Review by Kryssanne AdamsThe plot of Panorama Island is not nearly as engrossing as the Maruo's illustrations. This is one of the most beautifully drawn books I've encountered. With lots of large illustrations of the island and the performers who live on it, it's a quick fluffy read that's not entirely unsatisfying.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsFIRST OFF you should know that you will get hooked on this story and it leaves off as soon as the pace picks up--it's only volume 1 in a brand new series. Doctor Melody McCabe is a badass scientist invited to live aboard a space station to study a little girl who somehow streams the "innernet" directly through people's brains. McCabe is smart, stubborn, and determined to complete her job without getting entangled in the annoying social dynamics of her workplace. Her primary concern outside of work is the safety of her cat, Jeffrey, who lives back on Earth.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsIt's hard to call Patience a love story. It's a story about regrets, a heteronormative unhealthy relationship, and time travel (of course) as the protagonist tries to find the person who killed his wife. It's an interestingly compellingly weird story that'll keep you guessing what Clowes will throw out next.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsWhen I first started reading Big Kids, I was diggin' DeForge's art style and color palette but overall had a "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude toward the story itself. It follows an adolescent summer where a young boy grows up. Sort of. And then there was an unexpected twist where the story became (I think?) metaphysical and nothing was as it seemed to be before. From that midpoint on, the imagery and events become stranger and stranger until there's no going back. Unless maybe the boy regresses or gets torn to shreds. I'm going to keep thinking about this one.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsTW: this book contains several depictions of awful men & rape. As a person who was once a meek and shy teenager girl, I dreamed of being a badass. Being barely courageous enough to ride the city bus into town alone at seventeen, I never would've imagined at the time that it was possible to hitchhike across Europe with a sleeping bag and the clothes on my back. So of course I was totally engrossed by this story. My feelings toward the book oscillated between fondness for Ulli and disgust for the way men treat her throughout the story. I began to feel protective of her and at times got upset with her for decisions, but overall was satisfied with the way she deals with each curve ball her travels throw at her. A series of panels that really stood out to me showed Lust as a teenage girl walking off of a train. Men stare at her, and out of their eyes come billowing squiggly hands that grope her. Without any dialogue, she expresses feelings that many women suffer through every day.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsWhen I first picked up Percy Gloom, I had doubts about it. I didn't immediately get into the style it's drawn in, and I couldn't help but see Percy as such a strange, annoying, whiny little mama's boy, but Malkasian's style of storytelling quickly won me over. Despite his shortcomings and constant grumbling tummy, I started to really admire Mr. Gloom for sticking to his word and finding his place in a strange world instead of slapping himself to death, which apparently comes easily to Glooms.
Review by PiI checked this out thinking it was a sequel (it was originally filed under Sci-fi), but it turns out that it is a series of essays from 1958 about propaganda, mindwashing, overpopulation, and a little about the environment. It's definitely dated- he unknowingly professes the miracle of DDT before they knew how terrible it is and talks a lot about Hitler's propaganda methods, but still has interesting things to say about dystopian futures and compares the roles that Brave New World and 1984 have in the 1958 world. Interesting exploration; dated, but still worthwhile. Don't expect a sequel; expect intellectualism.
Review by Sam Swicord Great intro to important subject.
Review by Kryssanne AdamsHouse of Leaves totally fucked with my brain and even pierced my dreams in the weeks after I finished reading it, yet I've heard that Danielewski himself calls it a love story. It's interestingly formatted--the author (character, not really the author) finds an old man's manuscript, which is an analysis of a film that was never made (or was it?!). The film opens with Navidson finding that his house is larger on the inside than it is on the outside by 3/4 of an inch, and eventually he and a team get lost inside of the house during an exploration, but there's more to it than that. With increasingly frantic notes from the author in the margins, this book itself is a labyrinth to be explored.
Review by Nick VassalloMy introduction to the library! The first book I ever picked up here, and it's magic. Still the coolest designed thing I've found in the lib; it feels like it was compiled and generated in some sort of alien art ship and then deposited via satellite ray to Earth. A mind-expanding warp into the world of graphic novels via an eclectic array of different artists, and wrapped together with a wonderful essay at the end. Take a night or two to really sit down and pour into this bad dad. It gives it back in spades. A joyful package of work and design! I give it a futuristic two thumbs up! Or five stars, or whatever the hell system we use around here.
Review by Nick VassalloWhatever happened to that Waking Life night planned at the lib? Bring it back, this movie made me feel like I was being born and engaged me in a way that spawned a new lease on life and then many a conversation with friends. Linklater is a brilliant director who deserved an academy award either for this movie or for boyhood or for his amazing single-handed revival and longevity-increasing continued adherence to the seventies bowl cut. Truly astounding. Everyone and their mother and their bloviated PETA-baiting pet parakeet should watch this movie. It'll make you think! And possibly send you over the edge if you're locked in a self-reflective genius-verging (speaking about an acquaintance here) neuroses of life examination and big question answering. So do be careful! And probably let the parakeet roam around a little more. Right on, Ric!
Review by Nick VassalloWoah, we have movies in the library? Even if we don't anymore, we should have this one! Just watched and cannot get out of its headspace or the gravitational pull of its emotions. Music is absolutely knock you on your back amazing. I nodded off for five minutes and when I woke up, suddenly it was a nonstop gas pedal pressed down going 110 fifty minutes of emotional and spiritual sensory nightmare, but somehow beautiful and somehow I don't wish I didn't see it and in fact find something remarkable and resounding and expressive in it, like if people got together and watched this movie it would be cathartic in seeing how humans are so vulnerable and can be so taken away by challenging spiritual forces in life like drugs or pain. Made me feel like we are all human and crave a certain kind of comfort you only find in the womb and that humans in general are still babes in the woods in a lot of ways and so be sympathetic to your fellow man and woman and thankful for rising above to the clearer waters. Really beautiful movie, with a soul of abandon, and an extremely powerful sensory experience. Direct on, Darren!
Review by Nick VassalloTrue soul and poetry, Howl is Ginsberg's famous sounding point that cried out "truth!" to a loaded audience of fellow writers and so called beats and rough lifers in Frisco. I read it in a poetry class in high school and immediately felt like I could see and feel his point of view and like I knew how his brain worked, like a long lost friend, the way he inspiredly streamed out all of his observations of life and friends and the country and just existence at large was like how I imagined every human I'd relate to feels when in a revved up corner of clarity feeling life's crackling spark and feeling like, "man, I've just GOT to express this!!" And what beautiful expressions they are. There should be a Ginsberg temperature taker for every generation, someone who can really speak to and get at the feeling of a point in time. A good spiritual guide too, makes you feel like there's power in the fearlessness to speak your mind about something that you know really matters. Amen, angel-headed Allen!
Review by Nick VassalloKerouac has a lyrical style like no other--the man's writing is all soul, and heart, and swells of great mixed energy tumbling out with the spirit of Coltrane, taking a true gift and miraculous eye and feel for the heartbeat of one's place in time and working like a possessed person to harken his craft to the point where he could sit down after years and years of experience and deep deep rued up thoughts and stories and bang out this novel in a legendarily feverish 3 week explosion of coiled observations expressed through his vicarious intensity for living. When I read this book, I feel a kindred spirit and a man looking for honesty and who's mix of emotions, true love , optimistic idealisms and godly sympathy for every walking creature and moment of life in this planet smashes like an atom into a deeply thoughtful attempt at something great. His earnestness and sincerity make attempting seem worthwhile, even as much that he takes in makes him and you weep and feel a blue sad poet's eyes looking out at the world as a place with tremendous sadness and beauty simultaneously. An inspiration to travel and see your country and live with your true friends and aim for honesty, this book has a heartbeat that resonates like a sweet song from some place very special. Thank you, Jack!
Review by Sam SwicordProbably best concise overview of Marx's 'Capital'. There's very little about historical context and controversies, so I wouldn't read it as an introduction to Marx's work.
Review by Sam SwicordA timeless concise explanation of how social conflict functions.
Review by Sam SwicordA spectacularly prescient book. While it may seem outdated, the truly remarkable thing about it is that these 'megatrends' are all continuing to this day (with, perhaps, the exception of globalization).
Review by Sam SwicordOne of those rare books you can't understand wasn't written a long time ago.
Review by Sam SwicordA great short read on how people misunderstand systems (especially how they overestimate their ability to solve problems).
Review by Sam SwicordProbably the best concise summary of Marx's economic theory.