Mary-Louise Parker's Bookshelf
By Lynda Barry
I'd hesitate to call this simply a collection of cartoons, because they're so subtle and sophisticated and humane. Among other things, Barry is able to conjure up the colloquial rhythms of adolescent girls. That was such a tricky time in my life—I was not a happy 12-year-old. Barry is so unflinching with her own memories. There's no romanticizing her younger self as anything other than awkward; she doesn't gloss over the embarrassing incidents in her later life, like a bad boyfriend. She's brought me to tears more than once.