Thursday, September 4, 2014

Five Books Worth Reading: Graphic Novel Memoirs

She's talked about her five books worth reading in both graphic novels and in memoirs, now in a mash-up, Meredith gives us her FBWR in graphic novel memoirs. These are memoirs told in a graphic novel format. Don't let the word "novel" fool you though, they are non-fiction. 

I talked a little bit about Allie Brosh’s book, Hyperbole and a Half for our list of favorite funny books, but I can’t help but plug it a little more. It rises above silly, (intentionally) poorly draw pictures to touch upon topics from her rampaging childhood id to her battle with depression. 

Julia Wertz is my favorite cartoonist right now. Her newest book, The Infinite Wait and Other Stories covers a huge swath of her life including her first swears, her multiple jobs in the food industry, and her diagnosis of systematic lupus. I really enjoy her dark humor – Wertz manages to tell personal stories without becoming overly sentimental. The fact that she is a self-proclaimed curmudgeon probably helps curb any navel-gazing. In The Infinite Wait, Wertz uses comics as a way to deal with her illness and in turn, has created something very much worth your time.

When David Small was 11 years old, he woke up from a surgery that left him with only one vocal cord, rendering him all but mute. What proceeds is a Kafkaesque journey through the years that led up to his diagnosis (cancer, though his parents hid the truth from him at the time) and the eventual discovery that his father, a doctor who treated Small as a sickly child with radiation (as was the norm) had probably caused the cancer.

I immediately recognized Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant as the work of Roz Chast thanks to years of flipping through my dad’s issues of The New Yorker growing up. Chast’s memoir covers the years she spent caring for her elderly parents. She confronts her conflicted feelings about having to deal with end of life care – the stress of dealing with never ending medical bills, the draining effort to watch her parent’s health deteriorate, and the guilt of feeling like she’s not doing enough.

If there’s one thing we love more here in reference than books and reading, it’s eating! And Lucy Knisley’s memoir Relish is the perfect combination of our favorite things. It’s not just a celebration of good food, but also what food can mean to a person’s memories and personal history. It also includes delicious sounding recipes that I want to try immediately.

Did I miss any in this category that you deem worthy?

~Meredith T.

No comments:

Post a Comment