Review: Farm 54 by Galit Seliktar, Gilad Seliktar

The promise of having a collection of Jewish-Israeli short stories in graphic novel format was exactly what I was seeking.

Farm 54 is a collection of three semi-autobiographical stories addressing three important periods in the life of the protagonist, Noga, born at the start of the 1970’s and growing up in Israel’s rural periphery. Substitute Lifeguard (1981) finds her towards the end of her childhood as she experiences a family trauma, a blessing and a birthday. Spanish Perfume (1983) brings her to teenage in the wake of the First Lebanon War whilst Houses (1989) portrays her passage to adulthood and hence military service in the occupied territories.

Though for the most of my reading experience I wasn’t particularly engaged in the storyline, I found the last tale, centering around Noga entering her IDF service, to be such an eye-opener. There’s a lot I’ve yet to discover in the details of one’s IDF service, so Houses, in its brief page-time, delivered a lot of knowledge for me.

The graphic novel as a whole relies a lot on telling stories without words in the way of silent/wordless graphic novels; it made for plenty of poignant, quiet, and pondering moments to take in. But the true star of this show has got to be the art and its stroke of minimalism.Farm 54 1-- bookspoilsFarm 54 2-- bookspoilsFarm 54 3-- bookspoils

In the end, I was left with a sense of stillness in my mind that is hard to come by in books nowadays. I would love to pick up Tsav 8 by Gilad Seliktar next.

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Review: Beaches by Gray Malin

My love for everything and anything concerning summertime – the beaches, the weather, the freedom – is unlike anything other. I’ve had it instilled in me since childhood and it’s not going away anytime soon.BEACHES 8-- bookspoilsBut since I began browsing through this gorgeous book at the end of January, aka the coldest month where I live, it made me ache so dearly for all the aforementioned. In particular, that irreplaceable sensation of swimming in the ocean, even if I still make sure to walk down to the beach and breathe in that unique hit of saltwater every day. Beaches will make you reminisce about the summers filled with nostalgia, bliss, and laughter.

So I made sure to savor the collection until the weather would warm up, and lo and behold, flipping through this ethereal photography collection must’ve brought some good luck into my life because the weather is sure warming up a lot this week! We’re so close to summer where I live, and I’m bursting with anticipation.BEACHES 9-- bookspoilsI think it goes without saying that a book dedicated to capturing different beaches around the world was a shining, bright star for me. Gray Malin’s Beaches offers an extremely rare and unique experience by including aerial photographs of beaches around the world that are shot from doorless helicopters.

I also adored the fact that if you get the digital version of the book, you can zoom in on the picture and spot people looking up at you. It’s like the summer version of Where’s Waldo?.

Without further ado, here are some of my personal favorites shots taken from Beaches:BEACHES 1-- bookspoilsBEACHES 2-- bookspoilsBEACHES 3-- bookspoilsBEACHES 4-- bookspoilsSECRET BEACH
Saint-Tropez, France

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Dubai, UAEBEACHES 6-- bookspoilsBEACH WITH GRASS
Kaua’i, USA

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I will be sure to revisit this work of art many times in the future, especially come summertime!

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: May 10th 2016

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Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Beachesjust click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Misfit City #1 by Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith, Kurt Lustgarten

Misfit City #1 2-- bookspoilsI’ve been counting for this issue to come out ever since I saw it featured in this spectacular piece. What caught my eye in particular was this next paragraph describing the characters in Misfit City:

In this enterprising, but still slightly skeptical, crew are: Wilder, the de-facto leader and a budding young activist; her nose-blind-yet-genius dog Pippin; snark musician (and best friend) Macy; New Age optimist Karma; hustle-seeking Ed; and the book-loving Dot.

It sounded right up my alley, especially with recently having read and adored Spell on Wheels, since it looked like Misfit City might have a similar group dynamic. And it really was!!

This follows a diverse group of friends living in Cannon Cove, Oregon. Home to lush seaside forests, pirate legends, tasty oysters, and the filming location for one of the most beloved kids’ adventure movies of all time. It’s the perfect place to grow up…to everyone who isn’t from here. Misfit City #1 1-- bookspoils(The girls from left to right: Karma, Wilder, Dot, Macy.)

And I know that this is only the first issue in the overall story, but it had me so hooked and invested from the start. Here’s just a few points on what I cherished:

  • The art is really reminiscent of what I’m used to with Faith Erin Hicks. Also, the color palette is incredibly lively and warm. I love it.

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  • I instantly connected with Macy because I love the fact that she’s in a band that’s described as “an electropunk feminist noise duo.” I really hope to see more of her. Oh, and also more of Karma because I love her endless optimism and eccentricities.
  • Also, the dialogue and vibes are on-point in this comic, which I came to understand why when I read that Misfit City is written by award-winning screenwriter Kiwi Smith (10 Things I Hate About YouLegally Blonde) (Aka two of my most rewatched films).
  • You can count me in to follow this rip-roaring adventure from issue to issue.

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4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Misfit City #1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!