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Book Discussions

Comics on Comics

A Graphic Novel Book Club with Guest Reader Valentino Zullo

In this series, we will explore the history and impact of the democratizing medium of comics through comics itself. We will reflect on this accessible and popular form through its history, its critical use, and its power to intimately share stories. Comics are now ubiquitous and breaking through all boundaries. Together we will think about why and how this came to be by letting the medium speak for itself.

Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd Floor on the first and third Thursdays at 4pm 

March 5, 2020
Making Comics 
by Lynda Barry 
Making Comics
is the follow-up to Barry’s bestselling Syllabus and this time she shares all of her comics-making exercises. In a new hand drawn syllabus detailing her creative curriculum, Barry has students drawing themselves as monsters and superheroes, convincing students who think they can’t draw that they can, and most important, encouraging them to understand that a daily journal can be anything so long as it is hand drawn.”

Understanding Comics jacket cover

March 19, 2020
Understanding Comics
by Scott McCloud
This comic book provides a detailed look at the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.

April 2, 2020
by Nick Sousanis
The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge.

History of Comics jacket cover

April 16, 2020
The Comic Book History of Comics 
by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey
The inspiring, infuriating, and utterly insane story of comics, graphic novels, and manga is presented in comic book form! The award-winning Action Philosophers team of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey turn their irreverent-but-accurate eye to the stories of Jack Kirby, R. Crumb, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Fredric Wertham, Roy Lichtenstein, Art Spiegelman, and more! Presented in all-new color!

May 7, 2020
Comics and Sequential Art
by Will Eisner

Based on Will Eisner’s legendary course at New York’s School of Visual Arts, these guides have inspired generations of artists, students, teachers, and fans. In Comics and Sequential Art , Eisner reveals the basic building blocks and principles of comics, including imagery, the frame, and the application of time, space, and visual forms.

May 21, 2020
Reinventing Comics
by Scott McCloud
by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with his acclaimed Understanding comics, a comic book that explored the inner workings of the world’s most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to the next level, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and perceived today–and how they’re poised to conquer the new millennium.

Tremont Think & Drink

Join us for engaging book discussions as the Jefferson Branch Library teams up with neighborhood watering holes.

Prosperity Social Club, 1109 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, at 7pm

book jacket

Monday January 13, 2020
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal and explores how it has come to permeate our culture. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

book jacket

Monday, February 10, 2020
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

by Toni Morrison
The late legendary Toni Morrison, one of the most celebrated and revered writers in the history of American literature, gives us a new nonfiction collection–a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

book jacket

Monday, March 9, 2020
The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West
by David McCullough
“Recounts the story of the settlers who began America’s migration west, overcoming almost-unimaginable hardships to build in the Ohio wilderness a town and a government that incorporated America’s highest ideals.” – Publisher’s description.

book jacket

Monday, April 13, 2020
Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
by Imani Perry
“Explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a Black person in contemporary America and what it means to parent our children in a persistently unjust world.” – Publisher’s description.

book jacket

Monday, May 11, 2020
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
by Malcolm Gladwell
“Malcolm Gladwell argues that something is very wrong with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.” – Publisher’s description.

Award-Winning Book Club

Literature Department, Main Library, 2nd floor at 4pm

Tuesday, January 7th
The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride
Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

Tuesday, February 4th
The Severance
By Ling Ma
Winner of the Kirkus Prize

Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire.

Tuesday, March 3rd
By Andrew Sean Greer
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize
Who says you can’t run away from your problems? A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost. Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

Tuesday, April 7th
Trust Exercise
By Susan Choi
Winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction
In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes.

Tuesday, May 5th
The Nickel Boys
By Colson Whitehead
Winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.