What I read on my summer vacation.

Occasionally, there’s a graphic novel that comes along that grabs you by the eyeballs and doesn’t let go. David B.’s Epileptic would be it — a memoir of the author’s youth that is centered on his family’s struggle against his older brother’s all-consuming epilepsy. All I gotta say is: Read. It. Now. (Thanks to Douglas Wolk for pointing the way on this one. Find his New York Mag review of the book right here.)

Anyone who’s lain about like a beached whale at a Cancun resort and thinks they’ve been to Mexico should be required to pick up this highly readable tome by Daniel Hernandez, a former LA Weekly scribe and one of the journos behind the L.A. Times Latin American politics blog La Plaza. Short on travel brochure quaintness and long on emos, punks and fashionistas, Down & Delirious is the book to read if you want to get a sense of what’s pumping in the frenetic Mexican capital.

A lyrical ode to the transformational power of music — specifically opera — as seen through the eyes of a handful of European and American characters over the course of a couple of centuries. For those of us who aren’t total connoisseurs, thankfully Matthew Gallaway keeps the opera talk accessible. The book also left me with a burning desire to see Tristan & Isolde. (On a totally unrelated noted, Gallaway is the genius behind Hot Gay Statues. What more could an artsy fartsy want?)

Tight little short stories centered on the lives women and the manners and customs that govern their behavior. Some of these left me gasping. Surely a tribute to Laura Furman‘s spare use of the language.

The architecture-heads should be all over this one — a stylishly-rendered graphic novel by David Mazzuchelli about a paper architect with a messy personal life. (Is there any other kind?) The end will leave you wondering if it was all a dream.

3 comments

  1. Adam Lawrence

    allow me the unsolicited pleasure of seconding your recco for ‘asterios polyp’.

  2. Yvonne Connasse

    Now, I must read them all. The Daniel Hernandez looks particularly interesting!