Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Written by: Una
First line: My name is Una.
Why you should read this book: Stark, powerful, and unique, this graphic novel recreates the evolution of the author's understanding of sexual violence, beginning at the age of ten, weaving together the story of a serial killer terrorizing her region and the story of the repeated sexual assaults perpetrated upon the author by older men. While sexism and incompetence bungle the police investigation and keep the killer on the streets years after he might have been caught, Una's experience causes her community to slut-shame and ostracize her, so that her further victimization creeps into every aspect of her life. As she grows into an artist, she comes to learn the truth about sexual violence, both as it affected her own adolescence as well as it impacts the planet at large.
Why you shouldn't read this book: Trigger warning for an entire book about sexism and sexual violence.
Written by: Eric Liberge and Arnaude Delaland
First line: Who am I?
Why you should read this book: Framed by the knowledge of his suicide and colored with the theme of the poisoned apple, this book tells the life story of genius code breaker and computing machine inventor Alan Turing, whose work breaking the German's Enigma helped bring World War II to a close. Intelligent, unusual, and well aware of his queer identity from a young age, Turing lived by his own rules and made great leaps in technology while hiding his sexuality from Britain's draconian laws against same sex relations. This lovely book treats its subject with compassion and honesty.
Why you shouldn't read this book: You always root for the Nazis.
Edited by: Whitney Ellsworth et al.
First line: Across the Batman's horizon moves a new and terrible figure--a fantastic figure of burlap and straw with a brain--cunning and distorted!
Why you should read this book: This retrospective volume collects a dozen comics spanning the past eight decades, all featuring the protagonist Scarecrow, a demented supervillain obsessed with fear. Motivated primarily by money, which he wants to buy more books and persuade others to stop picking on him, the Scarecrow is a psychology professor with, apparently, a strong background in chemistry, who uses drugs to induce fear in his victims (and, in one story, to completely eradicate their fear). Batman, the man who has mastered fear and counts it among his arsenal, defeats him again and again, in a variety of stories and styles that highlight the development of the character and medium over the years.
Why you shouldn't read this book: Some of that Comic Code era storytelling is pretty castrated.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Written by: Anne Frank House
First line: Jeroen only has a few days left to gather up some old things for the Queen's Day flea market.
Why you should read this book: This plot-heavy piece of historical fiction uses a modern day frame and a graphic format to tell the interlinking stories of several young people's experiences in the Netherlands during World War II. Jeroen finds an old scrapbook in his grandmother's attic, and his grandmother tells him about her childhood best friend, her brothers, her own work for the resistance, and the effect the Nazi invasion had on the people of the Netherlands. Jeroen comes away with a new understanding of what Memorial Days means for people of his grandmother's generation and manages to bring unimaginable joy to the lives of two elderly women.
Why you should read this book: You haven't yet read the Diary of Anne Frank.
Written by: Jeff Pina
First line: Being a single father these days isn't an easy task.
Why you should read this book: Dr. Oblivion is an evil supervillain, intent on taking over the world, because he knows that he can make it a better place for her his teenage daughter, Callie, who is not wildly enthusiastic about his work, or his plans to bioengineer a genetically perfect man for her eighteenth birthday present. Instead. Callie falls for a guy she meets at school, who just happens to have an alter-ego: he's Dr. Oblivion's newest nemesis. Dr. Oblivion finds he must toe the line between his daughter's love and his own hatred, with comical result.
Why you shouldn't read this book: You're just keeping your teenage daughter locked in a closet where she can't look at handsome boys.
Written by: Lisa Yee
First line: It was supposed to be the best week of my life, but then everything went terribly wrong.
Why you should read this book: On the surface, Higgs Boson Bing has a perfect life--perfect family, perfect friends, perfect girlfriend, perfect grades, perfect college prospects--but a week before his high school graduation, he says the wrong thing, and suddenly, everything starts to unravel. Someone is obviously out to get him, and all the good fortune he thought he had begins to slip from his grasp. There's a campaign going on to ruin his life, and he needs to get to the bottom of it before his perfect future disappears, too.
Why you shouldn't read this book: You don't know you're actually a jerk.