Recommended

Best Books published by NYRB: New York Review of Books

underdog literature september 2014

 

Here are 20 books that had my interest for a while:

all (re-)published by the New York Review of Books (Link).

you can find a reader-ranked list of 360+ NYRB Classic books here (Link).

see also:

for a list of cool upcoming titles… click here [Link]

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01: BARBARA COMYNS, „The Vet’s Daughter“, 133 pages, 1959.

The Vet's Daughter

02: DOROTHY B. HUGHES, „The expendable Man“, 264 pages, 1963.

The Expendable Man

03: NATSUME SOSEKI, „The Gate“, 256 pages, 1910. [Japan]

The Gate

04: G.B. EDWARDS, „The Book of Ebenezer Le Page“, 394 pages, 1981.

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page

05: CAROLINE BLACKWOOD, „Corrigan“, 319 pages, 1984.

Corrigan

06: CURZIO MALAPRTE, „The Skin“, 343 pages, 1949.

The Skin

07: REBECCA WEST, „The Fountain overflows“, 408 pages, 1956.

The Fountain Overflows

08: BOLESLAW PRUS, „The Doll“, 704 pages, 1890. [Poland]

The Doll

09: GEOFFREY HOUSEHOLD, „Rogue Male“, 200 pages, 1939.

Rogue Male

10: PATRICK HAMILTON, „The Slaves of Solitude“, 256 pages, 1947.

The Slaves of Solitude

11: JOYCE CARY, „Herself Suprised“, 300 pages, 1941.

Herself Surprised

12: HELEN KELLER, „The World I live in“, 192 pages, 1908.

The World I Live In

13: PENELOPE MORTIMER, „The Pumpkin Eater“, 224 pages, 1962.

The Pumpkin Eater

14: DWIGHT MACDONALD, „Masscult and Midcult: Essays against the American Grain“, 289 pages, 2011. [Cultural Studies]

Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain

15: J.R. ACKERLEY, „My Father and myself“, 283 pages, 1968.

My Father and Myself

16: TAYEB SALIH, „Season of Migreation to the North“, 139 pages, 1966. [Sudan]

Season of Migration to the North

17: ANDREI PLATONOV, „The Foundation Pit“, 208 pages, 1969.

The Foundation Pit

18: WILLIAM McPHERSON, „Testing the Current“, 352 pages, 1984.

Testing the Current

19: VICTOR SERGE, „Memoirs of a Revolutionary“, 576 pages, 1951. [Russia]

Memoirs of a Revolutionary

20: ANTAL SZERB, „Journey by Moonlight“, 320 pages, 1937. [Hungary]

Journey by Moonlight

..

Bonus: 3 NYRB books that I’ve read… and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: TOVE JANSSON, „The Summer Book“, 184 pages, 1972. [Finland]

The Summer Book

4 of 5 stars: ROBERT WALSER, „Jakob von Gunten“, 176 pages, 1908. [Austria]

Jakob von Gunten

4 of 5 stars: MARIA DERMOUT, „The Ten Thousand Things“, 208 pages, 1955. [Indonesia]

The Ten Thousand Things

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Best Books of the 1980s

underdog literature 2014 08 august.
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Here are 20 books that caught my interest lately.

Off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

all published in the 1980s.

see also:

for a list of cool upcoming titles… click here [Link]

.

01: BARRY HANNAH, „Ray“, 128 pages, 1980.

Ray

02: RICARDO PIGLIA, „Artificial Respiration“, 240 pages, 1980. [Argentina]

Artificial Respiration

03: ALAN PATON, „Ah, but your Land is beautiful“, 292 pages, 1981. [South Africa]

Ah But Your Land Is Beautiful (Vintage Classics)

04: AARTO PAASILINNA, „The Howling Miller“, 284 pages, 1981. [Finland]

The Howling Miller

05: BOHUMIL HRABAL, „Harlequin’s Millions“, 312 pages, 1981. [Czech Republic]

Harlequin's Millions: A Novel

06: TOBY OLSON, „Seaview“, 250 pages, 1982.

Seaview

07: HELEN HOOVEN SANTMYER, „And the Ladies of the Club“, 1176 pages, 1982.

...And Ladies of the Club

08: KERU MIYAMOTO, „Kinshu: Autumn Brocade“, 208 pages, 1982. [Japan]

Kinshu: Autumn Brocade

09: BILLY LEE BRAMMER, „The Gay Place“, 560 pages, 1983.

The Gay Place

10: BARRY HUGHART, „Bridge of Birds“, 271 pages, 1984. [Fantasy]

Bridge of Birds: A Novel of an Ancient China That Never Was

11: FERROL SAMS, „The Whisper of the River“, 544 pages, 1984.

The Whisper of the River

12: PRAMOEDYA ANANTA TOER, „Footsteps“, 480 pages, 1985. [Indonesia]

Footsteps

13: JUAN JOSÉ SAER, „The Sixty-Five Years of Washington“, 220 pages, 1985. [Argentina]

The Sixty-Five Years of Washington

14: JOAN SLONCZEWSKI, „A Door into Ocean“, 403 pages, 1986. [Sci-Fi]

A Door Into Ocean

15: JON HASSLER, „Grand Opening“, 336 pages, 1987.

Grand Opening

16: LANFORD WILSON, „Burn This“, 98 pages, 1987. [Drama / Stage]

Burn This

17: PENELOPE LIVELY, „Moon Tiger“, 224 pages, 1987.

Moon Tiger

18: JACKIE KAY, „Trumpet“, 278 pages, 1988.

Trumpet

19: GIACONDA BELLI, „The inhabited Woman“, 374 pages, 1988. [Nicaragua]

Bewohnte Frau

20: WALTER SATTERTHWAIT, „Miss Lizzie“, 332 pages, 1989.

Miss Lizzie

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Best Nonfiction Books 2014: New Essays, Memoirs, Recommendations

underdog literature best nonfiction books 2014.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

memoirs. non-fiction. essays.

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01: JOHN W. EWANS, „Young Widower“, 200 pages, January 2014. [Memoir]

Young Widower: A Memoir

02: MIMI POND, „Over Easy“, 272 pages, April 2014. [Graphic Novel „Semi-Memoir“]

Over Easy

03: DAVID GIFFELS, „The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt“, 272 pages, March 2014. [Essays / Journalism]

The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt

04: IVAN E. COYOTE & RAE SPOON, „Gender Failure“, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

Gender Failure

05: CAROLINE CLARKE, „Postcards from Cookie“, 320 pages, April 2014. [Memoir]

Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail

06: SEAN STRUB, „Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival“, 432 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Politics]

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

07: ANALD GOPAL, „No Good Men among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes“, 320 pages, April 2014. [Politics]

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

08: HISHAM D. AIDI, „Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture“, 432 pages, March 2014. [Cultural Studies / Politics]

Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture

09: ROBERT A. FERGUSON, „Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment“, 337 pages, March 2014 [Politics / Sociology / Cultural Studies]

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

10: ARIEL GORE, „The End of Eve. A Memoir“, 234 pages, February 2014. [Memoir]

The End of Eve: A Memoir

11: MARK GEVISSER, „Lost and Found in Johannesburg“, 352 pages, April 2014. [Memoir: South Africa]

Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir

12: TIM ANDERSON, „Sweet Tooth“, 333 pages, March 2014. [Mainstream Humor / Comedic Memoir]

Sweet Tooth

13: GREG GUTFELD, „Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and their War on You“, 272 pages, March 2014. [a right-wing „Fox News“ employee tries to trash hipsters! 🙂 ]

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You

14: BRIGID SCHULTE, „Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when no one has the Time“, 368 pages, March 2014. [Psychology]

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

15: PATRICIA WOODELL, „Are the Keys in the Freezer? An Advocate’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and other Dementias“, 243 pages, January 2014.

Are the Keys in the Freezer?--An Advocate's Guide for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: LESLIE JAMISON, „The Empathy Exams“, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

The Empathy Exams: Essays

02: PLUM JOHNSON, „They left us everything“, 288 pages, March 2014. [Memoir]

They Left Us Everything: A Memoir

03: ADAM BEGLEY, „Updike“, 576 pages, April 2014. [Biography]

Updike

04: EILEEN CRONIN, „Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience“, 336 pages, January 2014.

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience

05: YASHA MOUNK, „Stranger in my own Country: A Jewish Family in modern Germany“, 272 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Cultural Studies]

Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany

[German article here (Link)]
…and I’m excited about:

SERAH-MARIE McMAHON: „The WORN Reader: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas & History of what we wear“, 416 pages, April 2014.

The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, & History of What We Wear

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Best New Books – Spring 2014: New Novels & Recommendations

Underdog Literature Best Novels 2014 Spring WordPress
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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention…

all published between January and June 2014.

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01: MAXWELL NEELY-COHEN, „Echo of the Boom“, 456 pages, April 2014.

Echo of the Boom

02: PETER MATTHIESSEN, „In Paradise“, 256 pages, January 2014.

In Paradise

03: SIRI HUSTVEDT, „The Blazing World“, 368 pages, March 2014.

The Blazing World

04: AARON THIER, „The Ghost Apple“, 304 pages, March 2014. [Satire]

The Ghost Apple

05: TED THOMPSON, „The Land of Steady Habits“, 272 pages, March 2014.

The Land of Steady Habits: A Novel

06: KEVIN BROCKMEIER, „A few Seconds of radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade“, 208 pages, January 2014. [Memoir / Coming-of-Age / Cultural Studies]

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade

07: SHANE KUHN, „The Intern’s Handbook“, 288 pages, April 2014. [Corporate Satire / Thriller / Dystopia]

The Intern's Handbook: A Thriller

08: NNEDI OKARAFOR, „Lagoon“, 320 pages, April 2014. [Science Fiction; Nigeria]

Lagoon

09: ROBERT GLANCY, „Terms & Conditions“, 272 pages, February 2014 [Satire]

Terms & Conditions

10: LESLIE JAMISON, „The Empathy Exams“, 256 pages, April 2014. [personal Essays]

The Empathy Exams: Essays

11: NATALIE HAYNES, „The Amber Fury“, 307 pages, February 2014. [Mainstream / Suspense]

The Amber Fury

12: COURTNEY C. STEVENS, „Faking Normal“, 321 pages, February 2014. [Young Adult]

Faking Normal

13: ROBIN HERRERA, „Hope is a Ferris Wheel“, 272 pages, March 2014. [Young Adult]

Hope Is a Ferris Wheel

14: JOHN COREY WHALEY, „Noggin“,  356 pages, April 2014. [Young Adult Sci-Fi]

Noggin

15: STEWART FOSTER, „We used to be Kings“, 368 pages, January 2014. [Young Adult]

We Used to Be Kings

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: SUE MONK KIDD, „The Invention of Wings“, 373 pages, January 2014. [Mainstream / Historical Fiction]

The Invention of Wings

02: JENNIFER CLEMENT, „Prayers for the Stolen“, 224 pages, February 2014.

Prayers for the Stolen

03: WILLY VLAUTIN, „The Free“, 297 pages, January 2014.

The Free

04: GABRIELLE ZEVIN, „The Stories Life of A. J. Fikry“, 230 pages, March 2014. [Mainstream]

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

05: DANAH BOYD, „It’s complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens“, 296 pages, February 2014. [Sociology]

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

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Underdog Literature: The Best Books from World War One – 1914 to 1918

Underdog Literature World War 1 WW1 February 2014 WordPress
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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

This month: Books that were published during – or shortly after  – World War One. Forgotten, classic or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: ROBERT TRESSEL, „The Ragged Trousered Philantropists“, 608 pages, 1914.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

02: EDGAR LEE MASTERS, „Spoon River Anthology“, 144 pages, 1914.

Spoon River Anthology

03: ROMAIN ROLLAND, „Jean-Christophe“, 1579 pages, 1914.

Jean-Christophe

04: EMMELINE PANKHURST, „My Own Story“, 176 pages, 1914.

My Own Story

05: ELIZABETH VON ARNIM, „The Pastor’s Wife“, 492 pages, 1914.

The Pastor's Wife

06: EARL DERR BIGGERS, „Love Insurance“, 432 pages, 1914.

Love Insurance

07: BOOTH TARKINGTON, „The Turmoil“, 268 pages, 1915.

The Turmoil (The Growth Trilogy, #1)

08: THEODORE DREISER, „The Genius“, 744 pages, 1915.

The Genius

09: ALEKSANDR KUPRIN, „Yama: The Pit“, 360 pages, 1915. [Russia]

Yama: The Pit

10: ABOUT WW1: HUGH WALPOLE, „The Dark Forest“, 252 pages, 1916.

The Dark Forest

11: RUPERT BROOKE, „Letters from America“, 124 pages, 1916.

Letters from America

12: HAROLD BEN WRIGHT, „When a Man’s a Man“, 212 pages, 1916.

When a Man's a Man

13: CLAUDE C. HOPKINS, „My Life in Advertising“, 48 pages, 1917. [Essay]

My Life in Advertising

14: ABOUT WW1: ANDREAS LATZKO, „Men in War“ / „Menschen im Krieg“, 112 pages, 1917. [German]

Men in War (Dodo Press)

15: ABOUT WW1: KARL KRAUS, „The Last Days of Mankind“ / „Die letzten Tage der Menschheit“, 263 pages, 1918. [Stage Play; German]

Last Days of Mankind

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Here are seven books about World War One that were published a short time later:

01: ABOUT WW1: W.N.P. BARBELLION, „Journal of a disappointed Man“, 275 pages, 1919.

Journal of a Disappointed Man

02: ABOUT WW1: A.P. HERBERT, „The Secret Battle“, 208 pages, 1919.

The Secret Battle

03: ABOUT WW1: ISAAC BABEL, „Red Cavalry“, 352 pages, 1920. [Russia]

Red Cavalry

04: ABOUT WW1: ERNST JÜNGER, „Storm of Steel“ / „In Stahlgewittern“, 320 pages, 1920. [German]

Storm of Steel

05: ABOUT WW1: ERNST FRIEDRICH, „War against War“ / „Krieg dem Kriege“, 242 pages, 1920. [German?]

Krieg Dem Kriege

06: ABOUT WW1: STRATIS MYRIVILIS, „Life in the Tomb“, 353 pages, 1924. [Greece]

Life in the Tomb

07: ABOUT WW1: EMMANUEL BOVE, „My Friends“, 150 pages, 1924. [France]

My Friends

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Underdog Literature, January 2014: 15 fresh or amazing, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature WordPress January 2014.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: LEONARD COHEN, „The Favorite Game“, 248 pages, 1963.

The Favorite Game

02: JAC JEMC, „My only Wife“, 194 pages, 2012.

My Only Wife

03: JANET HOBHOUSE, „The Furies“, 312 pages, 1992.

The Furies

04: ELIZABETH FORSYTHE HAILEY, „A Woman of independent Means“, 304 pages, 1978. [Mainstream / Chic-Lit?]

A Woman of Independent Means

05: EDUARDO GALEONO, „The Book of Embraces“, 288 pages, 1989. [Fragments; Uruguay]

The Book of Embraces

06: ERNEST RAYMOND, „We, the Accused“, 509 pages, 1935. [True Crime? Journalism?]

We, the Accused

07: ALBERTO BARRERA TYSZKA, „The Sickness“, 192 pages, 2006. [Venezuela]

The Sickness

08: LARA FERGUS, „My Sister Chaos“, 204 pages, 2010.

My Sister Chaos

09: MERCÈ RODOREDA, „A Broken Mirror“, 226 pages, 1985. [Spain]

A Broken Mirror

10: PAUL RUSSELL, „War against the Animals“, 358 pages, 2003.

War Against the Animals

11: MURIEL SPARK, „The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie“, 137 pages, 1961.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

12: WILLIAM TREVOR, „Reading Turgenev“, ca. 252 pages, 1991.

Reading Turgenev

13: PATRICK WHITE, „Happy Valley“, 317 pages, 1939.

Happy Valley

14: JOHN HENRY MACKAY, „The Hustler“, 312 pages, 1926.

The Hustler: The Story of A Nameless Love from Friedrichstrasse

15: KEITH WALDROP, „Light while there is Light. An American History“, 208 pages, 1993. [Memoir]

Light While There Is Light: An American History

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them…?

No: I needed money for Christmas presents last month and didn’t buy any books for myself. But here are things I WANT to buy soon:

01: LEE MAYNARD, „Crum“, 170 pages, 2001.

Crum: The Novel

02: JAMES SCHUYLER, „What’s for Dinner?“, 211 pages, 1978.

What's for Dinner?

03: STIG SAETERBAKKEN, „Through the Night“, 150 pages, 2012. [Norway]

Through the Night

04: HERMANN UNGAR, „The Class“ / „Die Klasse“, 176 pages, 1927. [set in Prague, written in German]

The Class

05: GERD BRANTENBERG, „Egalia’s Dauthers. A Satire of the Sexes“, 270 pages, 1977. [Feminist Science Fiction; Norway].

Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

4 of 5 stars: ÉDOUARD LEVÉ, „Autoportrait“, 120 pages, 2005. [Memoir / Art Novel / post-modern literary Collage; France]

Autoportrait

4 of 5 stars: SEBASTIAN HAFFNER, „Defying Hitler“ / „Die Geschichte eines Deutschen“, 309 pages, 1939. [Memoir; Germany]

Defying Hitler

4 of 5 stars: TERI TERRY, „Slated“, 448 pages, 2012. [competent, but not very exciting Young Adult dystopia that I read for a ZEIT article]

Slated (Slated, #1)

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Best Books of the Year: My personal Top 20

best books 2013 stefan mesch wordpress.

(After a popular list last year [Link] and another in 2012 [Link]…)

…here are the 20 very best books I’ve read in 2013:

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20: WALTER ABISH, „How German is it“, Novel, 1980:
How German is It (Wie Deutsch ist es)

19: SARI BOTTON (Editor): „Goodbye to all that. Writers on Loving and Leaving New York“, nonfiction anthology / personal essays, 2013:
Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

18: BARBARA PYM, „Excellent Women“, Novel, 1952:
Excellent Women

17: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, „You deserve nothing“, Novel, 2011:
You Deserve Nothing

16: BRIAN WOOD, „DMZ“, 12-volume Graphic Novel series, 2005 to 2012:
DMZ Vol. 12: The Five Nations of New York

15: A.S. KING, „Reality Boy“, Young Adult Novel, 2013:
Reality Boy

14: KATE SOUTHWOOD, „Falling to Earth“, Novel, 2013:
Falling to Earth

13: ANNA FUNDER, „Stasiland“ […alternatives / runner-ups: BARBARA DEMICK, „Nothing to Envy“ and SEBASTIAN HAFFNER, „Defying Hitler“: Three great nonfiction / cultural studies reads that focus on ordinary people and mass mentality in totalitarian regimes.]
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Walland Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Defying Hitler

12: ÉDOUARD LEVÉ, „Autoportrait“, postmodern novel / art / journalism, France 2005:
Autoportrait

11: DEBBIE LEVY, „Imperfect Spiral“, Young Adult Novel, 2013:
Imperfect Spiral

10: J.H. WILLIAMS III, W. HADEN BLACKMAN, „Batwoman“ 1 to 3, Graphic Novels, 2011 to 2013:
Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology

09: JOHN BRANDON, „Citrus County“, Novel, 2010.
Citrus County

08: BRECHT EVENS, „The Making of“, Belgian Graphic Novel, 2011.
The Making Of

07: ALEXANDER RÜHLE, „Ohne Netz“, German Journalism, 2010.
Ohne Netz: Mein halbes Jahr offline

06: DAVID GATES, „Jernigan“, Novel, 1991.
Jernigan

05: DAVID LEVITHAN, „Two Boys Kissing“, Young Adult Novel, 2013.
Two Boys Kissing

04: MARIA SEMPLE, „Where’d you go, Bernadette“, Novel, 2012.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

03: CARSON McCULLERS, „The Member of the Wedding“, Novel, 1946.
The Member of the Wedding

02: ROBERT SHERRIFF: „A Fortnight in September“, Novel, 1931.
The Fortnight in September

01: PETER HEDGES: „What’s eating Gilbert Grape“, Novel, 1991.
Gilbert Grape, Irgendwo In Iowa

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For a complete list of books I’ve read in 2013, please go here [Link].

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In comics, I’ve also enjoyed Glyn Dillon’s „The Nao of Brown“ [Link], the excellent finale of Joe Hill’s „Locke & Key“ series (all in all: the best comic series I have ever read, Link), Juan Diaz Canales‘ „Blacksad“ [Link] detective stories, the finale / later half of Brian Michael Bendis‘ „Alias“ series [Marvel, Link] and the „New 52“ DC comic books featuring „Wonder Woman“ [Link], „Green Lantern“ [Link], the new „Green Arrow“ [Link] and sometimes „Batgirl“ [Link] as well as lots of good, older „Superman“ titles [Link] and Marvel’s amazing „Hawkeye“ series [Link]

…and, just like last year, „Honey & Clover“ [Link] – a „Scott Pilgrim“-like, bittersweet / comedic coming-of-age manga series about five friends at an art school.

Here’s a big collage of the many, many good graphic novels I’ve discovered in 2013:

000 2013 best graphic novels wordpress collageHave a good 2014! More to come!

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