Of all the books I would not have expected to see myself reading, this one would be pretty high on the list.
Logicomix. It had two big strikes against it: I'm not always excited about graphic novels, and it was about mathematics.
I'm pausing now, trying to see if there's anything I could possibly care less about than mathematics.
Huh...nope, that's pretty close to bottom of the barrel.
So why did I read this? Turns out it also had two things in its favor: it made the shortlist for the Tournament of Books (which starts Monday!), and my friend Girl Detective, who likes graphic novels more than I do, had a copy and offered to lend it to me.
I should also add that in spite of my general distrust of graphic novels, I'm rapidly becoming aware that I should give them more of a chance. Teen 1 had the option of reading Persepolis (both parts) last year for world history, so I read it too, and mostly liked it, although at points I thought it was a bit pedantic. Another good friend pushed a copy of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home into my hands, and I ended up thinking it was brilliant and moving.
But--a graphic novel about mathematics?
Well, you know what? It was pretty good. Some of the logic/philosophy talk went zooming right over my head without mussing a single pretty hair, but the story was much more entertaining and engrossing than I expected it to be. I knew very little about Bertrand Russell before I started reading, so everything was a revelation to me, including his family background (sad) and treatment of his first wife (also sad), as well as his obsession (to put it mildly) with the importance of logic. I may not understand everything he worked for, but I understand the passion behind it, and the price he sometimes paid to continue his work.
In its first round at the ToB, it's up against the daunting Wolf Hall, which I expect to flatten poor Logicomix. I haven't read Wolf Hall yet--its length has caused me to seek out the shorter competitors, as I have a better chance of reading more of those quickly than what I think will be a slower read with Wolf Hall.
Whether or not Logicomix survives its first match, I'm still glad I had the opportunity (and the motivation) to read it.
Even for a non-mathematician.