Booking Through Thursday: Illustrious

How do you feel about illustrations in your books? Graphs? Photos? Sketches?

It depends on the genre and tone of the book, as well as the presentation. I love the sparse sprinkling of gorgeous Alan Lee illustrations in my library copy of The Two Towers, since they serve to underscore a particular scene and certainly doesn’t try to illustrate everything. Leviathan had more illustrations, but it was similarly executed–spaced out throughout the book in an attempt to mimic older children’s literature.

I wish nonfiction books would do the same thing. Vested Interests, like a lot of nonfiction, had a glossy section in the middle of the book devoted to the illustrations, photos, and other visual aids the author referred to in the text. However, it would have been much more powerful if they were placed in the book where they’re referenced. I realize this is a publishing choice, since it’s apparently more efficient, but I think it may be dying out. Hope in a Jar, whose review should be up tomorrow, put the photos and illustrations where they were referenced, and it really made them pop in a way they didn’t in Vested Interests.

Review: Vested Interests

Vested Interests by Marjorie Garber

I try to do my best to shy away from social binaries. The proper way to see such things, in my experience (limited though it is), is as a spectrum. The binary of sexuality, of course, is spectacularly easy for me to dismiss and dismantle, being an X on the Kinsey scale. Seeing gender as a spectrum is easier for me than, say, for my parents’ generation, but I still have a lot to learn about seeing gender outside the binary. Vested Interests, though, came to my attention when I was still in high school, trying to figure out just why my devotion to trousers was such a subject of consternation for my mother. The subtitle being Cross-dressing & Cultural Anxiety, it sounded like it could clear things up.

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The Sunday Salon: Reading Resolutions

I’ve rarely made New Year’s resolutions in the past, mostly because I simply haven’t. My family doesn’t make a big deal about New Year’s resolutions, and I never picked up the habit. But this year feels different to me–I don’t know if it’s because it’s a new decade or what, but I do have a few resolutions. Most of them aren’t pertinent to my book blogging, but one is.

This year, I want to read outside my comfort zone. I want to be more widely read.

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