The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci.
I have been reading this book slowly, savoring each chapter and letting it settle into my mode of operation like a soft lens filter that makes everything seem prettier and lighter. The book is broken into chapters that delve into kindness and how it relates to things like honesty, forgiveness, trust, mindfulness, empathy, patience, and more. While the very nature of kindness and its family of related virtues seem like it must be selfless to even "count", each chapter details how treating others with kindness will do wonders for our own physical and mental health. While much of what he said already aligns with my own approach to the world, I found a strength and reinforcement, almost permission, to live on these terms even more fully. I have an ongoing struggle to take the "high roads" of forgiveness, turning the other cheek, humility, and view that as a testament to my strength, and not feel like a doormat. It's a fine line, to be sure, and takes work to maintain. I feel certain that I will re-read this book a few more times in my future.
Briggs' Land Vol 1
I read the first issue of Briggs Land: Lone Wolves when it appeared in my comic store last week, and was drawn in immediately. That, combined with AMC picked it up as a new TV show to debut...someday?...led me to track down the first graphic novel of the original comic story, State of Grace. Not sure exactly what I was getting into at first, and found myself reeling because this comic is intense. It doesn't hold any punches, and the main characters seem to endorse domestic abuse, racism, murder, drugs, as they run their family owned compound as a sovereign nation. The family is religious zealot meets big mafia meets off the grid. The newly in charge family matriarch, Grace, however, seems determined to change some of that, and that is the essence of what makes me look forward to more. I'm not sure if this falls to the left or right side of the political highway yet, so stay tuned with me for future updates and final verdicts. Calexit Issue 1 arrives in my box tomorrow, I'm hoping it provides a counterpoint and equally thought-provoking read.
LOW Vol. 2 and Vol. 3
Another comic that is not for the faint of heart, or young readers, LOW is a dystopian future set deep beneath the sea. One family holds out hope for the future of humanity, but to the rest of the survivors, hope is something to be buried beneath drugs and sex until merciful oblivion ends it all, or, for some, hope is even a crime, punishable by death. The story starts innocently on the first few pages, then goes dark really quick. The drama is balanced out by stunningly beautiful art, I find myself pausing at the end of each page to deal with all the feels and to just take in the intricate inks and dynamic orange and blue colors. Volume 4 now please?
Saga 44: I absolutely will not spoil Saga for anybody. EVERY DAMN ISSUE makes me cry, laugh, and scream "MORE!". All I gotta say...all I will EVER say...is if you haven't read this comic yet, stop whatever you are doing, come into Parallel Worlds or your LCS at once, start a subscription and pick up the graphic novels, and thank me later.
America 4: I've been recommending this comic like crazy, and not just because the main character America Chavez is a totally hot ass-kicking queer Latinx badass, nor is it because diversity heroes like her tend to have their comics cut short prematurely because nobody buys them because nobody knows about them. I recommend this comic because it is just SO. MUCH. FUN. As a relative newcomer to the comic crew, I get the allure of a simple GOOD GUY (or Gal) kicking the pants off the BAD GUY (or Gal) in the name of country, justice, and all that is RIGHT. Every panel explodes off the pages, with ridiculous villains, super-powered star punches, spandex red white and blue costumes, all the gadgets, convoluted story-lines, and everything I associate with classic Avengers awesomeness.
Crosswind 1: This new comic from writer Gail Simone promises to be a good one. I'm not sure what is going on right now...Russian sleeper agents? Body swapping spies? Maybe? But the downtrodden housewife undergoes a shocking transformation on the last page and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Thats all for now...coming next week: Skim by Mariko Tamaki, Sacred Creatures, Claudia & Rex and more!