What did I read (and finish) this week? Look below to find out!
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (2014) – This book centers around the death of Tariq Johnson, who was unexpectedly killed when a white man, Jack Franklin, pulls up in front of him, gets out of his car, and shoots him multiple times. However, no one in the story is quite sure what exactly happened — was Tariq hassling someone else, did he have a gun, did Jack fear for his life, was this just a random act or part of a larger moment in time? The writing is excellent, haunting and even surreal at times, and though Magoon tries to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, she still manages to sneak in what “truly” happened, forcing the reader to examine their own biases. I really liked this book and read it very quickly. Absolutely recommend.
Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (1970/2006) – This graphic novel shows slice-of-life stories about living in Japan in the 60s and 70s and focuses on degrading relationships, such as a man so beaten down by life that he can only embrace his degradation and become like a dog or a young man forced to take care of his elderly, negligent mother. Tatsumi’s lines are clean and bold, and he doesn’t shy away from illustrating the ugly facets of people or city life. This graphic novel was quiet but powerful, and it made me an instant fan. Loved it.