as I had no context to the plot. I should have begun with Volume 1 of MPD-Psycho.


This series is a wannabe Twilight. Avoid Nightschool if you hate Twilight!

The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue

Will Eisner was one of the early pioneers of the art of graphic novel, this book is a great testimony to his genius illustration and story-telling skills.

This set of novels is about the life and times of fictitious Dropsie Avenue that is based on the real-life stories of the places Eisner grew up in. It is amazing, how racism plays out over the years (first Irish vs. Jews, then the whites vs. blacks) and how politics and crime went hand-in-glove. One thing that has irked me about American media is how it treats rampant corruption as something that occurs only in other nations. The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue and this long article on Arnold Rothstein, shatter that myth.

Hopefully, I should have more books to review by end of June. As always, I welcome suggestions for books to add to my queue.