If the first couple of books of 2010 are any indication, this year will be a much better reading year, quality-wise, than 2009. I started with Keeping the Feast, by Paula Butturini (review coming January 18th), and my second book is French Milk, by Lucy Knisley.
I feel sort of silly reviewing French Milk since it feels like every other blogger has beaten me to the punch. Better late to the party than never to attend, though, so I might as well throw my opinion out there with the throng of others. In a word: CHARMING!
That's the best word I can think of to describe this little illustrated journal. Knisley travels to Paris with her mother, and they stay for over a month. They eat their way through the city, see wonderful museums, cute little corners. Knisley is quirky to say the least, and many of the things she said and drew reminded me of some of my more eclectic friends. She visits flea markets for some great finds, they patronize any number of cafes, and since they stay so long, they actually have an apartment and can cook their own meals on occasion.
This really is a book for a wide variety of readers. If you enjoy travel, food books, graphic novels, or memoirs in general, this one will probably strike your fancy. The illustrations are light and whimsical, which allows Knisley to slip even further into that "charming" nook. Reading this graphic novel was much like a leisurely walk through Paris with a friend, and it was a perfect way to start off 2010.
This one satisfies criteria for a number of challenges:
It's my first graphic novel for the 2010 Graphic Novels Challenge, it's my book with "food in the title" for What's in a Name 3, and it meets the Bad Bloggers criteria for the TwentyTen Challenge. I can't even remember the first blogger who made me take notice of French Milk, but Chris from Book-a-Rama is one of the folks who prompted me to pick it up now.