Weekend Reads: Haitian Historical Fiction & Survival Horror Graphic Novels

Welcome to the weekend, Chums. My plan for the next two or three days consists of working diligently to get my blog back up to nearly full-time status, as well as to reignite my YouTube channel. In between working, I hope to sneak in morsels of reading and maybe cat-napping, although I won’t hold my breathe for the latter, especially since the cats has’t stolen mine sleep chamber. Ah, such is the life shared with felines.

Last week, I shared the #OwnVoices Chinese books that I had planned on reading. I ended up DNF’ing one of them for various reasons (I’ll discuss it later in the week) and then I had to return the other back to the library as there was a hold on it. In the end, since I couldn’t get into the mood to read anything else afterwards, I spent the week catching up on manga that I was behind on, which turned out fantastically since I enjoyed almost all the volumes quite immensely (Golden Kamuy is the best fucking thing, I tell you). This week I’m going to focus on one novel and then a small stack of comics. My hope is that by keeping it simple, my brain won’t feel overwhelmed, more so considering all the work that’s lined up for me ahead (holy Kheb, I’ve missed being as busy as the Seven Hells, let me tell you).

The novel is a debut title and quite lesser known, while the comics are ridiculously popular. There was even a smash-hit television serial adaptation of it, which I’m sure that most of you shall recognise. Let’s go ahead and take a gander at ‘em, shall we?

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remembranceRemembrance by Rita Woods is a multi-generational, historical fiction book authored by a Black woman that follows four generations of Haitian women. The first story is about an immigrant lady, named Gaelle,  in present day that is struggling to get control of her life again after a terrible earthquake that hit Haiti. A mysterious elderly woman that she meets at her job will change everything she thought she knew about herself. The second story takes place in the late 1850s and follows a young slave girl named Margot who is sold just before her 18th birthday in the wake of tragedy, causing her to lose her promised freedom. The third story follows a girl named Abigail during the final decade of the 1700s as she’s forced to abandon her children and take her mistress to safety in New Orleans. I’m not sure if this is an #OwnVoices Haitian novel, but if you have knowledge about this being one, please let me know!

I started this book last night and it’s very easy to get swept away by the characters. Thus far, I’ve read a brief titbit on Gaelle and the PTSD that she lives with, as well as couple chapters of Margot’s story, which was intense and unexpectedly made my heart-race. I think after spending the past couple months reading titles that had paced starts to them, being able to dive into a book that immediately shifts into high gears of emotional evocativeness is a fresh change. It makes the novel feel so fucking compulsory and it’s such a thrilling feeling. Although, I do suspect that there will be many tears in my future as I live these ladies’ lives with them.

The Walking Dead Book One & Book Two by Robert Kirkman is a post-apocalyptic, survival horror graphic novel series that became pretty much a world-wide phenomenon, particularly after the television adaptation that was done by Frank Darabont over on AMC. The series is essentially a tale of human nature in the face of extinction, and what lengths one man shall go to in order to ensure the safety of his family. Oh, and there are lots and lots of zombies.

Madame Gabs (formerly known as Sir Besty) recently read through the whole series and has had so many fantastic things to say about it. Normally, I’m not one to pick up hyped things, but considering that the comic series and the TV series are both finished, and the craze surrounding it has died down somewhat, I figured it really couldn’t hurt me to try it out at the very least. Plus, as I mentioned over on Twitter a couple days go, the art enthusiast within me is extremely fascinated by the lack of colour in the graphic novels. Considering how violent and visceral the series is, as well as the character-driven elements of the storytelling, I feel the monochromatic art style will create a unique reading experience. This is why I fucking love comics. When they think outside of the expected, basic boxes to craft a narrative that isn’t afraid to be daring, especially where the artistry is concerned, it can make for some of the most enthralling storytelling encounters. Art, after all, is at least 50% of the story, if not more, for the medium.

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As you can see, quantity-wise, I shall have a very low-key reading weekend, and possibly even week. If we think about it emotionally and mentally, then it’s a whole different gig altogether since both titles seem like they will be wrecking my feels until there’s nothing left. But it’s okay, I don’t mind. I tend to like fucked-up things, to an extent.

Before I let you go, I only ask that you not share any spoilers for The Walking Dead in the comments below since this will be my very first time experiencing any bit of it whatsoever. Beyond the zombies, I don’t have a damn clue what to expect or what shall unfold, and I’m quite eager to be surprised by the read along, good, bad, and in-between.

With that, I bid you all adieu. Have a lovely weekend, Chums.

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