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Monthly Hits: August 2014

28th Aug 2014

Monthly Hits: August 2014
Hello and welcome to August’s Monthly Hits! Despite wilting in the recent heat wave, we’ve managed to fill our brains with some real corkers this month.

From fiction to comics to essays to poetry, we’ve covered it all. There is gender and there are cities. There is parenthood and psychoanalysis and poems about fruit.

So take a look at what we’ve been reading this July….

War of Streets and Houses by Sophie Yanow (2014)

A mini graphic novel about the connection between city streets and social change. The text is minimal but educational on the subject of how a city can aid or repress activism against control of the masses.

An unassuming book with pleasing and deceptively simple artwork, which covers a world of ideas despite its brevity.

It’s fascinating stuff, from the military history of urban planning to the artist’s personal story as she participates in student strikes in Montreal. [Alexis Somerville]

Friendship by Emily Gould (2014) and Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro (2014)

Hip looks at modern womanhood, from different angles.

In Friendship, 30-year-old NYC BFFs lament their professional and romantic failures.

Cutting Teeth shows a yuppie playgroup on a weekend beach holiday, full of mummy (and daddy) angst. [Rebecca Foster]

It's fascinating stuff, from the military history of urban planning to the artist's personal story as she participates in student strikes in Montreal.

Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel (2012)

Following on from the catastrophically brilliant ‘Fun Home’, Alison Bechdel’s second memoir focuses on her relationship with her mother, psychoanalysis, and the influences of Virginia Woolf and Julie Andrews.

Asking how do we become who we are, ‘Are You My Mother’ is guaranteed to make you a graphic narrative addict! [Amy Clarke]

Knowing Grapes by Rosemary Hector (2014)

This is one of the many fine poetry pamphlets to come out of the small, but excellent, HappenStance Press.

Of course the poetry is more than simply about grapes and other fruit; it is about all those small moments that live in our memories and build relationships.

Poignant, thoughtful and understated, these well-crafted poems deserve to be read. [Marija Smits]

Normal by Amy Bloom (2003)

Normal casts light onto our assumptions of sex, gender, and identity through three detailed and engaging essays: female to male transsexualism, heterosexual cross-dressing, and the intersexed.

Gender is a strong theme throughout Bloom’s fiction (which I love), and this book is a clear expression of her views on identity and society’s refusal to accept difference.

Using real subjects, the book is poignant, funny, and completely fascinating. [Jenn Thompson]

 

 

If you’d like to read any/all of the above, add them to your list! Hopefully there will be many more sweaty days to find a patch of shade to read in.

 

[Image Credit: Devin Smith - Flickr]