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.
Back in 2020 I decided to be a little more systematic about my reading plans. I started putting an actual to-read pile to stack on the nightstand and limited the stack to five books, which seemed doable for the month. Occasionally comics and graphic novels or roleplaying games jump the queue, but I typically tried to get through the pile in the order I stacked them. I also used this strategy to try and diversify my reading. The 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 the piles is getting a little trickier, as I’m having a bit of trouble filling all of my criteria from stack to stack off my own shelves, and I’m never sure when a library book will arrive to interrupt my reading. Despite all of the library reading I’ve been doing I still plan on trying to read through the books on my own shelves as much as possible.
Black Widow Vol. 1 The Ties That Bind by Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Rafael De Latorre, Jordie Bellaire: A fantastic addition to Black Widow’s history. It feels like this arc is in conversation with the Mark Waid/Chris Samnee run on the character, but it’s been a while since I’ve read those issues. Definitely want to read more by this creative team.
Without a Brew by Ellie Alexander: The latest Sloane Krause beer-flavoured cozy mystery. I’m still really enjoying this series. Pity now that I’m all caught up I have to wait a year for the next volume! Might start Alexander’s bake shop cozy series in the meantime.
Gear and Sea by Clare C. Marshall: A YA novel set in the Silent Guardians universe of graphic novels from Justin Currie and GMB Chomichuk. Lots of fun worldbuilding and great characterization. I don’t read a ton of YA, but I enjoyed this one.
Digging up the Remains by Julia Henry: This one didn’t quite grab me, I’m afraid. Didn’t finish it.
Black God’s Kiss by C.L. Moore: An early sword & sorcery and weird fiction pioneer who I have somehow managed not to read until now. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry is recognized as the first female protagonist in the genre. I really enjoyed the first story, “Black God’s Kiss.” I thought it held up quite well. The following stories had diminishing returns for me, but I enjoyed Moore’s prose almost as much as Robert E. Howard’s, and more than Lovecraft’s. Ultimately, I set it aside, but I think I’ll eventually return to finish the final three stories in the collection.
On Spec #114 Vol 30 no 4: Standout stories for me were “Pastrami on Rye” by Sara C. Walker, “Treasure Hunting a Husband” by Erik Bundy, and “The Melting Man” by Gordon Linzner. A couple stories I chose not to finish as they didn’t grab me, but all in all a pretty solid issue.
I also reread about 50 issues of the ’90s run on New Warriors by Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley, and Darick Robertson as well as a bunch of the Matt Fraction/David Aja (along with some other fantastic artists) run on Hawkeye, and really enjoyed revisiting both.
Also, check out the roundup of my 2020 reading here.