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The Tale of Genji
Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler
She Rises
Kate Worsley
The Complete Maus - Art Spiegelman This is my first graphic novel (asides from Tin Tin that I read when I was 11 and the Beano when I was 9!) and I loved it. I don't think it matters whether you like graphic novels or not for this book - so if you're like me and thought you wouldn't get along with it, give it a try.

This is an incredibly human account of an individual's experience of being a Polish Jew. Despite the fact the 'characters' are portrayed as animals - it is one of the most human and most real-feeling accounts I've seen or read.

This is more then a graphic representation of some random story - it's a personal story between a father and his son as well as the father's journey and experience during this time - running away, living in hiding, in the ghetto and finally in Auschwitz.

Art Spiegelman also draws himself in - and the process of writing this graphic novel.

I think nowadays it is easy to become desensitised to images of the war - bombs, broken bits of body etc from movies and the such like. Somehow, the cartoon portrayal of these real-people's lives seems to make it more real then ever.

Parts made me laugh, parts made me cry particularly in Maus II. By the end I felt a real closeness towards both father and son. I think back over the story and remind myself it is real, that what I read on the pages happened to THIS person not just a fictional representation that happened to a fictional person.

It is no 'big hero' blockbuster, but a moving story of a very strong minded man who fought to survive.