Lucy Knisley Admiration Society

Jessica Staff Image

Earlier this week, I was talking with some friends about books. And more importantly, if any of us were going to reach our reading goals for the year. I’m kinda, definitely behind on the 75-book mark that I set for myself and I kinda, definitely won’t be completing the Read Harder Challenge this year. I feel mostly okay with that, since I still managed to check off about half of the categories.

I am not giving up on 75 books by December 31, though. One of my very smart pals reminded me that graphic novels are one good way to pad my stats a little. This little “duh” moment has led me to tear through the first two volumes of Jonesy. I’ll probably finish The Coldest City today (it’s due today, so I actually need to finish it…). I’ve got volume one of Goldie Vance waiting to go home and a stack of Lucy Knisley’s books.

Knisley is probably best known for Relisha graphic memoir about her relationship with food.  Her mother was a chef, and she grew up in busy restaurant kitchens and on a small farm. I read it for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge and loved it. Why in the world haven’t I picked up any of her stuff since?

book cover for French Milk

First on my list is her debut book, French MilkKnisley and her mother spent six weeks in Paris during benchmark moments for each woman – she was approaching her final semester of art school and her mother was turning 50. This vacation is documented in a travel diary that combines drawings and photography.

book cover for age of license

An Age of License is up next. This book documents a trip to Norway for a comics convention. Knisley makes it the ultimate “well, while I’m here…” and adds on stops to Sweden, Germany and France. The trip becomes a l’age license, or license to experience whatever you can before settling into adult life.

book cover for Displacement

Displacement follows a cruise she took with her grandparents. She details their trip through the Caribbean and explores the loneliness that comes with being a caregiver. Knisley took her grandfather’s WWII memoirs with her on the trip to read and incorporates his feelings of feeling lost and lonely with her own.

book cover for Something New

Knisley’s most recent title is Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride. Determined to make her wedding the ultimate DIY-Pinterest showcase, she shows the rest of us up by building a new barn for the big day. Details about wedding myths and traditions balance out her quest for a very personalized wedding.

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Jess is the Clerical Specialist at the Woods Run branch on the North Side. She’s your girl for YA lit, romance novels and knitting.