Friday, 23 November 2012

A Few Thoughts About...

Another prestigious book award nomination list and yet again I'm scratching my head not necessarily over what made the list but what didn't. Obviously there's no accounting for taste and the fact that our beloved medium is art-based means there's that extra layer of that mysterious taste factor which, as a bookseller brings a smile to face on a regular basis; but there have been so many excellent releases this year that it begs - nay implores - the question 'well if that, why not this?'. The Costa Book Award nominations (see here) have included Bryan Talbot's Dotter Of Her Fathers Eyes (see here for my post) and Days Of Bangold Summer which almost slipped below the radar of releases this year and, to my shame, I didn't even write a blog post about it. That's not to say it's bad - it certainly isn't - but there have been books this year that have literally seduced me (The Crackle of the Frost - see here) or tickled my brain with visual trickery (Pachyderme - see here) or made me stop and take stock for a moment (Dockwood - see here). Are there many books this year for example, that have the breadth and scale of A Chinese Life (see here)? Again, I have absolutely no problem with the graphic novels that are nominated - in fact I'm delighted that Bryan Talbot and Joff Winterhart are due some deserved recognition - but it does raise a thorny issue: If graphic novels are included on general book lists they receive a wider recognition but it is such a different medium that it seems unfair to pitch them in with general literature. As ever, there's still a whole world out there yet to be properly discovered and celebrated in the mainstream...


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