Benn read A Last Cry For Help by David Kiersh:
If you were disappointed to find The Hold Steady's album Boys And Girls In America to be little more than an evangelical morality play for kids instead of an intelligent look into the lives of teenagers, than David Kiersh's A Last Cry For Help will not let you down. All the angst is here, the creepiness, the danger, the bad decisions - it's just like the OC, except without the corporate indie rock soundtrack, the rich kids and the hateful characters. Okay, so maybe it's nothing like the OC. Twisted geeks, victimized wallflowers, villianous popular kids, dangerous bad boys - they're all here, presented in a series of seemingly unconnected tales of reoccurring characters that almost serve as a high school yearbook (or Facebook). Kiersh's bold-lines and clean, minimal but evocative artwork comes off like a grittier, slightly more detailed John Porcellino, and serves his subject matter well.
Lauren read The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian:
It's a big book. It's a heavy book. This might be enough to turn you off. Don't let it. Chris' book is almost perfect. The world has ended in flood. All that has been saved is a hospital that floats upon the water filled with sick children, parents and doctors.
Children's Hospital takes you on a journey of the end of the world. People question life, religion, politics, love. It felt very true, the struggle between old world values and creating a new world. The book mainly follows Jemma, a medical student that seems followed by death. Through her eyes we watch a story unfold that is at times truly fantastic and at others completely believable.
The book is well written, shifting through past and present almost seamlessly. There is magic, love, politics, religion, thrill, mystery. I felt it combines the best of many genres. I found myself looking forward to being able to sit down and read. The Children's Hospital will remain on my shelf and be read at least a few more times.
Eric read The Psychic Soviet by Ian F. Svenonius:
This pocket-sized collection of essays by former Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up frontman, Ian Svenonius, consists of bizarre musings on the state of rock and roll that strike a pseudo-intellectual tone -- but in a good way. Svenonius will start each chapter with a provocative and seemingly ludicrous premise -- Alan Greenspan spawned the folktronica movement; Seinfeld spearheaded a government program to corporatize, suburbanize, and sanitize the urban landscape -- that, for better or for worse, becomes convincing over the course of a few angry, off-kilter, and sometimes hilarious pages. The end result makes for a satisfying and surprisingly cohesive read. Mao had his little red book; now this restless, relentless, and often even inspirational rock and roll personality has his a little pink one of his own.