Graffiti writers made visible; Anthony Bourdain’s last graphic novel; the rise of romance podcasts; Reylo; the Goodreads challenge. Welcome to A Week In Book News.

Graffiti: Word on the street

Classical texts survive because the ancient scholars made sure they got passed on to us. Texts that we never get to hear about were those deemed not important enough to keep. That’s what you learn in culture studies anyway.

Marc Vallée certainly doesn’t want us to ignore graffiti writings and its writers. At the opening of his solo exhibition, Marc Vallée: London & Paris 2011-2018, guests were presented with highlights of the subculture that he’s been documenting for years.

If you are not familiar with his subject matter, this is your opportunity to see selected images from Vallée’s graffiti series such as Writers, Number Six, Vandals and the City, The Graffiti Trucks of Paris and The Graffiti Trucks of London.

Vallée has organised talks at galleries as well as university seminars on graffiti. At every talk, he would distribute high-quality black-and-white zines – quite an effort given that you expect the medium to ‘expire’ quicker than a magazine or a book.

Perhaps that’s how he feels about graffiti: we think it’s discardable; a bunch of complaints to be painted over. Vallée thinks it’s a story worth telling, just like the Romans took great care to preserve Cicero’s objection to tyranny in his correspondence to his son. ‘Julius Caesar bloody deserved his fate’, he wrote. For that, Cicero lost his life. But his words still resonate.


Marc Vallée: London & Paris 2011-2018


Bourdain’s last graphic novel

Anthony Bourdain’s graphic novel, Hungry Ghosts: Tales of Fear And Food From Around The World, has been published posthumously by Dark Horse Comics on 12 September 2018. It will be available this October.

The graphic novel is inspired by an old Japanese parlour game in which participants light 100 candles and swap tales of horror. Bourdain’s novel, written with Joel Rose, tells the story of a group of chefs who gather to outscare each other with scary tales and hope to survive the night. It was edited by Karen Berger.

The novel also features five original recipes by the celebrity chef. Bourdain and Rose previously collaborated on two graphic novels, Get Jiro! and Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi.

Bourdain was loved by many. The chef was first known for his book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He then hosted several TV programmes on food and travel, the most recent being Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

About Anthony Bourdain


Read it to me: romance podcasts

To promote The Governess Game by Tessa Dare, Mills and Boon has published a free first chapter of the book and a Soundcloud podcast of the extract, read by Mary Jane Wells.

The Soundcloud version made us laugh – only because we’re not accustomed to listening to romance and we felt embarrassed doing so.

Romance is no silly business, however. It has no problem adapting to digital formats and thus, it is one of the popular genres to be sold as e-books. Because it’s a cash cow, there is an influx of low-quality, badly written romance fictions. The genre is similar to fantasy in the sense that you only dig it if you’re into it.

Still, there is a lot of podcasts out there dedicated to romance fictions and romance writing. Here are a few of them:

Romance podcasts

We admit we are no fans of this kind of romance fiction but we do read Mills & Boon from time to time for Story Of Books.


Reylo is endgame

If we have to choose one romance podcast, then it would have to Reylo – because we love Star Wars and we are all for the Rey and Kylo Ren “endgame”. Rian Johnson, the director and screenwriter of The Last Jedi, is not a romance writer but he should have been one. If you fancy deep-reading Reylo, there is a novelisation of that movie. Or you can simply follow these podcasts:

SWC | Reylo Podcast Series

Reylo: Secrets Found in The Last Jedi Novel

More on romance genre


How many books do you plan to read this year?

We are only too glad if we can fit in a book in between graphic novels.

The Goodreads Reading Challenge has so far attracted 3,561,186 participants, with over 200 million books and over 39 million books finished. And it’s only September 2018.

We think the number of participants to date for this year are definitely an improvement over last year, which had attracted 3,154,524 participants and around 46 million books finished. In 2011, the challenge attracted only 150,133 participants.

More on The Goodreads Reading Challenge