Fun Home is the story of Alison Bechdel and her relationship with her father. As a child, this relationship was mixed, often tense as her dad sees hisFun Home is the story of Alison Bechdel and her relationship with her father. As a child, this relationship was mixed, often tense as her dad sees his kids as people to help him do work in his beloved fixer-upper grand house and their funeral home (which is where the title Fun Home comes), his often shifting mood and not letting Alison wear what she wants. But there are times of happiness too, with Alison sharing her love of books with her father. When Alison goes to college and comes out as a lesbian, her coming out is overshadowed when her mother informs her that Alison’s father is gay too. Weeks after this revelation, Bruce Bechdel is hit by a truck and dies. Alison is left coming to terms with her own sexuality, her father’s sexuality, her father’s suspicious death (accident or suicide?) and Alison’s relationship with her father over the years. Bechdel uses literary classics like Ulysses by James Joyce, Proust and the works and life of F. Scott Fitzgerald to draw compares to her story, bringing back in the love of books. This was another book I liked but didn’t love. I just felt like I didn’t resonate with me, but I can see how others would love this and why it’s in the list of essential graphic novels to read. It is well worth checking out...more
The island of Here is very neat and tidy, everything and everyone is in order. No chaos here please! Beyond the sea is There, where chaos and disorderThe island of Here is very neat and tidy, everything and everyone is in order. No chaos here please! Beyond the sea is There, where chaos and disorder reign and no one from Here has every been to There and lived to tell the tale. As a result, the people of Here fear There. Dave is a prime example of Here, all presentable (bald, except for that one hair on his chin), goes to work and spends his evenings sketching and listening to The Bangles. Until one day when that single hair on Dave’s face starts to grow along with more and a giant unstoppable beard takes over Dave’s life, as well as the island of Here. I thought it was a fun story, you could read into story and the hidden meanings to what happens or you can just read it as simply an evil beard that takes over the island!...more
I LOVED The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet when I read it in May. It was such an interesting and heartwarming story and when I found out there woulI LOVED The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet when I read it in May. It was such an interesting and heartwarming story and when I found out there would be another book set in the same world coming out this year I couldn’t wait to read it. A Closed and Common Orbit follows two characters we briefly see in A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (we don’t see any of the main characters from that book in this one). The story is told in the present, starting after the end of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as well as a flashback story of Pepper and how she grew up. I don’t want to say too much about the characters or story in case it gives anything in the first book away but the two story lines mirror each other at times before they merge into one. It was a beautiful story, I love love love this world and even though this is sci-fi and that might scare some people away, please give these books a chance! They are full of interesting characters and worlds and Chambers had me in tears several times reading this. I loved both the books and I can’t wait for the 3rd one (which is listed on Goodreads but I’m not sure if Chambers is writing one. I hope she is!). I can’t wait to reread these as well. Wonderful!...more
The Burning is the first in a series by Jane Casey featuring Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan. The Burning Man is a vicious serial killer in London,The Burning is the first in a series by Jane Casey featuring Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan. The Burning Man is a vicious serial killer in London, brutally beating women before burning them. When the 5th victim Rebecca Haworth turns up, something seems off and so Maeve investigates, hoping to unravel the truth and find not only Rebecca’s murderer but The Burning Man too. I enjoyed this, it’s not a psychological thriller, the pace is slower and we actually find out who does half way through, just not how or why, we wait for those pieces to slot together as the rest of the plot develops. The slowness of this book seems to possibly be because it’s the first book in the series but it does a good job at establishing some characters like Maeve and it has piqued my interest enough that I’ll be picking up the 2nd book!...more
Blankets is a massive graphic memoir by Craig Thompson, over 500 pages. Craig and Phil are two brothers living in the countryside of Wisconsin who asBlankets is a massive graphic memoir by Craig Thompson, over 500 pages. Craig and Phil are two brothers living in the countryside of Wisconsin who as young boys shared a bed and hated it. They come from a very religious family and this crops up a lot in the book, with the boys going away at Christmas to Christian youth camps. Here Craig meets Raina and falls in love, going to visit her for two weeks. During the journey Craig battles with his feelings with Raina and his relationship with God and religion. This book is stunning, the drawings are beautiful. It's is so sad at times, the guilt and shame Craig battles with as he tries to figure out what kind of adult he wants to be and how God fits in in this life. Other things add to this guilt and shame and the book is very sad at times. I did love seeing how the relationship between the brothers develops during the book, how they fight, how they play, drift apart as teenagers but support each other. I loved the scene where Craig asks to see Phil’s drawings. I can see why people love this and while I enjoyed it, I think I might have preferred it as two books.
Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a.k.a. Skim, is a bit of a misfit at her all girls private school. Bi-racial, not skinny, wannabe Wiccan goth with only one reKimberly Keiko Cameron, a.k.a. Skim, is a bit of a misfit at her all girls private school. Bi-racial, not skinny, wannabe Wiccan goth with only one real friend, Skim is trying to ‘find herself’. After developing a crush one her female teacher, this adds another piece of the puzzle Kim is trying to figure out. When the ex-boyfriend of one of the popular girls takes his own life, the school is mourning and in an effort to perk things up, the popular crowds start a club called Girls Celebrate Life! As the story goes on, Kim sinks more into a state of depression and melancholy and drifts apart from her friend. The drawing style and colour palette of the book really help to add to this melancholy. While the book tackles plenty of issues, nothing is ever too preachy and it all just seems like a teenager going through normal things teenage girls go through. I wasn’t overly keen on how the crush on the teacher went and I didn’t find the book breath-taking or amazing, but I did think it was a solid representation of the emotions of a teenage girl, a decent coming of age story set in the early 90s....more
Book 3 in the series. This time sees Mary posing as a servant in Buckingham Place, trying to find a thief. But a greater story unravels and Mary mustBook 3 in the series. This time sees Mary posing as a servant in Buckingham Place, trying to find a thief. But a greater story unravels and Mary must investigate. I love these books, they’re fun and Mary is a great lead character. There’s one more book in this series which I’m looking forward to picking up some time soon...more
Euphoria is based on some events in the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. Nell and Fen are on their way home from a rocky honeymoon in New GuineaEuphoria is based on some events in the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. Nell and Fen are on their way home from a rocky honeymoon in New Guinea studying indigineous tribes, their most recent study being of the Mumbanyo, a barbaric violent tribe and left adruptly at Nell’s request. Fen, already jealous of his wife’s successful book about natives on Solomon Island, resents having to leave as he had just found out about a totemic flute and wants to learn more about it. Before leaving the area the couple meets Bankson, a British anthropologist studying another tribe in the area. Bankson is isolated and lonely, having recently tried to drown himself in the river. He jumps at the chance to spend time with Fen and Nell and encourages them to find another local tribe (the Tams) to study. He’s intrigued by this couple and goes to visit them from time to time, falling in love with Nell as time goes on. The book was a slow burner, it’s narrated by Bankson and I found it a chore to pick up at the beginning (it’s a book club book and I wasn’t that interested in it before I started), but then diary entries from Nell at scattered throughout, giving a different perspective, got me sucked in and made me want to read it. I felt sorry for Nell, I hated Fen and thought how he treated Nell was horrible. I liked the setting with the different tribes and their nuances, it was something different for me. What surprised me most is how close to Margaret Mead’s story this book was! It sent me in a Wikipedia clicking frenzy. If I had known how close to the story it was, I might have preferred to read a biography and then read this fictionalised account. Also, everytime I picked up this book I had Euphoria by Loreen, who won the Eurovision with this song, stuck in my head on a loop! It’s still a fun song....more
I spotted this on the shelf at my library and it intrigued me. Trouble is the story of friends Mary and May who go to work one summer in the 60s at aI spotted this on the shelf at my library and it intrigued me. Trouble is the story of friends Mary and May who go to work one summer in the 60s at a fancy resort for the rich. Here they meet other people their age up for fun and frolics on their time off. Mary and May get involved with brothers Richard and Ben and it’s not long til there’s plenty of sex and scandals! This book reminded me a bit of Dirty Dancing, of what the workers get up to when they want to blow off steam. While I liked the drawing style, I wasn’t a massive fan of the story. At the end, if you pay attention you’ll piece together what this book implies about a famous Marvel superhero which caused controversy when it came out. I take it with a grain of salt, it was interesting idea but nothing amazing....more
If the title of this seems to ring a bell with you, it’s because it’s a pisstake of the Marie Kondo book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In facIf the title of this seems to ring a bell with you, it’s because it’s a pisstake of the Marie Kondo book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In fact, this book’s content style is written in parody as Marie Kondo’s book but the content itself does have a bit of substance, It isn’t a novelty book. While reading it I did write some notes and pick up some interesting tips. There’s plenty of articles about the book floating around with some of these tips. The book grated on me a bit, purely because it’s very repetitive and also because for a book about trying to make you give less fucks about something, the fact that the title has fuck censored really annoyed me! But overall there is some good advice in here....more
Gideon Tau (better known as London Town to his colleagues) works in the occult investigative unit in the South African police force called the DelphicGideon Tau (better known as London Town to his colleagues) works in the occult investigative unit in the South African police force called the Delphic Division. Since his daughter was kidnapped and murdered, his life has fallen to pieces. His girlfriend has left him, all he does is work, drink and obsess about who killed his daughter Cally. He has two friends left: his fifty-something year old boss Armitage, another UK ex-pat from Yorkshire, and his spirit guide, a talking dog who loves to watch TV all day and drink sherry all night. Tau's cases have him in contact with all sorts of supernatural creatures, such as angels, demons, vampires and fae. While investigating the death of a low level vampire, Tau finally finds a link to his daughter and has to choose between revenge for Cally or do his job and help save the world.
I really liked this book! I first heard about it in one of Books and Pieces videos, which you can find here. I’ll be honest, the main reason this book intrigued me was because it reminded me of Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, which I love, and while there are some similarities, it’s not a carbon copy. South Africa is a great setting for an urban fantasy and Crilley has done his research when it comes to lore and mythology around the world. While there is a lot of gore and fighting in this, I didn’t find it too unsettling but keep this is mind if that’s not your kind of thing. Gideon Tau is a solid narrator, I did feel like I really didn't get to know him but I think that's partly down to his torment over his daughter's death, that he’s lost who he is obsessing over this. I loved Dog and Armitage! They made me laugh out loud on so many occasions, especially when Armitage cracked jokes about Harry Potter (also, the fact that Crilley mentions that the UK’s version of the Delphic Division is called the Ministry tickled me!). Dog is so snide and dry, most of the lines I’ve highlighted and saved are from him. I particularly like this come back he had after Tau says he has something all figured out
‘London, you haven’t even figured out how much milk to put in your cereal yet. Consider me worried’.
This is a fast paced urban fantasy that has interesting characters, plenty of humour and some dark themes. I can’t wait to read the next one!...more
I don't really read sci-fi, Well, I guess I do as I read dystopian and that falls under the sci-fi umbrella. I don't read a lot of books set in space,I don't really read sci-fi, Well, I guess I do as I read dystopian and that falls under the sci-fi umbrella. I don't read a lot of books set in space, in the past few years I can only think of Ready Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline, the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Saga, Volume 1 (which I only read in April).
I liked the pace of this book, the action and the lulls where we get to see more about the characters and their personalities. Elizabeth from Books and Pieces put it well when she said she liked the small intricacies of life in space, that we get to find out about food and fuel and brushing teeth,small things likes that, that it wasn't all about war and fighting. I loved the aliens and the other planets they land on, all their differences. What I'd change is a better explanation of the world and the different aliens etc. I found it hard to distinguish who were of human descent and who wasn't. I would have liked a cheat sheet or glossary somewhere that explained these things better. I felt at the beginning these terms were all mentioned but without any proper explanation or back story as to how the universe got like that. I think a reread might help clear everything up in my head though!...more
Kameron Hurley is a successful science-fiction and fantasy writer and this book is a collection of essays that centre around feminism, geek culture anKameron Hurley is a successful science-fiction and fantasy writer and this book is a collection of essays that centre around feminism, geek culture and Hurley’s experiences of being a genre writer. Having a read a few books on feminism this year, this was a different voice than the other books I read, especially the section of what it’s like being a woman within geek culture and writing speculative fiction. All the essays aren’t *just* about feminism, a lot of them are Hurley’s memoirs and own personal stories. And while there isn’t a lot of intersectionality, Hurley does address this, tries to be inclusive and admits that in the past she’s made mistakes about things and has always tried to correct herself when she has made mistakes which is a refreshing attitude. I was slow reading this (I started at the end of August so it took me 3 months to read) but I did enjoy it. I found myself reading an essay here and there when I had a spare moment. A lot of these essays can be found published online if you’d like to read some to decide if this book is for you. I’m looking forward to picking up some of Hurley’s fiction...more
This essay is adapted from Adichie’s TEDx talk, something I have yet to watch. It’s a very short read, I read it while waiting in the car for my Mum oThis essay is adapted from Adichie’s TEDx talk, something I have yet to watch. It’s a very short read, I read it while waiting in the car for my Mum one morning but it hits on some important points. I think it’s a great starting point for anyone hoping to read up on feminism or to introduce teenagers to writings on feminism. In fact, Sweden agrees with me because every teenager in Sweden is to receive a copy of this, which I absolutely love!...more
I’m still enjoying this but I didn’t love this as much as the first few books. I can barely remember what was in this book. I feel like there was a loI’m still enjoying this but I didn’t love this as much as the first few books. I can barely remember what was in this book. I feel like there was a lot of filler in this book but I will still pick up the next volume or so as I’m interested in seeing how this series wraps up....more
Lumberjanes Issue One was the very first thing I read this year in January. I really liked the issue so I was keen to pick up the first volume. LumberLumberjanes Issue One was the very first thing I read this year in January. I really liked the issue so I was keen to pick up the first volume. Lumberjanes is set in at a summer camp and centres around 5 friends. They encounter supernatural beings and other strange things and have lots of fun and adventures together. It’s a kick ass series that is funny and sweet at times. It would be great for younger readers too....more