Graphic Novelty²



Mid Year Freakout #6

I’m freaking out for the sixth time! I like this post idea, as it forces me to reflect on my reading halfway through the year instead of just at the end with the Best Of list. I had fun going through my Goodreads data, and bonus, it highlights the other genres I read since I read way more than just graphic novels.

Best book you read in 2022 so far

The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley is a gritty thriller that was a love letter about Native culture and was beyond excellent! While it is a YA novel, it will also appeal to adults who are looking for an intriguing coming-of-age narrative.

Best sequel you’ve read so far 

Run, which is a sequel to the trilogy March by John Lewis, continues Lewis’s Civil Rights journey. Despite his death, I hope the Run series will continue, for Lewis’s story is inspiring!

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Hanya Yanagihara has a new book, To Paradise, out and I want to read it. I loved her The People in the Trees but hated A Little Life, so I have put off her newest book because I’m nervous about if I will like it or not, plus it has a huge page count.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I’m still waiting on the last volume of Manifest Destiny that will complete the Lovecraftian reimaging of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The graphic novel series really grew on me but has undergone several delays, so I am hoping it sticks the landing.

Biggest disappointment

Run, Rose, Run was penned by both Dolly Parton and James Patterson. I adore Parton, but the Nashville-based story was so fake and saccharine that I could barely finish it.

Biggest surprise

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green surprised me in the very best way. I typically think of him as a quirky YA author, but this book of essays in which he muses about a large variety of topics was thought-provoking and made me reflect on the subjects long after reading them.

Newest fictional crush

I’m not a fan of Batman, so I don’t read much about him but I recently read two books that featured the second Robin, Jason Todd, and really liked him. The Three Jokers was based on the previous book A Death in the Family, and Todd has grown into a vigilante hero that Batman can no longer control. Todd aka Red Hood makes hard decisions that I can sympathize with.

Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year

I’m flipping this- I read Lord of the Flies for the first time (I have tried many times over the years, and just couldn’t finish it until now), so afterward I watched the 1963 and 1990 films, and both were terrible adaptations! While books are always better than movies/tv, this was incredibly true with these two movies.

Newest favorite character

Daunis Fountaine, the bi-racial heroine, from the above-mentioned Firekeeper’s Daughter was a believable young woman who had to make tough decisions. I loved her.

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

I will be reading whatever Angeline Boulley next writes!

Favorite review you have written this year 

I have participated for four years in a blogging series- Fiction’s Fearless Females, and this year I wrote about the friendship between Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Beverly Crusher and Deanna Troi. Female friendships are not often authentically shown in books or films, but these two women were allowed to shine!

Book(s) that made you happy

I got on a Little House on the Prairie kick early in the year and read (or re-read) memoirs by several actresses from the tv series: Melissa Gilbert, Charlotte Stewert, Karen Grassle, Melissa Sue Anderson and Alison Arngrim. The gossipy books were fun to compare to the memories I had of the iconic show that I loved when I was a child.

Book that made you sad

As a librarian, I was anxious to read Overdue by Amanda Oliver, for a fellow colleague’s take on public libraries, however, it turns out she only worked in a public library for nine months and I came away disappointed with her lack of a complete picture of issues facing libraries today.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I am a fan of artist Gregory Manchess and found two children’s books illustrated by him and enjoyed them, so I ended up reading all six of the books in the series about Great Explorers. Written and beautifully illustrated by several people, all of the books gave very thorough looks at six explorers- John Wesley Powell, Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle, Vasco da Gama, Henry Hudson, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and Ferdinand Magellan.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year? 

I’m on a national library committee this year, that I can share more information about at a later date, and have tons of graphic novels to read so we can put together an award list at the end of the year. I’m not allowed to publically review any that are under consideration for the list. Stay tuned!

I gave myself a goal of reading 100 books this year, and I am already at 62, so I might up to 120 which I should easily hit, especially if a new season of LeVar Burton Reads is released this year. Happy reading everyone!

Finally Fall Book Tag

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year, so I was pleased to receive the Finally Fall Book Tag from one of my favorite bloggers Lashaan from Bookidote! He is part of an amazing blogging duo with Trang, so I always look forward to both of their posts, as they partner on their blog as Kathleen and I do! Please check out his original post and make sure you read more of their well-written blog.

Locke & Key is a fantastic supernatural series that creates a vivid backdrop for the Locke family. I can’t wait for the Netflix series next year!

The audio version of this amazing YA book will gut you! Check out my Goodreads review about this gritty thriller.

I am currently listening to A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson about his adventure of walking a significant part of the Appalachian Trail. My husband and I are avid hikers, yet toting a 50-pound pack vs a small backpack are two completely different things. I am enjoying finding out about the realities of the trail, and I can dare to dream that I’d be in good enough shape (and have the time) to complete this epic hike someday.

I have been reading about the ElfQuest tribe since I was in high school!


Look, its ElfQuest again! In this particular story, Tyleet is telling some other elves a story about the human child she adopted and how both tribes benefitted from it.

Snow, Glass, Apples is a delightfully dark fairytale by Neil Gaiman about Snow White told from the step-mother’s view. But it’s the art by ColleenDoran that elevates this tale.

I am a big fan of the podcast LeVar Burton Reads, for it includes dozens of short stories read by the esteemed storyteller.  Favorites include: Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, Jackalope Wives, Different Kinds of Darkness and The Fliers of Gy.

I adore the early YA novel A Long Way From Chicago about the indomitable Grandma Dowdel.  The chapters are in essence short stories about two siblings visiting their Grandma each summer, and I can re-read it again and again.

I love to read cuddled up in a blanket on a comfortable chair in the same room as my family! ♥


Thanks again to Lashaan for this fun tag (plus the use of the graphics from his post), but as fall is truly almost over, I will not be tagging anyone, because the holidays are around the corner!


Extra fall awesomeness: The fall colors left Illinois a few weeks ago, but I was lucky enough to travel to Georgia with my college friends recently and hike through parts of the Chattahoochee National Forest, which is part of the southernmost part of the Appalachian Mountains. The colors were still vivid there, so here are a few pictures of autumn glory:


Mid-Year Freak Out Tag²

I’m freaking out again! Let’s check in and see how my reading and blogging year is going:

Best book you read in 2018 so far

Chosen by my book club, I picked up this book uncertain if I would connect with it. But it grabbed me immediately, and brought up incredibly strong feelings. The compelling audio narration made me reflect on my own troubled childhood, and gave me much food for thought. This family drama set in Alaska in the 1970’s was filled with very real characters,  and this beautifully told story of survival (both physical and emotional) has stayed with me. Read my full review on Goodreads.


Best sequel you’ve read so far 

In the first volume A Well Regulated Militia, Brian Wood first gives us a lengthy portrait of the fictional character Seth Abbott and his journey from farm boy to one of the well respected leaders of the Green Mountain Boys. Then we are given shorter non-linear vignettes of other loyalists and patriots and their contributions to the war. This second historical fiction graphic novel follows suit. In These Free and Independent States, we revisit Vermont to find that Seth’s son John is a boat-making savant. Spanning the years from 1786 to 1816, John comes to age as the new nation faces several threats and a new Navy is commissioned

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I ordered this YA book for my teen department, and it is a summer reading choice for the local high school that my library serves. I have an audio edition on hold and I look forward to listening to this fantasy novel that so many people seem to be raving about.


Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I look forward to every Walking Dead volume and both the mystery-thriller Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers books by John Sandford.

Biggest disappointment

A big fan of Andy Weir’s first book The Martian, I eagerly looked forward to his next book and was pleased to find a heroine in his second novel. Imagine my dismay when my opinion of Artemis  plummeted chapter by chapter. I was hate reading it at the end.

Biggest surprise

Author Michelle McNamara was nearing completion of this true-crime novel when she unexpectedly died. Her husband and two co-writers were able to finish it, and soon after publication with the resulting renewed attention to the crime, the case was solved. It was a bittersweet surprise that McNamara’s book helped bring the killer to justice. Read my full review on Goodreads.


Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)

M.A. Bennett wrote a twisty psychological thriller for teens that I found very appealing. Her debut novel was a strong start, so I’m willing to check out further work from her. Read my full review on Goodreads.

Image result for ma bennett

Newest fictional crush

I’ve been devouring graphic novels written by Brian Wood- does that count as a crush?

Newest favourite character

Enna, Sven’s traditional wife, from the Viking saga Northlanders by Brain Wood. In the first volume I hated Sven but loved Enna. She truly redeemed his character.

Image result for enna northlanders

Book that made you happy

I love Star Wars! I love short stories! Together this anthology was a win-win for me. From A Certain Point Of View is a must read for all Star Wars fans. It strengthened and filled in gaps in the narrative and this new canon was a treat from beginning to end.

Book that made you sad

What Happened is an apt title, for truly, what happened in the 2016 election? In this book Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what transpired behind the scenes in her election bid to be president. Spanning many years of her life, but concentrating mostly on the two years preceding the election, she shares her thoughts and experiences of what went on. She reflects on what went wrong, she owns up to her mistakes, and she gives the reader a fuller picture of who she is. I cried several times while I listened to the audio while I mourned for a future that did not happen. Read my full review on Goodreads.

Image result for what happened clinton

Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year 

Ready Player One was a solid adaptation of the book, but it didn’t knock my socks off. It’s The Hate U Give that is coming out later this year that I think will end of being my favourite film adaptation. It’s first trailer looks fabulous!

Favourite review you have written this year 

Kathleen and I did a fun blog series about who is the best cinematic Chris with bloggers Michael of My Comic Relief and Kalie of Just Dread-full. My choice of Chris Pine was obviously the best, but the whole experience of writing for this series was enjoyable!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Above The Timberline by Gregory Manchess is a unique book, that isn’t quite a graphic novel, instead it is a highly illustrated book, a so-called “painted novel”. Very reminiscent of the Dinotopia book series (minus the dinosaurs but add polar bears) by James Gurney, this large sized book has 240 pages of lush paintings that transport you to another time and place.The artwork is exquisite. He vividly creates a believable tundra landscape, and paints his characters, animals and interior backgrounds with precision.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year? 

I am a member of NetGalley and try to keep my book queue to a minimum so my ratio stays high. Right now the only book I have to get to is Other People by Joff Winterhart.

Image result for other people winterhart

Half way through the year and I’m on schedule for my Goodreads challenge of 100 books, as I’m at 54 with a few books almost done this week. So far, so good. Bring on the last half of 2018!


Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Recently I ran across this tag on the site Book Bastion and I thought it looked worthwhile. Bentley credits it to The Bibliophile Girl UK because that’s the blog he found it on, but as he says “it looks like its origins are lost to the ether.” So prepare to learn some deets about one half of the dynamic blogging duo of Graphic Novelty²!

Me & my hubby hiking at Starved Rock last month

How Long Have You Been a Blogger?

Kathleen and I have been blogging since January of 2016. We met in a graduate class at Dominican University, partnered up for a project in which we created a fake blog, and afterwards we decided to go live with it.

At What Point Do You Think You’ll Stop?

I love to blog! Kathleen and I are a good team so I hope to keep on keeping on.

What is the best part?

My IRL friends don’t read even a fraction of what I do, much less want to talk about the nerdy things I like. Although our blog is almost exclusively about graphic novels and geek life, if you follow me on Goodreads you’ll see I read many genres.  Now I can share my book musings and geek thoughts without shame!

What is the worst part?

Finding the time! I’m a married mom of three and a teen librarian, so my book blogging cuts into my precious little free time.

How long does it take you to find/create photos to use?

Depends- longer than I’d like since I overthink it.

Who’s your book crush?

That’s a tough one- I’m married and don’t develop crushes on book characters because I already have a real life prince ♥

What’s your favorite book, who is your favorite author?

Can’t pick just one!

Graphic Novels: Wendy & Richard Pini (ElfQuest), Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez (Locke & Key) and Tim Seely & Mike Norton (Revival)

Fiction: Rainbow Rowell, Richard Peck, Silas House, Sheila Kay Adams, Kent Haruf & John Sandford

Non-Fiction: Dale Maharidge & Michael Williamson

The Revival series holds a special place in my heart since I was drawn in as a cameo character in the last issue. Yes, that’s really me!

Which author would you love to have on your blog?

Rainbow Rowell because we are secret soul sisters.

How long does it take you to prepare a post?

If it’s really short an hour- but some longer ones require several hours (usually not done all at once).

How do you feel about the book blog community/culture?

I love it! I’ve found genuine friends here and haven’t gotten mixed up in any drama.

Image result for pop art drama
State your opinion, but don’t get caught up in “gatekeepers” in certain fandoms.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

Wish I knew! Seriously though- just be authentic, post as consistently as you can and engage with other bloggers in the comments section! If someone sends you a comment, reply! If they took time to comment, then I want to give them the courtesy of a reply. Friendships can develop through those comments, and that can lead to guest posting on other blogs, which is another way to grow followers.

So there you have it-  my secret life as a book blogger!


The Reading Habits Tag – Part 2!

RH tag

Nancy tagged me in her reading habits post =P

  • Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Not really, though I tend to read either on an armchair in the living room or downstairs on the couch. As long as I have a puppy next to me, I’m good =P

  • Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Both! Mostly random paper rn, as all my bookmarks save my favorite one are still in boxes with my school stuff XD

  • Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I try to either stop at chapters or breaks, but I’m good stopping wherever.

  • Do you eat or drink while reading?

I read while eating lunch all the time! Dinner too if I’m eating alone, otherwise my family makes fun of me XD

  • Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Occasionally. I’m more likely to listen to music while reading than watch TV.

  • One book at a time or several at once?

Several!!! I have too much to read to go one at a time.

  • Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere! I normally carry a book with me just in case I have a few spare moments~

  • Reading out loud or silently in your head?


  • Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

No way, man! I see enough spoilers on the internet!

  • Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I try to keep a book new as long as possible, but it doesn’t bother me when the spine breaks either. It’s easier to lay on the table then and keep my place if I’m reading while eating something that requires both hands X,D

  • Do you write in your books?

No way! What kind of monster do you think I am???

Go nuts! Go ahead and copy and paste these questions onto your blog if this tag seems intriguing to you. What weird reading habits do you have??? We’re both dying to know ;D

  1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
  2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
  3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
  4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
  5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
  6. One book at a time or several at once?
  7. Reading at home or everywhere?
  8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
  9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
  10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
  11. Do you write in your books?

And just a bit of personal news… I’m officially a librarian! I got hired part-time at two libraries near me!! And I start at both next week!!! I couldn’t possibly choose between them, they’re both great libraries and I’m sure I’ll be very happy. Not to worry, though, my handy dandy planner will be keeping me on task with two jobs, art making, boyfriend visiting, puppy watching, and, of course, this blog =P

– Kathleen

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