Eric Kirsammer, owner of Quimby’s and Chicago Comics, is really into:
Habibi by Craig Thompson
Having two small children, the time I have to read (other than children’s books) is precious. One book that I have made time for is called Habibi. It is a massive graphic novel by Craig Thompson, the creator of Blankets. It is an epic love story and so much more. Habibi is a historical novel and explores the effects of modernization on Christianity and Islam. This book can also be savored just for Thompson’s beautiful artwork. Each page can stand on its own as work of art. It is a fully realized graphic novel. It looks like it could have been published a hundred years ago. This is one I am going to come back to over and over again.
Zachary Cahill, Visual artist whose Orphanage Project is on view at Three Walls Gallery, can’t get over:
80s music nostalgia
Over this past summer it seems I have suffered from a kind of 80s music nostalgia and have been listening to music that I am pretty sure I wasn’t into as a kid . . . or maybe I pretended to like . . . to be honest I can’t remember which was which. But I have Quiet Riot and the Psychedelic Furs currently on my playlist.
As a kind of musical accompaniment to [art critic] Jan Verwoert’s amazing book Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want, I have been listening to La Stampa, the band Verwoert is a member of along with other important art writers based in Europe. Fittingly, the album is entitled Pictures Never Stop.
Jason Knade, local filmmaker, couldn’t put down:
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Staying true to its author’s perfect blend of hilarity and pathos, this novel follows a dysfunctionally eccentric family that is forced to sit shiva for its deceased patriarch. Leading the memorable cast is Judd, an unemployed cuckold whose unflinchingly raw narration explodes with insight and wit. Beneath the layers of laugh-out-loud humor and cutting one-liners, though, lies a much more mature, emotionally resonant core. As unique as the characters and situations are, the novel has an honesty that is refreshing and relatable. As the novel progresses, the characters, all of whom are flawed and satisfyingly human, crash together; secrets are revealed, withheld emotions are expressed, and a touching series of personal and familial epiphanies drives the narrative forward. This is a must for any reader who appreciates hilarity with heart.