Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rave AND Rant: Nonfiction Graphic Novels

I’m not in school anymore, but I still like to learn about things. And I also like reading comic books, so I’m excited about the increasing number of nonfiction graphic novels. When done right, nonfiction graphic novels can be a great way to learn about a new topic in a fun, easily digestible way.  I recently read Economix: How Our Economy Works (And Doesn’t Work) by Michael Goodwin and Dan E. Burr and Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm. I’d say their titles give you a pretty clear idea of what both books are about–how the economy works, and a history of the first atomic bomb–and neither subject was one that I knew very much about. They’re both somewhat intimidating topics to dive into, and I thought a graphic novel would be a good way to get a good introduction. I was right, although one of these books does a better job than the other.

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Rave: Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea. San Francisco : McSweeney’s, c2013. Review copy provided by my local library.

One of the main reasons I was interested in reading Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea was because of the cover blurb from Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). His glowing blurb ends with, “I can’t keep still to write a blurb about it. Just read the thing, read it now.” In a sense, that is how I feel about Mermaid in Chelsea Creek as well. It’s a beautiful book, and part of me certainly wants to just shove it at everyone who passes by me.

But another part of me–the part that went to library school–knows that this is not a book for everyone. Let me tell you about it, and you can decide if it is for you or not.

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