It is Memorial Day, so summer reading is upon us. At the Thomas Ford Library this summer, we will be featuring graphic novels in our adult summer reading program Picture This: Exploring Graphic Novels. Along with the reading of books to earn prizes, we will have some graphic novel events, including an author talk by Lucy Knisley, whose graphic novel memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen came out in 2013.
Liking to read authors who come to our library, I borrowed Relish and found it very entertaining. Knisley recounts her admittedly still young life with charm and humor through full-color drawings and well-chosen words. In each chapter, she tells about a period or particular aspect of her life. I kept reading wanting to know more about her mom the chef, her dad the gourmet, and the kitchens in which Knisley has cooked.
Like all food memoirs, Relish includes recipes. Unlike many memoirs, these instructions are heavily illustrated. I particularly like the exploded view of the huevos rancheros and the action-packed telling of how to make pickles.
As you can see, graphic novels are not all super hero tales. With Relish, Knisley has shown that everyday life is a great subject for the genre. It is not alone. Check for graphic novels at your library.
Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. First Second, 2013. 173p. ISBN 9781596436237.