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Broadening my reading horizons

graphic novels

I’m pretty much a dinosaur when it comes to reading; I prefer actual books, I don’t use an e-reader often and I don’t listen to audiobooks. I use my town library a lot. But lately I have been discovering that graphic novels, which I wasn’t very interested in for a long time, just keep getting more diverse and better. The first one I read years ago was Art Spiegelman’s Maus, a work of genius and a hard act to follow. One of the librarians at the Westbrook library, Matt, recommends graphic novels to me. At his suggestion, I read a very affecting one called Billie Holiday by Jose Munoz and Carlos Sampayo. Recently I read Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do about a family of Vietnamese immigrants. The writing is simple and powerful, and the art (done by the writer) is excellent. On today’s trip to the library, I discovered that one of my favorite mystery writers, the master of “tartan noir” Ian Rankin, has a graphic novel, which I checked out and took home. I won’t be giving up reading “traditional” books, but I find graphic novels add an intriguing option. When they’re good, the artwork and text work together beautifully. You can find a graphic novel for any level of reader, child to adult, on any imaginable subject. If you haven’t tried them, you might be pleasantly surprised by how sophisticated they are.