Our Shared Shelf Book Club + Persepolis Review

A few months ago I saw through twitter that Emma Watson had started a book club through Good Reads. Given that I live to read, use Good Reads, and am quite a fan of Ms. Watson (who isn't?), I signed up immediately!

Our Shared Shelf is a Feminist book club so the books focus on feminism and equality for the most part. Due to a taxing school semester, June has been the first month that I've been able to properly participate. For the month of June, the book Emma selected is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.


According to Good Reads: 

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Persepolis is presented in two parts and I selected the complete version (which is the one I link to!). It's the first time that I have read a graphic novel in a really, really long time - say, high school? I wasn't sure what I would think about the format now, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it! So much so that I'd like to read some more graphic novels. Reading Persepolis was more than just another book, the presentation made it more into an experience. The only negative was that I struggled with deciding to power through or to try and savor the experience. I loved the book so much that I had a difficult time putting it down!

Marjane tells her life story with humor and honesty. There are stories of hurt, fear, war, love, disobedience, activism....her life and experiences are a melting pot of raw emotions and its difficult to read about them without having some emotions yourself.

Persepolis is a book that I suggest everyone to read. Even if you are not an avid reader, this is a book which you can get through. I think we could all learn from reading Persepolis and as I hope you will pick up this book if you haven't read it, I don't want to get into the book too much and take away from the experience of reading it. I will however, share a few of my favorite bits below:

"In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that its because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... always keep your dignity and be true to yourself" 

"When we are afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us. Besides, fear has always been the driving force behind all dictators' repression." 

There is still plenty of time to grab a copy of Persepolis and join in on the Our Shared Shelf book club if you're interested! This is the first time I've been part of a book club and doing so virtually is a lot of fun! You can always join for the July book as well! 

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