March 16, 2023

March Wrap Up Pt. 1

There is good news and bad news to report. The good news is that I've read 4 books so far in March. The bad news is that only one of those books wasn't mostly pictures. Oh well, I knew this would happen when I started reading the big books for Massive Book March or whatever I called it.

Spy Family 3

SpyxFamily Vol. 3 by Tatsuya Endo - My kid made me promise to keep reading these until the dog showed up. Well, there are some dogs at the very end of this one, but they are very sad and miserable. But I trust the kid, so I'll keep reading. This one was better than the first one.

M Monster

M Is for Monster by Talia Dutton - I decided I should probably read the Sequoyah award list for this year and this is the first one that came in. This is a graphic novel take on Frankenstein, sort of. It appears to be set a bit later than the original and involves 2 girls. The older sister, Frances, is a scientist. The younger sister, Maura, was killed in an experiment. Now Frances has reanimated Maura's body, but doesn't realize she's not quite the same. Maura is haunting the new girl by appearing in mirrors. She helps the reanimated corpse pretend to be her or Frances will take her apart again. But how long can she pretend? There is a neighbor lady who helps Frances with her science and helps M (the reanimated corpse) learn things and be who she is. This book is deeply weird. It's about grief and letting go and becoming who you are meant to be and not pretending to be someone else. And it's pretty obvious about it. I'll have to read more Sequoyah books to decide if I feel like it belongs.

Spy Family 4

SpyxFamily Vol. 4 by Tatsuya Endo - Finally found the dog!!! And he's the goodest boy!!! Quick plot summary: Dude named Loid is a spy for a fictional country that is trying to avoid war with another fictional country. He has been assigned to get close to a businessman who does business with the other country. The way to achieve this is to acquire a child who goes to the same school as the businessman's son. He chooses a child, but he has to find a wife to play the part of the perfect family. He doesn't know that the woman he picks for his wife is a trained assassin. Neither of them know that the child can read minds. As a reward for getting a Stella Star at school, the parents decide to get the girl a dog. As they are walking down the street, Loid gets called away to a spy thing. There is a group of villains attempting to blow up the visiting dignitary from the other country to start a war. As it turns out they are planning to use trained dogs with bombs to do the deed. One of those dogs saves Anya (the little girl) while they are walking down the street. The experiments done on him have made him able to see the future. Which Anya can see by reading his mind. The dog and Anya spoil the bad guys' plans, Yor (the mom) takes out several of the villains and then calls the police ("I called before. There's a bad guy bleeding in this alley. Come arrest him."), Loid takes out the main bad guy and at the last minute saves the last dog who had a bomb strapped to him. And each of them thought they saved the world and no one would ever know. Lol. The dog is awesome. That's him on the cover. I'll definitely read more of this series.


Africa Is Not a Country: Notes on a Bright Continent by Dipo Faloyin - Wow. I could sit down with this book and fly through 100 pages. I learned so much. The history Faloyin relates starts with colonization by Europe. It explains why the political boundaries in the continent are straight lines and don't follow the geographical or cultural lines. He talks about the damage all those Aid commercials did for how Americans and Europeans view Africa. We tend to think the "Real Africa" consists of grasslands and elephants and sunsets; children covered in flies with distended bellies. He talks about the various guerilla leaders who became presidents and how that went for those countries. He talks about things I remember. He talks about Kony 2012 which was a South African baddie causing mass destruction that got blown up on social media for awhile. He talks about #EndSARS that I remember from just a few years ago. I thought it was talking about the virus. The best part about this book was that it made all of this make sense and it was actually funny. I laughed out loud in several places because Faloyin is snarky as heck. I read this for a work goal and I'm so glad I did. I appreciate having current information about what has happened and is currently happening in a place so many of our customers come from. I mean literally. We have several customers from Ghana and Nigeria in particular.

So that's it. That's what I've read this month. I'm still reading the big books, so I'll keep you posted tomorrow on how that's going.