Introducing my 2019 illustrated Book Club

Introducing my 2019 illustrated Book Club

Natalie Byrne illustrated Book Club TBR List:

Reading is been a huge part of my life, growing up with really dyslexia, books always gave me an enormous amount of anxiety. I would sweat in the classroom, terrified that the teacher was going to select me to read out loud from the book. When I found Harry Potter (after my brother forced me to read it), my dyslexia improved dramatically, and thus began my love of books. In 2018 I’ve read the least amount of books like ever, particularly because I was totally and utterly consumed with making my book Period, you can buy it here (10% of the profits go to help people access period products that can’t afford them). So in 2019 my new years resolution is to read more (just like it is every year lol), and what better way motivate myself to read than have you be my accountability partner (thats you). SO I am launching my own book club woooo! This is not going to be just any book club… no, no, no… this is going to be an ILLUSTRATED book club! Theres a mixture of books I’ve already read and really want to re-read and some brand new ones that are currently being shipped to me. They range from some classic graphic novelly type books, a feminist journal, a career book, a self development, mental health and a childrens picture book.

Nat B’s Books Club rules. Each Book that makes must :

  1. Must be an illustrated book
  2. Be available to purchase

It’s taken a lot of thought to try and predict what I will be in the mood to read next year but here goes! I’ve so excited about every single one of these! Here is the list in advance so you can put them on your christmas list.

The creative career path Andy j pizza
I’ve been excited about reading this for yonks, what a brilliant way to start the year with some a bit of our favourite Andy J Pizza. Andy is the American illustrator behind the Creative Pep Talk podcast, if you are a creative person and havn’t listened to the podcast, have you been under a rock this whole time? It’s the best! I love Andy’s energy, the illustrated world he’s created and his love for the hero’s journey. He describes it as “my 7 step process for finding your creative career sweet spot AKA a place in your career where you are both CREATIVELY fulfilled and thriving FINANCIALLY.” (As this is so new it’s not available on Goodreads so this one is missing from the list).
Artist Instagram
Buy it here

My Cardigan Heart by Lizzy Stewart
I actually bought this yeeeears ago at Pick me Up festival, but someone who will not be names borrowed it from me and never gave it back (aka I totally forgot to get it back) you know who you are! For February I’m thinking it’s valentines day, love will be in the commercial capitalism air and I’m going to be alone. So I wanted to read something cute, but not too sappy and I immediately thought of this old zine, I wish I still owned. Well now I own it again, it’s currently on route to me and I’m so excited to read this. Lizzy describes it as “A book of short stories in picture form”.
Buy it here

Vajournal: Feminist interactions and interventions by Isabella Bunnell
So I first saw this when I was at ELCAF festival, and was mesmerised but was on a ban from buying new books at the type because I already had a big pile that I was not getting through. So I’m so excited to pick this one for March my favourite month as it is my Birthday (March 23rd, right it down in your calendars, don’t worry I will wait) and it’s also Women’s History Month. Vajournal is a thought provoking feminist activity book, which educates while engages the reader on subjects like sex, sexuality, body hair, and sexism.
Buy it here 

The worries guide to life by Gemma Correll
This has been in my saved items for ever! Gemma’s illustrations are iconic now, but I had no idea this illustrator royalty had any struggles with mental health until I listened to her being interviewed on the creative pep talk podcast. In which she said her anxiety was so bad at one point, she couldn’t even leave her own house. I struggle with anxiety too and I thought this would be a perfect selection to read during April which is mental health awareness month.
Buy it here

Persepolis Paperback by Marjane Satrapi
My brother was the one who introduced me to Marjane Satrapi’s work, I watched the animated movie she made of this movie and it’s been a huge moment for me as I loved it. I’ve never read the graphic novel that came first and always wanted to, so I’m really excited to revisit this story that meant to much to me as a teen. It’s a coming of age story about Marjane Satrapi’s life in the growing tensions of the political climate of Iran in the 70’s and 
80s. It’s a hot classic in the graphic novel department.
Buy it here

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
This one is described as a “queer space-opera”, so I thought this would be perfect for the month of June, as June is Pride Month. Tillie is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin and is known for her signature
 themes of sexuality & gender. The youngest Eisner Award winner ever and has been described as one of the best cartoonist of today. I love me some space, I love me some queer love stories and I love seeing young people getting awarded for their talent. Whats not to love, this ones going to be space-tacular. (oh I’m sorry Im totally a dad now).
Buy it here

Your illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe Yumi Sakugawa
I first heard about this book through my illustrator friend Vicky Neville, as she wrote this blog post about which books inspire her and this one grabbed my attention. Yumi Sakugawa makes books around wellness definatly check out her other books too. This one has dreamlike instructions illustrating subjects like self-discovery, how to open your heart and sharing a cup of tea with your inner demons. It’ a hand drawn guide to inner peace. 
I just find the way her mind works fascinating and I can’t wait to dive back into it.
Buy it here

The Revolution Handbook by Alice Skinner
Alice Skinner is one of the badass girls that makes The Pink Protest, Alice is an activist, illustrator. She tackles political issues with pastel colours and a whimsical illustration style. She’s created this handbook for anyone who wants to get their activism on, but has no idea how to start. I’m sure there will be some more protests to get to in 2019 where this will come in super handy. 
Buy it here

A punto de partir / About to leave by Frannerd
I thought this would be a great choice as September is National Hispanic Heritage-Latino Month. I bought the original in Spanish when I was in Chile, and would love to read it again. Frannerd is a Chilean illustrator, she’s on on youtube and owns an online shop. She uses mainly pastel colours, and her illustration style is charmingly delicate with a hilarious sense of humour.
Buy it here

Reflections of me by Kirsty Latoya
Reflections of Me, is an art and poetry book made up of four sections, mental health, identity, womanhood and love. Kirsty is an incredible self taught artist, that creates all her work on an ipad (i know!) with just her finger (I KNOW!).I totally devoured this book last month when it was released, but I want to go back to it in October next year and really take me time to reflect and absorb it much slower.

Buy it here

The New Ghost by Robert Hunter
In honour of losing my friend this November, next November I want to read a beautiful and poetic book about death and this one seems to hit the nail on the head. This is Robert Hunter’s first comic for Nobrow Press, and is described as “
beautifully rendered, literally haunting tale of the afterlife intersecting with the everyday and the hidden secrets of the night sky.” The illustrations are full of texture and emotion, with his signature blue colour pallet.

Buy it here

Elephant on the moon by Mikołaj Pasiński, Gosia Herba
I picked this up at ELCAF last year, I know December can be a bit of a chaotic month so I’ve picked a children’s picture book, which will be a lovely thing to read in bed after a busy day. I was drawn to the illustrations as they are filled with texture, but have some geometric shapes that delight me. The story is of a lady astronomer and every evening she looks at the moon through her telescope and One night she makes an amazing discovery. “And is a tale of courage, passion and determination, Although it is directed mainly at younger readers, it refers to serious events.” This would make a beautiful xmas gift.
Buy it here

So thats it! The last Wednesday of every month, I will do a blog post with my thoughts each book.

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