Mj is one of my favorite characters in spider-man homecoming but one of the only things we know about her is that she reads alot of books. These books give really great insight into her character plus I could use a new summer reading list so if anyone else is wondering, these are the books MJ is reading in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
“W. Somerset Maugham’s masterwork is the coming-of-age story of Philip Carey, a sensitive young man consumed by an unrequited and self-destructive love. Born with a clubfoot, Philip is orphaned as a child and raised by unsympathetic relatives. Sent to a boarding school where he has difficulty fitting in, he grows up with an intense longing for love, art, and experience. After failing to become an artist in Paris, he begins medical studies in London, where he meets Mildred, a cold-hearted waitress with whom he falls into a powerful, tortured, life-altering love affair. A brilliant and deeply moving portrayal of the price of passion and the universal desire for connection, Of Human Bondage stands as one of the most accomplished novels in English literature.
This book is heavy on themes like emotional detachment, lonliness, and mechanical melancholy especially when its contrasted with things like the desire for love and companionship.
Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Naboko
“Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for “gnostical turpitude,” an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers, an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws, who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed, he simply wills his executioners out of existence: they disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.“
This book’s main character is sentenced to prison and eventually to death due to his inability to fit in and thus defying what it means to be human. Its very existential. Think of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy but spookier. MJ is reading this book on the bus ride to Washington.
The rest of these books MJ isnt seen reading but she is seen carrying them around.
The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s
The narrator and protagonist of Dostoevsky’s novel The Adolescent(first published in English as A Raw Youth) is Arkady Dolgoruky, a naive 19-year-old boy bursting with ambition and opinions. The illegitimate son of a dissipated landowner, he is torn between his desire to expose his father’s wrongdoing and the desire to win his love. He travels to St. Petersburg to confront the father he barely knows, inspired by an inchoate dream of communion and armed with a mysterious document that he believes gives him power over others. This new English version by the most acclaimed of Dostoevsky’s translators is a masterpiece of pathos and high comedy.
I haven’t read this one but if you’re up for a comedic Russian coming of age tell, about a boy with daddy issues then go for it.
The Wings of the Dove byHenry James
The Wings of the Dove is the story of Milly Theale, a naïve, doomed American heiress, and a pair of lovers, Kate Croy and Merton Densher, who conspire to obtain her fortune. In this witty tragedy of treachery, self-deception, and betrayal, Henry James weaves together three ill-fated and wholly human destinies unexpectedly linked by desire, greed, and salvation.
This seems like a very wealthy woman is very ill and while some people love her, others are just looking out for themselves. This one is free on amazon!
Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe
The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel. After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seashore, an amateur entomologist is offered lodging for the night at the bottom of a vast sand pit. But when he attempts to leave the next morning, he quickly discovers that the locals have other plans. Held captive with seemingly no chance of escape, he is tasked with shoveling back the ever-advancing sand dunes that threaten to destroy the village. His only companion is an odd young woman. Together their fates become intertwined as they work side by side at this Sisyphean task.
I haven’t read this one either but as the character is forced into the labor intensive yet mundane and seemingly fruitless task of shovelling sand, it kind of reminds me of The Myth of Sispyphus. Sisyphus was condemned to carry a rock up a hill only to have it roll back down once he reached the top, forcing him to start all over in a never ending cycle. This seems like an existential novel thats concerned with the frivolities of life. Also, this is written by one of Japan’s most acclaimed novelists so PoC writers, represent!
That’s all the novels I could pick out and google. All of these descriptions come from Amazon! To start, I would highly recommend the first two and even though these books give great insight onto MJ’s character in Spiderman and into her future role in the Marvel lore, they are also great reads on their own!
world, quite literally, was black and white for you and it had been that way
for what felt like a very long time. You were one of the unlucky kind, fated to
only gain their sight of color upon meeting their soulmate. Some were lucky
enough to be born with words marring their skin, or have visions placed in
their mind. But you, Y/n, were perpetually trapped in a blind abyss. One that
served as a constant reminder that you were alone in a world of lovers. That
was the black and white, soulmates and loners. There was a thrumming divide
between the two kinds of people, regardless of what fated divine practice led
them to their other halves. In a black and white world, there was no escape of
it made you more callous, cut off from people because you couldn’t truly
experience the world and they could. Even your perspective was black and white.
Perhaps if you had a soulmate you wouldn’t be so bitter. So pessimistic. You
preferred to be called realistic, but that was subjective.
a world you couldn’t fully be a part of, even your comforts were removed. Though
that couldn’t be blamed on one person directly, as it was an alien invasion. After
the first exposure of the so-called Avengers, your take on the world became a
little less black and white.
the literal sense.
one moment, you went from interviewing random bystanders about the recent incident
in Germany for a freelance piece, the next there was a giant gaping hole torn
through the sky with horrific looking figures spilling out of it. There were no
words to describe the horror of having your ideas on cookie cutter reality
shattered. Instead of running as everyone else did, you had done the only thing
you knew, stick your nose where you didn’t belong to write a new piece.
saw them before they saw you, some you recognized from the recent Germany exposure.
The dinky camera in your hand moved faster than you thought it could. Snapping
photos, wonderful exclusives that would give your name the meaning you’d only
dreamt of. While those aliens were frightening, your self-preservation lost as
you tried to creep closer to the scene.
is, until one of them turned around to see you.
Get out of here!” Your head whipped away from the camera at the sound, eyes
meeting the female of the group.
There was so much vibrant red. She was
red. You didn’t even realize red could be so beautiful. Yet there she was, your
red amongst a black and white world.
hardly noticed her own slackened jaw as she met your eyes, far too overwhelmed by
the new color intruding on the world around you. You didn’t care that someone
grabbed your arm and tore you away to find shelter in a café, distracted by the
civilians red nail polish. You hadn’t even know that your own shoes were red.
then she was gone and you had no way of contacting her again because the world
was not gray and kind for those trapped in black and white.
I have just peeked the spoiler tag. I didn’t even know in which chapter we were, I’ve fallen behind since the whole start of this new arc.
And now I’m feeling like I was back in chapter 94, when I unintentionally caught glimpses of the chapter
I had stopped reading Kuro for like 2 years then, and literally devoured the chapters I had left behind just to get to chapter 94 and understand it.
And now we’re here again.
No, don’t worry, no spoiler images from chapter 127 on this post
This is why I love Kuroshitsuji, man.
I don’t care about the fan hate and negativity that flies around at times, I care about the story and the emotional impact and the plot twists and considerations and brainstorming we can do and the art and talent of Toboso Yana and how all this has been improving in the past decade she has shared her work with us.
Yeah, I know folks are shocked with chapter 127, and so am I. Because I had to once again be reminded how fucking amazing Kuroshitsuji is. I should know better by now.