Welcome to another round of the Best Books of the Year so Far, where halfway through the year, I name the titles I read that I feel are the best of 2022. Just like last year, I will be listing the books by different genre and format. So stay tuned every Thursday throughout the rest of this month, catch my favorite reads of 2022 that you want to keep your eye on!
Crushing by Sophie Burrows
For a story that has no words, it speak volumes. A breathtaking story about loneliness and seeking connection. It is more than a romantic story but a story about trying to seek a connection with the world (as busy as it is) on your own terms, I loved the use of the pink color on how the two characters were different from everyone else, but not necessarily in a bad way. Beautiful illustrations combined with a beautiful story makes this one readable graphic novel.
Man-Eaters, Volume 4: The Cursed by Chelsea Chain, Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique
With the use of mixed media and funny but important story, this highly inventive series returns for another volume of rage against the patriarchy. You dont think this creative team has more messages up their sleeve, and here they are hailing a platform that is more than ever to exclaim.
Sakamoto Days Vol. 1 by Yuto Suzuki
Taro Sakamoto was once a legendary hit man considered the greatest of all time. Bad guys feared him! Assassins revered him! But then one day he quit, got married, and had a baby. He’s now living the quiet life as the owner of a neighborhood store, but how long can Sakamoto enjoy his days of retirement before his past catches up to him?!Time has passed peacefully for Sakamoto since he left the underworld. He’s running a neighborhood store with his lovely wife and child and has gotten a bit…out of shape. But one day a figure from his past pays him a visit with an offer he can’t refuse: return to the assassin world or die! (Credit: Viz Media)
Steeple Volume 3 by John Allison and Sammy Borras
Expected Publication Date: September 23
A new year begins in Tredregyn, and a Satanic ritual goes awry–bringing the filming of a cozy TV detective drama to town. Unfortunately, this particular Pandora’s box contains a few things a lot less pleasant than casual jobs and showbiz glitz. Plus, in a special backup feature, a teen sleuth puts the cat among the parish pigeons as she attempts to solve the disappearance of a glamorous author. (Credit: Dark Horse Books)
Everything Is Ok by Debbie Tung
Expected Publication Date: September 27
Debbie Tung is one of my favorite comic book artists and this latest one from her cemented that feeling. This is a powerful and inspirational graphic memoir that now touches on mental health. Like with all of Tung’s books I felt deeply connected with the stories that she writes. In combination with the beautiful illustrations that make Tung’s personal experiences really come to life. If you haven’t read Tung’s books, then this one is perfect to begin!
Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld
Expected Publication Date: October 18
Tom Gauld returns with his wittiest and most trenchant collection of literary cartoons to date. Perfectly composed drawings are punctuated with the artist’s signature brand of humour, hitting high and low. After all, Gauld is just as comfortable taking jabs at Jane Eyre and Game of Thrones.
Some particularly favoured targets include the pretentious procrastinating novelist, the commercial mercenary of the dispassionate editor, the willful obscurantism of the vainglorious poet. Quake in the presence of the stack of bedside books as it grows taller! Gnash your teeth at the ever-moving deadline that the writer never meets! Quail before the critic’s incisive dissection of the manuscript! And most importantly, seethe with envy at the paragon of creative productivity!
Revenge of the Librarians contains even more murders, drubbings, and castigations than The Department of Mind-Blowing Theories, Baking For Kafka, or any other collections of mordant scribblings by the inimitably excellent Gauld. (Credit: Drawn & Quarterly)
Island In A Puddle by Kei Sanbe
Minato’s tiny apartment might as well be on a deserted island. Despite being in elementary school, it falls on his shoulders to care for his little sister Nagisa, who never stops asking when their mother will make one of her infrequent visits home. One day when she stops by, their mother takes them to an amusement park, only to give Minato some cash and leave them on the Ferris wheel. However, as they reach the top of the ride, lightning strikes their car–but what Minato finds when he awakens is not the grim tragedy he expected…(Credit: Kodansha Comics)
Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith
Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends–Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie–through five connected short story comics that follow these young women through the ups and downs of their daily lives in the Bronx.
The book takes its title from the wash day experience shared by Black women everywhere of setting aside all plans and responsibilities for a full day of washing, conditioning, and nourishing their hair. Each short story uses hair routines as a window into these four characters’ everyday lives and how they care for each other.
Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith originally kickstarted their critically acclaimed, award-winning slice of life mini comic, Wash Day, inspired by Rowser’s own wash day ritual and their shared desire to see more comics featuring the daily lived experiences of young Black women. Wash Day Diaries includes an updated, full color version of this original comic–which follows Kim, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx–as the book’s first chapter and expands into a graphic novel with short stories about these vibrant and relatable new characters.(Credit: Chronicle Books)
Stay tune for next week where I will give the best of 2022 so far in the middle grade/YA category!
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