New Yorker cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein is just trying to live his life, but he keeps getting sidetracked by his over-active, anxious brain. Jason has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness that compels him to perform rituals in order to protect himself from dangers that don’t really exist. He checks, washes, over-thinks, rinse, repeat. Everything is an Emergency is a comic about all the self-destructive stories someone tells himself, over and over, until they start to seem true. In images surreal, witty, and confessional, Jason shows us that OCD can be funny, even when it feels like it’s ruining your life.
How’re your reading stats for this year? Normal? Low? Not caring about reading stats anymore because of The Times in Which We Live? (this is very fair) Well! If you’re feeling in a rut, don’t worry, ’cause we’ve got some good new picks this week:
Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe by Mario Alejandro Ariza. I cannot explain why I’ve felt obsessed with this book, but I have. Maybe it’s the color scheme on the cover?? Ariza writes about how Miami is likely, by century’s end, to be underwater. He shares “not only what climate change looks like on the ground today, but also what Miami will look like 100 years from now, and how that future has been shaped by the city’s racist past and present.”
Little Book of Video Games: 70 Classics That Everyone Should Know and Play by Melissa Brinks. I haven’t played video games on a console since Final Fantasy VII, but that doesn’t mean that OTHERS should not hear of this very cute book. For real though, Brinks talks about the history of video games going back to the 1950s, which is awesome (TELL ME MORE OF PONG) and goes up to the early 2000s. If you like learning about the cultural roots of something and how things you love were influenced, bam. Also, tbh, I want to read this just because I like knowing how Things Affect Other Things.
A History of My Brief Body: Essays by Billy-Ray Belcourt. This book looks potentially stunning. Belcourt, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and member of the Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta, here writes “essays and vignettes on grief, colonial violence, joy, love, and queerness.” It’s being compared to Ocean Vuong and Heart Berries, so if those are your jam, seriously consider picking this up.
Miracle Country: A Memoir by Kendra Atleework. You know how some memoirs are really grounded in places? Ok, so this is one of those. Atleework grew up in California, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, a parched and somewhat desolate deserty area “forever at the mercy of wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds.” Be warned, fair amount about her mother getting sick and then passing away when Atleework is 16. She moves from her home to Los Angeles, Minnesota, and back home again.
Support new books! You can do this by buying them or checking them out from your library. If you don’t have a library card, a lot of libraries are letting you apply for one online now! And then you can use an app like Libby. And remember, if the library doesn’t have a book you want, you can always request that they buy it.