Well, another year is just about up. I’m not anticipating getting anything else done by January 1st, so here’s what I read this year. Always a little nerve-wracking, since I know so many people who read so much more, but I also know that it’s not really helpful to think of it like that. Your challenges are your own, and all that jazz.
If you’re wondering: the comics are italicized, and the very, very few non-fiction books are bolded.
- Little, Big – John Crowley
- Ms. Marvel: No Normal – G. Willow Wilson
- We Are All Completely Fine – Daryl Gregory
- Curtsies & Conspiracies – Gail Carriger
- Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self – Jennifer Ouelette
- Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 2 – Tom Taylor
- Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
- Whispers Under Ground – Ben Aaronovitch
- Saga, Volume 4 – Brian K. Vaughn
- Gotham Central – Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
- Waistcoats & Weaponry – Gail Carriger
- Dream Houses – Genevieve Valentine
- His Majesty’s Dragon – Naomi Novik
- Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
- Harrison Squared – Daryl Gregory
- Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft – Joe Hill
- Locke & Key: Head Games – Joe Hill
- Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear
- Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows – Joe Hill
- Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom – Joe Hill
- Emma – Jane Austen
- Locke & Key: Clockworks – Joe Hill
- Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega – Joe Hill
- The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black
- Three Parts Dead – Max Gladstone
- The Martian – Andy Weir
- Murder is Bad Manners – Robin Stevens
- Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe
- Powers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl – Brian Michael Bendis
- The Dragons of Heaven – Alyc Helms
- Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie
- Girl Waits With Gun – Amy Stewart
- Gotham Academy, Vol. 1 – Welcome to Gotham Academy – Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher
- Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside – Cameron Stewart
- Uprooted – Naomi Novik
- Alias, AKA Jessica Jones – Brian Michael Bendis
- The Calculus Diaries – Jennifer Ouelette
- Ms. Marvel: Generation Why? – G. Willow Wilson
- The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two – Catherynne Valente
- Shadowshaper – Daniel José Older
- Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes
- Enchanted – Alethea Kontis
- The Suffering – Rin Chupeco
- Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear – Jan Bondeson
- Hack/Slash Omnibus: Volume 1 – Tim Seeley
- The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
- Saga, Volume 5 – Brian K. Vaughan
- Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman
- Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie
- Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware The Kitten Holy – Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
- Archivist Wasp – Nicole Kornher-Stace
- Signal to Noise – Silvia Moreno Garcia
- Injustice – Gods Among Us: Year 2, Volume 1 – Tom Taylor
- The Clockwork Dagger – Beth Cato
- Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth – Kurtis J. Wiebe
- Hawkeye: Rio Bravo – Matt Fraction
- Vicious – V.E. Schwab
- Batman: Dark Victory – Jeph Loeb
- Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn – Grant Morrison
- The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath – Ishbelle Bee
- Six-Gun Snow White – Catherynne Valente
I’ll save the big conclusions for tomorrow, when I post my 2015 Book Superlatives, but a few things I noticed:
I read a lot more YA than I usually do and liked so much of it. In fact, most of my favorite books this year were YA. I definitely plan to read a lot more next year, too, especially since my interest in writing YA has seriously skyrocketed in the last year, year-and-a-half.
I also read a lot more comic books and graphic novels this year than I have in the past. I plan to keep that going too. (Though I’m less likely to try writing them myself. Right now, writing comics is one of those things that falls under the “Super Neat Idea, But I Don’t Want It Enough Right Now to Work For It.”)
I totally gave up on my academic reading challenge, especially after the total fail experience that was trying to read Gulliver’s Travels. (You’ll notice it’s not on the list above. That’s because I struggled mightily through it, only to discover I’d somehow managed to download a seriously abridged and edited version of the story, like I only apparently read half of the book. I never went back because seriously. He goes on TWO MORE VOYAGES?! Does this asshole not learn anything?) And next year I’m planning to take a break from the academic reading challenge entirely, to focus on other genres I’d rather be reading instead.
Most Common Type of Fantasy Book: Fairy Tales, including retellings, original stories, or simply playing with fairy tale tropes.
Number of Fairy Tale Books: 5 (Uprooted, The Darkest Part in the Forest, Enchanted, The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath, Six-Gun Snow White)
I remain a contrary bastard. A couple of the books which seem to be making everybody’s Best of 2015 lists almost certainly aren’t making it on mine.
Here’s one superlative for free: Favorite New Author: Daryl Gregory. (By new, I clearly mean “new to me.” Honorable Mentions go to Max Gladstone, Ann Leckie, Naomi Novik, Rin Chupeco.)
This was a pretty great reading year. Picking my favorite book is going to suck.
4 thoughts on “The Books & Comic Books of 2015”
Can I curate a “Must read, but also it’s good” academic reading list for you? Is that something you’d be at ALL interested in? It’d probably be a bit heavy on Anthropology, feminist theory, and literary theory, but it’ll be good. As long as Foucault’s Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason counts as ‘good.’
You totally may, so long as you’re not too worried about when I actually get to it. I love recommendations . . . but I have lots of things I want to read right now, and I’ve gotta be honest: even the best literary theory in the world isn’t likely to knock those books off the top of the list. Fantasy westerns! Lady spies! More fairy tale retellings! I have gift cards and I plan to use them!
6 Fairy Tale books – you forgot to count ‘The Bloody Chamber’ (loved that book, though it’s been so long since I read it).
Just finished ‘Uprooted’ and liked it. How are her other books?
Also, something that falls under the umbrella of “more comic books” as well as “lady spies” is VELVET by Ed Brubaker. It’s Brubaker, so it’s some fantastic noir. The conceit is basically “What if Miss Pennymoney was 40… and had a secret life?”
Ugh, I KNEW I forgot one! I kept thinking, Wait . . . I thought there were six books, and then apparently kept missing The Bloody Chamber as I scanned over the list to recheck. Arg, thank you.
The only other book I’ve read by Naomi Novik is His Majesty’s Dragon, which I very much enjoyed. It’s basically the Napoleonic wars with dragons. It’s the first in a series, which I plan to continue reading.
Huh, I don’t think I’ve heard of VELVET before. Sounds really interesting. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the heads up!