The Books & Comic Books of 2015

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.

  1. Little, Big – John Crowley
  2. Ms. Marvel: No Normal – G. Willow Wilson
  3. We Are All Completely Fine – Daryl Gregory
  4. Curtsies & Conspiracies – Gail Carriger
  5. Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self – Jennifer Ouelette
  6. Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 2 – Tom Taylor
  7. Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
  8. Whispers Under Ground – Ben Aaronovitch
  9. Saga, Volume 4 – Brian K. Vaughn
  10. Gotham Central – Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
  11. Waistcoats & Weaponry – Gail Carriger
  12. Dream Houses – Genevieve Valentine
  13. His Majesty’s Dragon – Naomi Novik
  14. Doomsday Book – Connie Willis
  15. Harrison Squared – Daryl Gregory
  16. Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft – Joe Hill
  17. Locke & Key: Head Games – Joe Hill
  18. Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear
  19. Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows – Joe Hill
  20. Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom – Joe Hill
  21. Emma – Jane Austen
  22. Locke & Key: Clockworks – Joe Hill
  23. Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega – Joe Hill
  24. The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black
  25. Three Parts Dead – Max Gladstone
  26. The Martian – Andy Weir
  27. Murder is Bad Manners – Robin Stevens
  28. Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe
  29. Powers, Vol. 1: Who Killed Retro Girl – Brian Michael Bendis
  30. The Dragons of Heaven – Alyc Helms
  31. Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie
  32. Girl Waits With Gun – Amy Stewart
  33. Gotham Academy, Vol. 1 – Welcome to Gotham Academy – Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher
  34. Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside – Cameron Stewart
  35. Uprooted – Naomi Novik
  36. Alias, AKA Jessica Jones – Brian Michael Bendis
  37. The Calculus Diaries – Jennifer Ouelette
  38. Ms. Marvel: Generation Why? – G. Willow Wilson
  39. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two – Catherynne Valente
  40. Shadowshaper – Daniel José Older
  41. Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes
  42. Enchanted – Alethea Kontis
  43. The Suffering – Rin Chupeco
  44. Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear – Jan Bondeson
  45. Hack/Slash Omnibus: Volume 1 – Tim Seeley
  46. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  47. Saga, Volume 5 – Brian K. Vaughan
  48. Vengeance Road – Erin Bowman
  49. Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie
  50. Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware The Kitten Holy – Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
  51. Archivist Wasp – Nicole Kornher-Stace
  52. Signal to Noise – Silvia Moreno Garcia
  53. Injustice – Gods Among Us: Year 2, Volume 1 – Tom Taylor
  54. The Clockwork Dagger – Beth Cato
  55. Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth – Kurtis J. Wiebe
  56. Hawkeye: Rio Bravo – Matt Fraction
  57. Vicious – V.E. Schwab
  58. Batman: Dark Victory – Jeph Loeb
  59. Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn – Grant Morrison
  60. The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath – Ishbelle Bee
  61. 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.

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4 Responses to The Books & Comic Books of 2015

  1. teleidoplex says:

    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!

  2. geekgrl42 says:

    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!

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