Recent Reads: A Slew of Mini-Reviews

1. Ellen Forney,  Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me:  This graphic memoir of one woman's journey with bipolar disorder really peaked my interest.  Ellen Forney balances her own experiences with her research and with her musings on the history of the manic depressive artistic type.  The art is in the simple style that I most enjoy.  I would highly recommend this read.

2012/ Gotham Books/ 237 pages/ Library copy

2. Lucy Knisley, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen: And then we have another graphic memoir, this one by the author of the lovely French Milk.  Lucy Knisley again explores her childhood memories of food, and by proxy, her memories of her relationship with her mother.  Knisley is a sensualist, and her descriptions and drawings really brings the moments she selects to life.  I requested this book from the library, but found myself wishing that I had purchased it.  It is a beautiful cookbook and memoir, and I'm dying to try some of the recipes the author uses to separate the sections of the book.

2013/ First Second/ 173 pages/ Library copy

3. Rainbow Rowell, Attachments: If there is any one left who hasn't read Attachments, I suggest that you do it now.  The book will drag you out of any late summer, back to school dread.  It is a light and lovely romance, with sharp, strong female characters.  I think that Rainbow Rowell does for women's fiction (whatever that means) what John Green does for YA, and I love them both.

2011/ Dutton/ 323 pages/ Personal copy

4. Derf Backderf,  My Friend Dahmer: I heard about this graphic novel on the fabulous Literary Disco podcast, and I'm surprised I haven't seen it more places around the interwebs. Derf is a high school friend of the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and this graphic memoir chronicles those early experiences.  As a lifelong cartoonist, Backderf includes his drawings from high school.  If you are at all interested in serial killers, this is a fascinating glimpse into the early life of one.  It is well researched and emotionally affecting.

2012/ Abrams ComicArts/224 pages/ Library copy

5. Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy:  I fell for LeDuff's writing in an essay anthologized in the Best American Essays of 2011 called "What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones." It is an incredible essay, and it sparked my interest in LeDuff's writing about Detroit.  I also enjoyed reading this book, which seemed timely and gave me lots of factoids and anecdotes to share in friendly conversation about the happenings in the title city.  LeDuff is a NYT reporter who left to report on the deterioration of his hometown.  It can be a little sensationalist, but also loving.  Check it out.

**Images are linked to my Powell's partner account.  If you click on them to purchase the book I receive a small commission to feed my book buying addiction.


  1. I have a copy of My Friend Dahmer that I've been meaning to pick up for a while now. Glad to hear it's worth the read!

  2. The only one on your list that I've read is Marbles, I thought it was excellent. I'd love to read My Friend Dahmer. That HAS to be interesting!

  3. I loved Eleanor and Park, so I need to get hold of a copy of Attachments soon. Relish looks great too.

  4. I looooved Relish, and I think I'll be re-reading it soon. I want to read all of these!


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