Net Galley Wrap Up #4

Sunday 18 October 2020

It's time for another Net Galley Wrap Up! Yay! This time, instead of audio book or graphic novels, we're talking about regular books. So check it out and you may just find a fun future read.

Coffee Days Whiskey Nights by Cyrus Parker

This is a collection of poetry, prose, and aphorisms that juxtaposes the hopefulness a brand new day can bring with the lingering thoughts that keep us up into the late-night hours. This book takes a look at the way a single day can change our outlook on everything from relationships with others, to our relationships with ourselves, and everything in between. (Net Galley Synopsis)

I didn't expect to be blown away. I didn't expect to love it. I expected to read a bunch of lofty poetry that I'd only understand a smidge of but I got it as much as someone who is not Cyrus Parker can get it.  It was beautiful. It was sad. It was happy. I related to some of it while I can never understand some of it but I can still appreciate the words and emotions. 

This is my first modern poetry book and it will be on my favorites list. 

This was great. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

Coffee Days Whiskey Nights gets a 10 out of 11

I Hope This Helps by Tommy Siegel

Tommy Siegel's debut book collection includes 200+ pages of comics, essays, and extremely helpful guides to coping with 21st-century panic. With comics titled “Choose your social anxiety coping mechanism” and “What your coffee drink of choice says about you,” I Hope This Helps offers clever and sardonic commentary on our phone-obsessed, social media-driven culture, as well as a series of devastatingly funny relationship comics starring his popular Candy Hearts characters. (Premise from Net Galley)

I had no idea what to expect going in as I had never heard of Tommy Siegel before. But I like comics so I figured, why not. This is a collection of 

The full title is I Hope This Helps: 500 Days of Comics and Extremely Helpful Guides. The comics were hit and miss. Some made me laugh so hard I was shaking. Others just missed the mark.

An ongoing theme is the difference between younger and older millennials as well as social media and phone addiction. The goal felt like it was aiming for sarcasm but it comes across as super cynical. 

This was going to be a 3 star book but a handful of comics really made me laugh. A great honest belly laugh that just makes you smile and that alone upped the rating by one.

If you're a fan of comics like The Oatmeal or anything with a vague resemblance to old Far Side, than this is for you.

I Hope This Helps gets a 7.5 out of 11

Dead Dudes by Christopher Sebela

Dead Dudes by Christopher Sebela and Ben Sears is a goofy little graphic novel about paranormal investigators that become ghosts and want to prove to the world that ghosts exist when their rivals show up to the place their haunting. 

The Ghost Bros, which is what the protagonists call their team, are quite clearly modeled after the Ghost Adventures crew while the rivals give off a Ghost Hunters vibe.  

The art is just okay. Not great but not awful. It seems to be purposefully messy. The plot is interesting but gets a bit too odd and convoluted at the end. There's no character growth. Everyone stays the same. The author has bleeps instead of actual swearing which gets quite annoying. Either swear or don't swear. Don't try and be cute and live in the middle. 

This was fun but could have been a lot better. The story tried to do to much and it didn't have enough going for it to make up for the shortcomings.

Dead Dudes gets a 3 out of 11

Guantanamo Voices: True Accounts from the World's Most Infamous Prison by Sarah Mirk

This is the heaviest graphic novel I've ever read. I've always known that Gitmo was just one gigantic war crime, but the stories of those involved were shocking, i think this graphic novel attempts to bring to light some of the stories that people need to know. 

Sarah Mirk and the various artists who worked on this did a fantastic job.  The art was good and the stories ranged from intriguing to horrifying and it captured my interest right away. 

I think this should be required reading in high schools and even in college because I never knew a lot of this stuff. Even some of the facts like there are 40 inmates still there was completely new to me. This is something we should know. Since this is all from first hand accounts the stories bypass the talking heads and spin doctors who always make things all muddled. 

I'm glad I read this and I'll recommend this to anyone willing to read it.

Grumpy Cat Awful-ly Big Comic Collection by Various Authors

This collection of Grumpy Cat comics would be great for kids.  This isn't one of those all ages comics where the parent would get just as much enjoyment as the child would. The jokes were basic, perfect for someone young. But for anyone able to tie their own shoes? This is an easy one to skip. Grumpy Cat, may she rest in peace, had her moment of fame and was a funny internet meme for a while but the fad is over. Sure, a good grumpy cat meme is still fun, but this doesn't feel like it's trying to capitalize on Grumpy Cat herself as opposed to just a cute topic for a kids book.

So if you want something fun for a child in your life, this could be worth a look. If not, skip it. My friends and fellow adults, we are not the target audince.

Grumpy Cat Awful-ly Big Comics Collection gets a 5 out of 11

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