Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12, 2017 Blog: Cartoons and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW

I'm including some of the book-club cartoons I've been drawing. I have a Waco-13 Drawing Tablet that lets me draw digital cartoons, and I'm really enjoying it. (You'll likely need to zoom in to read them.) This is my first cartoon, with color:

I wanted to also try some plain black and white drawings:

And finally, a first-draft:

So, I highly recommend A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles. The book is rife with topics for fascinating discussions--reactions to characters, physical vs self-imposed imprisonment, politics in Russia, how to treat others, particularly brilliant snipits of Towles sparkling writing, and many others. 

A MAN CALLED OVE pretty much fell flat in my other book club. More so than other emotional reactions, humor is highly esoteric. Most anyone reading a scene about walking down a dark alley and hearing heavy footsteps begins to feel tense, fearful. A scene where a nice character is being bullied raises the reader's ire. A death of child can make readers cry. But one reader's laugh is another reader's eye roll. Because I write humorous books, I believe strongly that the key is to write scenes that work whether or not the reader finds them funny. For whatever reason, in this second book-club discussion of OVE, the main character's awful childhood seemed to have a greater impact on this club's readers. The first group called OVE "delightful" and "upbeat." This time there was general disappointment about it not living up to its recommendations. Next up for this club's July book is: THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin. We chose this as a "beach read" book and were impressed with the author advertising it for Downton Abbey fans, and naming the heiress Cora Cash.  
Have a wonderful month, and comment about your own book-club selections. And please give my book: HOW MY BOOK CLUB GOT ARRESTED a try!

Leslie O'Kane

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