Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Year in Review

Another dumpster fire of a year done and dusted. Well, not everything was horrible, but looking back on the year? Yeah, it kind of was. I am more grateful than you can imagine for friends, family, and books. If it wasn't for the escape and the love, what would we have? We'd have insanity. I'd be way more crazy than I actually am. As for landmarks of the year? I turned forty and celebrated by re-reading all of Harry Potter. Now that was a good thing. Trying to be proactive and get all my medical checkups done prior to turning forty was perhaps overly ambitious. Why is it when you try to accomplish one thing it snowballs and has all these horrid aftershocks? But I now have beautiful new fillings in my teeth and no cavities and a knowledge to NEVER take the gas offered at the dentist's office. Want to know what an instant panic attack feels like, take gas! But enough about that, let's get to the books I read this year! There were a lot of good ones and oddly a lot of bad ones that for some reason I was reading for book club... it was not a good year to let fate choose anything for you I guess. Onward to books!

1) Lovers' Lane: the Hall-Mills Mystery by Rick Geary: Still the best book in Rick Geary's true crime graphic novel series. I mean, so good, it was one of my best reads of 2017!

2) Giant Days #28 by John Allison: There is NO WAY I'm going to remember anything that happened in any of these individual comic issues I read at the beginning on 2018. Seriously, I can't. I'm even looking at the cover as I type and there's nothing...

3) Giant Days #29 by John Allison: Ditto.

4) Giant Days #30 by John Allison: Oh, I hated Daisy's girlfriend. I can tell that from the cover!

5) Giant Days #31 by John Allison: Nope, nothing.

6) Giant Days #32 by John Allison: Ditto.

7) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach: My main problem with this book wasn't that it was macabre, it's that I already knew all the information. Between a love of CSI, true crime, and taking tons of art classes, this was all old hat and therefore boring.

8) Afterlife with Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: I like that the zombie apocalyspse started because Jug tried to save his dog. But other than that it was forgettable and I've been on the hold list at my library for so long for volume two I have a feeling I will have forgotten everything from volume one by the time I get it.

9) Giant Days #33 by John Allison: See above, no idea.

10) Giant Days #34 by John Allison: Ditto.

11) Giant Days 2016 Holiday Special #1 by John Allison: I think this was the "if they had never met" scenario, which is, in my mind, so played out. Though better than the Love Actually parody. God I hate Love Actually.

12) Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender: Mishmash of a series about an elite high school for assassins which I read in anticipation of the new show based on it. Personally, I think it looks great as a show from the previews because they can infuse the eighties into it more. As a comic it failed to deliver.

13) The Professor's Daughter by John Sfar: I hated this so much after years of looking forward to it that I have fully blocked everything about it from my mind.

14) Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna: Meh graphic novel modern retelling of Jane Eyre. Just read Jane Eyre. 

15) Turning Japanese by MariNaomi: Graphic novel/travel diary of visiting family in Japan. The actual travel, family, and history was fascinating, the whole personal relationship problems was a slog.

16) The Magicians by Lev Grossman: After falling in love with the TV series I thought it was only fair to give the book another shot. I enjoyed it more than the first time, but I enjoy the series so much more and am counting down the days until season four begins. I am such a dork for that show, I even met Q at a comic convention this year.

17) Giant Days 2017 Holiday Special #1 by John Allison: THIS was the Love Actually parody. Seriously, why do people like that movie? I hate it.

18) The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill: Adorable book wherein you have dragons as your companions and they record you memories and experiences together and then if you brew tea from the leaves they grow you can re-experience your time together. Delightful and beautifully drawn. I also now want a tea dragon.

19) Riverdale Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: I'm a huge fan of Riverdale but this comic was pointless because it was all the stories leading up to season one, but we had learned them all in flashbacks on the series, so what was the point?

20) Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory: This book is not what the description says it is. It's not about a family that has psychic powers, though they do, it's more about a family of con artists who have fallen on bad times and a lot of weird sex stuff. As one of my members of book club said, when the most interesting character is dead that's a bad sign. Avoid it if you can.

21) Monstress #13 by Marjorie Liu: There's a reason this series is so well regarded. Go check it out now!

22) Giant Days #35 by John Allison: No idea what happened in this issue.

23) Snotgirl #9 by Byran Lee O'Malley: No clue what happened in this issue, though I am now interested to read it again because I gave it four stars and overall this series has been very lackluster so what happened in this issue to make me like it?

24) Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos: Wow. If you've only scene a film or play version of this film perhaps you should just leave it there. Because this is just an epistolary novel of rape.

25) The Double Life of Miranda Turner Vol. 1 by Jamie S. Rich: If You Have Ghosts by Jamie S. Rich: The lead's dead sister was a superhero, I think... very unmemorable.

26) The Princess Bride by William Goldman: A classic. Easily one of my favorite books of all time. True love, pirates, six-fingered men, I'm here for all of it. Bittersweet typing this though with the passing of William Goldman this year.

27) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11: Giles #1 by Joss Whedon: I never thought that there'd be something in the Buffyverse I hated more than some of the comic arcs in season eight or say the season two episode about the eggs... I was wrong. This was godawful.

28) Dubliners by James Joyce: I can see why this is a classic of Irish literature, but at the same time I felt that the book relied to heavily on stereotypes. Yes, on the one hand it shows the universality of the Irish experience, on the other it played into the stereotypes and put them down for all time so that the Irish people are now expected to behave a certain way.

29) The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb: Wow, this was so not what I expected. I expected something actual Gothic, but instead this reads as a writer's seminar living out Somewhere in Time and concentrating on the romance. Ugh.

30) Roots by Tara O'Connor: Yes I know this was something Irish something... but I've blocked all memory of it...

31) Lumberjanes, Vol. 7: A Bird's-Eye View by Shannon Watters: Was this the one with giant sky birds? I'm guessing from the title it is... but this series just gets more out there and less appealing as the quality has taken a steep nosedive, the drawing suffering the worst. 

32) Road to Riverdale Vol. 1 by Mark Waid: Hmm... maybe this was the Riverdale volume with the prequels we already knew about... I was just very underwhelmed by this series overall and have thus stopped reading.

33) Giant Days #36 by John Allison: I hope this is where Daisy and the evil German broke up... that was a long time coming. 

34) Home Time: Under the River by Campbell Whyte: Children lost in a magical land full of secrets and adventure after falling into a river? Could they be in an upside down world? How will they get home? This has all the wonder and magic of a eighties kids movie that you still cherish. I can not wait until the next volume is done.

35) Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones: Oh, to find a new Regency Magic book is magic indeed! This book by Kelly Jones is wonderful, full of magical clothes, dual identities, and an ending that relies on brains and know-how, not on finding a mate.

36) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: This was a re-read from I believe last year... can't be sure. The first time I was way into this story, but the second time you realize there's not much going on, just a lot of setting up the world building of three magical and non-magical Londons.

37) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #1 by Simon Spurrier: Oh, this turned out to be WAY better than I expected. Though my expectations were very low, classic movies and TV shows done as comics have always seemed to let me down. But Simon Spurrier is onto something, keeping the spirit of the original but telling an entirely new story, how Jareth became the Goblin King!

38) Monstress #14 by Marhorie Liu: Again, always awesome, but it all merges together in my brain, getting the shield up and fixed, Kippa needing more story time, you get the idea.

39) Harrow County #29 by Cullen Bunn: I NEVER wanted this series to end. But I feel like having Hester come back from the grave for a final showdown was a great "big bad" fight that led to a satisfying conclusion.

40) Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill: This book about a dog governess was weird. The drawings were cute, but the typesetting a font choice seemed out of date. What's more the story wasn't very good. A picture book needs balance, good art AND good narrative, suffer in one and it just doesn't work.

41) Monstress #15 by Marjorie Liu: More Monstress goodness! And it's Kippa time!

42) A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss: SO adorable. I love that we have people like Stephen Colbert and John Oliver out there taking the piss out of hate-mongers by turning their words and their lives against them to make them inadvertently do good with books about inclusivity and caring. Here's to Marlon Bundo! 

43) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11: Giles #2 by Joss Whedon: WHY!?! Just why would you write this shit about Giles!?!

44) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #2 by Simon Spurrier: Thankfully after reading about Giles, ugh, I got to spend some time in a slightly older and mysterious Labyrinth.

45) A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: What a difference time does to the reading of books. I originally disliked this middle volume of Schwab's series because nothing happens, but this time around I liked spending time just getting to know the characters better. Even if it's just a different take on The Hunger Games..

46) Snotgirl #10 by Bryan Lee O'Malley: Back to B.S. This series really has no forward momentum or actual arc. Does Bryan Lee O'Malley actually have an endgame? My guess is no.

47) Giant Days #37 by John Allison: Daisy's bitch of an ex destroys Daisy's relationship with Dasiy's grandmother. Ugh, die bitch, die!

48) A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab: I really didn't like this ending, because it wasn't really an ending. They vanquished the evil "for now" and then resolved nothing and sailed off into the sunset? Um, no. That's not fair to the readers. Conclusions and then little openings for the future, not gaping openings for the future and no resolution!

49) Mother of Souls by Heather Rose Jones: This third volume in Jones's Alpennia series surprised me. I really liked it! She finally is including a wider range of characters while still keeping the old cast around. It's going full on Game of Thrones (ensemble-wise) and I'm loving that.

50) Harrow County #30 by Cullen Bunn: Please don't go!

51) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #3 by Simon Spurrier: More awesomeness in the Labyrinth.

52) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11: Giles #3 by Joss Whedon: Grumble, rumble, Giles sucks. Also it really doesn't make sense...

53) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: I would say this is the most over rated book of the year... but there's actually another that holds that honor. Sloppy worldbuilding and an ending that left many people wondering if a main character was dead, not to mention the desert hunger games that wastes water and this book will have you complimenting the cover and not much else.

54) Giant Days #38 by John Alliso: No idea what happened in this issue. 

55) Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani: Did you know that adorable illustrations of cats being stacked on each other is a sure fire way to get a five star review out of me? Because it is!

56) Lumberjanes, Vol. 8: Stone Cold by Shannon Watters: My most hated volume to date! Can't remember exactly why I hated it, but I did.

57) I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara: Firstly, how cool is it that they actually caught The Golden State Killer!?! But what makes this book about him work is Michelle McNamara's more personal insights into what drew her to the case. The book was obviously incomplete at the time of her death with structure and timeline issues that a good editor would have fixed and the ending was slapped together by her friends when I think a good ghostwriter would have done a better job. But still, a must read for the true crime aficionados.

58) Chi's Sweet Adventures, Vol. 1 by Konami Kanata: This was odd because it basically backtracked the original series ending with the family moving to Paris and instead repeated some older tales as well as showing newer tales in the older timeline... I would have preferred new stories in Paris rather than something obviously written to sell the Amazon show.

59) Monstress #16 by Marjorie Liu: More Monstress awesomeness.

60) A Castle in England by Jamie Rhodes: No memory of this at all. And yes, I do find it odd that I blocked it so completely...

61) Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings: I read this because it's the basis for the wonderful TV show Killing Eve. The book is odd in that they give you everything about Villanelle up front instead of it being a mystery, which threw me a bit, because the mystery is what keeps it going. If you're expecting the TV show, it's not at all like that. It's female James Bond, if Bond were a villain. Still entertaining, but in a different way than the stellar show.

62) The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary: It's weird when I can't remember what happened in a Rick Geary book, but so it is here... though I believe this was about blatant profiling and discrimination by the cops...

63) And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander: The first in Tasha's Lady Emily series. Oh, how I adore this series and this entry about Emily's young widowhood, then learning her husband might have been murdered, and then that he might still be alive!?! Edge of you seat Victorian thrills!

64) Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille: Shitty book, watch the movies instead.

65) Hildafolk by Luke Pearson: I have a new favorite blue haired girl, sorry Coraline, but Hilda is awesome and Scandi and has cool sidekicks and friends made of wood!

66) Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson: I love that this volume isn't just about Hilda's adventures but shows a valuable lesson about interdependency and ecosystems relying on each other.

67) Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson: Why did Hilda have to move to the city? WHY!?!

68) Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson: I love black ominous hounds. They are awesome. Love live the Grim!

69) Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson: This was an evil trick! I binged all the Hilda books and the last one ended on a cliffhanger with Hilda turned into a troll!

70) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11: Giles #4 by Joss Whedon: Make it stop! Oh it's stopped? This is it. Whew.

71) The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV: Seeing as I'm writing this with hindsight, what I thought was a series with potential, about a high school transplanted to another planet, is really starting to live up to said potential. Also, Wisconsin represent!

72) Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill: OMG! Locke and Key where have you been all my life!?! Big old spooky house, keys with magical properties, a family being torn apart? YAS! Thanks go to my friend Jess for making me read this finally.

73) Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man by Jason Aaron: This series actually makes football compelling, in that it shows how it's the lifeblood of this town and how it corrupts all it touches.

74) A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander: Lady Emily book two, which is, in my mind, the weakest in the series, but what's interesting is that the character of gentleman thief, Sebastian Capet, who we are first introduced to here, has become one of my favorite characters.

75) Head Games by Joe Hill: A key to unlock your head and take out bad memories or impulses or whatever you want? Now that is a dangerous and fasincating concept. More Locke and Key stat! It was seriously painful waiting for these volumes to arrive from the library. Thankfully I now own them.

76) Harrow County #31 by Cullen Bunn: The penultimate issue!

77) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #4 by Simon Spurrier: More awesomeness in the Labyrinth. Yeah, that's also me covering for not remembering much...

78) Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill: Not exactly sure what happens in this collection, I remember the series now more as a whole then the individual arcs. How could people stand waiting for these all and not have the luxury to binge?

79) Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill: The weakest in the Locke and Key series only because we get short vignettes of what all these other keys do without having the full adventures. I want the full adventures.

80) The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates: What was interesting about this biography is that Ta-Nehisi is about the same age as me so we have similar overall cultural touchstones, but vary so drastically in where and how we were raised. Still a slog to get through in the end and his writing style and concept of a timeline are all over the place.

81) Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero: How did this book get such good reviews? It's just Scooby-Doo slash with major transphobia issues.

82) Clockworks by Joe Hill: Again, can't remember exactly what happened here, but all the pieces of past and present started to fall into place for the final showdown...

83) Giant Days #39 by John Allison: I think this is where Daisy finds her calling as an RA. I would like Daisy as my RA.

84) Monstress #17 by Marjorie Liu: Have you started Monstress yet? If you've read this far you've had time to read an issue of the comic. 

85) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 Issue #1 by Joss Whedon: Oh, looks like Joss is putting all the pieces into place for a big BIG bad showdown as well as tying up the Fray/Buffy loose ends.

86) The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley: I always love a Flavia De Luce story, and this one didn't disappoint as the clan go on holiday down the river, where of course Flavia finds a body and they get sucked into the weird town where the body is from. The only gripe I have is that a few of the odd characters, such as the new priest, have plot points left dangling, leaving it not the neatest of Flavia's stories.

87) Alpha and Omega Joe Hill: I was literally crying at some of these characters deaths. LITERALLY! Why couldn't everyone survive? I know that's not realistic, but I love all these characters way too much. MORE!

88) Harrow County #32 by Cullen Bunn: And a satisfying ending. What to do now? Go back to the beginning and read them all again!

89) Locke and Key: Heaven and Earth by Joe Hill: This was a Locke and Key prequel that I felt lacked the feel of the original series. More trying to pull on heartstrings with the history of one of the keys. Too sappy.

90) The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais: Stupid pointless story about kids getting lost.

91) Locke and Key: Small World Deluxe Edition by Joe Hill: Whereas this Locke and Key prequel was awesome. CATS SAVE THE DAY! I also found out that you can actually get real copies of the keys!

92) Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks by Holly Black: Huh, so getting a whole bunch of different artists and authors made me realize that this series still has life in it if the reigns are handed over...

93) Southern Bastards, Vol. 2: Gridiron by Jason Aaron: An interesting volume in that we get the background of our villainous football coach and kind of sympathize with him but at the same time know what an evil man he is...

94) Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell: OMG this was horrible. Not only do you have to really know your Runaways, but the story is totally unoriginal. I expected far more from Rainbow Rowell. I will not be picking up any more of this series.

95) The Woods, Vol. 2: The Swarm by James Tynion IV: I like that this series is willing to spend a lot of time on the backgrounds of the characters so we can see why they make the choices they make now that they are trapped on an alien planet and don't know what to do.

96) Giant Days #40 by John Allison: Not sure... was this when Ed broke his leg?

97) Far Arden by Kevin Cannon: So weird. Very Canadian, like overly Canadian, which made me wonder if it was a parody. Doesn't really come across as such though and it's weird in what it's goal is...

98) The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg: A fascinating historical fiction book told from the POV of Jack London's wife who happened to be Houdini's lover. Really gives insight into the two men and how this one woman was important to them both.

99) A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander: All Lady Emily's third book made me want to do was go to Vienna. Immediately. But Lady Emily's Vienna. I think I need a time machine.

100) The Bridal Strain: Emily and Colin’s Wedding by Tasha Alexander: A little reverie showing Emily and Colin's wedding.

101) Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson: While I hated Craig Thompson's famous Blankets, I have to say this book of his travels won me over more because of the cats and the diarrhea jokes.

102) Monstress #18 by Marjorie Liu: Have you started reading Monstress since I last mentioned you should?

103) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 Issue #2 by Joss Whedon: Ah, it's said looking at this with hindsight, because this is when I still thought that Joss could end Buffy's journey well... oh how wrong I was...

104) The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: There's NEVER a bad time to re-read The Hound of the Baskervilles for all it's Gothic goodness. It is easily the best tale of Sherlock Holmes hands down. I should know, I just keep reading it again and again!

105) Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith: I read this book to be ready for the forth book coming out in the fall and instead decided that this will forevermore be the best Cormoran Strike book ever. more intimate and personal with bigger stakes. I was hooked.

106) Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Coronation #5 by Simon Spurrier: I'm currently behind on reading this, which means I have to get at it! It's such a great companion to the original film, unlike that manga series.

107) Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis: Mishmashed worldbuilding of werewolves and coffeshops that failed to deliver on every level.

108) Giant Days #41 by John Allison: No idea what happened, but it was awesome.

109) The Infinite Loop by Pierrick Colinet: HATED THIS! A bizarre futuristic world of punishing homosexuals and trying to omit them from history. It made no sense!

110) Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander: Book four of Lady Emily's adventures take her on a working honeymoon to Constantinople and inside the hidden world of women and their power.

111) Kill or be Killed, Vol. 3 by Ed Brubaker: Could our vigilante be clinically insane? And could it be hereditary?

112) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling: The reason I love the Fantastic Beasts film franchise more than the Harry Potter one is that this is exactly J.K.'s vision. There is no distortion, no omissions, just her words as she wanted it.

113) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling: OK, how did I never catch that Erised was desire spelled backwards? I feel like a dolt.

114) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling: Oh, finding all these hidden gems, the vanishing cabinet! 

115) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: I have never really liked Sirius Black, I know, gasp in horror here, but now that I've cast him as Aiden Turner in my head I'm liking him far more.

116) The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi: Wow, this graphic novel for middle grade readers shows clearly how not to do worldbuilding. It's all over the place and not in an interesting way. I'm never reading more in this series...

117) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling: Still my favorite Harry Potter book.

118) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 Issue #3 by Joss Whedon: And then it went to hell. Why bring back the Mayor? Seriously. No.

119) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling: I love Neville so freaking much. And Luna just breaks my heart.

120) The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin: Hey look, it's the most over-rated book of the year! Bullshit storytelling that's too fast and loose and you don't care about any of the characters. I really disliked it and the bad spell of books chosen for book club continued...

121) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: For some reason this read I connected more with the book and it's now way higher in my ranking, which changes every read if I'm honest...

122) Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 12 Issue #4 by Joss Whedon: Well that was a lame and lackluster finish. Perhaps not cookie dough lame... also I swear there are some words missing at the end because Buffy makes no sense...

123) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: No more Harry Potter to read! What will I do. Small voice in my head... read them all again...

124) Giant Days #42 by John Allison: No idea. At all.

125) Snotgirl #11 by Bryan Lee O'Malley: I should really stop reading this series, but it's like a train wreck, I can't look away.

126) The Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling: This includes all the "textbooks" and tales, and I got to say, when J.K. said she was making a  movie out of one of the texbooks I said it couldn't be done. I was wrong.

127) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I and II by John Tiffany: So many inaccuracies and so wrong on so many levels, but it pulls at the heartstrings and you can't help but love it.

128) The Woods, Vol. 3: New London by James Tynion IV: There are other people on the planet!?! A whole civilization? Aren't they worried about germs? I would be. Could wipe out everyone.

129) Southern Bastards, Vol. 3: Homecoming by Jason Aaron: I love that things are falling apart for the football coach. Can't wait until justice is served.

130) X-Men Noir by Fred Van Lente: OMG, this was just shit. I just can't even. SHIT!

131) Giant Days #43 by John Allison: An evil Christmas playland? Um, yeah, I'm kind of reading about that right now too, though written by Joe Hill... So far far darker than this.

132) Revival, Vol. 1: You're Among Friends by Tim Seeley: Nope. I picked this up on the recommendation of Patrick Rothfuss and the fact it takes place in Wisconsin, but it's just a gibbering mess of a new zombie mythology. No thank you.

133) Black Magick, Vol. 1: Awakening, Part One by Greg Rucka: Pick up this book for the amazing art, but stay for the story of witches working for the greater good, but an organization that thinks they might be evil and is trying to stop them.

134) Dangerous to Know by Tasha Alexander: Lady Emily's fifth adventure pits her against what those around her are calling the French Ripper! Lady Emily at her Gothic best!

135) A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander: Lady Emily's sixth adventure sees her dealing with secrets and politics in the heart of the London season during a heatwave!

136) Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes: All the no in the world to this book where there is some of the creepiest child molestation I've ever read.

137) Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander: Venice is the setting for Lady Emily's seventh adventure which sees her actually called in to help an old "friend." At the end Emily gets something she never expected...

138) Behind the Shattered Glass by Tasha Alexander: For Lady Emily's eighth outing she's ensconced out on her country estate and living the Upstairs, Downstairs life.

139) Black Magick, Vol. 2: Awakening II by Greg Rucka: The problem with finding great series that aren't complete, like Locke and Key, is that now I'm all caught up and need more!

140) The Counterfeit Heiress by Tasha Alexander: If anyone can make cemeteries fascinating it's Lady Emily!

141) Star of the East by Tasha Alexander: A wonderful little Christmas tale from Lady Emily that is very reminiscent of The Moonstone.

142) The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell: A Gothic tale about flat painted wooden people haunting a house that could have been a bit scarier... though the house itself was well described.

143) The Adventuress by Tasha Alexander: Lady Emily's dear friend Jeremy takes center stage in this tale about his engagement party in the south of France.

144) That Silent Night by Tasha Alexander: A chilling tale of ghosts and lost family which is perfect for a cold winter night.

145) A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander: This installment of Lady Emily's adventures, besides giving me all the feels for when I studied Art History in school, also had so much Greek goodness I think it's now my most favorite of Tasha's books!

146) Whose Boat Is This Boat?: Comments That Don't Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane by Donald Trump: Ugh. This is painful to read because you realize that the president can't even speak words in a way that makes sense.

147) Amid the Winter's Snow by Tasha Alexander: Another winter tale from Tasha about Lady Emily helping her tenants deal with a beast who isn't what he seems. Think more the Beast from Beauty and the...

148) Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander: Winter, Russia, dead ballerinas, Bolsheviks, yes, Lady Emily is on the case!

149) Uneasy Lies the Crown by Tasha Alexander: Murders made to look like the deaths of kings? I wish I had such fascinating cases to solve. I really am jealous of Lady Emily sometimes. And yes, I know she's fictional.

150) The "Rebecca" Notebook: And Other Memories by Daphne Du Maurier: I should just not read Du Maurier's nonfiction. It's too heavy on the incest and other really horrid topics.

151) The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi: After all the historical fiction, AKA, my Tasha Alexander binge, a goofy space opera is just what I needed. It's heavy on witty one-liners and light on descriptions, but it's a fun, fast read.

152) Giant Days #44 by John Allison: Reading about Valentine's Day in December? I think this issue should have been pushed back a few months...

153) Giant Days: Where Women Glow and Men Plunder #1 by John Allison: Ugh, I had hopes for Ed's Australian Adventure, but it was blah. Just goes to show you that the women are the stars here with the men being very necessary secondary characters.

154) Kill or be Killed, Vol. 4 by Ed Brubaker: And he was dead all along? I find that kind of ironic given how our narrator was trying to be so "honest" and hid the truth in plain sight. The fake out ending was a bit of a cheap shot and seemed to be filler, but thankfully wasn't the ending.

155) The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi: The second volume in Scalzi's new series, because once I read the first I HAD to read the second. This one is far more Douglas Adams, and I love that this isolated interdependentcy are the loser humans and their are far smarter humans out there. 

156) Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman: Ah, to hear Rebecca de Winter's tale... I really wish I hadn't if I'm honest. Sally Beauman has balls to think she could continue the famous author's tale. She of course failed miserably.

157) Mrs. de Winter by Susan Hill: And more Rebecca sequels... this one isn't as bad, but both seem determined for Max to pay for his crime against Rebecca. Guess what? Neither were nice human beings let them both suffer as they will.

158) Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones by Jason Lutes: Wow. Not what I expected. I wanted kind of Isherwood and got politics and people who all looked the same. If you're doing a graphic novel the least thing you need to do is be able to draw people who look like different people, not ALL the same. It's confusing otherwise. 

159) Giant Days #45 by John Allison: And Ed's girlfriend has a drinking problem. Oddly real and dark for this series, but also something that everyone faces at some point in college.

160) The Decemberist by George Mann: A wonderful advent calendar of a book with a little one hundred word Newbury and Hobbes story for each day in December. A perfect little book to end out a year of very uneven reading.


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