Review: Literally Me by Julie Houts

Literally Me is a bizarre and sharp observational collection of darkly comic illustrated essays satirizing modern female identity. However, I was thrown for a loop going into this because I came expecting something along the lines of How to be Alive by Tara Booth, meaning a book full of illustrations with little to no text. So you can only imagine my confusion when I opened up the first essay, thinking it was nonfiction, parodying the unrealistic expectations brides tend to set for their big day, only to read this: “I would recommend doing a colonic an hour before walking down the aisle. I did, and my stomach was so flat it was basically concave.”Literally Me 5-- bookspoils

In the stories following, we have comically wild bits and bobs, including:

-The beauty routine of a deranged bride who aspires to be “truly without flaws” on her wedding day.
-What happens when Kylie Jenner has an existential crisis and can no longer “step out.”
-A journey to Coachella by the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse.
-The true dating confessions of a fembot.
-The terrifying description of Alice Staunch’s book How to Be a Perfect Feminist. 
-The diary of Fiddle Ficus, a tree that lives inside a CÉLINE store, and much more.

Full disclosure: I thought I would get accustomed over time to the weird nature behind each story, but I never really did with my reading experience… So in the end, I just went ahead and let myself focus on solely soaking in the bold illustrations in Literally Me.

Literally Me 1-- bookspoilsSame, but with those damned off the shoulder tops.

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ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: October 24th, 2017

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Review: How to be Alive by Tara Booth

From  the looks of the cover of this book, I was fooled for a second thinking it would resemble my least favorite comic book… But thankfully that was not the case, since this is a collection of Tara Booth’s most recent gouache paintings. Straying from the narrative form of her first 2 publications, How To Be Alive is a series of densely patterned, colorful, one page vignettes. That is to say: It’s basically a compilation of those artists you follow on Instagram.

How To Be Alive 1-- bookspoils

From layering up in winter clothes, taking it all off one item at a time, admiring nature, and to feeling feelings that capture the full of modern female identity and so much more. I managed to complete this book – less than 50 pages – in a flash.

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The colorful and creative style that Booth took with her work really paid off in my eyes, particularly the way she put together those fun outfits for her vignettes. It was so utterly original that I came to anticipate them with each flipping page.

3/5 stars 

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying How To Be Alive, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: What’s It Like in Space? by Ariel Waldman

I’ve tried my hand at a few space books before, but they almost all exclusively went over my head the minute they introduced mathematical equations into their works. So with this collection I was hoping for a more down-to-earth (punny) and accessible read. Thankfully, I got just what I was seeking with this one-of-a-kind deal.

Everyone wonders what it’s really like in space, but very few of us have ever had the chance to experience it firsthand. This captivating illustrated collection brings together stories from dozens of international astronauts—men and women who’ve actually been there—who have returned with accounts of the sometimes weird, often funny, and awe-inspiring sensations and realities of being in space.

“Maybe someday this book will be as quaint as books describing what it’s like to fly in an airplane.”

What’s It Like in Space? approaches a broad range of stories, from trying to describe what space smells like, falling asleep midair in the floating environment, seeing auroras from orbit, spacewalks, insects, burping, and sneezing in space (which I’d never even thought about before), and the difficulties of traveling back home and readjusting your body to the norm. The addition of the peculiar and eccentric artwork accompanying each story added immensely to the atmosphere.

Plus, the quiet allure behind each astronaut’s tale – equal parts terrifying and amusing – drove me to ponder and speculate with a childlike wonder. Speaking of which, here are some of my favorite takes on space:What_s It Like in Space? 1-- bookspoils

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What_s It Like in Space? 4-- bookspoilsWhat_s It Like in Space? 3-- bookspoils

 

What_s It Like in Space? 6-- bookspoilsWhat_s It Like in Space? 5-- bookspoils

 

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Overall, What’s It Like in Space? was a spectacular joy to experience through words. And now more than ever am I eager for more of the similar.

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying What’s It Like in Space?, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!