Summer 2015 Reads - Kate's Picks

Sphinx - Anne Garréta

The riddle of Sphinx lies somewhere at the intersection of "Eden" and "Apocryphe", two hot nightclubs in Paris. Another hint is that the book takes its title from the 1979 Amanda Lear song of the same name. In what has become an honorary Oulipo work, Garréta systematically removes gender from the text about a dancer and DJ. Technically functioning differently in translation, it remains a gorgeous genderless love story and is one of few in existence in English today.

The First Bad Man - Miranda July

As one of the first, reputedly, good books of the year, The First Bad Man holds a hefty spot on my summer reading list. I can't wait to insert myself into Cheryl Glickman's banal, neurotic world! After thoroughly enjoying her collection of awkward and often surprising short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, I'm eagerly anticipating how this might translate to a longer story. A general sense of disappointment in life and in people pervades July's universe and it's this very likeable quality that I'm counting on.

Heroes - Franco 'Bifo' Berardi

In this title from Verso's latest Futures series, Franco 'Bifo' Berardi searches for the social roots of the mental malaise of our age. Tracing a chain of current events of mass murder (Columbine, Jokela, Aurora) and suicide (hikokomori, Chinese worker suicides) he investigates the psychosocial effects of late capitalism through close readings of crime and suicide. Increasingly virtual living and intense internalization of the competitive imperative of the free market induces the question: have we lost our capacity for empathy?

Colletion Revue #4

Collection Revue is a magazine about contemporary drawing. It's a completely bilingual publication (French and English) that presents informal, in-depth interviews with an array of artists working in diverse mediums from cartooning and painting to illustration and design and exhibits their work over several pages following their conversations. This edition boasts interviews with Leon Sadler, Daniel Clowes and a fascinating piece on street artists practicing aerosolgrafia.

Stroppy - Marc Bell

The latest offering from cartoonist and fine artist Marc Bell and his first full length graphic novel is a piece of highly incisive political commentary and his most prolonged use of the word schnauzer in a narrative yet. From the first page, the stakes are high when our hero Stroppy learns about a song contest offering cash prizes. From there the action moves along at a strapping pace while each panel offers delightfully detailed drawings to savour. 

 Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years

Whenever I open it, I get chills and that's just from reading the table of contents! Brimming with amazing photographs, writing, and cartoons this anthology alone could fulfill all my needs for summer reading. It contains stacks of unseen - rare - and never-been-published-before material in celebration of D&Q's twenty-five years on earth. If you read one book this summer, I suggest it be this one.

Garden - Yuichi Yokoyama

Garden has been on the shelf for a while now but this summer it's a priority on my list. Yuichi Yokoyama's Garden has frequently been described as "a bunch of fashion-forward humanoid characters wandering aimlessly through increasingly complex environments", "Manga 2053" and "Plato's Cave". Given its lush, architectural landscapes and diverse cast of humanoids I can't wait to venture inside.

For more summer reading suggestions check out  Daphné's, Julie's, Kira's, Alyssa's & Helen's lists!

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