Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Year in Review

This year was a hard year. I think I say that every year, but this year really was. You can kind of see how I was knocked sideways in my reading habits, sticking to comics and other lighter fare. Also work and sticking to a strict exercise routine (#ExerciseWithBuffy/ #AngelAerobics/ #GilmoreGirlsGetFit/ #XOXOExercise) meant less time to read, and that's not even counting problems with my mom's health and the resultant daily catastrophes. But it is still books that keep me going. Whenever I'm really grumpy and down it's usually because I haven't picked up a book in awhile. To get lost in the dramas of other lives, to disappear into the pages of a book is one of the greatest joys in life. So when the world seems just too much at least I have my library, made up of favorites and hopefully books that will become new favorites. Here's to 2016, may you burn in hell. 2017, you've got a lot riding on you and so far it's not looking too good, so let's try to fix that OK? So let's start this party! Let's see how much I remember of what I've read this past year!

1) Unnatural Creatures selected by Neil Gaiman: SUCH a strong first story. Here's a hint when compiling collections of short stories. Don't put the absolute best first, because all the others really look like shit.

2) Kate's Story, 1914 by Adele Whitby: I am so done with this series. I mean seriously, there are no mysteries and it's all schmaltzy and blah. Could someone who has bothered to read them all contact me because I want to know if I'm right about all my conclusions without having to read any more of them.

3) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: So yeah... I finally got around to reading this classic despite knowing the whole story... and guess what? The characters are even more unlikable when reading about them. But I think Cathy might be the worst. It would be a close call though. 

4) The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig: I haven't read the other two authors yet and I'm kind of intrigued to check them out but the annoying part of reading a story with multiple generations and thwarted love is that the couple I adored didn't get a HEA! Weep wail.

5) The Lake House by Kate Morton: I think this is easily my favorite Kate Morton book. All her books have such potential and often fail in the end, yet have an enduring grip on my mind. Yes, I could obviously see what was happening, but somehow the merging of past and present worked to keep the narrative interesting despite my insight.

6) Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #3 by George Mann: I'm glad that The Eighth Doctor is getting some love from my friend George. It's totally unfair that Paul McGann got so shortchanged.

7) Angel and Faith: A Tale of Two Families, Part 2 by Victor Gischler: Trying to remember individual issues of this season's arc is basically futile. So I'll just say avoid Angel and Faith this season. It sucks.

8) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Pieces on the Ground, Part 3 by Christos Gage: Whereas by cannibalizing Angel and Faith by taking their production team to Buffy... it paid off for Buffy. Buffy is awesome this season. So read Buffy, skip Angel and Faith. 

9) The Record Set Right: A Short Story from Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War by Lauren Willig: Obviously I couldn't wait until the whole collection was released to read Lauren Willig's story, so luckily it was released in advance. A beautiful little story about misunderstandings, true love, the damage of the Great War and Africa! Also, first person narration, which I believe is a first for Lauren.

10) The Cavendon Women by Barbara Taylor Bradford: Not nearly as captivating as the first book in the series. This was just everyone sitting around thinking that each other is fabulous. The possibility of deceit and murder was just a red herring to keep me reading, which was a shame. 

11) The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons: Odd but memorable story about World War II and a young Jewish girl out of place in her new position of safety. Also, she was totally a bitch to the man who totally loved her! 

12) Artists and Their Cats by Alison Nastasi: Does this book REALLY need to be sold? I mean it basically sells itself! Artists and cats! Go buy it!

13) Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore: One of those books you're not sure if you like or hate... I mean, I really haven't come to a conclusion as to whether I'd ever read it again so should I bother holding onto it? It's just a basic Upstairs, Downstairs wannabe that has one memorable character... possibly.

14) Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown: Books where characters you like are forced into untenable positions often piss me off, because seriously, just speak up and get your shit together! Of course the character in question does do this, but in the most round-about way. Should probably read the rest of the series to see how it all turns out...

15) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Pieces on the Ground, Part 4 by Christos Gage: See note above.

16) Angel and Faith: A Tale of Two Families, Part 3 by Victor Gischler: Don't bother with not above, just avoid.

17) Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #4 by George Mann: Woo Hoo more Paul McGann!

18) Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: Methinks this is the natural successor to fill the void I constantly feel every time I realize there isn't a sequel to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. But I need the next book now! 

19) Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix: Wow. What a piece of shit. Like yeah. Historically inaccurate, implausible despite being in a world with magic, and yeah, no worldbuilding either. It feels like it was just written to make a quick buck on the Regency Magic craze. Note, us Regency Magic readers expect quality!

20) Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix: And seriously, why did I read this piece of shit twice? Because I had heard the e-book version was different. Yeah, it was slightly crappier.

21) Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill: Very American Gothic with a lot of expected tropes, all troubles lead to sexual abuse and the trusty animals get killed... but somehow it still hooked me. Much like his father Stephen King tends to do.

22) Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle: So gosh darn cute! With Queen Victoria being all the rage right now here's a way to get the younger ones interested! Though the "confusion" between the lead and her true love was drawn out excruciatingly. I wish I could be in the secret society DASH that was responsible for saving Queen Victoria's life! I also kind of really want to re-read this after watching Victoria, because I'm sure I'd get even more out of it.

23) FukuFuku: Kitten Tales 1 by Kanata Konami: With Chi's Sweet Home ending the author's publishers are putting out earlier books in English, aka FukuFuku! Which is kitten awesomeness!

24) Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer by Van Jensen: I read this because someone I know knew about my love of Buffy and thought this would be a funny read... I seriously don't remember much about it at all... like my mind is a blank. Pinocchio must not be the most memorable slayer is all I'm saying. Works in concept not in actuality.

25) Fatale, Volume 2: The Devil's Business by Ed Brubaker: So, I had to wait quite awhile to finally get this from my local library. I can seriously see why it's so popular. It's got this old fashioned Noir feel but with a Lovecraftian vibe. TOTALLY up my alley!

26) Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by Willow G. Wilson: Not really what I expected. I was so used to seeing that poster everywhere, seriously, it is ubiquitous, and Kamala Khan SO isn't that poster. She's more goofy and more messy and just more human I guess is what I'm saying.

27) Fatale, Volume 3: West of Hell by Ed Brubaker: If I'm recalling right this is the only volume that I was like, meh. It was a whole hot mess of different time periods trying to get across the history of our female protagonist, and it just didn't work.

28) Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 12 by Kanata Konami: Finale! I wish it had never ended... but at the same time, such a sweet happy ending for all the kitties. I guess I'll just have to read them all again and again!

29) Fatale, Volume 4: Pray for Rain by Ed Brubaker: I really liked this volume, it was moody and so evocative of Seattle in the nineties and the whole grunge aesthetic, but with the underlying mystery of murder. Kind of like if you spend all your time thinking about the what-ifs of Kurt Cobain's death.

30) Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle: Witches! Ireland! I loved the first volume so much I didn't know how I felt about the more annoying sister as I viewed her... but leave it to Marissa Doyle to up the ante and make an even better book!

31) Blankets by Craig Thompson: I didn't just hate this graphic novel I detested it. It was so much whining and whinging and then creepy molester baby sitter. But more importantly, that isn't what the Milwaukee Public Museum looks like! Says the girl who spent more weekends than she can count there when she was a kid.

32) Courtship and Curses by Marissa Doyle: I love that in this one we get a glimpse back at the parents of the previous volumes. It's a neat way to continue the story without ruining what was already built, which some authors do. Also, this way I totally had my Regency Magic fix 100% here.

33) Mary Bennet and the Bloomsbury Coven by Beth Deitchman: This is a book that made me go, why the hell had I never read this before!?! Also, Mary Bennet is rocking the magic. Oh, and Mr. Bennet is still so awesome, and and and, yeah... I NEED more in this series.

34) Margaret Dashwood and the Enchanted Atlas by Beth Deitchman: And then I got more, but it wasn't enough. I need more and more and more. I need AT LEAST a book in this series for every book Austen wrote! Just so darn magical and such a fun new interpretation of Jane Austen's classics. Seriously people, you can get Jane Austen VERY wrong in spin offs and continuations. I just love Beth Deitchman! LOVE HER!

35) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Pieces on the Ground, Conclusion by Christos Gage: As I've said before, I seriously can't remember individual issues. It's good, read it.

36) Angel and Faith: A Tale of Two Families, Part 4 by Victor Gischler: Urk. Angel sucks. Hehe, he literally does! Yeah, I might be a little loopy right at this moment... 

37) Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #5 by George Mann: Just read this arc, OK?

38) Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones: This book was A LOT longer than I thought it was. Or at least it felt really long. But the worldbuilding was interesting if a little confusing because I think for a Ruritanian Romance the rest of Europe would be more changed. But I did really like the characters and the setting.

39) Matilda by Roald Dahl: If I was only allowed to choose ONE book from my childhood that shaped me and made me who I am it would be Matilda. As to why I picked it up, I got to see the musical this year! Woo hoo!

40) Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl: And once I was on a Roald Dahl kick I couldn't stop... and seriously, when he was on, he was ON. Sadly when he was off he was really really REALLY off.

41) High-Rise by J.G. Ballard: The flaw of this book is that in the end all the men are the same. Yes, if could be some "insight" into how men wage war despite their economic status, but it was all too samey and just lacked a female perspective. Especially considering how they basically secretly take everything over.

42) Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison: Cute. Very much making me have flashbacks to college.

43) Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John Allison: And they changed the artist! I'm sorry, but I think in graphic novels and comics you have to somehow lock down your artist for the long haul, because in some cases they are THE reason you "read" these books. The roughness I loved is gone, replaces by Disney sanitation.

44) The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones: MUCH more enjoyable than the first volume. I think it's just that I get the more "physical" aspect of magic versus the more "ephemeral" because I make things. Though I still find it odd that EVERYONE in this social set is sapphic.

45) Resident Alien Volume 1: Welcome to Earth! by Steve Parkhouse: This was weird. Kind of like an old medical show your parents watched in the 70s combined with My Favorite Martian. It works, but it's still odd.

46) The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett: More Jane Eyre with magic than Jane Austen with Magic, especially with the gutsy move to shift to first person narration in the middle. But I'm loving this magic system and just this fascinating worldbuilding with unstable days and nights. How weird to live in a world of ever fluctuating daylight?

47) The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett: OMG! This series just keeps getting better. My most disliked character has stepped up and is involved in a murder mystery that encompasses magicians and the clergy! And just, seriously, I'm loving EVERYTHING about this series. MORE!

48) The Magicians by Lev Grossman: Um... this wasn't what I was expecting. I was thinking Harry Potter for adults instead I got whiny millennials, a Narnia rip-odd, and arctic fox sex. Yeah. So, not what I expected. The TV show is far better FYI.

49) Night Shift by Charlaine Harris: A solid end to this series. Personally I don't want it to be the end, especially seeing how good the second volume was. But IF this has to be the end, it ended well.

50) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Own It, Part 1 by Christos Gage: See above, don't remember, still worth reading.

51) Angel and Faith: A Tale of Two Families, Part 5 by Victor Gischler: Skip it.

52) Giant days #9 by John Allison: Why am I now reading the individual issues when the collected ones where just meh? Because apparently I can get addicted to anything!

53) Giant days #10 by John Allison: See directly above.

54) Ms. Marvel, Volume 2: Generation Why by Willow G. Wilson: Was this the one with Loki? I kind of liked that? Or was this the one with Wolverine which made it kind of lame? Seriously, I kind of want to know but part of this "game" is be trying to remember...

55) Ms. Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed by Willow G. Wilson: Again, no real memory... just Ms. Marvel balancing school and "duty" and being pretty boring. 

56) Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days by Willow G. Wilson: Is this the one where the world is going to end but then doesn't? I think it is... 

57) The Fade Out: Act One by Ed Brubaker: This may be my favorite Brubaker book yet! Old Hollywood, crime, dark secrets, sign me up for all of them STAT! 

58) Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff: I have tried to block this from my memory. Not that this volume was bad, just the follow up was SO BAD that this had to be redacted from my memory as well.

59) The Fade Out: Act Two by Ed Brubaker: More mystery, more suspense, it's totally like LA Confidential! Have I told you how much I love that movie!?! And yes, movie over book here people.

60) The Fade Out: Act Three by Ed Brubaker: The ending was a bit predictable, but it doesn't detract at all from this being an awesome series and dammit, now I need that deluxe edition they are selling.

61) Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling by Tony Cliff: Just no. Historically inaccurate, painfully written, a world of no. 

62) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Own It, Part 2: The Centre Cannot Hold by Christos Gage: Good season, just read it people.

63) Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey: Really interesting space opera. What I particularly liked was how space had changed genetics. Also the Bladerunner vibe was also really cool. Perfect worldbuilding if in need of some editing. Can not wait to read the sequel.

64) Con Mans Spectrum #0 by Alan Tudyk: As I recall, this was a decent set up for the show that is the running gag in Con Man... but it was very short. And I've forgotten to get any followup comics. Doh. But I ADORE Con Man!

65) DOCTOR WHO: FOUR DOCTORS SPECIAL FCBD 2016 EDITION by Various: Yeah... I don't remember this, I think I liked it? 

66) Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 by Chris Roberson: OK, so this stretch of comics here prove one thing, when you are recovering from being sick and read a whole LOT of comics you probably won't remember anything. At. All. 

67) The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett: SUCH a good ending for this series. I love how Galen kept switching it up, adding more levels, more secrets, more awesomeness. Yeah, I know I'm not really writing anything about what the book is actually about, but spoilers would ruin the awesomeness. JUST READ THIS! NOW!

68) Batman: Gotham Noir by Ed Brubaker: There was something at a night club? Maybe? Yeah, not remembering it...

69) Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks and Geeks by Faith Erin Hicks: Did the writer of this ever watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer? EVER!?! This just feels like a money grab. It didn't work with the show's mythology or even writing style. Also, why would vampires live in a crypt with no roof?

70) Sleeper, Volume 1: Out in the Cold by Ed Brubaker: This kind of bridges the gap between what Brubaker does usually, moody Noir, and what most people expect out of comics, aka, Superheroes. So this is a good medium ground that is FAR superior to Watchmen.

71) The Ghost Rebellion by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris: SO disappointing. Epic disappointment. And I helped kickstart this book! Instead of moving forward with the story they sat spinning their wheels in India doing nothing and then having big incomprehensible fight sequences, then nothing again. If they can't do it right just don't do it. Also, the authors constantly wanting reviews posted is annoying... there's a reason no one is posting reviews, they'd be bad and we don't want to hurt your feelings.

72) The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab by Gideon Defoe: I'm in love with The Pirates. I love that they don't have names really and are totally goofy and aren't really that pirate like at all. Though I loved Ahab's adventure more... it was more nautically subversive.

73) Fatale, Volume 5: Curse the Demon by Ed Brubaker: But I don't want it to be over! Well... I do but I don't. The ending was very bittersweet. 

74) The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith: Not what I expected. Yes, it's a solid story, but it's obvious that Rowling as Galbraith liked to spend more time with character development than plot development. So perhaps the second book will be better... I will say it left a lingering feeling. I still remember it vividly.

75) Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: Odd story about Beryl Markham, aka aviatrix of Africa and all that. Odd because it left out SO MUCH and at the same time you never got a handle on Beryl. She felt forever a mystery. Also, all those affairs and such? Gone. Perhaps it would have made us not like her? Personally, I'd take the truth over redacted history. How to justify the truth would have been far more fascinating.

76) The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe: This was a book club pick which actually spurred me into reading the first two stories. I liked it, but it didn't have the nautical punch and awesomeness as their adventure with Ahab. Also the more I read these books the more I feel like I should be eating ham.

77) The Cavendon Luck by Barbara Taylor Bradford: Shit storm. Just, WTF people. I just. I just can't. I want to block having read this volume from my mind, the war profiteering, the jam, the death. Just no. I think it might retroactively destroy this whole series. PS, the "luck" was that this was an ARC and I didn't pay money for it. 

78) The Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon by Gideon Defoe: I like The Pirate Captain fighting off against Napoleon... it's just weird how the books jump around through time and don't give a damn about historical accuracy. I can't decide if I like this or if it bothers me.

79) Fiercombe Manor: A Novel by Kate Riordan: Someone said this was like Rebecca. It's not like Rebecca. At. All. It's about pregnancy and depression and a weird little valley. Yep. Nothing more. The "ghosts" aren't really ghosts and it's yeah... it promised more than it delivered and was actually a slog to get through.

80) Lumberjanes, Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson: I keep wanting to love Lumberjanes and every time it's like, yeah, it was OK. Kind of confusing and nothing much happened. Sometimes they get badges...

81) Bloodline by Claudia Gray: Not what I expected, aka, Han and Leia's breakup. Instead it was a political thriller the directly leads up to The Force Awakens and answers a lot of bridging questions. I liked it in the end. 

82) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Own It, Part 3: Taking Ownership by Christos Gage: More Buffy.

83) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Own It, Part 4: Vengeance by Christos Gage: More Buffy with vengeance demons is my guess from the title...

84) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: This could have been such an interesting portrait of art and theatre enduring after the end of times, but instead all the interesting stuff that happens right after "the end" gets pushed aside with a huge time jump and then a whole lot of "coincidences" coming together at the end. Also the actor whatever his name is that links the narratives, he was an ass. 

85) Star Trek: Redshirt's Little Book of Doom by Robb Pearlman: Adorable little book which I have to get myself a copy of because this was for a friend's birthday. Characters from Star Trek enacting Clue and other hilarious scenarios are all yours for the low price of this book! Oh, shouldn't say low because it was a present...

86) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2 by J.K. Rowling: Just wonderful. Yes, it's basically just a lot of timey-whimey mumbo jumbo that messes with the forth book and therefore messes with the future, but damn, it pulls on the heartstrings! Also, I ADORE Draco's son. He did something really right there. Though I don't necessarily buy that you-know-who had sex... 

87) George Sprott, 1894-1975 by Seth: Depressing tale about the last night of a great Arctic reporter's life and looking back on it. Would have been more convincing if the reporter wasn't such an ass.

88) God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell: So, apparently I learned WAY more in grade school than I ever thought. But overall I didn't find the summaries funny. It was too much the author's interpretation so therefore lacked a universality that I had hoped for. I was the only one in my book club to feel this way.

89) The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead: It's like an Elizabethan Court had sex with The Hunger Games and early America... and it never formed a cohesive whole and worked. 

90) Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal: I liked it, didn't love it, which is rare for a Mary Robinette Kowal book. The worldbuilding was fabulous and she really created a believable and interesting take on WWI with spiritualism, but I'll wait for the next book to be fully sold. 

91) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Own It, Part 5 by Christos Gage: It's On You by Christos Gage: It's on me to remember... and I so don't. 

92) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Interesting jumping back into the world of Cassandra Clare because I kind of purposefully deleted all memory of her books from my brain... it actually was FAR more entertaining than her modern day series. The Victorian trappings and a more sinister villain do go a long way. But it's still not like what I'd even call literature... 

93) Lumberjanes, Volume 4: Out of Time by Noelle Steveson: I actually liked this one because of all the random snow AND they explained some stuff. Like Bear Woman being the old head of the camp. Stuff like that! 

94) Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous by Willow G. Wilson: Was this the one where her brother got married? Because if it is that's the only part I liked.

95) Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War by Various: Overall a lot of interesting takes on Armistice Day but there were a few, like Beatriz Williams, that were really creepy. Seriously, her story had a protagonist that was totally a pedophile, if not totally spelled out. So yeah, the creep factor of a few kind of bog down the overall collection.

96) Runaways: The Complete Collection Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan: I'd read Joss Whedon's arc YEARS ago and I felt like I came in in the middle of a story, which I did. It was nice seeing how the runaways became runaways and found out the truth about how their parents are evil. Also, loving anything with dinosaurs! 

97) Mata Hari's Last Dance by Michelle Moran: While only having read one of Michelle's books prior to this one I loved it and have all her other books ready to go, but I felt I needed to read this one for my blog. It was just such a fascinating look at Mata Hari and how she built up her legend and obscured the truth. Real insight, which what's her name who wrote the Beryl Markham book above could take to heart.

98) Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling: OK, I'm totally not going to remember which Hogwarts short had what, but they were all really enjoyable, though personally I now want physical copies of them! 

99) Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling: I do recall though that the second one I read, IE this one, was the weakest, which is why it took me a little while to get to the third one. 

100) Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley: Still a classic. I seriously need more Bryan Lee O'Malley in my life. His comics are verging on magical realism, but kind of closer to urban fantasy with how it's a little more real. Whatever he writes I'm getting it! Though I do question the Snot Girl thing...

101) Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden: LOVED THIS! Serious love. Gothic and Dracula like, but more modern, more relevant even if it is WWI. I felt like I was there in that creepy pub telling stories with Lord Baltimore's friends until he finally arrived. Hint, this might be a best book of the year... 

102) Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley: Easily the weakest book in the Flavia De Luce series. There just wasn't enough of her family and then that ending? It felt like a cheap shot. 

103) Harrow County, Volume 1: Countless Haints by Cullen Bunn: Amazing watercolor illustrations, it's a sham the story didn't quite come together. It was a jumbled narrative that needed more explanation and streamlining, such as how hauntings work, how the girl is actually related to the witch, just basic groundwork needs to be laid properly in order for the series to work. I'll still read on though.

104) Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling: I think this is the one with the awesome and heart-wrenching story about Minerva McGonagall. SO amazing. 

105) It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardis: I think I can finally make a statement about Tardis. I hate him. I hate how belittling he is to his readers and how his contempt comes through. I hate his style of art where all men look the same. I also hate his stories. Yep. I hate Tardis.

106) Angelica by Arthur Phillips: Just no. I thought this would be an interesting psychological thriller, instead it's all about Angelica's father and how he was victimized and tricked into marriage. Oh please, this SO felt like the author pushing his modern day issues onto a time period that didn't think that way. Though he did capture the language of the time period well... so yes, I would say I'm conflicted but his last sentence kind of nullified the book and therefore pissed me off more.

107) Hexed Volume 1 by Michael Alan Nelson: Art thief who is basically stealing magical and haunted artifacts. Could work, but so far I'm not that convinced. Though I do love the Idris Elba shout out. 

108) Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: SO MUCH HOPE for this sequel. But it just didn't fully work. And I'm sorry, but if you kill my favorite character, or half of the only couple I'm actually shipping, I will not be happy. Yeah yeah, she created characters I loved enough to cry over, but seriously, I'd rather have the HEA. 

109) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: A Halloween classic for a reason! I love the timeless feel and how you're never sure exactly what is going on. I mean think of that, this is a book that is very unresolved, and yet it somehow just works. Though I will say the ending still feels rushed to me, even if I love how the haunting is basically channeled though Eleanor completely by the end.

110) Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton: Kate Beaton comics are a great escape for fans of literature. She just GETS it. Especially the Brontes. Though sometimes she does a tad too much Canadian History and that makes me feel dumb. Us Stateside didn't really get an education about many other countries... 

111) A Bride's Story, Volume 8 by Kaoru Mori: I mean, seriously, the illustrations, the humor, the ability to make Historical Fiction Manga about the silk road seem timeless. I adore Kaoru Mori and literally can not wait until her next book is out!

112) The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill: If it wasn't for that little twist at the end making the ghost unrepentantly evil... this book would have nothing going for it. Except maybe as a travel book, the descriptions of the scenery are quite nice.

113) Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding: I didn't have high expectations for this book or even the movie. BOTH thrilled and delighted me and made me cry in different ways. Bridget Jones is still on form!

114) Last Night's Reading: Illustrated Encounters with Extraordinary Authors by Kate Gavino: I SO wanted to like this book because it's a clever concept doing a drawing of the author with a quote from their book event, but Kate Gavino isn't the best artist and all the authors start to look very samey and authors I knew look NOTHING like how she drew them.

115) Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding: Going off the Bridget Jones renaissance I just kept going... and I think maybe I shouldn't have. Yes, this is a great book, but after the joy of Mark and Bridget having a baby skipping ahead to his death was a little morbid. 

116) Don't Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne Du Maurier by Daphne Du Maurier: Your life will never be complete until you read 'Kiss Me Again Stranger.' Seriously. I don't care what short story collection of Du Maurier's you buy, this one is very nice, but make sure it has that story. It might be one of my favorite short stories of all time.

117) Harrow County, Volume 2: Twice Told by Cullen Bunn: MUCH better than the first volume. I also liked how the story was streamlined, it was about two sisters who had the potential for great evil in them and the ways they used their powers. 

118) DC Comics: Bombshells Volume 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett: So, about half-way through this I realized that despite this being WWII this is totally where the new Wonder Woman movie is taking it's plot from, except it's WWI now. Overall it didn't work. They did all the cliches of women during war without making any great strides narratively. Though I DID love the Cabaret feel of some of it.

119) Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier: I would never have thought I'd like this comic about Cystic Fibrosis, but it was handled well and was actually pretty cute and didn't stray too far into the "teaching moments" that I so detest.

120) Baltimore, Volume 1: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden: I like that the book which I loved so much is continuing on in comic form. Currently it's just kind of filling in the blanks and showing stuff that was hinted at. I can't wait until it moves beyond the original book.

121) Hexed: The Harlot and The Thief Volume 2 by Michael Alan Nelson: The cliffhanger ending was all I really remember. Oh, and the total unnecessary death of a cat. That's unacceptable. 

122) Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel: Um. Why do people like this book? Bechdel seems way too impressed with her own accomplishments and her father is a pedophile! Seriously, WHY!?! I mean, if she had tried to analyze the creep her father was that would be something, instead she just gives us the facts as she knows it and a bare minimum of her own feelings.

123) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Spread of Their Evil, Part 1 by Christos Gage: Good season, yadda yadda, read it.

124) Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel: And the pain of reading Bechdel continues... yes, I regret picking these up at the library... also, this one is far more self analyzing... not that that helps.

125) Adventures of Blanche by Rick Geary: Whereas I regretted picking up the Bechdel, Geary was a wonderful surprise. Taking his grandmother's post cards as starting off points for wild adventures that stray into the supernatural and bizarre made a memorable a quick read. Now if he'd stop drawing whiskers like cats on all the people. 

126) Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen: While I want to say Liz Lemon is my spirit animal, I think the truth is it's really Sarah Andersen. Especially because of her artistic side. I just ADORE everything she draws and writes, she gets me. So does that mean we'd be the best of friends? Obviously by just hanging out in our own homes and occasionally texting because even phone calls are daunting.

127) Giant Days Volume 3 by John Allison: So, I got so far behind here I just read the collected issues... some of which I'd already read. I didn't like that it ended on a cliffhanger with one of our leading ladies possibly dropping out of college...

128) Giant Days Issue 13 by John Allison: Which means it was VERY lucky I had already bought the next two issues. I really liked the college student going back home, but of course I never got to do that, growing up where I went to college... still, it now feels like I did.

129) Giant Days Issue 14 by John Allison: And now I've run out of issues and am too lazy and cheap so I'll have to wait until my library gets the next volume in.

130) The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin: This volume from the Science Fiction Book Club has the first three Earthsea books, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. The first was solid, I can see where A LOT of modern fantasy writers use this as a model for the "wizard coming of age story." The second was AWESOME! Like Elizabeth Peters writing fantasy awesome. The final volume in the book was a bit of a drag with all the characters being whiny and magic leaving the world. It wasn't a very satisfying ending... perhaps that's why she eventually wrote more.

131) Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier: One of the best books EVER written. Read it. Now. I'll wait.

132) Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen: The best thing I can say about Sarah Andersen is that her comics and writing make me feel like a big mushy happy lump in the best sweater I could have ever stolen.

133) Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier: A Restoration Princess Bride? Yeah, it kind of is, and yeah, I really did love it. In fact Du Maurier very rarely has let me down. Her writing is so fresh so contemporary and so perfect. I should just lock myself away for a few weeks and read all her books. ALL OF THEM! 

134) Staying Away at Christmas by Katie Fforde: An obligatory Christmas story for Christmas... which was kind of an awkward meet-cute for the divorced and widowed with kids when there's a double booking at a cottage. Not very memorable but it helped bring the Christmas spirit. 

135) Harrow County Volume 3: Snake Doctor by Cullen Bunn: The core story about the "evil" witch's BFF becoming a back woods witch doctor was solid and wonderfully illustrated. The rest... just don't switch illustrators on me people, it makes me cranky.

136) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Time of Crisis by Christos Gage: So Buffy is going all magical internment camps... Mercy Thompson did this long ago and better. 

137) Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #1 by Chris Roberson: Good capturing of the show and rebooting of the comics. I really didn't like anything prior, but I have hope here.

138) Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #2 by Chris Roberson: Hope dashed because Amazonian warriors on a mission all like River? Nope.

139) Serenity: No Power in the 'Verse #3 by Chris Roberson: Hope back! Inara and Simon make an interesting pairing for a mission and this was the first of the six issues where I desperately wanted the next volume immediately. 


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