Thumbs up for Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. Memoir, biography, graphic novel.

Any memoir that can keep me obsessively turning pages has got to be pretty amazing. The rumors are true: Alison Bechdel’s half-memoir, half-biography about how her father’s repressed homosexuality and her own more open lesbianism inform each other over the course of a lifetime is beautifully structured, wonderfully illustrated, and pleasingly literary.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for The Ghost Dragon’s Daughter by Beth Bernobich. Fantasy.

If you (like the heroine) are a young lady of the Seventy Kingdoms, you might use a dip pen and inkwell at school, or you might be so lucky as to have a portable calculor and stylus; but either way you had better be wary of staying out too late lest the queen’s watch demons get you.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka, illustrated by J. H. Williams III. Graphic novel.

I try not to think too hard about the plots of things like this. (Two words: evil twin.) Basically, I’m just in it for the pictures. In this case, the pictures don’t actually make it easier to follow what the action is, but they are so very pretty I don’t care.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson. Fantasy.

If you’d said “Emma, you will stay up way too late riveted to this sword-and-sorcery (except actually science fiction) adventure/romance/tragedy about love, compassion and brotherhood told in a bizarre and somehow exquisite mishmash voice that bops around from sentence to sentence between fairytale, elegant classicism, and (inexplicably but gorgeously) African-American vernacular”…I would have shrugged and sighed because weirder things have happened.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Historical fiction.

Weirdly, I’ve never actually read the Illiad (or not all of it, anyway) but since my interest in the Greeks was originally piqued by reading The Firebrand and the The Odyssey at an impressionable age, I am intimately familiar with the story. The Song of Achilles is not, however, just the story of the Trojan War retold; it is about the lifelong love of Achilles and Patroclus (which requires a couple of brave authorial decisions I think Miller pulled off beautifully, but I can’t comment without spoilers).… >> Read more