Kat's Catalog - 2023
A stunning character-driven novel as well as a smart social commentary on contemporary penal systems. You will cheer, you will gasp, and you will become engrossed in the world of Chain-Gang All-Stars.
A Guest in the House is my favorite graphic novel of 2023! Emily Carroll's illustrative style lends itself perfectly to the story of Abby, a housewife trying to feel a connection to her new role as a wife and step-mother. Abby's life takes a turn when she is haunted by her husband's past. Carroll uses color as a way to blur the line between Abby's fantasies and her reality. Take a minute to flip through this book, because words aren't enough to describe just how visually exciting this book is.
Big Swiss is the train wreck you just can't stop looking at. Greta is a deeply flawed protagonist who puts the "lie" in "love life."
Shark Heart is one of the most tender and unusual books I have ever read. Wren and Lewis are only beginning to settle into their married life when Lewis is told that he is rapidly turning into a literal great white shark. This book blurs the lines between fiction, romance, and magical realism. It's a story of love as persistence through uncertainty. Its short chapters read like the script for a play. Shark Heart is going to be one of my favorites for a long time.
This book is the definition of love: viscous, writhing, and, above all, alive.
This book is an absolute must-have compendium for art lovers ranging from studied professionals to fledgling historians. E.H. Gombrich's seminal survey The Story of Art is foundational to art historical studies. Katy Hessel argues that it is a wonderful book but for one flaw: the first edition included zero women artists. The Story of Art Without Men subverts an entire field of study by highlighting its flaws and uplifting underrepresented artists. A masterwork of feminist and art historical criticism to be studied for years to come.
As someone who also spends many of her days reckoning with loving the art and not the artist, Monsters gave me great perspective. Dederer proposes the most effective way to approach the question of "what should we do with the art of monstrous men" isn't to ask what should WE do but rather what will I do. I spent a long time with this book because at times I was jumping for joy in agreement and at others I was in complete disagreement, but that is the brilliance of Dederer's approach: criticism and opinion can and have to coexist in a world of monsters.
One of my favorite books with one of my least favorite main characters, and I wouldn't change a thing!
Bea Wolf is one of those perfect books that makes you want to tell everyone you know to read it! It is a modern retelling of the Beowulf legend told by children fighting against the scariest monster of all, a middle-aged fuddy-duddy. Full of allusions and alliterations, this is a story for all ages, and it begs to be a part of your literary collection!