The Front Porch prints book reviews by librarians in Northeast Denver, rotating to a different library each month. This month, reviews are by Marco Alvarez, Thane Benson, Dawn Mendel and Tara Bannon Williamson from Park Hill Library.
Adult Graphic Nonfiction
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney
Ellen Forney is an artist. When she first becomes diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her initial reaction is one of elation. She sees her diagnosis as proof that she is a “crazy artist” equal to Van Gogh or Hemingway in passion and creativity. As she descends from the euphoria of mania into the depths of depression, however, she is forced to recognize the seriousness of her situation. In seeking treatment for her bipolar disorder, will Forney ultimately “cure” her source of creativity? In
a memoir that is equally funny and heartbreaking, Forney takes
full advantage of the graphic novel format to tell the story of her battles with mania and depression in a visually exciting and innovative way.
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
In 1998, for reasons he still can’t fully explain, Greg Sestero approached Tommy Wiseau, an older, peculiar-looking gentleman from a European nation no one could quite place, with the request he be Sestero’s scene partner in an acting class. What Sestero didn’t know at the time was that this decision would lead to his intimate involvement in the creation of The Room, the film widely regarded as the worst ever made. In The Disaster Artist, Sestero recalls his burgeoning friendship with Wiseau and the production of Wiseau Films’ cinematic triumph. Wiseau, a genuine Sacha Baron Cohen character come to life, makes Sestero’s recollections hilarious. Surprising, however, Sestero tenderly admires his eccentric friend.
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
Compelling and provocative, Jeanette Winterson’s latest complex work combines history and fantasy with tantalizing characters and mystical forces. It is horrifying to think that in 17th century England people were hunted and publicly killed for their religious beliefs; often most cruelly the Catholics and those thought to be witches. True-life historical figure Alice Nutter commands your attention as she struggles with her own accusation with her tenacious belief in magic, love and fighting against injustice. With the evocative language that uniquely marks her work, Winterson explores passion and punishment equally. A quick read, it will linger in your mind long after you’ve returned it to the library.
Young Adult Fiction
Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter by Simon Mayo
Itchingham Lofte is the kind of guy who accidentally blows off his eyebrows in an experiment gone awry and would put it all on the line to save your life, and he is only 14 years old. With the help of his cousin Jacqueline and his sister, this gutsy trio learns which adults to trust when they encounter a dangerously powerful radioactive rock that could either change the world, or kill them all. Fast-paced, suspenseful and smart, this thrilling adventure story will leave you in awe of (and slightly more enlightened about) science, happy from laughing and rooting for the heroes.
Kids Graphic Fiction
Jedi Academy by Jeffery Brown
Imagine attending middle school in a galaxy far, far away …. Featuring journal entries, letters, doodles and newspaper clippings depicting common events faced by any average middle-schooler, this fun book is more than your typical graphic novel! With equal measures practical advice, good-hearted humor and witty charm, parents and kids frequently enjoy this one together. Recommended to Star Wars fans ages 9 and up, but also to those who like: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda.
Librarians who wish to contribute reviews should contact Madeline Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org.