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Illustrated books on sports, films and U.S. history to check out

This is an article about books that are difficult to categorize.

They’re a combination of art and words that present information in a unique way — typically with some beautiful graphic design.

They’re the kind of books that fit nicely on a coffee table or can be something you grab for a quick read, when you only have a few minutes. (Yes, I’m alluding to bathroom reading.) Or, perhaps in a less crass way, a good choice for your subway commute.

Here are five such books you should seek out.

'The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History’

"The United States of Absurdity" by David Anthony
Photo Credit: Ten Speed Press

From the creators of The Dollop podcast -- David Anthony and Gareth Reynolds -- comes this collection of stories about American oddities, from curiosities such as Mike the Chicken, a bird that got his head cut off and lived, to tragic figures like former Mets star Lenny Dykstra, who served time for grand theft auto. Each story is accompanied by a beautiful illustration and a fun fact. ($14.99, Ten Speed Press, out now)

'A Graphic History of Sport: An Illustrated Chronicle of the Greatest Wins, Misses, and Matchups from the Games We Love”

"A Graphic History of Sport: An Illustrated Chronicle
Photo Credit: Clarkson Potter

Get a quick primer on some of the most significant sports events and figures in this book from Brooklyn illustrator Andrew Janik. Each entry has a page of text with a concise explanation of the importance, some facts, a quote and a clever illustration (for example, for fiery college basketball coach Bobby Knight, it’s a chair flying through the air). ($15.99, Clarkson Potter, out now)

‘Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played To Win’

"Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Play
Photo Credit: Ten Speed Press

In the follow-up to her previous book, “Women in Science,” Rachel Ignotofsky turns her attention to the world of sports, focusing on some well-known, and some not-so-well-known, female sports figures. The real star of the show here is Ignotofsky’s colorful artwork, which features a stylized image of the athlete, packed with facts and little tidbits of information. ($16.99, Ten Speed Press, out now)

‘Cinegeek: Fun Trivia Tidbits Celebrating the Cinematic World’

"Cinegeek: Fun Trivia Celebrating the Cinematic World" by
Photo Credit: IDW Publishing

French artist Pluttark delivers a comic look at films of the 1980s and ‘90s, with hilarious movie trivia and lists. Some favorites include “Nicolas Cage’s Hairstyles from the Beyond,” “A Comparison of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris,” and “The Coolest Cars Pt. 1 and 2.” Prepare to get lost in this book for hours. ($14.99, IDW Publishing, out Aug. 1)

‘Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump’

"Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of
Photo Credit: Top Shelf Productions

One of what most likely will be a library’s worth of books about President Trump, cartoonist Shannon Wheeler has taken it upon himself to illustrate his tweets, poring over 30,000 “not only looking to caricature and parody Trump,” but to “understand his perspective and how it resonates with his supporters.” His Trump caricature has tiny hands, of course. ($14.99, Top Shelf Productions, out Aug. 15)


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