July 2021 Reading Recap

What even was July? It was my last month in Chicago, I moved to Texas (am still moving in Texas, no, I won’t be getting into more specific details). Reading was a bit fraught. I had lofty goals, like reading everything I borrowed from the library (didn’t happen). But I did enjoy a bunch of what I read, which is always a blessing.

I had two authors interviews on my blog for their debut works. First, horror YA writer Ryan Douglass talked about his debut, The Taking of Jake Livingston, and short story writer Charles Payseur told us a bit about his process of putting a short story collection, The Burning Day and Other Strange Stories.

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Review: SOLUTIONS AND OTHER PROBLEMS by Allie Brosh (2020)

Genre: Non-fiction Graphic Novel
Year Release: 2020
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warning: suicide, cancer (human and dog), hospitalization, mental illness, divorce, chronic illness.

I read the first book and immediately started the second. I genuinely feel a bit bad for people who waited seven years between volumes.

This book is equal parts humor and emotional devastation, as Brosh recounts what had transpired in her life between the time of the first book’s publishing. There’s a lot about mortality and the strangeness of children and their relationship with each other. Oh, and quite a bit of nihilism.

Still charming with a very noticeable improvement in the art, this collection of stories and essays touches on much heavier topics with the same quirkiness that endeared readers to Brosh’s work to begin with.

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Review: HYPERBOLE AND A HALF: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh (2013)

Genre: Non-fiction Graphic Novel
Year Release: 2013
Source: Borrowed from Friends

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Content warning: use of the “r” slur to refer to the diminished intelligence of a dog

I had read some of Allie Brosh’s blog posts around a decade ago, so this blog-in-novel form has been on my radar for almost a decade. My friends lent me a bunch of things and I’m in the process of reading them all before I leave for Texas at the end of the month.

This frank and funny collection of stories and anecdotes made for quick, easy reading, and I’m definitely looking forward to the recently-released sequel.

The art is not “beautiful” in any sense of the word. But the quirky illustrations and hand-written dialogues are charming. The long form writing cannot be replaced by the images nor do the images serve as a kind of caption for the words to come. It’s really effective and the humor worked for me, for the most part.

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