The 2022 To-Read List: October

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

My Spoopy Month Reading Pile! A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, Suicide Stitch by Sarah L. Johnson, Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, Dead North Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Fangs by Sarah Anderson, My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, Dracula by Bram Stoker (Illustrated by Jae Lee), Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson

Die Volume 3: The Great Game by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles:

Die Volume 4: Bleed by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles: The finale of the RPG-inspired portal fantasy graphic novel series. I think this is a series I’m going reread again and again. I can’t wait for the RPG based on the series to show up!

Fangs by Sarah Anderson: A delightful love story about a vampire and a werewolf. I read it when it was releasing weekly as a webcomic, but the collected edition is a gorgeous book.

When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll: A fun dark fairytale rendered in black and white and red. A reread from a few years back. I still loved it.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll: A reread. Carroll’s lush colours and hand lettering are some highlights to me. The book collects five dark fables, “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” was probably my favourite on this read, giving off a Bluebeard’s Wife sort of vibe.

The Gift by Zoe Maeve: A graphic novel about the children of the Romanov family. Rendered in blues and white, the colour gave the book a dreamlike quality.

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Sara Kipin: A YA graphic novel featuring Batman character Pamela Isley. I really dug this one! Deals in themes of abuse and gave an alternate origin for Poison Ivy.

Suicide Stitch by Sarah L. Johnson: A short story collection by a friend from Calgary. I think I was expecting more of a straight horror vibe from this one, but many of the stories were more unsettling than horrific. Still loved the title story, Krampus story “The First Wife” and “Playing the Game” as standouts among the book.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson: Autobiography of the Mistress of the Dark. I kind of wished I’d gotten the audiobook, because as I read it, I was constantly hearing Peterson’s Elvira voice in my head (which is not a complaint). A fascinating and interesting life.

Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto, Anne Xu: Not my usual fare when I look for a graphic novel, but I really enjoyed this one. Black and white art with simple but evocative linework that really suited the story.

Cryptid Club by Sarah Anderson: Another webcomic from Sarah Anderson, this one in her more usual cartoony style from Sarah’s Scribbles, but featuring monsters like Slenderman, Mothman, and Nessie. So much fun!

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour, Michael Deweese, Patrick Brousseau: A fantastic black and white vampire graphic novel. It’s based on the film of the same title, which I still need to see.

Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge: I’ve perennially seen this book on best reads for Halloween lists. I’m so glad I finally got to it. It’s so lush and evocative. Partridge manages to make every creepy piece click into place just moments before the reader realizes them. Highly recommended for spooky season especially, but just a great horror read.

Dungeons & Dragons Eberron: Rising From the Last War by Wizards of the Coast: A reread. I still love this setting. Sigh. One day I’ll run a campaign using this book.

G.I. Joe Roleplaying Game by Renegade Game Studios: A failed saving throw versus nostalgia. However, it did make me watch the old 80s cartoon again, and seeing the game got the theme song stuck in my head for days. I don’t hate the system, I think I’d rather play this one than run it, as the system is a little bit fiddlier than my tastes run these days. It also seems difficult to imagine a “level 1” Joe.

Big month for new roleplaying games. Pathfinder Absalom, Exploring Eberron, Transformers the Roleplaying Game, G.I. Joe the Roleplaying Game, Call of Cthulhu Starter Set.

Eat the Rich by Sarah Gailey, Piuk Bak, Roman Titov: A fun (is fun the right word?) critique of capitalism via cannibalism. I’ve previously enjoyed Gailey’s River of Teeth novella and the other works in American Hippo, but this is my first experience with Bak’s art. I really liked this! The art was the perfect mix of realistic yet cartoony to get the story across.

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: Continuing my annual tradition, I read this book a chapter a day every night of October. I still love this book. I think maybe next year I might try to read the book in a sitting or two, rather than a chapter per night to see how it changes the experience. Alternately, I might try picking up one of the audiobook versions and listen to the book a chapter per night, just to switch things up.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Here’s what I read in September.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.