Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels

It seems like both the quantity and quality of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction just keeps increasing every year.  This is great news for readers but it can feel a bit overwhelming when trying to find your next great graphic read. Luckily, our librarians read hundred of titles this year did a fantastic job sorting through the wealth of 2021 offerings. Here are some of our favorites:

If you are looking for warm fuzzies:

Our Dining Table by Mita OriOur Dining Table by Ori Mita

Salaryman Yutaka loves to cook (and is no slouch in the kitchen), but unhappy childhood memories prevent him from sharing meals with anyone but himself. When he meets charming young Tane and his much older brother, Minoru, Yutaka finds that sharing meals is not only a wonderful experience, but can lead to much more than just friendship.

The Thud by Mikaël Ross

When his mother suffers a stroke, Noel is at a complete loss. With no other family and unable to live independently, Noel becomes the newest resident at Neuerkerode, a village predominantly run and inhabited by people with developmental disabilities. Translated from the original German, this fictional story set in a real location follows Noel from his initial loss to gradual acceptance to ultimately thriving in his new life. Continue reading “Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels”

#BookBingoNW2020 Poetry or Comics

One of the best things about Summer Book Bingo is how it challenges readers to step outside their comfort zones.  Of all the different kinds of books out there, however, poetry and graphic novels can be some of the most challenging. Readers not used to a visual format can sometimes struggle to make a cohesive whole out of words and images, and poetry can feel so nuanced and esoteric as to be indecipherable, even if you recognize its talent and value. If you are ready to dip your toe into the waters of alternative formats, here are a few to get you started:

Cartoonist Eleanor Davis is well known for her spare yet incredibly evocative work that can twist stories within stories until you aren’t quite sure where you’ve landed.  In You and a Bike and a Road, Davis uses a more conventional narrative to share her experience cycling across most of the southern United States by herself.  It’s incredible how much she can convey with a few plain pencil lines and, in this particular book, she exposes herself with a raw and beautiful honesty. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020 Poetry or Comics”

#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character

There’s something about stories narrated by animals that provide a very different reading experience. Whether they are anthropomorphized or remain true to their wild selves, animal narrators give us a chance to step out of our human skin and see the world around us in new ways. Here are some titles that are in turn tragic, poignant and delightful.

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

A dog, a cat, and a rabbit, formerly benign domestic pets, become lethal weapons through a top secret military cybernetics experiment. As prototypes, the team is programmed to work together as the ultimate killing machine, drawing on each species’ innate characteristics to create one unstoppable force. When the experiment comes to an end and it’s time for We3 to be neutralized, distant memories of home drive their desperate escape. This graphic novel is simply gorgeous in both story and execution. Morrison’s nuanced and emotionally resonant storytelling is amplified by Frank Quietly’s beautiful illustrations. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character”

#BookBingoNW2020: On your shelf

I’ve always been a reader but, as time goes on, I find that my eyes are perpetually larger than my literary stomach, resulting in piles of books all over the house and a Goodreads “to read” shelf that requires constant pruning.  Between teleworking and homeschooling there isn’t nearly much time to read as I had hoped, but I’m doing my best to check a few key items off my list during the quarantine:

on my shelfI was beyond ecstatic to get my hands on an advance reader copy of Network Effect, Martha Wells’ latest addition to the Murderbot Diaries.  It was so fantastic I’m rereading the entire series (and supporting my local indie bookstores along the way) in anticipation of giving it a second look. SecUnit has become one of my favorite characters as of late, both for the soul searching and the sardonic humor. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: On your shelf”

The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

Continue reading “The Joys of Winter Gardening”