My reading slips holder is stuffed, so it’s time for this year’s recap of stuff I read. The grand total is, let’s say around 80 books & comics. I counted the slips of paper, but there was one duplicate, and at least one book I forgot to write down, because I read it on my iPad while away from home. Plus, I expect I’ll squeeze in at least one or two more books before the year is out.
In no particular order, here are some highlights:
- I re-read both the original Ms. Marvel run by G. Willow Wilson and Paper Girls, thanks to new series coming out on Disney+ and Amazon, respectively. It’s always interesting to see how the stories change when they jump from one medium to another. The Paper Girls comic is definitely better than the streaming series.
- There was only one DC comic in the whole pile — Wonder Woman: Dead Earth. The note I scribbled for that one is “BATMAN ALWAYS WINS.” She uses Superman’s spine as a weapon, if that tells you anything.
- No surprise to anyone who follows comics, but Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands was a standout.
- The vast majority of my comics reading is somewhere on the indie spectrum, or at least not Marvel/DC. Some worth checking out: Weegee: Serial Photographer, Kabul Disco, Rat Queens (always), Impossible Jones, Ron Randall’s Trekker, the Reckless series, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Dragon, Second Coming, vol 2.
- I re-read two novels, Foundation and Earth and The Secret History. Revisiting Asimov is a trip. Tartt’s book probably holds up better, though Asimov will always have a special place for me, since he was my introduction to adult sci-fi back in the day.
- Razzmatazz (sequel to Noir) was a hoot, and may be my favorite novel of the year. Reading Noir first isn’t required, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to.
- Holy shit, Sin du Jour. Seven novellas, reads like a Netflix limited series, highly recommended if you like twisted urban fantasy.
- In YA/MG, I would recommend The Clackity, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, and The Bridge Home. The first two of those are more fantastical, while the last one is most definitely not. In fact, The Bridge Home is probably the biggest gut punch I’ve read in a while. Horrible things always happen to kids in YA/MG, but there’s a difference when the element of fantasy is entirely removed.
…and just for completeness, I’m currently reading The Spare Man and Slow Horses. The jury’s still out on both, though I am enjoying them so far (and I super dig the Slow Horses series on AppleTV). I do have questions about Mary Robinette Kowal’s use of “nethers,” though…
UPDATE: I almost forgot non-fiction! These get their own bulleted list:
- Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays — Minnie Driver sounds like a handful, albeit a highly entertaining one.
- The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music — I’ve never been much of a Foo Fighters or Nirvana fan, but have always enjoyed hearing Dave Grohl’s stories. This book doesn’t disappoint.
- All the Living and the Dead — Fascinating look at various jobs that deal with death.
- All of the Marvels — While the Marvel section of our comics collection is larger than any other single publisher, I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. It’s interesting to get a more comprehensive overview of the world and how it evolved.
- Exit Stage Left: The Curious Afterlife of Pop Stars — If you’re not messed up in the head before becoming a pop star, odds are good you will be coming out the other side.
- Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs — The writing has the feel of an academic treatise at times, but the litany of horrible ways humans find to kill each other is still shocking and horrific.
- Disasterology — We are so screwed.
- what if? 2 — The science is almost beside the point. What I particularly enjoy about these books is how Randall thinks through the ramifications of each question, taking them places you might not have expected.
- How to Take Over the World — MWA HA HAA!
- Arriving Today — How things get from point A to point B. Amazon is horrible.