Hey, look, I’m actually keeping my New Years Resolution! I’m going to
Yes, I know, I know, that’s more than a week listed in the title. But I didn’t do any reading this year until Monday the Fifth, so stop complaining. Also, I didn’t want to do this and my Weekly Pull Review on the same day, so I’ll be publishing my weekly reading lists every Sunday.
This was a pretty slow week for me- I was sleep deprived and cranky all week, and definitely fell a bit behind. Also, I’m working 40 hours a week, and I have a 3 mile walk to work and a 3 mile walk back, which comes to nearly ten hours of walking a week, so I’m not reading anywhere near as many books as I was when I was working part time (I was reading twice as many books then, if not more) or as when I was unemployed (three times as many, at least, especially since I was living in a new city where I didn’t know many people). I know, excuses, excuses. (Totally not humble bragging at all. Totally not… wait, no, yes I am. Stroking my ego was the whole point of these.)
Anyhow, on we go!
Firefight (Reckoners Book #2)- Brandon Sanderson
Fiction, YA, SF, Superheroes
It was a pretty damn good book to start out my year on. Check out my review.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player’s Handbook- Wizards of the Coast
Non-Fiction, Roleplaying Game
Admission: I started this one back in December, so it doesn’t really fully count.
I’m going to do a review of the three core rulebooks when I finish them soon, so I’m not going to go in depth right now. Suffice it to say, this may very well be the best edition of D&D yet. It’s elegant and simple, yet allows for great complexity of play. I’m absurdly excited to start a group.
Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy, Book 2)- Chuck Wendig
Fiction, YA, SF.
The Blightborn trilogy is really, really weird, but pretty fun. They deal with sex a lot more frankly than many YA series, which tend to inexplicably avoid depicting it. Also, the series deals with genetically engineered, nigh-inedible, bloodsucking corn, flying cities, robots, plant zombies… Good times.
Unbound (Magic Ex Libris, Book 3)- Jim C. Hines
Fiction, Urban Fantasy
This may be one of the nerdiest and most meta series that I’ve ever read. The magic in these books derives from works of fiction- the main character literally has the ability to draw ray-guns, magic swords, and anything else he can fit through the pages of a book out into the real world. This book name drops everything from Dungeons & Dragons, to Harry Potter, to Dragonriders of Pern, to… well, you name it, it’s there. Very enjoyable, though.
Chorus Skating (Book 8 of Spellsinger)- Alan Dean Foster
The Spellsinger books were among my favorites as a kid- when I found out that there was an eighth book I’d never even heard of, let along read, I had to get it immediately. My nostalgia holds up reasonably well for much of it- it was lighthearted, engrossing, and fun. Talking animals, unpredictable musical magic, ridiculous threats and monsters… the best kind of absurdity. Foster’s use of puns is much better than Piers Anthony’s pun vomiting (not to mention, he isn’t as creepy and weird as Piers Anthony). Unfortunately, the female characters were eye-rollingly bad: obsessed with shopping, make-up, and men, with little personality of their own. I’m kind of leery about going back and reading the others, for fear that they are the same in that regard.
Battle Pope- Robert Kirkman
Fiction, Comic Book, Superheroes
I’d read the first volume of Battle Pope a while back, and remembered it being pretty funny. Going back and reading the 13 issue series, though, and my memory definitely DOESN’T hold up here. Almost all of the humor is not only sexist, but frankly pretty repetitive and tacky.
Debt: The First 5,000 Years- David Graeber
Nonfiction, Economics, Anthropology
Woohoohoo, this one is a doozy. I’ve been meaning to get into more nonfiction for a while now, so made it one of my New Years Resolutions this time around to read at least one non-fiction book or two a month. It’s been quite a while since a book has made me think this much. It took me much longer to finish than a novel of comparable size would have- both due to my lesser interest in nonfiction, and due to the fact that it’s simply a different skillset for me. When I’m reading fiction, it’s like observing a full sensory movie in my head, essentially. While reading non-fiction, I’m looking at words on a page. It’s quite disconcerting. Anyhap, Debt: The First 5,000 years has made me look at economics, money, credit, and debt in an entirely new way, and is going to be seriously shaping my arguments and thought from here on out. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it life-changing, but mind-changing? Absolutely.
My Weekly Pull Review– 5 comic issues