15195If you have only one more book to read in your life, make it Maus.

Maus, by Art Spiegelman, is part survivor story, part biography, and part tribute.

The author, Art, has an incredibly difficult relationship with his father Vladek, a survivor of the Holocaust.  In an attempt to return to his writing career, as well as to connect I think to his father, Art begins to ask his father questions about his life before the war, during it, and life in Auschwitz.

I think the author got more than he bargained for when he started this project, but what came out of it is one of the greatest masterpieces in graphic novel history.

We see Vladek’s life, how he lived in fear and tried to provide for his fledgeling family, how the fear fostered in the hears of others can drive them to drastic measures, how your best friend can turn on you in an instant, how a stranger can be your salvation, and how a son can reconnect with his father after nearly thirty years.

Fascinating, heart wrenching, powerful and poignant, Maus is the kind of book that will live on in your heart long after you put it down.

Next time: Everything Was Goodbye by Gurjinder Basran

15812220This wonderful coming of age story is centered around Meena, a young Indian woman growing up in Vancouver who has a foot in two different worlds -India and Canada. The rich fabric of everyday Indian life is the backdrop to the struggle of young second-generation immigrants on the rocky road to assimilation. Ransacked by doubts, Meena is a self-hating woman who struggles with her heritage and cultural identity. She soon finds there’s a price to be paid for following customs instead of her heart, resulting in a loveless marriage and the expectations and demands of her Indian family. She tries to leave the old world behind and establish her own identity by escaping her native culture and its obligations, even though she knows better. In this often painfully honest and original narrative, we witness Meena’s painful process of self-discovery and independence.