Tuesday, June 4, 2013
French Milk is Superior to Other Milk
Most of the books I am devouring this summer are thrift store purchases, meaning things that have looked mildly interesting on the shelves at Savers and have since laid around in stacks, waiting to be read. Well, summer is upon us and I have no job prospects yet (fingers crossed for my two interviews on Thursday) and the books are slowly being read and digested.
French Milk by Lucy Knisley is actually more of a comic than a book or like, a hybrid between the two, and even though I am not usually one for comics or graphic novels (my friends are slowly trying to convert me), I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Basically, it's a drawn comic journal that spans over a month, the bulk of the diary concerning the artist's month-long vacation in Paris with her mother.
The drawing, first and foremost, is cute and detailed and appealing and that's pretty much all I can say on that topic because I have no art skills at all.
I am interested in all things French and French Milk was a nice little two hour dive into French culture, providing lots of dreamy drawings of food (especially foie gras) and funny little tidbits about the apartment they were staying in.
Even though nothing particularly exciting happens on this holiday (museums, shopping, cemeteries, lots and lots of food), it's perfect because of that. The realistic traveling expectations are met - kicking children in airports and slightly disappointing experiences in museums. Knisley's way of capturing the overwhelming fear of adulthood and Life After Graduation and how those feelings are crippling, even when she's in the middle of PARIS is kind of sad and heartbreaking, but in a good way, because it's a reminder that people can be in one of the best cities freaking ever, but that doesn't mean that their life and all of their other worries stop.
My only real complaint (it isn't even really a complaint it's just something I noticed in a kind of neutral kind of man-I-want-more way) is that because this is more journal than story, sometimes character's names were thrown in and we didn't really know about them. They're real people and when writing about friends, background stories aren't always included, I totally get that, but it could be a little disconcerting when a gift was picked up for [name] and I had no idea who that was. It didn't take away from the understanding at all, because the basic people were mentioned and kind of introduced, but sometimes I would've enjoyed learning more about these super rad, gift worthy friends.
French Milk is super enjoyable and kind of quirky and makes me wish that plane tickets could be only 10 dollars, so I could take a Parisian escape. It's a nice dive into vacationing and unmet expectations and also French milk, which is apparently superior in it's full-fat content, sweeter, amazing goodness. Seriously, I enjoyed the book, but after I was done reading it, I wanted to go milk a cow and enjoy some whole milk, French or otherwise.
This is the first book read from my various acquired stacks and it hopefully set a nice tone for the rest of my summer reads. The comic nature made it a super fast read and I'm a little sad that it only lasted for about two hours, but that's more a qualm with my reading skills rather than the book itself. Onto the next one!