Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Favorite Reads of 2016 + My Year in Reading

I went into writing this list, thinking it'd be on the shorter side, since I wasn't really counting rereads and such, but - damn, I did read some good as hell books and comics and graphic novels this year. And all of the ones mentioned as my favorites/the best I gave five stars, all the honorable mentions I'm going to tack on at the bottom (because I can't control myself and it's my blog) I gave four stars.

If you've read any of these, let's talk in the comments, and if you're going to pick any of them up now that you've seen me mention them - let me know!


Lumberjanes, Volumes 1 - 4 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A Allen +
I just love this comic series so damn much. It's magical and amazing, and the girl friendships. Also the girl romances. And some stuff is just ridiculous but it's amazing. Literally all I can say about this series because I have no other damn words for it, it's just so good. I do really want to damn know what's going on the woods, but I haven't read volume 5 yet and maybe we get answers then. Maybe we don't, I don't care, I love this series. (I love the art so much)

Dimension W, Volume 1 by Yuji Iwahara
I watched the anime first because it was available through.... Crunchyroll? Funimation? I don't remember, one of those, and I loved it. Fell head over heels, loved it to death. However, the manga wasn't out yet or, obviously, I would of read that first. It's slowly being published now, one every few months, and so far I've only read the one. But I'm so excited to read more!

Monstress #1-3 Marjorie Lie, Sana Takeda
I only got to the first three issues of this series - I think the whole second half of the year I just didn't read many comics, definitely going to have to change that in 2017, I love comics. Anyway - this one is incredible, and I was hesitant to put in on here because I've read so little of it but fuck it. And I am super into art deco, I love it a lot, and this art is gorgeous. I loved the three issues I did read - will be reading the whole first volume, and hopefully the next, at some point during 2017.

Coffin Hill, Volmues 1-3  by Caitlin Kitteridge, Inaki Miranda (complete series)
I really enjoyed these comics. They're pretty dark and weird, but they didn't scare me at any point, though I'm hard to scare. And, living in New England myself, I'm a sucker for New England based creepy things, especially with anything supernatural (here it was witches). A ton of fun, and the art is really good.

Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang
I read these basically as they were coming out, the single issues I mean that make up this volume, and man they were freaking amazing. I really want to go back and reread before moving onto the issues for volume two, which is all out now. It's such a weird story and it gave me It vibes, and anything that gives me that just hits me right in the nostalgia/love (It is one of my all time favorites). And, of course, Vaughan is amazing, but also Chiang's art is incredible. Check out this series for sure.

Fruits Basket: Collectors Edition, Volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya
I read more then one volume this year but I really just want to talk about this series really fast. It's one of my favorite manga series of all time, the first one I read and then got super into. And these collectors edition are, first, two of the normal volumes in one and, two, new translations. And the new translations are amazing. Highly, highly recommend the new translation over the old.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
I loves this so much why did no one make me read it sooner? I honestly don't want to say anything about this book, I kept hearing about it but nothing about the plot, and it really surprised me in an amazing way going in like that. I read this after enjoying the early Lumberjane comics so much. Check it out!

"Book" Books (just everything that's fiction - fantasy, romance, horror, everything)

The Queen (White Years #4, Original Sinners #8) by Tiffany Reisz
The Scent of Winter by Tiffany Reisz
Poinsetta by Tiffany Reisz
The Confessions by Tiffany Reisz
The Queen is the final book in her whole Original Sinners series, eight books, so I can't exactly talk about that one. And, to be fair, I can't exactly talk about either of the short stories/novellas/whatever I read either. I can tell you that both of them were Christmas stories - she releases a free Christmas story every year featuring her Original Sinners characters - and I loved them both and this whole series so much. It is dark BDSM erotica, so if you're not into that then this series isn't for you. If you're willing to give it a try, just be aware there are trigger warnings for everything throughout the series.
(Also her Men at Work series that's each based around a holiday - Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are amazing. I've only read 2/3, but those were both awesome. Cheesier then Original Sinners, and nothing could be as good honestly, but still good romances. And the first two weren't really dark at all).

Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon, Kira Breed-Wrisley
I don't scare easily, I really don't, but this book freaked me out. I love the games - well, watching people play the games, particularly Markiplier. I suck at any kind of game that stresses you out, but I love the lore and stuff in them. And also just the fun of the fact they're horror games. So I went into this book with that and... there's one scene in an arcade room with one of the animatronics that I still think about. And it still kind of scares me just to think about it. If his co-author, assuming that's who she is, ever rights anything else. I will read the shit out of it.

The Type by Sarah Kay
I did a whole post on spoken word, and a lot of Sarah Kay was there, so go there is you want to learn more about her and listen to her poetry. Basically: she's fucking amazing. Just type her name into youtube and be amazed.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
I loved this book and even now, months later, I can't put my finger on exactly why. I think it was just because it was different. I haven't been trying very hard lately to diversity my reading but I want to push myself - more on that when my 2017 goals post goes up - but this was just so different. I don't mind an unlikable character, and pasts of this were just so.... messy, in a way real life is, that it just felt kind of... comforting? I don't know if that makes sense. And, of course, his writing is... beautiful I guess is the word, different and really good.

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter
First off, I don't know if the author herself is Native American but the character is (basically I don't know if this book is #ownvoices or not). Also, she's a Skinwalker who hunts vampires. So this series is awesome, I've started the second book but I ended up putting it aside because... I don't remember, I should pick it back up. Anyway - Native American MC, with a witch BFF, who ride a motorcycle, and no real love interest (at least not yet, I'm sure that'll come). And also a mystery in her past. I'm not saying I'm in love but I'm not saying I'm not either?

All for the Game series (#1-3) by Nora Sakavic
I love this series a lot. There are probably issues with it but, overall - they're troubled teenagers, sometimes they're not going to make the smartest choices, or be the best person. And, by the end, I feel like we could have like four more books to just show them healing because these characters are broken and then they go through hell. Also, even if there are, this book has one of my favorite element that isn't a thing until the third book but I'm mentioning it, if you've seen this book anywhere on the internet you know there's a romance, it doesn't happen until the third book but still minor spoilers - spoilers if you don't want to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The consent. The way that Neil respects Andrews boundaries and that it goes both ways. I really think more books, especially YA though I wouldn't classify these as YA even though I think they are online, need to have explicit consent be a thing. That would be incredible.

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, a LGBT Indigenous SciFi Anthology
A few of the stories got 4/5 stars, but I don't think anything got lower then that. It's just so incredible. I'm not sure I can describe my feelings for this book as a white cis women reading this book (or if I should), but it just broke my damn heart a places and made me feel warm inside with just love at others. The stories range from heartwarming to heartbreaking to confusing to kinda weird but I'm into it tell me more. I highly, highly recommend this series. I'm going to be trying to read more books my indigenous authors in 2017 and, if you are too this isn't a bad place to start (US and then will branch out at some point).

(I read some reviews by indigenous reviewers before buying but now I can't find them - arghh! - if I do, I'll drop them here)

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I honestly had bought this book because I wanted to read it eventually, and then there was audio deal and I was like sure - it's not a very long book - and holy shit it's amazing. No, seriously, I adored this book. It's weird and bounces between all kinds of things and it's done so damn well. And I'm definitely going to be reading more Vonnegut in the future. Definitely a contender for what my favorite thing I read this year was, though obviously I am far from able to pick just one.

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
I found this through looking through peoples TBRs for the #diversathon, at least I think (or maybe to fulfill a challenge?) All I remember is learning that it had seven points of view and a ton of diversity - neurodiversity and multiple #LGBTQIA+ characters. And it was... so damn good. Nothing was just simple and straight in this book, kind of pun intended, most everyone's did something I didn't expect. I've got to say, this one was an amazing one.

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness
Holy jesus christ, this series. I need to reread this series back to back, but this one just... the feels, the tears, it was so good. And I really love this audiobook narrator, I don't listen to a ton of audiobooks, but not a few either, and what can convince me to keep listening is a narrator I like (it is definitely a personal taste thing, though, but for me this one gets a thumbs up). Obviously this is the last in a trilogy, and a very well known trilogy. Hell, it's Patrick Ness, what else do you need to know honestly?

Honorable Mentions:The Dark Wife by S.E. Diemer, Asking for It by Lilah Pace, The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, Giant Days, Volumes 1-3, A Gentleman in the Streets by Alisha Rai, Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka, Rick and Morty, VOlume 1 by Zac Gorman, Mirror #1 by Emma Rios, Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest, The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, The Machine Stops by E.M Forester, Grinder by Samantha Whiskey, Soppy: A Love Story by Philippa Rice, 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl, Mostly Voice, Partially Stars, Volume 1 by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, Citizen by Claudia Rankin, The Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat, Lady Midnight by Cassie Clare

Whew, alright. I had to not write longer things about a few of the ones I wanted to, but I'm alright with that as it's normally all flailing. Most of the honorable mentions are four starts, but there are a good handful of five stars in there.

Overall, I'm happy with what I read this year. I wish it'd been more diverse, in many ways, but it was also... not the best year of my life. I'd hesitate to call it my worst, just because October was one of the best times of my life hands down, but so far? I think worst year overall might be real. So much stress and pain, physically mostly. Health problems, more stress. Politics, we don't have to get into that.

However, I love New Years because I love new beginnings. I love clearing the slate clean and going back to zero books reads, zero books bought. And being hopeful and writing out goals I know I can achieve if I just god damn focus on them. It's one of my favorite things, and it has been for as long as I remember.

I normally do stats for the reading here, but I'm only going to give you there and then sign off, I'll have a full post on 2017 very soon.

Books Read: 108 books
Pages (of books) read: 35,516
Graphic Novels/Trades: 30 graphic novels (5,246 pages)
Single Issues:17 single issues (524 pages)

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