This summer I really hope to take a crack at the steadily rising pile of unread books in my apartment. It doesn’t help that you can now take your laptop to the park (free wireless in Tompkins – who woulda thunk) – but for those of us determined to hold on to old fashioned technology I offer up a start to a great summer reading list, please make your adds in the comments section.
Alias the Cat - Kim Deitch
This graphic novel adds another twist to Deitch's Waldo the Cat world, but Kim and his wife Pam personally guide old and new readers alike through this investigation into the forgotten comics and film figure Alias. His research leads him to believe that the movies and comics detail real events, and as he hunts down the mystery behind Alias' alter ego Malek Janochek, fantasy and reality merge. And the whole thing comes together in the town of Midgetville, New Jersey.
Ode To Kirihito my second recommendation is also a graphic novel, a gripping tale from the godfather of manga - Osamu Tezuka. At the core of this book is a mysterious disease that transforms humans into beasts – the monmow disease. Dr. Kirihito works for an eminent Japanese scientist who is convinced that the condition is viral and to ensure that his view is taken as fact he sets up our hero to contract the disease. The book has a rich cast of characters – Kirihito’s schizophrenic fellow doctor, his determined fiancé, and a sex addict contortionist who ‘deep fries’ herself. All of these characters go through transformations over the course of this gripping 300+ page thriller. You will too.
My third recommendation is The Engagement, the 7th novel by Georges Simenon released by the New York Review of Books, and according to their website - the 200th book in their incredible classics series. Nobody in this book may be likable – but not every one is guilty. The odious Mr. Hire is a scam artist, a peeping Tom, and a bowler but is he the killer of the prostitute found murdered in a vacant lot? I am seeing Simenon’s name pop up more and more – often with well deserved comparisons to greats like Jim Thompson and Raymond Chandler.