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Capsule Reviews No. 7

Hoping to finish these posts before the year ends! I’ve reached the halfway mark, so I’m a little happy about that!


For the first half of May Reads, please refer to this post.

19— After Eden by Arnold Arre *

I lent someone in high school my original copy of After Eden and never saw it again, but that this graphic novel presented to me the idea of love—the purest, realest love—remained with me for years. So, I was excited to learn about its reissue, jumping on the chance to acquire it again and read it. Arre admits to some rewrites, to better fit his worldview, etc. since the book had existed for so long. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hold up to the version I’ve long kept in my head. I don’t know if it’s the changes, or if it’s just a simple case of me outgrowing it, but After Eden felt infinitely more special the first time I read it. Without my original copy, I can’t compare or track the changes, but I suppose part of me will always think of how much this book meant to me the first time I met it.

20— Saga: Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan

As it turns out, I’m shit at keeping up with ongoing comic book series, but Saga is just one of those stories that you can’t quite leave behind, even after forgetting about it for a while, in between waiting for issues. Though it happens in a highly fantastical world—it is a space opera after all—Saga, through the eyes of Marko, Alana, and the rest of the cast of characters, takes on deeply compelling issues that touch on some aspects of today’s socio-political climate, especially with regards to racial differences, as well as the looming threats of war on micro and macro levels. Compiling issues 31 to 36, Saga’s sixth volume inches towards the broken family’s reunion, and even more challenges up ahead for them.

Poems & perfume / ? clean, sopy scent by @radioactivemushroomsitf — #CarinaReads2016

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21– Come Close by Sappho

Mainly a short volume of beautiful poetry. The homoerotic nature of Sappho’s poetry has been consistently contested, but the way devotion and desire were shaped in this collection, no matter how short, is gorgeous and luscious.

22— Episodes with Wayne Thiebaud

I loved this book, though I took quite a leisurely stroll through it. If you have vague knowledge of Wayne Thiebaud, you probably know him for his cakes—the same way one might know Pollock for his action paintings, Koons for his balloon dogs, da Vinci for the Mona Lisa, and Warhol for Marilyn or the Campbell’s soup cans—but Thiebaud is quietly prolific, and unabashed in the way he works and approaches art, which mostly is concerned with experiments and learning, rather than proving oneself in terms of whether or not one’s art is real. Over a series of interviews and/or conversations with Wayne Thiebaud, Thiebaud reveals that he spends no time on questions about the validity of his art. Instead, he spends time answering his own questions about art that are concerned with things like light and shadow.


23— Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

I spent (most) of this book listening to Aziz Ansari read it out to me. I’m a fan of Parks and Recreation, so the lilt of his voice is familiar to me. I feel like, even without the aid of the visual graphics on print versions that are unavailable to the audiobook, his narration lent a lot of character to the book. I appreciated how well-researched it was, abut it left me super exhausted at the thought of dating in the modern love. I have decided that I do want love (in a very specific way, I think), but having all of this data read out to me by Tom Haverford made me question if it was worth the trouble. The data doesn’t really give me a definitive answer (just a sneak preview of tiredness)—but Mitski says it is—and to be honest, I’d listen to her over any sort of research, any day.


24— Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

Another offering by BKV, and one I keep tabs on, too. Jonty gave me a signed copy of the first issue, and I’m so happy with how well the story is and has been progressing. If you’re not familiar, it’s an adventure/fantasy/friendship story set between the ’80s and the future, and features honest-to-God paper girls and some type of alien–time-travel mystery and drama.

25— The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

I’d been waiting for this book for a long time before I finally got it. My Book Depository shipment got lost and they couldn’t send a new one to me because they had no more stock left, so I had to wait for it to go on paperback, then it shipped out in a Balikbayan box that took forever to get here. Even with all that time, I mostly went into it blindly. I loved the honesty of it, but I was a little unprepared for the discussion of parenthood, even moreso than when I realized that a bulk of the thoughts concerned gender. Overall lovely book with exquisite writing all the same.

Saturday ☁️?? catching up! — #CarinaReads2016

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26— A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

This took me a long time to read, and while I appreciate it—especially because of when Woolf thought these thoughts and penned these words—but I really got stuck with it at some point.

27— The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist Volume 1

Such a great volume of spin-off work for fans of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (my favorite book!). Not quite an extension of the lives of Joe and Sam, but a great glimpse of “their work” on the novel’s fictional superhero, the Escapist.

? From "The Happy Film" by Stefan Sagmeister — #carinareads2016 #Books

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28— The Happy Film by Stefan Sagmeister

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over my dream of being Stefan Sagmeister. Endlessly inspiring person and work.

* re-read