Banned Books #46- Saga Volume 3

Welcome to this month’s edition of Banned Books. This month we read Saga, Volume 3 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Saga, Vol. 3 (Saga, #3)

First published: 2014
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)
Reasons: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: Saga is one of the very few times when we have a book in our Banned Books feature where I can actually see where *some* of the challenges are coming from. To be perfectly honest, I did find that there were more potentially shocking images/text in Volume One and Two (which we’ve also covered here on BB), but there were still incidents in Volume Three that could be quite controversial, depending on your sensibilities. One thing I really don’t agree on, and I think I might have mentioned it before, is the “anti-family” reason behind banning this graphic novel. I can’t see where this has come from and if anything, I think Saga actually promotes family i.e. the loving parents of baby Hazel, the sadness of Marko losing a parent and finally, the way his mother steps up to support her son and his partner Alana, despite her reservations about the relationship.

CHRISSI: Like Beth, I can see why this book has been challenged. It’s quite explicit in places and the language is a bit…colourful! It doesn’t offend me at all. As for the age group thing, that confuses me. I don’t know who Saga is aimed at, but to me it’s for the higher range of YA and adults. I don’t think this book is aimed at children, so I don’t get that challenge at all.

How about now?

BETH: As a relatively new release with volumes still being released there hasn’t been time for any change/shift in attitudes regarding Saga. I would say if you’re easily offended, this probably isn’t the series for you. It DOES have offensive language with a few mentions of the “c” word (which I know my sister is going to cringe over!) and at points, it is quite sexually explicit both in images and in language. I didn’t find it as explicit as the other volumes in the series but there are still things that are a bit risque and perhaps not entirely appropriate for younger readers. If I was going to suggest an age range, I would tentatively say 16+? I don’t really agree with saying it’s inappropriate for the age group as to be fair to it, I don’t think it’s marketed for youngsters! It’s definitely an adult read.

CHRISSI: Yes you’re right, Beth. I did cringe. I can’t stand that word! I don’t think the attitudes towards this book will change for a while. It’s still going to offend some, some will absolutely lap it up at the same time. The language in this book does offend me, but I don’t think it’s out of place in the story. It’s the sort of story where language like that does fit. It’s not bad language for bad language’s sake.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: I’m starting to enjoy this series more and more. In Volume One, I enjoyed it but was still a little bit confused as to what was going on. By Volume Two I had got my head round what was happening a lot more and by Volume Three I’m now fully invested in the story and am eager to see what happens next with the characters. I still think there’s some shocks and surprises in store for the reader but I’m pleased with the direction it’s taking so far.

CHRISSI: It’s a quick read and definitely captures my attention when I am reading it. I’m enjoying seeing where the series is going but I wouldn’t say that it was one of my favourite graphic novels. However, the illustrations are beautiful and well worth pouring over.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course! (with caution for the sensitive!)

CHRISSI: Yes!

Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR List (April)

April already! Crazy, crazy. It’ll be Summer before we know it! I managed to read all of the books on my TBR for March. Woohoo. Go me!

Here’s my tentative TBR list for April! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting! I do have 2 weeks off in April, so I’ve added more than usual. Let’s hope I can get through them!

Look To Your Wife- Paula Byrne

Look To Your Wife

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lisa Blaize – teacher, and would-be fashion writer, mother and second wife – feels out of place when her high-flying husband becomes the headmaster of a school in a country town. Isolated and far from her metropolitan upbringing, she turns to the one place where she learns she can be uninhibited.

But ‘Twitter may be my undoing’, Lisa discovers as her one-time private life becomes all too public. Soon she is dealing with an online stalker and her husband’s reputation is put at risk, but will she be able to give up her addiction?

From the gossip of the classroom to our obsession with instant communication, Look To Your Wife is witty and brilliantly observed, revealing the pleasures and pains of contemporary life.

I’m really intrigued by this book. I haven’t read any non-fiction by Paula Byrne, but for the synopsis intrigued me.

Two Steps Forward- Graeme Simison & Anne Buist

Two Steps Forward

Goodreads Synopsis:

Zoe, a sometime artist, is from California. Martin, an engineer, is from Yorkshire. Both have ended up in picturesque Cluny, in central France. Both are struggling to come to terms with their recent past—for Zoe, the death of her husband; for Martin, a messy divorce. Looking to make a new start, each sets out alone to walk two thousand kilometres from Cluny to Santiago, in northwestern Spain, in the footsteps of pilgrims who have walked the Camino—the Way—for centuries. 

The Camino changes you, it’s said. It’s a chance to find a new version of yourself. But can these two very different people find each other? 

In this smart, funny and romantic journey, Martin’s and Zoe’s stories are told in alternating chapters by husband-and-wife team Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. Two Steps Forward is a novel about renewal—physical, psychological and spiritual. It’s about the challenge of walking a long distance and of working out where you are going. And it’s about what you decide to keep, what you choose to leave behind and what you rediscover.

I am intrigued to read more from Graeme after enjoying The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. 

Things Bright and Beautiful-Anbara Salam

Things Bright and Beautiful

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mission House was not built for three people. Especially when one of them won’t stop humming.

1954, the South Pacific islands. When Beatriz Hanlon agreed to accompany her missionary husband Max to a remote island, she knew there would be challenges. But it isn’t just the heat and the damp and the dirt. There are more insects than she could ever have imagined, and the islanders are strangely hostile. And then there are the awful noises coming from the church at night.

Yet as the months go by, Bea slowly grows accustomed to life on the island. That is until an unexpected and interminably humming guest arrives, and the couple’s claustrophobic existence is stretched to breaking point.

Events draw to a terrible climax, and Bea watches helplessly as her husband’s guilt drives him into madness. It’s not long before Bea finds herself fighting for her freedom and her life.

Literary fiction scares me sometimes, but I couldn’t help but request this book. That cover and that synopsis! Yes please!

Ratburger- David Walliams

Ratburger

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Meet Zoe. She’s got a lot of things to be unhappy about:
* Her stepmother Sheila is so lazy she asks Zoe to pick her nose for her.
* The school bully Tina Trotts makes her life a misery – mainly by flobbing on her head.
* And on top of it all, the dastardly Burt has terrible plans for her pet rat.

I can’t tell you what those plans are, but there’s a clue in the title of this book…”

I’m really looking forward to this book from David Walliams for our kid-lit choice this month!

Saga Volume 3- Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 3 (Saga, #3)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple’s multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

This is the book that has been picked for the Banned Books feature that I also do with my sister, Beth. I’m intrigued to see how Saga continues.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let me know!

Stacking The Shelves #192

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought:

RatBurger

I am reading this book for my kid-lit challenge with my sister, Beth. I’ve read David Walliams before and enjoyed his work! 🙂

Saga, Vol. 3 (Saga, #3)

This will be the banned book I read for the Banned Book feature on my blog. 🙂 Looking forward to it!

Sent by publishers:

The Wonder of Us

I don’t know much about this author, but I really liked the sound of this book so I was happy to be sent a copy!

Long Way Down

I am so excited about reading this book. I may have to bump it up my TBR list. It sounds incredible. It’s in verse too. Ooh.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know!

Banned Books 2018…REVEALED

Banner made by Luna @ Lunaslittlelibrary

Here are 2018’s books that Beth and I will be reading for our Banned Books feature that has been running since July 2014!

JANUARY: Summer Of My German SoldierBette Greene
FEBRUARY: TwilightStephenie Meyer
MARCH: Fallen AngelsWalter Dean Myers
APRIL: Saga Volume 3Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples
MAY: Blood And ChocolateAnnette Curtis Klause
JUNE: Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
JULY: Julie Of The WolvesJean Craighead George
AUGUST: I Am JazzJessica Herthel
SEPTEMBER: Taming The Star RunnerS.E. Hinton
OCTOBER: BelovedToni Morrison
NOVEMBER: King & KingLinda de Haan
DECEMBER: Flashcards Of My LifeCharise Mericle Harper
I’m looking forward to seeing if I agree with the reasons for these books being banned. If you want to have a look at the previous books (42 of them!) that Beth and I have read for this feature, check out the page for Banned Books here on my blog!

Banned Books #36 Saga: Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

banned books

Welcome to the 36th Banned Books post which means we’ve been reading Banned Books for 3 years now! Awoohoo! Go us! Celebrations aside, this month we took on Saga: Volume 2 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga, #2)

First published: 2013
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)
Reasons: anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit and unsuited for age group.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: As a relatively recent release my answers for this and the next question are going to be pretty much the same. This month, like last month we’re looking at a book where the focus is mainly on illustrations with few words in comparison. UNLIKE last month, this graphic novel is very, very different. Let me get this straight. I don’t agree with banning or challenging books on any level. I love to get angry about why books are challenged/banned especially when the reasons for doing so are just damn stupid but you know when you read something and you can kind of see why some people might have had issues or been offended? This is the wonderful world of Saga. It doesn’t offend me at all (I’m not easily offended!) but I have been slightly taken aback at some of the images, although I must insist that the art is absolutely stunning and something I can look at for a long time (erm…perhaps unless it’s a very naked, quite terrifying giant monster).

CHRISSI: I actually laughed out loud at Beth’s comment about the naked, giant monster as I nearly took a picture of it to send to her as I was reading it. I agree that it’s easy to see why Saga is challenged. There’s some quite graphic pictures and some very strong language. I don’t think you’d expect that when you pick it up, if you go into it not knowing the controversy surrounding it. I’d totally agree that it has some beautiful images though. The illustrations are stunning… it’s just not for the easily offended (or children!)

How about now?

BETH: Most of the reasons for challenging Saga are completely correct, I hate to admit. Yes, it has explicit sexual content, nudity and offensive language. However, I don’t really agree with the anti-family message. Our two main characters have a small baby, Hazel and are very much together even though they are all “on the run.” Plus in this volume, the grandparents come into play which does show quite a strong family unit, especially when I consider the role of the grandfather in this volume. Also, unsuited for age group. Hmm. Well, it just depends where you make this graphic novel available to be perfectly honest! If it’s in the primary school library that’s a different kettle of fish entirely and completely inappropriate I agree. But if it’s in the local library adult section for teenagers to find for themselves I don’t think that’s too terrible.

CHRISSI: I understand why it’s challenged. I do. I don’t like admitting that, but I do understand why it is offensive to many. I think there should be the opportunity for it to be found in the right places. Like Beth said, a local library would be fine but in a education setting…not so much!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: We looked at the first volume of Saga in our Banned Books for 2016 – please find our post HERE. It had been a while since I read the first six chapters so I did re-read them before embarking on Volume Two and I remembered just why I enjoyed it the last time. As I mentioned before, the art is simply gorgeous and really intricate but the story is also intriguing and makes me want to keep on reading. I’ll certainly be continuing the series and am looking forward to Volume Three!

CHRISSI: Unlike Beth, I didn’t reread the first volume. I went into it cold and luckily remembered a lot from the previous volume. I really enjoyed this volume, possibly more than the first. The artwork is beautiful and I’m intrigued by the story. I can totally see why so many readers are lapping up this series of graphic novels.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!

This Week In Books #68

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Blood Sisters

NOW Blood SistersJane Corry– I’m just about to start Blood Sisters, which looks like my sort of book!

The Girl in the Red Coat

THEN The Girl In The Coat- Kate Hamer– I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and almost fairy-tale esque in its nature.

Saga, Vol. 2 (Saga, #2)

NEXTSaga Volume 2Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples– This is the banned book for the feature that I do with my sister, Beth!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know or leave a link to a post that you do! Happy Reading!

Top Ten Graphic Novels I’ve Read And Want To Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, it’s all about the visuals. Graphic novels that we’ve read, enjoyed or want to read. I have split the list two ways and have picked my top 5 I’ve read so far and the top 5, I want to read.

5 I’ve Read

Lighter Than My Shadow- Katie Green

Lighter Than My Shadow

This is an incredible memoir of the author’s struggle with eating disorders.

El Deafo- Cece Bell

El Deafo

This book is a fantastic read with a deaf child at the heart of it.

Drama- Raina Telegemeier

Drama

I can’t believe that this book was banned! It’s great fun.

Saga

Saga, Vol. 1

It may be a bit much for some readers in some places but I loved it!

Through The Woods

Through the Woods

I loved this creepy read.

5 to read…

Anya’s Ghost- Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost

I’m intrigued by this book. I’ve heard great things.

This One Summer- Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

 

This One Summer

Again, I have heard wonderful things about this book.

Smile- Raina Telgemeier

Smile

I liked Drama by the same author, so I’m intrigued to read more.

Hyperbole and a Half- Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

I’ve seen good reviews of this one.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This book intrigues me. I’ve picked it up a few times but never purchased a copy.

What graphic novels do you recommend? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by.