Three very different (and very damaged) characters narrate author Julie Sarkissian’s debut novel Dear Lucy: a mentally challenged girl who longs for her mother, a fiercely independent pregnant teenager, and an old farm wife with a devilishly secret past. The result? A plethora of drama. While I love the twists and turns of this storyline, what really earns it five stars is how startlingly beautiful, and at times devastating sad, the main character’s perspective of the world is despite (or probably because) of her handicap. This book is layered with moments of realization and paragraphs that can stand alone as literary gems. Here’s one to give you a taste, but make sure you read the story to get your full fill:
“I get the eggs for our breakfast. They are alive. When you eat something that is alive you take the life for yourself. You can’t think of it as taking life from another thing, you think of it as giving life to yourself. That is what Samantha told me when I asked about eggs for breakfast. Samantha knows. There is something growing inside of her too.”
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Tuesday, June 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
No Pineapple Left Behind is a satirical sim about education and standardized testing, developed by Subaltern Games, creators of the serious strategy game Neocolonialism.
In this single-player PC game, players run a middle school and turn their pesky students into test-taking pineapples. Pineapples are preferable to students because pineapples just take standardized tests and sit quietly in class, while children ask questions, demand teachers’ time and energy, and other pesky things. The school’s goal is to pass exams, and pineapples are great at filling in bubbles and passing exams.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, June 29th, 2015||1 Comment »|
There’s no arguing that there’s a pretty big culture of toxic masculinity in a lot of our media today, especially when it comes to our action heroes. While intelligent, earnest discussion is necessary to changing this reality, it’s also admittedly very satisfying to make fun of these tropes and characters, and nowhere is this more obvious than Kelly Turnbull’s satirical and aptly named Manly Guys Doing Manly Things.
The popular comic parodies, and routinely takes the piss out of, the overwhelmingly macho protagonists of video games, comics, TV, and film, while also following the everyday adventures of the long-suffering Commander Badass (yes, that’s his real name).
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Friday, June 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Celebrity photographer Cass Bird may be the coolest female to ever take a photo — and that has less to do with the photograph’s subject and more to do with the casual, cool aesthetic she manages to capture within every frame.
Want to see Elizabeth Moss dressed in couture while soaking in a bathtub? How about Jessica Chastain dressed vintage-sweet behind the scenes in a Universal Studios lot while a tour tram is passing? Class Bird can make it happen, and she does regularly.
With high fashion photographers clogging up every page of the trendiest magazines, it’s more than refreshing to check out the photos of this young spirited talent. From Jay-Z to Lily Allen, her subjects may be ultra chic, but they’re not as stylish as the woman behind the lens and the images she produces… just take a look.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, June 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
Electronic duo Phantoms have two amazing singles under their belt for two reasons: 1) They both feature a collaboration with actor/musician Nicholas Braun, and 2) they both have amazing videos directed by Ace Norton. There’s something about this trifecta formula that works for them, and in that regard, they should definitely keep it up. “Voyeur” is already a catchy track on its own, but the Norton-directed video takes the song to another level. The stunning black-and-white video starts off like Black Swan before morphing into something more similar to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” And yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. If you like this, don’t forget to check out “Broken Halo.” And after that if you’re still not dancing, then there’s something wrong with you.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015||No Comments »|
I’m not usually one for the bleeding heart memoir and I started Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal with a certain amount of ambivalence. I didn’t want to be emotionally blackmailed about this story of orphans and some social justice crusader. But in all seriousness, Conor Grennan probably deserves the recognition and attention he’s received for his contribution to these children’s lives.
“They weren’t orphans. These were children who had been lost to their parents.”
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Monday, June 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Bright, bold and always colorful, Jessica Hess‘s photorealistic urban landscape paintings say a lot about how we feel when we look at graffiti art. Constantly at war with each other, graffiti artists and the high brow art sect can’t seem to get along. Does graffiti art belong in an art gallery? Should graffiti on the street be treated as legitimate art? Thankfully, Hess’s work destroys that conversation, elevating the art of graffiti through simple landscape portraits that bring the art of the streets into the galleries. Her work is like a 2-for-1 deal, capturing the elusive world of urban art and bringing it to a larger audience. Because let’s be real: when is the next time you’re planning to visit Detroit?
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, June 18th, 2015||No Comments »|