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Stephanie likes to read a little bit of everything, specially fiction and graphic novels. She also likes anything rabbit related and taking pictures.
Essays from writers, artists, photographers, among others, describing the place that gave them their first impressions on life. I can't start saying how much this book grabbed me, how it made me feel and remember details that I thought long gone. Give yourself the chance to read it, and you'll be immersed with the beauty of memories, yours and from other people,
Did I mention that finding Nielsen was a happy mistake? I first read Big Questions and was amazed by it, but I was blown away with Poetry is Useless. Very simple outlines of persons ask philosophical questions about life, death, the status of things. Part drawings, part sketched, part dialogues, this book made me smile and reflect on many aspects of life.
PS. I don't think poetry is useless. :)
Bechdel grabbed me with her two memoirs, Fun Home and Are You My Mother? Here, in The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel shows us comic stryps starting in the late 90's to early 2000's. You can see the evolution of a group of queer people, their ideas, ranging from politics, everyday life, love, among other topics. It's serious, funny, and very instructive!
I discovered Niels Anders by a happy mistake and immediatly fell in love with his simple, yet very characteristic drawings. Big Questions is a big book about birds, religion, and what to believe. The birds have a seemingly normal life, but when a man crashed near them, questions of belief start to arise and they are divided by what they believe.
The House on Mango Street is a collection of beautiful stories about growing up latinx in the United States. Esperanza (hope, in english) is a child that grows up in Chicago and, in short stories, we learn how people live, play, and deal with the world.
The stoy of Silver, who's learning the story of Pew, who runs a lighthouse and tells stories. A story within many layers of stories, Winterson's style is poetic and gives light to the importance of keeping stories alive.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree has the ability to transport you to younger years and compare yourself and your problems with those of Chula and Petrona, who are growing up in a society where corruption, kidnappings and poverty are part of everyday life. In this novel, Rojas grasps the reality of Colombia, of immigration, and the everyday struggles of two girls growing up, making decisions and going through experiences that will get them out of a familiar comfort bubble. I love this novel!
Spanish version :
La Fruta del Borrachero tiene la habilidad de transportarte a la adolescencia y hacer contraste en los problemas de uno y en los problemas de Chula y Petrona, creciendo en una sociedad donde la corrupción, las desapariciones y la pobreza son el orden del día. Rojas en esta novela logra captar la realidad de Colombia, la necesidad de inmigración por las circunstancias y temas del cotidiano mediante las voces de dos jóvenes creciendo, tomando decisiones y experimentando vivencias que pronto las sacaran de la burbuja protectora del vínculo familiar. ¡Amo esta novela!
This book is so great, I don’t even know where to start. You get a 10 year timeline, starting in 2008 with the elected president and finishes with the current United States president. It’s a book rich in details of everyday life, politics and curiosity. The main character is intrigued about the lives of four men who just moved from the other side of the world trying to erase their past and start fresh in New York, but slowly the narrator gets to know them and gives us an inside scoop of the men’s lives. With a cinematic view and a lot of movie references, the narrator grabs you with his discoveries on this particular family, where nothing’s golden and everything’s classified as a family secret.
This is a tender book about a man who thinks that he has nothing to look up in life, so he decides to go to a remote and anonymous country without plans to return. While there, he realizes how war affected the place and those who live it, making him reflect on his life and giving it a new meaning. In his suitcase, he takes a drill, something that everyone is questioning, since he’s on “vacation” ,but plans what he wants to do and how to improve this particular place.
Amazing stories that revolve around Florida, it's way of living, and the perception of it. Groff's style transports you to be with each character, from the man near the swamp that looks at the crocodiles before a hurricane, to the woman who runs to escape and thinks about the lives of others.
Norse myths with Gaiman's easy to read and entertaining style. A great read to learn about Ragnarok, Odin (his blind eye and his two ravens), Loki, and Thor.
Every time period from the creation of photography to its present, gives us a list of amazing photographers that were particulars on topics. Talbot was fascinated with nature, Margaret Cameron with being artistic, Muybridge with movement, and years later Weegee with nightlife and crime in New York. Smart, witty, always with a cigar and with things to question and observe, Weegee was always first in murder scenes and worked to get the best (and closest) shot. This biography shows us an Usher, later Arthur, later Weegee, struggling with being an immigrant, adapting, changing, and learning to give himself a name and a place. (Also, one of my favorite photographers!)
Three voices mixed to tell the story of telling stories: Virginia Woolf writing Mrs. Dalloway, a woman reading Mrs. Dalloway in the 1950's, and a woman in Manhattan in the early 2000's who's called Mrs. Dalloway by an ex-lover. A beautiful exploration about self-love, human nature, and how the times change, but some things remain the same.
Iturbide is an amazing Mexican photographer who achieves poetry through what she captures with her camera. This graphic novel lets you wander with her through Mexico, India, the birds, and her thoughts. I discovered her with this book and fell immediately in love with her story and her pictures.
Written on the Body is the perfect mix of love withouth boundaries and philosophical thinking. It explores the complex relationship of a genderless protagonist with loved ones, the world, and the body. One of my favorite books ever!
This book reads as a novel, but it's a recollection of fragments of sixteen days in the olimpics that took place in Berlin under Hitler. You'll get the whole picture, from famous people who helped in music, organization, athletes, artists, to the lifes of germans who were neighbors of this event, where symbolic and out of protocol things happened.
What's important in translation? What matters the most, the significance or the loyalty to the words? In this great essay book, Polizzotti guides us through how translation works, how it's infamy started and how we can read and understand translated works in an efficient way, without thinking it's difficult or wrong. Polizzotti breaks the stigma that translation is a way of being a "traitor", but as a connection to get to know other writers and cultures.
Hard but beautiful poetry that will make anyone understand the struggle of being an immigrant.
Mars Room tells the story of a group of people in jail, especially the one of a woman who kills a man and gets two life sentences, plus six years. Kushner writes about how the justice system works, the structures of power in jails and the tools to survive inside.
A window to a parisian past with writers, painters, and artists all around, in the eyes of Alice Toklas, but with the words of Gertrude Stein. A book that makes you wish you could travel in time and have a conversation with everyone named here.
Sonnets are considered to be a classic form in poetry, and therefore, not frequently used. In Miami Century Fox, Iglesias takes the traditional form and gives it a twist talking about current issues taking place in Miami.
One of the most interesting and sincere biographies I've read, Lubow writes about her upbringing, why she took pictures, the relationship she created with her subjects and her amazing way of showing the unseen.
Old mythology in a new world can and will be conflictive in American Gods. In this great novel, there's a clash between the old gods and the new gods. You'll lern about mythology, how myths survive, stories inside stories, and somewhere along a love story with Gaiman's amazing narrative. Also, check out the series and graphic novel!
A recollection of stories told on a a current topic that affects us all. A little hard, hits home, and a must-read to understand about consent and the #metoo movement.
Mostly known for the portraits she took of her children, Mann in this book recovers light and spaces. Provocative and poetic pictures from a great contemporary photographer.
Love, detachment, and the desire of finding a place to belong, are some of the topics of this sublime poetry book. I love how Jin describes the feeling of being homesick for a place that doesn't exist, and the value of things that surround him.
A demon with a good side, an angel with a bad side, and the apocalypse brought to you by an oblivious eleven year old. A fun and witty book about strange alliances, huge mistakes and how the world will end, based on the prophecies of Agnes Nutter. I love it!
Sometimes sensless, always tender, Comics fot a Strange World always delivers a twist of the every-day life and the (strange) ways to respond to it. A great book to relax and laugh. :)
Short stories about the creation of the universe, the origin of worlds, words, and (sometimes human) relationships. Anything written by Calvino makes me smile.
Beautiful, almost photographic haikus about nature, Basho will make you want to re-read him whenever you need to feel in sync with nature.
Imagine going blind with no apparent reason. Imagine everyone in your city goes blind also and you are quarantined, but that doesn’t prevent anything. Now, this blindness is not dark, but white. In this novel, Saramago describes the lives of a particular group of people who went blind and the things they are enduring and doing to survive. To make us relate to the characters in some way, Saramago writes this novel with barely any punctuation, but with amazing detail appealing to smell and sound.
We all have a friend who knows some history, but tells it in such a fun and fragmented way, it leaves you wanting to know more and investigate on your own terms. Evany Rosen, a canadian stand-up comedian is that friend. This book made me laugh out loud and made me remember that learning is not a linear process, it can be fragmented, it can jump from topic from topic and that individual research is great.
A novel inside a novel inside a novel, with a little love story on the side. Calvino's style's and the way he tells stories always amazes me.
In this book, with illustrations that will make you smile more and be less afraid, Krause collects almost a hundred fears and shows that it’s normal to fear ghosts, mirrors, thunderstorms, among others. As for me, I have an irrational fear that if I don’t count the stairs while going up or down, I will definitely fall.
How do you live your whole life in a day, how can one day resume a whole life for the four characters in this novel? Between a Wolf and a Dog is a beautiful familiar tale based in Sydney that gives a glimpse of an ordinary day where everything changes for all the characters. It also plays with the title and how one is and how one wants to be, half wild, half domesticated animal.
Six stories that show the wonders and the complications of everyday life. Tomine shows the serious side of wanting to be a stand-up comedian, makes fun of wanting to be a serious artist, and deals with interpersonal relationships, how they're made and how they're broken. They are bittersweet stories that give a lot to think, with simple illustrations, some in color and others in black and white.
In spanish, the word corso is associated with pirates. In The Club Dumas, the primary character's name is Corso, and he's involved in a shady transaction looking for a particular book that may or may not invoke the devil. A novel about books with a lot of suspense in it.
Born in the Dominican Republic and forced to leave, Oscar and his family relocate to New Jersey to start a new life. Oscar is an aspiring writer who likes sci-fi, wants to fit in, fall in love, and is cursed with Fuku ( spanish slang for really bad luck). Junot's story telling is very interesting, since all of Oscar's story is told in general, while in the footnotes he writes about Trujillo, his dictatorship, and real life events that push Oscar's family out of the island, making a play with history and fiction.
Having adult conversations with your parents can be a little difficult, Chast in her graphic memoir gives us a glimpse of her relationship with her (very scared of everything) father and her (very demanding) mother as they're getting older. Chast always tries to bring up topics that are uncomfortable to her parents, showing a struggling relationship between the tree of them, but in a tender, sometimes funny, and understanding way.
Negrón is a bookseller is Santurce, Puerto Rico, and writes about every day life and his surroundings. His stories are about growing up and being queer in Puerto Rico. They are beautiful, witty, ironic, and authentic.
Thee world got to know Maier in 2009, when a young man found a box of negatives in a garage sale. In this biography, Bannos guides us through the world of one of the greatest street photographers, her self portraits and how she "hid" working as a nanny in Chicago.
One of my all-time favorite photographers, Atget gives us a peek of what the old Paris was. After the invention of photography, many were starting to get interested in it for the document quality of it, because photographs helped artists to create. Atget, like many other great photographers, introduces himself to photography when he's older and starts taking pictures with no particular interest of creating art, he wanders the streets and photographs what captures his eyes. This book contains over 500 pictures of the old Paris, dividing them by neighborhoods to show a map of the city and how Atget observed it.
If you want to read a book that shows the importance of building community, that answers questions that you might (or might not have) asked yourself, Feel Free is for you. In it, Smith describes topics like art, politics, social media, among others, in a very intimate yet simple voice.
Memory can be ambiguous with details, but events such as leaving home make Bui reconstruct her family's history in this amazing graphic novel. Searching for a better future, Bui's family struggles to adapt to a new life and a new culture while keeping their identities. With simple illustrations and only the use of black and orange in them, this story will grab you.
What's the result of a writer and an artist collaborating? This book. Part graphic novel, part short stories, completely strange and entertaining in the ways of narrating daily life.