Books

In her book Why Comics: From Underground to Everywhere (Harper, $40), Hillary Chute surveys this "spatially site-specific form of literature," from early newspaper editorial comics and serialized funnies to the critical acclaim of tough topic graphic novels. Visual texture, storytelling, even line breaks and text arrangement, are investigated in this sweep across the comic canon. Chute investigates the origin stories and art of comics luminaries like Chris Ware, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel and the Hernandez brothers, among others, but looks also at the value of fan culture, which embodies the independent spirit at the root of comics.
"In this universe we are given two gifts: the ability to love, and the ability to ask questions. Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us." --Mary Oliver
You'd think it would be difficult to narrow down the year's best books. And it was. We promise, though, that no Shelf Awareness staffers were injured in the making of this list, so enjoy! (Scroll down to see our reviews)
How many chefs does it take to whittle down our favourite cookbooks of 2017 to only 20? Many--and from all culinary corners, including some who couldn't sauté if their lives depended on it, a few who can and will happily follow complicated recipes with tasty success, and those who just want to eat, already!
It's that most wonderful time of the year again. Indies First 2017, which takes place tomorrow, gathers together authors, readers and publishers to support independent bookstores. Across the U.S., writers and local celebrities are volunteering at events for, as the American Booksellers Association wisely puts it, "a day which is dedicated to supporting the local businesses that help communities thrive."
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