Month: April 2015

Humility, Humor, and Hyperbole

Right around the time this book was coming out, I heard an interview with Allie Brosh on NPR. Not being familiar with her blog or her story at the time, I was intrigued and enjoyed the personality she conveyed in the interview. I intended to pick up her book, but never got around to it. So when we picked this book as our April read, I was eager to get my hands on a copy, especially because the format she chose is a new one for me. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I found her sense of humor both endearing and relatable, often laughing out loud or reading certain snippets to my husband. My favorite stories were by far “The God of Cake” and “Motivation,” mostly because I found myself nodding my head in solidarity. My two weakness: sweets and my tendency to procrastinate. “I had tasted the cake and there was no going back” and “Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But …

A Girl I Can Relate to…

I’ve been reading Allie’s blog since June 2010. A friend sent her post, “This Is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult” to me and I think I snorted water out of my nose and exclaimed, “THIS IS SO TRUE!” I followed her blog regularly after that and was disappointed when it seemed to stop. When she returned with the post on depression, I was so taken with how honest and how self-aware she was. Needless to say, I was excited to read Hyperbole and a Half and wasn’t entirely sure why I didn’t already own it. It was great to revisit some of my favorite stories and wonderful to read some of the new ones. I continue to be impressed with how self-aware Allie is and how well she can describe her life, feelings, and situations. These stories are all so relatable. Even if you haven’t lived through what she’s describing, you understand where she’s coming from. She makes her life accessible and that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. Of course, her illustrations are …

The Joys of Exploring Your Inner Nerd

We are an exhausting generation full of instagrams, facebook posts, and selfies (don’t you dare tell me that I’m too old for selfies…I would like to reserve the opportunity to “selfie” should I fancy…but I digress).  There is a brilliant article by Tim Urban from a while back entitled “Why Generation Yuppies are Unhappy.”  It basically describes how our delusional expectations are on a crash course with far less awesome reality. The net effect is that we are an entire generation of bummed out, woulda, coulda-ers with a serious case of FOMO.  Now, while this is somewhat drastic, a lot of the article rings true. The people who truly succeed in this always plugged-in and turned-on generation, or at least so says I, are those who can look above the haze and proudly proclaim “holy cow, I’m a nerd.”  Do not fall into the rabbit hole – the bottom of which is littered with people with selfie sticks who have lost track of themselves. Self awareness is a characteristic lost on far too many these days. …

Fast and Fun!

Motivation… a fickle beast. In Allie’s case it was a Blockbuster rental (sigh, I miss those). In my case it’s that pile of clean clothes that taunts me from my bedroom floor, “fold me, please!” No matter how much I bargain, guilt, or abuse my subconscious, those clothes just sit there. On the floor. FOREVER. So many of Allie Brosh’s stories in were so relatable and funny. Hyperbole and a Half did not disappoint. And it was a SUPER fast read. If I’d had a few uninterrupted hours one afternoon I could have finished it in one sitting. But interruptions aplenty, it still took less than a week reading only during my 15 minute subway commute. Brosh’s sense of humor is self-deprecating and silly. She finds the humor in everyday shenanigans. And the combination of text and illustrations adds to her anecdotes. Her drawing style might be juvenile, but it does a great job of getting the point across. Every bend of an eyebrow and down-turn of the mouth give her characters the perfect expression. I’d be reading along, and …

Chicago’s Oldest & Largest

If you’re a fellow bibliophile, and you’re in Chicago (for whatever reason), you have to visit Myopic Books! True to our title, it’s Chicago’s oldest and largest used bookstore. Packed tight into an old brownstone on Milwaukee Avenue in the heart of Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, Myopic has three floors fully-loaded with used books. They seem to cover every possible surface, which makes sense considering they boast over 80,000 editions. The staff is very friendly, always greeting visitors with a happy hello and available to answer questions. And if you visit you may have a question or two, since it’s a bit of a book maze inside. But that’s part of the fun! You weave through tight, makeshift hallways lined with books and the air smells like well-loved paperbacks. There’s nothing better, right? And you’re likely to find a great deal. Myopic is pretty particular about the books they buy. Most of their selection ends up looking fairly unused since they weed-out any books that have taken too much damage. But even though they’re choosy, they have …

Illustrating Adventures

Since this month we’re reading a graphic novel of sorts (Hyperbole and a Half ), we thought it’d be a great time to learn more about the genre. And who better to learn from than an illustrator and comic book author? Introducing, Dan Hood! Read on to learn about his Illustrating Adventures, comic books, and be one of the first to see Dan’s latest comic, The Green Bowl…   Tell us a little about yourself and your work… I grew up drawing, creating, doodling. It’s really the only thing that never gets boring to me and is definitely a driving force in my life. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in comic books, which is funny to tell people. I enjoy making comics, but I also enjoy animation and painting as well. What do you love about graphic novels and comics? The way story and art are in harmony achieving something more than what they can accomplish individually! It’s a very beautiful thing. What are some facts people might not know about this genre? Great question! The …

Bookly Recommends {Humor}

Are you already finished with Hyperbole and a Half and looking for another read that will tickle your funny bone? Here are a few recommendations from the Bookly Club that will keeping you laughing all the way through the month of April. Yes Please! by Amy Poehler: A quick read, Amy’s journey and career so far are full of laughs. Though on more than one occasion the story might not make her sound so great, you have to respect the fact that she keeps it real. Bossypants by Tina Fey: If you’re a fan of Tina Fey’s writing (SNL, 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), you’ll be a fan of this book. If you’re not a fan of Tina Fey’s writing, then, well, we are very different. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: Mindy is a girl’s girl and she wrote a book for girls. She says things you might be afraid to say, and she’s got her finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be a young …

April Book

Hello again! Feel like a good laugh after last month’s read? Well, you’re in luck! In honor of April Fool’s Day and the month of foolish pranks, it’s the perfect time for us to read something funny. April’s theme is humor and we’ll be reading Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.   Never heard of it? Well, let us explain. It all started out as a web comic and blog by the same name.  The author, Allie Brosh, is in her late 20’s and lives in Oregon with her husband and 2 dogs (who appear often in her drawings). She used (uses) her unique, hand-drawn web comic / blog to tell her life stories and struggles in a humorous, self-deprecating and creative way. The first thing you notice is probably her drawing style which is usually described as “crude” because of its juvenile look. But the Hyperbole and a Half blog has received up to 5 million views per month and attracted many loyal readers. So in 2013 she published her first book Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That …