In both November and December of last year the blogs were a little on the fritz, so I didn't write a book club blog in either of those months. The blogs seem to be in working order again, so now I'll do both at once. I'm just going to blab about the books and tell you whether I recommend them. Here we go!
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
November had us reading River of Teeth, or as I like to call it, Murder Cows on the Bayou. I call it that because this book is about hippos.
Yes hippos. It's wonderful.
Have you ever wondered what America would be like if the Missouri River had hippos in it? Have you ever looked at a hippo and thought, "Yeah, I could ride that if I had a big enough saddle"? Do you bemoan the lack of murderous fat wildlife in America? No? Well Sarah Gailey has. In the opening of the book, Gailey informs the reader where she got the idea for the ridiculous concept of the book. The United States once drafted a plan to import hippos to the states. That obviously never happened, much to everyone's dismay, but the Gailey was so taken with the idea that she wrote a book about it.
The book takes place in an alternate history America in which this hippo importing actually took place. There are wild hippos in the marshlands surrounding the missouri, and there are hippo wranglers as well. Hippos are bred for meat, for power, for endurance, whatever you can imagine. There are cowboys who ride hippos along the river. There are special saddlebags made especially for hippos. The setting is wonderfully absurd, and the plot follows suit. There is a hippo cowboy who takes on a high paying job and gathers a rag tag team of other hippo cowboys (and cowgirls) to do the job. It's like a western only it doesn't take place in the west and instead of horses there are hippos.
If any of that silliness sounded fun, I highly recommend the book. It's sure to be a fun time for anyone who reads it. Murder Cows on the Bayou gets a hearty recommendation from me.
Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh (Author) and Yuko Ota (Illustrator)
Lucky Penny is a graphic novel about Penny and her misadventures. Since it's a graphic novel, its a really quick read, and you don't even have to pay for it, you can just read it on the author's website right here. For the great price of free, you obviously can't go wrong, but if you need a bit more convincing, keep on reading.
The story is mostly played up for comedy. Penny, despite the title, isn't all the lucky, and has to try to navigate life and her potential relationship while dealing with her bad luck. This leads to a lot of silly situations that usually end up badly for Penny. The art in the graphic novel plays up the comedy really well. Ota does a great job in illustrating the character's expressions. I would often laugh simply because of the art. There are often full pages without any dialogue at all, the story is told exlusively through the art on the page, and Ota does a fantastic job of telling the story through the visials.
I recommend Lucky Penny to any interested. It can't hurt to try it out, since it's free to read online. I ended up liking it enough that I bought the graphic novel so that I could have a physical copy.
Did anyone else get a chance to read River of Teeth or Lucky Penny? Did you enjoy these books as much as I did? Talk about in the comments, and look forward to the next book club blog about The Transall Saga.