Friday, July 31, 2015

Mãn by Kim Thúy

Title: Mãn
Author: Kim Thúy
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Source: Publisher
Publishing Date: July 7, 2015
Genre: Fiction

Mãn has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Mãn a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal. Thrown into a new world, Mãn discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears. Mãn is a mystery--her name means "perfect fulfillment," yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair. Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life

I was first introduced to  Kim Thúy's work earlier this year when I took it upon myself to read each of the Canada Reads 2015 finalists. After a week of intense debates, Ru was crowned the 2015 Canada Reads champion. Kim Thúy was a gracious winner and truly deserved it as the story of Ru did break all barriers.

I was excited when I was given the opportunity to read and review her latest book Mãn. Similar to Ru, Mãn is beautifully written. Thúy's lyrical style of writing takes some getting used to but after a few pages, readers will be able to easily follow along. The book is a collection of vignettes following Mãn's life from Vietnam to Canada. The book focuses heavily on food and its ability to evoke memories and seduce lovers. It was a book I read in a few hours and had a hard time putting down.

Mãn was the perfect book to get me back into the blogging groove. It was a quick read with a story I couldn't help but love. Readers who adored Ru will enjoy Mãn. They are quite similar in writing style and it gives readers a different view of the struggles in finding your place in a new world.  Mãn is also a must read for foodies, there are so many amazing dishes described throughout the book that it's hard to not suppress the hunger pangs while trying to finish the book.

Now that my stomach is once again rumbling, I have to ask... what's your favourite Vietnamese dish?
Rating: ★★★

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Purchased
Publishing Date: May 12, 2015
Genre: YA, Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Nimona is an impulsive young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are.


All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson, based on her award-winning web comic.

I was introduced to Nimona when it was listed as a Featured Read on The Savvy Reader's 50 Book Pledge. I have never read a complete graphic novel, so I thought this would be a great start. I was not disappointed. I read the book in under two hours and enjoyed every page.

The pages are vibrant and filled with beautiful graphics. The story is easy to follow and at times can be laugh out loud funny. This book has made me an instant fan of Noelle Stevenson and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in getting into reading graphic novels. Nimona was definitely a great starting point for me.

Rating: ★★★

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