My August pick for our Read Like an Artist book club is Tamara Shopsin’s Arbitrary Stupid Goal. To get the book in time to join our discussion next month, sign up now.
Here’s my intro:
This is a wonderful illustrated memoir of writer and illustrator Tamara Shopsin’s childhood in 1970s Greenwich Village, growing up with her brothers and sisters in their parents’ grocery store and restaurant, Shopsin’s. The “arbitrary stupid goal” of the title is a bit of the unconventional practice and wisdom of her father (the legendary Kenny Shopsin), which is sprinkled throughout the book. Like almost all memoirs by artists, it is partly the story of how the author became an artist. I love the way this book is written with pictures and words. Reading a Shopsin book gives me the same jolt I get when I read something like Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions: “I didn’t know a book could do this!”
Shopsin is quite simply one of my favorite creative people around, and I’ve written about her work several times on this blog. Really excited for people to fall in love with this book, and I’m even more excited for her first novel, LaserWriter II, which comes out in October.
To join our discussion, sign up for the club!