The 2023 Reading List: January

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 2023. I’m still aiming for at least half of my reads to be books by women but I’m not going to be as precisely tuned with my stacks of five books as I’ve been in previous years. I’ll still do my best for for each to-read pile to contain a book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. I’m also hoping to work my way through some of those fantasy door stopper series I’ve collected over the years but not actually read. First on deck is Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series.

I’ve been relying more and more on the library to fill out my reading. I see that only increasing going forward. The library is also 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.

Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott: The second Beyond the Page bookstore mystery. Really enjoying this series, I’ll keep moving forward with it.

The Eye Collector Vol. 1 by Jonathan Ball, GMB Chomichuk, Lyndon Radchenka: Read as single issues (1-5, and special collector’s edition #1). A great creepy horror comic by some local (to me, at least) creators.

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander: The fifth Sloane Krause mystery. We learn a lot more about Sloan’s mysterious past in this one. Remains one of my favourite cozy mystery series.

Pathfinder Volume 3: City of Secrets by Jim Zub, Leandro Oliveira, Sean Izaakse, Ross Campell: Zub’s final turn on the Pathfinder comic. A fun fantasy that suffers a bit to me by having multiple artists over the arc. I would’ve preferred to say any of the artists work on the story as a whole, as individually I enjoyed their work.

Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza: It took me a long time to get around to reading this after I first heard about it, mostly because Nicieza was one of my favourite comic book writers of the 90s (I adored his run on The New Warriors, and still reread it frequently) and I was afraid his prose work wouldn’t hold up for me. I was so wrong. This book is so goddamn funny, and just a great mystery. There’s at least one more book with these characters, and I doubt it’ll take me as long to read that one.

Lore Olympus Vol. 3 by Rachel Smythe: I’m still really enjoying this graphic retelling of the Persephone/Hades love story. The colours are so vibrant, and I love the character designs.

Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity by Kami Garcia, Mico Suayan, Jason Badower, Mike Mayhew: A black label imprint serial killer story in Gotham. Dr. Harley Quinn works as a consultant with the GCPD trying to solve the Joker murders. A really cool take on the characters with barely a glimpse of the Bat. The present day portions of the story are told in black and white, and the flashbacks in colour, which I thought was a neat touch. The art style was a little too photo realistic for my comic reading sensibilities, but still beautiful.

The Valkyrie by Kate Heartfield: I was asked to blurb this, so I have an early copy. The book releases March 30th. I loved it!

Still Life by Louise Penny: Reading this series mostly because of watching the Three Pines TV show. The book feels like a mixture of cozy mystery and police procedural. I think my preference is to watch the show, but the book is very good. Maybe I’d feel differently if I’d read it before the show aired, but for now, the television cast is intruding on the text versions.

Chronicles of Eberron by Keith Baker: Another collection of lore about one of my favourite D&D settings, written by the setting’s creator. Lots of great setting lore in this book. I hope Baker keeps adding to the untouched corners of Eberron.

The Night Eaters Vol.1: She Eats the Night by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda: A new graphic novel from the team beyond Monstress. Really enjoyed this. Liu and Takeda are a great team. I’m glad to see it’s not a stand alone.

Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, T.J. Mitchell: Years in the life of a working medical examiner in New York. A fascinating, sometimes grisly read.

Pirate Borg by Limithron: A gorgeous game. The art of this Dark Caribbean roleplaying game is fantastic. Like all of the Borg games, it’s almost more art object than designed to be easily read, but I’d still like to play it some day.

Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjit Thapp: A graphic novel on seasons and anxiety that I found very moving.

Check out my roundup of my 2022 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.