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« July, 2011 »
Town Boy

Enjoyed this book about growing up in Malaysia. Not a lot going on, but the author’s quirky illustrations and little vignettes with so much going on visualy are evocative of Sergio Aragones and a joy to look at.

Stitches: A Memoir

[review pending]

Chance in Hell

I had a hard time getting my head around this story of a girl who is raised in some sort of favela/dump and claws her way out of it only to find herself in a bunch of other strange circumstances. I sort of disliked everyone in this story and wasn’t quite even sure how I should feel. Interesting certainly but not as good at other stuff I’ve enjoyed by Hernandez.

The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

[review pending]

Bad Science

An excellent book explaining not just why bad science is bad but HOW bad science is bad. Goldacre has a column in the Guardian in which he talks about people doing science badly. This book is a nice summary of some bad scientific claims and movements [from the antivax stuff to homeopathy] in which he comes back to the same point over and over “Look at the SCIENCE” and explains, somewhat repetitively, but again with humor, what good science would look like and the errors and missteps and out and out fraud that many people do in the name of making money and hoodwinking people. Highly suggested.

Fun Home

Too many similarities to list in this autobiographical novel of growing up in a weird house with a weird dad and a fractured family situation. I enjoyed this difficult story about Bechdel’s growing up.


I had the rare delight with this graphic novel where I was so into the story and scooting along thinking “Oh what HAPPENS” that I almost didn’t stop to appreciate the illustrations which are truly terrific. I loved this tale of a ghost hunter and the kid that gets sent to the ghost world by accident and the campaign to either get/detroy him or get him back. A lot of overlapping narratives, great pictures not constrained by boring-old-reality and enough of a feelgooder that it’s good for people who don’t usually like “eternal conflict” types of books. So good. Go read it.


Another great combination of illustration and storytelling by Hernandez. This one is a high schoolish tale of romance and rock and roll and one [two?] character who is in a coma for a year and emerges ... slow. Also an evil lemon grove and the mysterious things that happen there.

American-Born Chinese

Not everyone likes this graphic novel about being a Chinese kid born in American trying to deal with racism and otherness and at the same time trying to meet girls and just be “normal” I enjoyed the way it had three interwoven stories each of which told smal parts of the larger issues of assimilation and striving in different metaphorical ways. One of the stories involves a super-racist stereotype which seemed to press people’s buttons in the Amazon reviews that I read. It’s easy for me, from the outside, to say “well I didn’t think it was offensive” but I guess I didn’t. I’d be interested to know what other people thought.

The Mind’s Eye

Another inteersting book by Sacks. If you’ve read him before you sort of know his thing and you either like it or you don’t. This book explores the neurobiological aspects of vision and, as usual, explores historical, modern-day and Sacks' own personal experiences with the quirky nature of the intersection of our eyes and our brains.