Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book, My Autobiography

Book, My Autobiography. John Agard. Illustrated by Neil Packer. 2015. Candlewick. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: My name is Book and I'll tell you the story of my life. In good time you'll be hearing about clay tablets, the invention of the alphabet, parchment, manuscripts that light up, libraries, and all that kind of stuff. But my story goes even further back. Before Book, there was Breath.

Book has written an autobiography. He wants you--his readers--to know his life story: from his earliest beginnings to the present day. (Yes, book will let you know his thoughts on e-books.) It is written in a casual, conversational style. It includes some detail, but, it's not heavy on detail either, perhaps aiming for enough information to be entertaining but not so much that readers are tempted to skip or skim.

At times, I really liked the style of this one. For example:
It must have been fun being a little letter in those days, with different people taking you and shaping you to their own language--straightening you here, curving you there, as they saw fit. Even writing you in all directions, right to left, left to right, not to mention downward and upward. A page must have felt like a trampoline. (25)
But I wouldn't say that the reading experience cover-to-cover was all that magical. The book was good, but, not GREAT for me.

Readers learn some facts about the history of the book, the written word. Quotes and poems about books and reading are shared throughout.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Susanne 12:10 PM  

This one sounds unique. Thanks for the review

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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