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Book Gift of the Week: Habibi by Craig Thompson

December 20, 2011

Graphic novels can seem intimidating. If you’ve never read one before, you might be inclined to think they’re only for kids or for people who love comics and superheroes. But the truth is, there are graphic novels that fit into just about every genre of fiction, and even non-fiction. A good graphic novel has a compelling story and solid writing, plus images that add something to the story. The best graphic novels, like the best books in general, will sweep you away in the worlds they create.

Habibi by Craig Thompson would make a wonderful gift for the reader on your list who loves moving, heartwrenching stories and who you think might be open to trying something new–or for the person you know already loves graphic novels. Six years in the making, Habibi is gorgeous in words, pictures, and packaging. The publisher’s description:

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling.

Graphic novels can be a fantastic change of pace for someone used to reading standard novels. Because of the images and the pacing, I find myself finishing most graphic novels I read in just a day or two (or even a few hours). As satisfying as it is to finally finish a big, meaty book after weeks of reading, it’s equally as satisfying to devour an entire graphic novel in one evening.

So consider giving Habibi or another graphic novel a try. You might just discover an entirely new type of reading experience.

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