2 sentence book reviews: Illustrated Books and Graphic Novels

30 book reviews this time around, over five days of posts. as always, i allow myself two sentences (unless otherwise noted):
– the first sentence is a summary of the book.
– the second sentence is my opinion of the book (complimented by the star rating).

my opinion:
– just because “Leaders are Readers” is a cliche doesn’t make it untrue.
– and, people who want to grow choose to read widely.

in this current series:
YA Fiction and Fiction (6 books, monday)
Illustrated Books and Graphic Novels (7 books, today)
General Nonfiction (6 books, wednesday)
Ministry and Theology (7 books, thursday)
Christian Nonfiction and Parenting (4 books, friday)

Illustrated Books and Graphic Novels

secondsSeconds, by Bryan Lee O’Malley
4.5 stars
a young chef with a propensity for bad choices that undermine her long range goals gets the opportunity for do-overs, which lead to complex and unintended results (as well as growth and learning). this full-length (336 pages!) graphic novel offers the things i hope for in this literary form: engaging story and character, great drawing, with a dose of insight.

masterful marksMasterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World, by Monte Beauchamp
4.5 stars
short graphic biographies of influential cartoonists, drawn in their own style. i like graphic novels, but didn’t know much about influential cartoonists; so this creative and brilliantly executed approach to a history book was a blast to read.

what ifWhat If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe
4 stars
just what the subtitle says it is: an application of math and science to offer reasoned answers to ridiculous question (example: What would happen if the earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?). from the creator of the popular web comic xkcd, this collection of weird questions and serious answers–with lots of fun illustrations–totally kept my attention for about 80% of my time with it.

gigantic beardThe Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins
5 stars
a man in an isolated, fear-based island kingdom suddenly grows a beard that won’t stop growing, creating pandemonium, absurd attempts at problem solving, and isolation. in addition to my beardy connection on this one, i loved the illustration style, and was pleasantly surprised by the level of implied social and political commentary about how we treat those considered other.

awkward moments 1Awkward Moments Children’s Bible, Vol. 1, and Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children’s Bible – Vol. 2: Don’t blame us – it’s in the Bible!, by Horus Gilgamesh (Author) and Agnes Tickheathen (Illustrator)
2 stars
awkward moments 2illustrated plates of awkward bible scenes, with back-of-the-book commentary. i really, really wanted to love these books, but ultimately found them way too cynical, mean-spirited and dismissive.

wilsonWilson, by Daniel Clowes
3.5 stars
a narcissistic and lonely middle aged man seeks human connection. i love clowes’s illustrations (really, about as good as it gets), but found wilson so hopeless, in every sense, that i struggled to fully enjoy the story.

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