A complete list of books read in 2014. Continue reading
- Chew, Volume 1: Taster’s Choice – John Layman & Rob Guillory. I hadn’t heard anything about this series before I picked it up, and I kind of can’t believe it because it was so good! Tony Chu is a cibopath – he gets psychic impressions from everything he eats. Which is both as hilarious and disgusting as it sounds, especially when he is encouraged to put his special abilities to use to solve murder cases. Recommended!
- Every Seventh Wave – Daniel Glattauer. The sequel to Love Virtually and with all the same enjoyments and pitfalls of the first.
- Saga, Volume 1 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to read these comics. I’ve requested that my library system buy them in since they were very first released and finally – FINALLY! – they have. And I love them just as much as I thought I would. Saga touches on so many heavy issues – race issues, sexuality, war – but it does it in a thoroughly enjoyable, space-opera-but good type of way. Recommended!
- Saga, Volume 2 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples. See above.
- Saga, Volume 3 – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples. See above.
- Deadpool, Volume 2: Soul Hunter – Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish & Mike Hawthorne. Deadpool versus a shark. Need I really say anything else 😀
- The Young Visiters – Daisy Ashford. This book was so random and so cute. It’s basically Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen but written by a nine year old, with very definite ideas about romance. It’s quite a short read so it’s definitely worth a look!
- The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation – Erica Ridley. This marks the point at which I travelled home for Christmas and mostly read books I’d download for free on my kindle. I think you can kind of tell that from the titles that are left for December 😀 I’ve never really considered myself to be particularly into romance novels, but I used to read so much fan-fiction, almost all of which could be considered to be a fandom version of romance, that it was kind of inevitable that I start reading them eventually. This was a surprisingly enjoyable Regency romance, mainly because the main character was feisty despite her very proper manners.
- The Last Lord of the Moors – Isabella Brooke. A more modern romance, and one with some patchy areas, but an enjoyably light read overall.
- The Ghost and the Graveyard – Genevieve Jack. I really enjoyed elements of this, but once it went all weird and sex-magic-y, I liked it a lot less. If the sex magic had been absent, or even toned down so as to suggest that the main character had some agency and wasn’t at the mercy of her genitals, I would probably have picked up the next in the series. As it stands, however, I’ll be giving this series a wide berth.
- A Christmas Charade – Karla Hocker. Part Regency romance, part thriller, this was definitely a more complex read than your average romance and I quite enjoyed it.
- Sleigh Bells in the Snow – Sarah Morgan. This forms part of a trilogy with Suddenly Last Summer and Maybe This Christmas. I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoyed these, way more than I should have considering that they’re published by Mills & Boons, but I was frustrated at how perfect and infallible the guys in Sleigh Bells in the Snow and Suddenly Last Summer were. They both had characters flaws, true, but they were just endlessly patient and sexy and amazing in every single way, to a degree that stretched the believable just a tad! The characters in Maybe This Christmas were probably my favourite, as both the guy and the woman seemed more or less like people you could know in real life.
- Maybe This Christmas – Sarah Morgan. See above.
- Suddenly Last Summer – Sarah Morgan. See above.
I don’t understand how it can possibly be September 25th. How has that happened? What on earth have I been doing for the last couple of months, because nothing in particular springs to mind. I suppose I should just console myself with the thought that whatever I’ve been doing, I have at least been reading.
- Blood Magic – Tessa Gratton. This had potential but unfortunately, it never quite managed to do anything with that potential. The blood magic of the title was really interestingly drawn – messy, dangerous and not something to deal with lightly – but the plot and the characters ventured into ridiculous a lot more than I would have liked. Disappointing.
- Underwater Welder – Jeff Lemire. I picked this one up after reading the Scottish Book Trust’s 6 Great Graphic Novels for the Comics Virgin (which is not the best list of introductory comics, in my opinion) and really enjoyed it. It’s both a touching exploration of what it means to be a father, and a spooky, horror-driven read.
- Citizen Firefighter – Kenny Hunter & Strathclyde Fire Brigade. Citizen Firefighter is a statue that stands outside Glasgow’s Central Station. When I first arrived in the city, it struck me as some sort of post-apocalyptic warning. It’s actually a commemoration of those who serve and have served with the Strathclyde Fire Brigade, which is slightly more mundane but quite a bit more inspirational. Recently, after the tragic fire at the Glasgow School of Art, Citizen Firefighter wore a touching placard, thanking the fire brigade for the work they did in saving much of the building from destruction. This book is the story of the statue’s creation and was quite an enjoyable wee read.
- Dear Mr Bigelow – Frances Woodsford. I picked this up at random from work and ended up really enjoying it. Writing to a friends’ father in America, Frances Woodsford’s letters shine a humorous light on life in England in the post-World War II period. She writes about everything from her job, to her interior decorating skills (or lack thereof), to taking part in Cold War home front training, and her warmth keeps you turning the pages.
- The Dead Boy Detectives – Jill Thompson. So flipping cute! Like, seriously, unbelievably cute!
Hellblazer: Stations of the Cross – Mike Carey, Marcelo Frusin & Leonardo Manco. Still digging these, despite reading them out of order.
Uncanny X-Men: Love and Madness – Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr & Sal Buscema. These mini-reprint volumes are quite excellent. They cover a period of the X-Men that I’m not overly familiar with but really enjoy reading. Writing was so much more soap-opera-y back in these glory days, and this one covered some batshit crazy stuff with Colossus and Shadowcat (like, what the fuck, she’s 14 or something, and he’s crazy).
Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev – Andrey Kurkov. Definitely an interesting and informative read, but somehow an unsatisfying one. It’s hard to get a clear view of what exactly is happening in Ukraine right now, and this book did help to clear that up (absolutely shit stuff that the EU should be doing more about, basically), but it all felt like it was being told from a distance so I found it difficult to connect it was reality, even though it’s clearly non-fiction. I wonder if this was a problem with the translation?
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion. I’m still not a fan of the cover we got for this in the UK, but I did enjoy the book. If you’re looking for a light, comedic read, this is for you. There’s a sequel out soon, which I was surprised by. It’ll be interesting to see whether it detracts or adds to the original!
Deadpool, Volume 1: Dead Presidents – Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan & Tony Moore. You guys, this was awesome! So funny! And random! And very Deadpool-y. Yay!
X-Men: No More Humans – Mike Carey & Salvadore Larroca. While I enjoyed this quite a lot, I didn’t really see the point of it. It’s basically the flipside of the ‘No More Mutants’ storyline and while the writing and artwork are excellent, you can’t get that out of your head. I’d read it again, but I’d still be thinking ‘but why does this even exist?’ Conflicted!
X-Men, Volume 2: Muertas – Brian Wood, Terry Dodson & Kristafer Anka. I hope Brian Wood can continue to make this team so awesome, I really do, because this title is so much fun. The relationships between characters are definitely one of its strong points, though I still don’t get Marvel Girl as a character. She’s in everything and yet I just can’t warm to her. But Jubilee! And M! And women villains being awesome!
Zero, Volume 1: An Emergency – Ales Kot, Michael Walsh et al. This was another one that had potential that it never fully realised. Reminiscent of Queen and Country it gets bogged down in some male-testosterone-woman-in-refrigerator bullshit. I’m unlikely to look for the second volume.
The Stranded – Mike Carey, Siddharth Kotian. A bit blah, this one, which was disappointing because it was written by Mike Carey.
Uncanny X-Men – The New Age, Volume 2: The Cruelest Cut – Chris Claremont, Alan Davis & Andy Park. I love Sage. Why on earth is she so criminally underused?
X-Men: Fallen Angels – Jo Duffy, Kerry Gammil, Marie Severin & Joe Staton. This was so crazy, in a way that only comics from the 80s can be. There’s a giant dinosaur, and a street-wise pick-pocket with a heart of (sorta) gold. There’s a kid who has a psychic connection with a pair of lobsters, and there’s Roberto Dacosta having an emo breakdown. Amazing!
Secrets at St Jude’s: New Girl – Carmen Reid. This book wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good. The characters were horrible little rich girls, even when the author tried to give them more depth, and the plot was… uninteresting. What really annoyed me about it though is that one of the girls is sexually assaulted at one point, and everyone – EVERYONE – writes the incident off as her fault. So incredibly not cool, and definitely not the right message to be sending to girls.
X-Men vs Hulk – Christos Gage et al. I have to say, this was surprisingly enjoyable. It featured a mix of modern and slightly older stories, and made me grin more than once.
Olivia Flies High – Lyn Gardner. For me, this didn’t live up to the first title in the series. It wasn’t a bad read, but I didn’t find the characters or situations as enjoyable as in the first.
Olivia and the Movie Stars – Lyn Gardner. See above.
Olivia’s Enchanted Summer – Lyn Gardner. See above.
Despite some weeks in February feeling interminably long, I’m still quite surprised that it’s over. And look – I read things!
- Hipster Hitler – James Carr and Archana Kumar. This was a gift for my last birthday and I feel bad it’s taken me this long to get around to it. Enjoyable pun-filled goodness.
- Wolverine: Sabretooth Reborn – Jeph Loeb & Simone Bianchi. Not amazing but not terrible either.
- Astonishing X-Men: Unmasked – Marjorie Liu & Gabriel H. Walta. Glad to see Iceman getting some character development again. But more Northstar, please!
- The Girl With All the Gifts – M.R. Carey. As previously mentioned, I LOVED this. Go read it immediately!
- X-Men: Primer – Brian Wood, Olivier Coipel & David Lopez. See my last post for thoughts.
- Revival: You’re Among Friends – Tim Seeley & Mike Norton. See my last post for thoughts.
- Revival: Live Like You Mean It – Tim Seeley & Mike Norton. See my last post for thoughts.
- The Little Women Letters – Gabrielle Donnelly. Although the characters in this never really rang true for me, I thought this was alright. Nothing spectacular, but the letters from ‘Grandma Jo’ made it more than worthwhile.
- Deadpool: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish & Declan Shalvey. Yay for Deadpool! Must play the game soon.