cover image The Hchom Book

The Hchom Book

Marian Churchland. Image, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-5343-0834-3

This mischievous collection of particular delights gathers posts from Churchland’s sketch blog, Hchom, wherein she envisions herself as a wry-eyed goblin and counts her possessions, real and desired, as her “hoard.” The volume is divided into four chapters on larder, closet, hoard, and house, each representing a key element of her cozy, nerdy, bookish lifestyle. Detailed painted illustrations in scrumptious colors show off favorite foods (the Fantasy Adventure Feast includes nuts, fruit, and a honeycomb, while the Space Larder features Rice Krispies Squares and Peanut M&Ms), fantasy homes (fairy tale tower, spaceship, hobbit hole), a wish list of designer clothing appropriate for a Dungeons & Dragons character, and a “Shiny Collection” of rocks and crystals. The accompanying handwritten labels and prose notes drift through musings on Churchland’s goblin aesthetic, book pairings, recipes, and occasional Proustian meditations (a favorite brand of cookies is “like the cookies my grandmother would sparingly feed me while I played Robin Hood Lego at her house”). This lookbook for witchy geeks (or geeky witches) is slight but charming, a magical marketplace of fantasy novel outfits, video game accessories, fresh bread, and rice pudding. [em](Sept.) [/em]