The 2023 Reading List: March

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.

Ducks by Kate Beaton: A Canada Reads selection at the time of reading, and a Canada Reads winner shortly after. I really enjoyed this! I’ve admired Beaton’s Hark, A Vagrant! comics for a long time. This graphic memoir was a very powerful read.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson: A novella with fantasy trappings that also has some science fiction buried deeply within. Loved the characters and there was some amazing prose in this book. I’m looking forward to trying more of Wilson’s work.

Dungeon World by Sage LaTorra, Adam Koebel: A Powered by the Apocalypse version of Dungeons & Dragons. An interesting RPG. Typically Powered by the Apocalypse games don’t feel like my jam of game to run, but I could see myself giving this a spin, either as a player or gamemaster.

Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours) by Harold Johnson: All of Johnson’s work is so different from whatever he has published prior. Such a unique voice that is, sadly, gone too soon. In Firewater, Johnson lays out the case for why people shouldn’t drink alcohol, specifically through the lens of Indigenous people in Canada. Harold Johnson lived an amazing life, and he does make some pretty interesting arguments.

Wolfsong by Traci Briery: I didn’t finish this one. It was book two in a werewolf horror series I grabbed on a whim. Not terrible, but didn’t grab me after the first few chapters. Might’ve been a different story if I had been able to read the first book in the series.

Batman: One Dark Knight by Jock: I’ve loved Jock’s art for a long time, but I think this is the first time I’ve read something he’s also written. Really interesting out-of-continuity Batman tale featuring a high profile prisoner transfer amid a power failure and ticking clock.

Animosity Volume 1: The Wake by Marguerite Bennett, Rafael De Latorre, Rob Schwager, Marshall Dillon, Juan Doe: All the animals in the world gain sentience, and they are not happy with humanity. One little girl and her loyal dog have to navigate this world. I’ve read some of Bennett’s work in the past and enjoyed it. I also really liked De Latorre’s art. I’ll read more of this series.

Extra Witchy by Ann Aguirre: The third book in Aguirre’s witchy paranormal romance series. I loved this one! It’s hard to decide if book one or book two were my favourite in the series, but I’m leaning towards Extra Witchy. All three novels share an overlap in timeline and it’s interesting to see how the events of the other books are presented.

Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses by Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia: Really enjoyed this one. The writers found an interesting way to integrate Batman and The Shadow into each other’s histories. The art really shone when it was centered on the superheroes and supervillains; Rossmo’s art can be pretty stylized and I wasn’t terribly fond of his take on Jim Gordon, Margot Lane and the other “regular” folks in the book. But his Batman and Shadow? Top notch.

Red Magic by Jean Rabe: Another book I didn’t finish. Red magic is the third book in the Harpers Forgotten Realms series. I don’t recall if I read this one–or tried to–back when it was originally published and I was reading pretty much all of the Forgotten Realms novels, but there weren’t any characters that really grabbed me.

Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers edited by Hazel Newlevant: A black and white graphic anthology by women and non-binary gamers. Far too many contributors to name everyone, but my favourite pieces included: A Certain Kind of Story (by Molly Ostertag), Let Me Do It (by Sara Goetter), Battle for Amtgard (by Maggie Siegel-Berele), Three Weekends a Year (by Kate Craig), Memoir of a Part-Time Knight (by Yao Xiao), and Dream Suite (by Megan Brennan).

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: Lesbian necromancers in space! Gideon had lush prose that made me slow down my reading to try and catch every moment while simultaneously wanting to rush through the book to see how the story turned out. I’m not sure I’m in a hurry to finish the series, however, for spoilery reasons, but I’d definitely check out more of Tamsyn Muir’s writing.

Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures edited by S.M. Beiko: An anthology of sixteen sci-fi gothic graphic stories. I really enjoyed this collection. My favourite pieces were Ghost Planet (by Trina Robbins, Anne Timmons, Scott A. Ford, Lyndon Radchenka), In the Shadow of the Moon (by Luz Bianca, Kaylee Rowena), Under the Bed (by Cameron Lucente),The Lichtenberg Lady (by Cait Zellers), Ghosting (Sztehlo), Sunken Scream (by Leonie O’Moore, Skylar Patridge, Lyndon Radchenka), Until One Day (by Merissa Mayhew).

The Last Book You’ll Ever Read by Cullen Bunn, Leila Leiz, Vladimir Popov, Jim Campbell: A fun graphic novel. Sort of a folk horror book-as-virus end of the world tale. I think this is the first work I’ve ready by Cullen Bunn, though I’ve definitely seen the name around, and I’d read more.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2022 reading here.