The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge
December 4: Book What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it?

Alan’s War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope by Emmanuel Guibert: I admittedly read more graphic novels than I probably should, as I find the medium possibly my favourite for regular consumption. Me like pretty pictures, no doubt. But make no mistake, Alan’s War, although filled with expressive artwork, relies primarily on the engaging real life accounts of a WWII vet’s memories abroad and back in Southern California to wrap you around its binding. It’s a page turner, for you feel like you’ve found yourself in your grandfather’s attic and discovered his long forgotten journal. History, love, and the mundane details of fighting abroad are captured without sappy overtones or the heroic facade.

Emmanuel Guibert’s The Photographer was a close second in the category of graphic novels, and only because I read Alan’s War first, so I knew to expect exemplary storytelling and artwork the second time around. In tandem, they make a great back-to-back read.

Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders by Lawrence Weschler: The last book I remember practically begging people to read was Alex Rose’s, The Musical Illusionist, a fantastical tapestry woven from lies and half truths into a mythology you want to believe is true despite the itch of doubt that tickles your mind the whole way through.

If one was to ask me for a follow-up recommendation in similar vein (with publishing chronology thrown out the window), it would be Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders by Lawrence Weschler, a detailed account of the Museum of Jurassic Technology and the wondrously imagined history curated within the walls of the head scratching museum. Art, history, science, and most importantly, the promise of wonder in the world, are at the heart of this nonfictional account of the powerful variety of fiction: ones we allow surrender ourselves to.

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