The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017

Editor: Sarah Vowell (introduction) Type: Fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, comics, poetry, memoir Published: 2017 I read it: November 2017 If 2016 was the volume that felt like a last big inhale before American politics crashed down at the end of that year, then this year’s BANR collection is the painful exhale, reading like a…

Ghost World

Author and artist: Daniel Clowes Type: Fiction, comic Published: 1998 I read it: June 2017 After reading a string of fantastical modern comics, I figured I’d knock out the slim Ghost World, a classic of day-to-day realism. I had gathered that Daniel Clowes was a well-respected figure in this vein of comics, though I don’t…

The Autumnlands, Volume One: Tooth and Claw

Author: Kurt Busiek Artist: Benjamin Dewey Type: Fiction, comic Collects issues: 1-6 Published: 2015 I read it: June 2017 The Autumnlands rests on the resume of Kurt Busiek, he of Marvels renown. In that book he paired with Alex Ross, and the artwork was so wondrous that Busiek’s story was only part of the draw.…

Shutter, Volume Two: Way of the World

Author: Joe Keatinge Artist: Leila del Duca Type: Fiction, comic Collects issues: 7-12 Published: 2014 I read it: June 2017 Something is off about that cover. Seems like the framing isn’t quite right. And unfortunately that tends to be the case for this book overall. In Volume Two, Kate Kristopher continues to be chased, captured,…

Saga, Volume Five

Author: Brian K. Vaughan Artist: Fiona Staples Type: Fiction, comic Collects issues: 25-30 Published: 2015 I read it: June 2017 Volume Five opens with an overarching summary about war in general and this story’s war in particular, explaining how it’s been going on so long that the original planets involved are hardly involved, while the other…

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003

Author: Dave Eggers (series editor), Zadie Smith (introduction) Type: Fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, comics, humor (anthology) Published: 2003 I read it: May 2017 2003. The first year of the Iraq war. The release year of a bunch of my favorite albums before I turned more noticeably into new tastes. A full decade before my first…