Usually when I read books written by bloggers, I think they should stick to blogging and leave book readers alone. Not so with Allie Brosh. Not only d...moreUsually when I read books written by bloggers, I think they should stick to blogging and leave book readers alone. Not so with Allie Brosh. Not only do I think she should write more books, I think she should also put her blog behind a paywall (but only after I go back and read all her archives, please) because her writing and drawings are too good to just give away. How she gets so much expression into the faces of characters drawn with Microsoft Paint is a mystery.
By the time I discovered her blog, she had pretty much quit writing there, and I've only read a few of the more famous entries (about her recent bout of depression, Grandpa's birthday cake, procrastination, and "Parp! Parp! PARP!"), so most of what was in the book was new to me. It's a memoir of sorts, but not organized chronologically; she goes back and forth between odd/funny things that happened when she was a child and odd/sad things that are happening right now, and she gets the mix of hilarious and heart-breaking just right. (less)
This is a collection of strips of Snoopy as the perpetually rejected novelist, interspersed with very short essays by published writers, many of whom...moreThis is a collection of strips of Snoopy as the perpetually rejected novelist, interspersed with very short essays by published writers, many of whom you've never heard of, on the topic of writing. I'm pretty sure I've never read a single book written by any of the included authors, but because the essays are mostly terrible, I don't feel like I've missed anything. I did enjoy Danielle Steel's essay, however, because of how completely insane it is. To wit: "I sit at my typewriter and type until I ache so badly I can't get up. ... I've had cramps so badly when I sat typing that I couldn't move my hands for a couple of hours, but I usually keep sitting there and push through it for another five or six hours." Which leads me to believe that she sends manuscripts to her publisher that read: "Chapter 27: ckslj skrulsl kdrjlsxk k,djkliro9z9kdsja"
Five stars for the comic strips; one star for the essays.(less)
This is the kind of book people give me for Christmas. I've enjoyed Matthew Inman's comics on theoatmeal.com, but sometimes when bloggers get books, y...moreThis is the kind of book people give me for Christmas. I've enjoyed Matthew Inman's comics on theoatmeal.com, but sometimes when bloggers get books, you understand why they're bloggers. I'm not sure if I'd already seen all these comics on The Oatmeal, but it felt like I had. Estimated time to read entire book: 16 minutes.(less)
This book contains eighteen of the 300 interviews that Schulz gave over the course of his 50-year career, beginning with a 1956 piece from The Saturda...moreThis book contains eighteen of the 300 interviews that Schulz gave over the course of his 50-year career, beginning with a 1956 piece from The Saturday Evening Post and ending with two 1999 reflections by Garry Trudeau and Bill Watterson, which appeared in the Washington Post and Los Angeles times in the week after Schulz announced his retirement. With the exception of the two latter pieces, almost all of the interviews cover the same ground. Probably owing to his own shyness, it appears that Schulz decided early on how much of his life he would share in interviews -- and it wasn't much -- thus there's a lot of repetition in the stories he's willing to tell. The unintentional consequence is that the overall portrait is a little unflattering; he comes across as somewhat boring and seemingly unable to get over childhood slights. For example, in many of the interviews he mentions that an early disappointment was when the drawings he did for his high school yearbook were rejected; although he most likely got over it in short order, reading about it over and over again makes it appear as if he's got a death grip on that particular grudge. The book is worth looking at for the Trudeau and Watterson pieces and the 100-page 1997 interview by Gary Groth, but the book as a whole is not that interesting. (less)