I have a horrific backlog of Netgalley books to review. So, here’s to tackling that. I received e-arc copies of all of the following via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History
by Jennifer Wright
Pub Date 21 Nov 2017
A beautifully illustrated book about deadly fashion—real historical stories of strangulation by scarves, neckbreaking high heels, and riot-causing top hats—from the author of the popular histories Get Well Soon and It Ended Badly
Isadora Duncan was Red
Put on a scarf; popped off her head
Fashion is silly, thought Stein
It may tear your head from your spine
A darkly comic book about some surprisingly lethal garments. Featuring stories like the untimely demise of dancer Isadora Duncan caused by her signature red scarf and the bloody riot that greeted the appearance of the first top hat, among many others, these bite-size accounts will frighten and delight. Killer Fashion includes over twenty of these short tales along with beautiful full-page illustrations. Both morbid and humorous, this book will appeal to fans of Edward Gorey and dark historical trivia.
Review: 4.5 Stars
Super interesting, and I LOVED the illustrations, which are done entirely in white, black and red. If you like dark humor, then you’ll like this. Its historical, but you don’t need to have an avid interest in history or fashion to enjoy it. A super quick, fun read.
Zen Pencils–Creative Struggle
Illustrated Advice from Masters of Creativity
by Gavin Aung Than
Pub Date 16 Jan 2018
Gavin Aung Than, creator of the innovative Zen Pencils, shares his passion for creativity and reveals how you, too, can live a creative life.
Zen Pencils: Creative Struggle is a call to wake up the creative spirit inside you. Through Zen Pencils cartoon quotes on creativity from inspirational artists, musicians, writers, and scientists, you’ll discover what inspired each of the subjects to reach the full potential of their creativity. In each comic, the speaker of the quote is the character in the story. Imagine cartoon versions of Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, and Vincent van Gogh revealing the spark that ignited them to achieve their dreams!
Review: 4 Stars
A super fun, pretty quick read. Perfect for those who need a little motivation. It features comic depictions and short, couple page explanations of the creative lessons you can draw from the achievements of scientists, artists, and writers alike; meaning there’s something for anyone to be found. Some parts felt a little dumbed down to me, which is why its 4 stars not 5, but I thought it was fun and well put together. The illustrations were really well done.
A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection
by Sarah Andersen
Pub Date 27 Mar 2018
Sarah’s Scribbles, Goodreads Choice Award for 2016: Best Graphic Novels & Comics
“. . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … ”
—The Huffington Post
Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.
Review: 4 Stars
I LOVE the Sarah’s Scribbles books. This one is super fun, and super relatable (as always) but to me, it fell a little flatter than the others. The “scribbles” are great as always, but the humor was a little more disjointed in this one; while still hilarious, it wasn’t as funny. Not the best of her books, but entertaining as always! I still really enjoyed it, but I’d recommend the other more.
Emoji Phantom of the Opera
Epic Tales in Tiny Texts
by Gaston Leroux, Katherine Furman
Pub Date 02 Oct 2017
What would happen if the characters of Phantom of the Opera could text each other? How would the ghost of the Paris Opera House make itself known? Would Raoul be able to convince Christine to go away with him?
In this LOL retelling of Gaston Leroux’s work, you’ll get a condensed, modern, interpretation of this famous love story, and it’s all told through texts and emojis. Featuring hundreds of classic and new emojis along with a removable poster (featuring the story in just emojis), this is the perfect gift for any Phantom lover, or over-texter.
Review: 2 Stars
Several of my friends are OBSESSED with Phantom of the Opera. I know the story, I’ve heard the musical, and I STILL found this a confusing mess to follow along with. I usually love retellings, but this one tried to tell the story exactly, with every characters, with very few words, and a mix of emoji pictogram and text message. Emoji’s for each character were given a name in the beginning, but never referred to by name again, only by picture, and as I read this on Adobe Editions, it made it very hard to follow as I couldn’t flip back and forth. I sort of loathe the emoji-everting craze, so I probably should have expected this. I didn’t really get all the way through it, just skimmed to the end. You may like it if you like these sorts of emoji-story things, but I didn’t. It is really nice visually, and its certainly creative, I’ll give that.
The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard
by Eric Bradley
Pub Date 03 Oct 2017
A legacy of magical treasures!
Since 1997 with the publication of the first book, Harry Potter has cast a spell over millions of Muggles around the world–not the least of all bewitched collectors. Harry Potter: The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard conjures rare, extraordinary and magical treasures sprung from the Potter books and movies, and even the imaginations of fans. In its enchantingly visual pages, you’ll discover delightful riches including author J.K. Rowling’s writing chair that sold at auction for almost $400,000, first-edition books, original art, movie posters, film props, exclusives, limited-edition items, fun fandom pieces, and other wonders to behold.
So with a whisper of “accio” and a flick of your wand, summon forth the fascinating, the fantastical and the fabulous found in Harry Potter: The Unofficial Guide to the Collectibles of Our Favorite Wizard.
Review: 4 Stars
I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so of course I requested this on Netgalley. I love trivia and collectables. This book was interesting for the most part, and a little dry in others, taking about numbers and monetary value in a way that made me a little bored. The photographs are really nice, but I had to skim through several sections because they were a little dry and mostly made me jealous rather than entertained. But if you like this sort of thing, its a good read. If you’re only a casual fan, than it probably isn’t for you.