Here’s the much-anticipated Part 3 of our favorite reads “best of” list for 2013. Michele Van Hoeck shares a couple of the books from Cal Maritime Library that she loved reading in 2013. Feel free to add them to your to-read lists for your New Year aspirational self!
Cloud Atlas is six connected stories, nested one inside the other. Each story is found by the protagonist of the next: a naïve ship passenger surrounded by scoundrels, charming but broke 1930s artist, hero journalist exposing high level corruption, bumbling publisher locked up against his will, cloned slave coming to consciousness of her position, island villager recounting his fight for survival. Each story grapples with the evils humans perpetrate on one another. One of the most original and engrossing novels I’ve ever read.
Better late than never, I discovered graphic novels this year, and Habibi was one of my favorites. Set in an unnamed middle eastern desert, Habibi follows two orphans as they do what they must to survive the brutal realities of their social standing. Thompson’s beautiful drawings do much of the storytelling, and even flip the text/picture hierarchy with meditations on the art of Arabic.