Tag Archive for Allie Brosh

“Hyperbole and a Half” — a Bill Gates pick

I just finished a book that was recommended by Bill Gates. Yeah, that Bill Gates. TheBillGates Microsoft guy.

I never imagined that I would ever be following book recommendations by Bill Gates, but after I stumbled upon an article about his book blog, I found the subject intriguing enough (I mean, if I can never find time to blog, how does a hugely powerful and busy business leader manage to write a book blog?!) that I not only read the whole article, but I made a Hyperbolebooknote of one of the books mentioned in the article, “Hyperbole and a Half.” The article said Gates had found this graphic memoir laugh-out-loud hilarious.

The article also mentioned that the author, Allie Brosh, is a young woman living in my home state, in the city of Bend, Oregon, where she writes her blog of the same name, Hyperbole and a Half. Bill Gates + laugh-out-loud + Oregon was enough to send me to the library.

It was a strange sensation to be reading Brosh’s book and enjoying her crude but clever illustrations, and all of a sudden to laugh out loud. Every time that happened, I felt a special kinship with Bill and I wondered if the scenes that had tickled me were the same ones that had made him explode in an appreciative laugh.

First of all, Brosh’s own character, which she drew with Paintbrush, amused me every time it appeared. At first I thought she was depicting herself as a fish with a pink body and cakeyellow dorsal fin. But no, I read that the drawing was of a girl with a blonde ponytail and a pink dress. Her odd looks add to the humor of her stories, particularly “The God of Cake.”

I also loved her dog drawings. She has two dogs: the simple dog and the helper dog. The Allie's dogsfluidity of her drawings make the dogs look like they’re made from Silly Putty. But at the same time, these goofy creatures are uncannily realistic. I recognized my own dog’s behavior in their odd antics. I also recognized my own behavior and some of my own secret demented thoughts in Brosh’s character. She is excellent at pinpointing human foibles.

Brosch also tackles quite serious topics, namely her own battle with depression. But what better therapy for her than to bring cheer to others with her hilarious illustrated memoir and to gain recognition and respect for her delightful creativity.

Thanks for the book recommendation, Bill Gates! Keep ’em coming!