Monday, August 27, 2018

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/25/18

Every week, I list new books here every Monday morning. Sometimes they're really new books -- just published, and sent to me as part of traditional publicity efforts. But, more often these days, they're things I've gotten in other ways for other reasons. They're still all new to me, and they could be new to you, as NBC used to say.

This week, I have four books I got from the local library:

Spoiled Brats is a 2014 collection of short stories by Simon Rich, author of the humor collections Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, the thematically too-tight collection The Last Girlfriend on Earth, and the humorous novel What in God's Name. (Links are to my posts about those books; Rich has also written another book or two I haven't gotten to yet.) I've found Rich to be killer at the traditional "Shouts & Murmurs"-length essay, but a bit thinner and more facile at longer pieces. But he's been consistently funny, so I'll give him another try.

(If you google him, he is also ridiculously boyish looking, which I'm sure is not his favorite thing in the world.)

My Boyfriend Is a Bear is a graphic novel by Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris about modern romance: Nora dated a bunch of unsuitable guys, and was ready to give up when she met someone adorable. As the title implies, he was an American Black Bear. I've seen good reviews of this book, which I hope slides into that sweet spot between allegory and silly.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF is, obviously, the first collection of another one of that clump of things called "good superhero comics." I'm not sure if it's "good" mostly because it's not about the same few boring old white guys, or if it has other qualities that also provide "good" -- but, what the hey, I'm reading giant piles of books this year so I'll give it a try. It's written by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, with art by Natacha Bustos.

And speaking of things people keep saying are "good superhero comics," I also have Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Earth's Mightiest Hero, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (with Christopher Sebela for a few issues) and drawn by a rotating crew: Dexter Soy, Emma Rios, and Filipe Andrade. Again, I'm not 100% clear if this is praised mostly because it's a woman punching bad guys all the time, but I'll find out.

Looking this up for a link, I see there was another Volume One for Cap from a 2014-2015 series; this is from the 2016 series. I have no idea if this Volume One is a good place to start, or if I should have found the other Volume One.

....and this is why I hate Marvel Comics. There is no way they're going to sell books to anyone not already reading Previews every month as long as they keep up that shit.

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