We all need a little help from time to time. Allow these illustrated books to offer you a little guidance....
1. Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar
Toronto-based artist Maria Qamar, known by her Instagram handle @hatecopy, drew from her popular account and experiences in a South Asian immigrant family to create Trust No Aunty. The vibrant and hilarious book is a survival guide of sorts, with the Desi artist offering advice on how to deal with “Aunties” — the often overbearing and meddlesome women every South Asian knows, who always have something to say. Qamar touches on everything from being told to lose weight and hiding a boyfriend in her closet. If you still need convincing: Mindy Kaling counts herself as a fan of Qamar’s work — she even used a piece of her work on The Mindy Project.
2. The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to Make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa
The Little Book of Life Hacks is comic book artist Yumi Sakugawa’s fifth book. Sakugawa offers a wide range of practical tips to improve everyday life based on her own experiences, illustrated in her trademark style. Don’t know how to decorate your new apartment? Sakugawa has advice for you. Want to learn how to make cold brew coffee at home? There’s an illustration for that. Sakugawa even offers tips on how to get rid of the perennial dark circles under your eyes, so you’re probably going to want to get reading.
3. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon, a Texas-based author and artist, says he wrote Steal Like an Artist to a previous version of himself. Described as a “manifesto for the digital age,” Kleon’s book is an expanded version of a talk he gave to college students in New York, when he made a list of 10 things he wish he’d been told when starting out in the creative industry. The result is a cool graphic book full of positivity that will, hopefully, show you that creativity is for everyone.
4. Doodle Diary of a New Mom: An Illustrated Journey Through One Mommy’s First Year by Lucy Scott
Like most expecting mothers, Lucy Scott did extensive pre-baby research. But, once the Scottish illustrator’s first child was born in 2012, she realized she still felt completely unprepared for caring for a human being. As she fought through common parenting battles, she started doodling the moments—everything from breastfeeding troubles to taking the baby out to lunch for the first time. Scott offers an honest, funny look at motherhood, and there are even prompts in the back of the book so new mothers can doodle their own memories.
5. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir by Roz Chast
New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit and style to a difficult topic: elderly parents. Focusing on the last years of her parents’ lives, Chast uses cartoons, family photos, and documents to bring together a moving book about adult children coping with the aging, and eventual loss, of their parents. While it’s a memoir, readers will likely relate to and take lessons from Chast’s own grief.