Comics Roundup #63: “Park Bench”

When I started reading this, I was pretty sure I’d read it before or had seen parts of it on the internet. My memory felt foggy, but I had such a strong feeling that a friend had sent a link to the full thing on the internet years ago and I’d seen most of it.

Whether or not I did, I’m glad that I now own a copy of the book and enjoyed my time with it when I read it for the Magical Readathon.


Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté (illus.), transl. from the French by Jonathan Cape

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

With his masterful illustration style, bestselling French creator-storyteller Chabouté (Alone, Moby-Dick) explores community through a common, often ignored object: the park bench.

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Two Illustrated Books on Fantasy, Assumptions, and Imagination

I read two picture books a while ago: one about the imagination and another about a fantastic adventure. The first, Milo Imagines the World, is about a boy using his imagination to understand the world and how diverse and complicated it can be. It’s not easy, he realizes, to assume what a person’s life is like just by looking at them. The second book, Grand Isle, is about a pair of siblings who venture on a grand adventure at the beach. I enjoyed both.


Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo — walking the same path, going to the exact same place — Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them. (Goodreads)

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“The Bookshop of Second Chances” by Jackie Fraser

Oh man, I feel so bad about this because I read the book back in July and am just now doing my reflection on it. I didn’t intend to wait this long to post my reflection, but the summer months were hard for me. Now I’m surprised that I managed to post anything at all back then. But, anyway, better late than never, especially since I liked this story.


Genre

Contemporary; Romance

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2020

From Goodreads

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

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“Black Buck” by Mateo Askaripour

I guess I’ve been in a blogging slump lately because I’ve been doing everything possible to avoid typing up book reviews, and I’m not exactly enthused to do other posts either. I don’t know why this is, but if it wasn’t for Wyrd & Wonder (and an ARC I need to review), I probably wouldn’t be doing much on my blog. As such, I’m WAY behind on reviews. Here’s the beginning of my attempt to catch up.

I read Black Buck in mid-March — that’s how long I’ve been procrastinating on writing up this reflection on it. It’s one of the most surprising books I’ve read this year. I read it for a bookclub I’m part of with two friends. However, my friends were more eager than I to read it. Actually, I was very against reading this book. I didn’t know much about it other than that it’s about some guy working on Wall Street and that fact alone made me immediately dislike it and assume I would hate it and probably not even finish the book. I didn’t want to put myself through that torture. But I was so wrong.

Genre

Contemporary; Humor – satire

Series

n/a

Pubbed

January 2021

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Comics Roundup #50: “In”

I received an e-ARC of this graphic novel through NetGalley. I’d never heard of the author/artist before doing so, but the description of the story interested me. As such, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, and after the first couple pages, I thought I’d be bored and dislike the book. But, surprisingly, I liked it.

In by Will McPhail (illus.)

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pub

May 18, 2021

Goodreads summary

A poignant and witty graphic novel by a leading New Yorker cartoonist, following a millennial’s journey from performing his life to truly connecting with people.

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“Truth or Beard” by Penny Reid

I introduced myself to Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series last year by reading the second book in the series. It left me wanting more, so I picked the first book soon after completing Grin & Beard It, and devoured it.

Genre

Romance

Series

Winston Brothers, book 1

Pubbed

2015

Goodreads summary

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

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“Kissing Tolstoy” by Penny Reid

I really enjoyed Grin & Beard It and wanted to jump into another Penny Reid novel after finishing it. I believe the first novel in the Winston Brothers series wasn’t available in my library’s app at the time, so I decided to try one of Reid’s Dear Professor stories instead and picked up Kissing Tolstoy.

Genre

Contemporary Romance

Series

Dear Professor, book 1

Pubbed

2014

Goodreads summary

What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?

You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!

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“Grin and Beard It” by Penny Reid

I’m on a contemporary romance binge, and I’m loving it. It’s been years since I’ve read a bunch of romance novels in a go, so I’m quite surprised at myself at the moment.

I’d seen the Winston Brothers novels floating around the internet and was curious about them because I love the cross-stitch effect used for the cover. I think it’s so cute, and it makes me want to collect the series. After reading Black Witch Magic, I thought to myself, why not try one of those novels with the cute covers. So I did, and I loved it! 🙂

Genre

Contemporary Romance

Series

Winston Brothers, book 2

Pubbed

2016

Goodreads summary

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

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Comics Roundup #42: Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, Vol. 1

I work part-time at a bookstore and one day when I visited to shop, a coworker told me about this manga that she’d just read. It was obvious that she enjoyed it, so I ran over to the manga section of the bookstore and got myself a copy too. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it.

Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san, Vol. 1 by Honda (illus.), transl. by Amanda Haley

Genre:

Manga — contemporary

Series:

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Pubbed:

2016

Goodreads summary:

Ever wonder what it’s like to sell comics at a Japanese bookstore? Honda provides a hilarious firsthand account from the front lines! Whether it’s handling the store, out-of-print books, or enthusiastic manga fans, Honda takes on every challenge! (Goodreads)

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“A Duke by Default” by Alyssa Cole

Genre:

Contemporary; Romance

Pubbed:

July 2018

Series:

Reluctant Royals (book 2)

Goodreads summary:

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project. 

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love? (Goodreads)

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