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05 January 2014 @ 08:06 pm
Big Book List 2013  
As ever I've listed the books I've read this year in an order of how much I enjoyed them rather than just dumping them on you. I've split graphic novels and comics into their own seperate list this year though on account of how this is the year I got my comics geek on *grins* so I read almost as many of those as I did books.


Fantastic = the best of the best. The ones that I felt the urge to tell everyone about, multiple times, including strangers on the bus. The ones that I bought other people because I had to share. The ones that I really, really enjoyed.
Great = the best of the rest. Books that I would reread, or lodged themselves in my head so thoroughly that rereading might be redundant.
Good = books that I enjoyed, but since book-lovers can't afford everything these ones you could save your money on and find them in the library.
Okay = books are books and therefore wonderful, but I can't help feeling that these ones could have been better.
The Bottom of the Pile = well if you have nothing else to read

Fantastic

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Omens by Kelley Armstrong (1st in series)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (1st in series)
Among Others by Jo Walton
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Angelfall by Susan Ee (1st in series)
World After by Susan Ee (2nd in series)
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Wool by Hugh Howey (1st in trilogy)
Shift by Hugh Howey (2nd in trilogy)
Dust by Hugh Howey (3rd in trilogy)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Fortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman


Great

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (1st in trilogy)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth (3rd in trilogy)
Cross and Burn by Val McDermid (8th in series)
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (1st in trilogy)
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan (2nd in trilogy)
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (non-fiction)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (4th in series)
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards (1st in series)
A Different Life by Lois Keith
Amityville Horrible by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld series short story)
Intrusion by Ken McLeod
Helga’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Account of Life in a Concentration Camp by Helga Weiss (non-fiction)
Shards and Ashes (collection of dystopian short stories)
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (2nd in series)
Specials by Scott Westerfeld (3rd in series)
Extras by Scott Westerfeld (4th in series)
A Storm Of Swords: Blood and Gold by George RR Martin (3rd in series, part two)
A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin (4th in series)


Good

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
Josser: The Secret Life Of A Circus Girl by Nell Stroud (non-fiction)
Ragnarok by A S Byatt
Earth Star by Janet Edwards (2nd in series)
As Far as I Know by Roger McGough (poetry)
The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy (poetry)
Blood Red Road by Moira Young (1st in series)
Partials by Dan Wells (1st in series)
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (1st in series)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Retribution by Val McDermid (7th in series)
Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly (non-fiction)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Wonder by R J Palacio
Circus Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Breathe by Sarah Crossan (1st in series)


Okay

Fated by Benedict Jacka
The Farm by Emily McKay
Looking for Alaska by John Green
In My Home There Is No More Sorrow: Ten Days in Rwanda by Rick Bass (non-fiction)
The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfield (1st in trilogy)
Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfield (2nd in trilogy)
Blue Noon by Scott Westerfield (3rd in trilogy)
After The Fear by Rosanne Rivers


The Bottom
Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott (non-ficton)


Graphic Novels And Comics


Fantastic

Saga volume 1 and continuing with comics: is there anyone not reading this wonderful? GO READ IT.
The Walking Dead volumes 1-4: I got hooked on the TV show and the graphic novels are like an AU, or vice-versa. So very hooked.
Carbon Grey Volumes 1 & 2 & Origins: The story is a touch confusing at times, but it's set in a alternate history type future timeline, is steampunky, comes with gorgeous artwork, is about a bunch of sisters, and I'm eargerly awaiting the final volume.
Morning Glories volumes 1-4 and continued with the comics: twisty and mind-bendingly good.
Porcelain: a stand-alone gothic fairytale. I need to read more by this lot, especially their upcoming Briar Rose because the preview for that is brilliant.


Great

The Invincible Iron Man volumes 1-11: a run by Matt Fraction. 1-3 are my favourites as Tony crumbles and there's a team up of Maria, Natasha, and Pepper, but the whole lot is solid.
FreakAngels volumes 1-6: a dystopian future in which the UK is flooded, due to some mysterious event connected to our main characters, who're a bunch of... well, you can actually read this series for free online starting here. Bye!
Secret Avengers: run the mission, don’t get seen, save the world: a collection of one-off stories. I read for the Black Widow one; I very much like the Black Widow one.
Wolverine and the X Men volumes 1 & 2: these are crack, I kid you not. X kids at school madness. Guaranteed to make me smile. I'm going to skip the the A vs X volumes, but keep up with these.
Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero: not fantastic, but a nice accompaniment to the film and some aspects of it I really love.
Harlequin Valentine: a Neil Gaiman early-ish graphic novel, bit of a twist at the end and nice art.
Runaways volumes 1-4: always fancied these and I did indeed enjoy them. Might read more, but I finished at a stopping point. Love that there's lots of ladies and they're all thier individual selves.


Good

The Things They Say About Her (Black Widow): I was kind of disappointed with this, but I guess nothing else is going to live up to The Name Of The Rose.
Journey Into Mystery: Asgard isn't my thing really, but my friend who's a Loki fan lent all of these (I think?) to me and I have a better understanding of Loki and Thor now. The series is fun and quirky.
Artifacts Origins: First Born: the artwork is great, but I'm not a fan. Alas, because a few of our geek group really love the Artifacts, Witchblade, and Darkness stuff.
X-23 Volume 1: same author as The Name Of The Rose, I just don't really know much about X-23 and her backstory seems a bit...OTT for me, maybe.
Hawkeye & Mockingbird/Black Widow: Widowmaker: okay, but a bit too ridiculous and unlike Wolverine and the X Men seems to take it's ridiculosity seriously.


Okay

Cages by Dave McKean: maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't find this that good.
Wolverine and Jubilee: Curse of the Mutants: with two of my favourite characters this should have been a recipe for fantastic. Actually it's just odd, because vampires and alternate dimension stuff.


And of the things I have just read in comics form...

Ones that I have really enjoyed and am going to keep up with are:
Hawkeye, Young Avengers, Secret Avengers, X Men, All New X Men, Captain Marvel, Fearless Defenders, East of West, Pretty Deadly, Aphrodite XI, Ten Grand, Lazarus, and Sandman (I can't believe we get more Sandman!).

The Battle of the Atom X Men crossover event, which is easy to follow, I highly recommend. The Age of Ultron was okay - highlights are the Natasha Avengers Assemble standalone issue and Wolverine's sass.
The Infinity event I got behind and confused with. I should catch up with that.

Ones I'm behind with or just dipping into, but they seem interesting are:
Amazing X Men, Alex + Ada, Jupiter's Legacy, Great Pacific, Mind The Gap, Sidekick, Ghost, Sex Criminals

Ones I'm behind with, mostly due to get buffudled and bored with the Infinity stuff, so I'm not reading any more until I'm caught up and I know if they're worth keeping up with:
Avengers Assemble (the best have been by Kelley Sue), Avengers, New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and Uncanny X Men.
 
 
 
Atlas of Clouds: booksfranztastisch on January 5th, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
The fact that Wool is on your fantastic list makes me happy as I picked it up on a whim from Oxfam and have yet to read it. However, the fact that How I Life Now is on your fantastic list baffles me cos I read that when it first came out and it is the only book I can ever remember actively hating. Eh. Swings and roundabouts.

AND YOU REALLY LIKED ZOO CITY! I AM SO HAPPY! :D

Isn't Harlequin Valentine a short story too? Cos I'm sure I know the story so never picked up the TPB because I assumed it was the same.

OH and I just read Lazarus today. HOLY CRAP AWESOME.
inkvoices: girl readinginkvoices on January 6th, 2014 08:55 pm (UTC)
I love the Wool trilogy. I have made many people read them and all have enjoyed.

Ha, and this is why I list books according to whether or not I liked them and not just listing them, because you can get an idea of people's tastes. Out of curiosity, why did I strike a sour note for you? How I Live Now rates for me because:
- of the narration, which is perfect for YA, being not condescending or sounding older or younger than the character is meant to be, and yet still having a unique viewpoint
- for showing and not telling
- for leaving things to the imagination
- for not being anything that I expected
- for being a war story in the style of Carrie's War and A Spoonful Of Jam and other such books that I read when I was younger and yet being a now war, being a future war, and yet the more things change the more they stay the same
- for the writing style

The only reason Zoo City is not a favourite for me is the ending parts I talked about with you. For everything else it's right up there, because it was right up my street :D

Not sure to be honest. Just spotted the graphic novel, and for the price being a Neil Gaiman creation i couldn't leave it in the shop *grins*.

How excellent is Lazarus?! Are you reading the graphic novel or the comics? I read the comics, so I don't know about the GN, but they have info in the back about actual cutting edge scientific research and events that the writer extrapolates from and timeline stuff. Fascinating. And so much love for a main female character who's design and appearence is functional.
Atlas of Clouds: booksfranztastisch on January 6th, 2014 10:30 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I cannot remember why I didnt like it. When did it come out? cos I read it the year of release or the year after because it won the Smarties prize? Or Blue Peter liked it? I can't remember. And I can't remember anything much of the book, other than the mother was killed in Oslo and she fell in love with her cousin who she described as looking like a dog/puppy. And something to do with blackberries and a farm full of corpses. I literally blanked the whole thing until uni when someone reminded me of it and then all I could remember was that I really really hated it. Weirdly, others I have mentioned this to also hated it.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's in Fragile Things.

LAZARUS IS AMAZING. And I'm reading it in comics right now. Though I'll probably end up getting it in tpb too. So yeah, I know about the timeline stuff. And YES to Forever's design. :D

(Very exited for Wool now :D)
inkvoices: avengers:jane book loveinkvoices on January 11th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
I don't know when it came out. I just remember I saw the film trailer with a friend and we were intrigued. Also it had music by Amanda Palmer! But we didn't get change to watch it when it was on at the pictures, so I bought the book in ASDA instead, so it must have been out a long while by the time I got to it this year :) I think it's the writing style and the atmosphere much more than the actual events which hooked me.

I have just checked my copy of Fragile Things and yep, it's in there, and it is the same story :)

LAZARUS! Also today was the day I got Black Widow #1 :D I am in love with the art and have high hopes for the story.

He's just released a batch of other e-books too, Sand, don't know if they'll end up as an actual print book but I have the first part of Sand as part of a Kindle daily deal on dystopian fiction thing, so I shall give it a whirl.
Atlas of Cloudsfranztastisch on January 12th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
Still ahven't got Black Widow #1 yet. I ahve a download that I haven't read yet but... yeah. Haven't managed to get into town. There's nothing not to love about Phil Noto's art though.

Hmm... I don't own a kindle (neither do I plan to unless I go travelling again) so I think it highly unlikely that I'll read them unless they come out in print. And then, obviously, I have to like Wool first. :P Though all signs point to that happening.
inkvoices: avengers:natasha dropping ininkvoices on January 16th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
...have you got it yet??? *grins*

Oh, I don't have a kindle, I just have kindle on my laptop :) Useful for Kelley Armstrong limited editions that either cost a bomb or are released as a cheap ebook, and for Amazon daily deals. I strongly suspect someone will offer this guy a publishing deal on everything he writes following the success of the Wool trilogy, but he's very keen on controlling his own rights and stuff - which, good for him - so we'll see, and see how long it takes. And sorry, I get excited and ahead of myself, heehee.
Atlas of Cloudsfranztastisch on January 16th, 2014 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yes I have! Picked it up on Tuesday. PHIL NOTO. So far the story seems standard but PHIL NOTO.

Kindle for my laptop sounds like a terrible idea for me. but don't worry about getting ahead of yourself. I do that all the time. :P
Lady Mercuryladymercury_10 on January 9th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
I loved The Fault in Our Stars and Among Others, too! And hooray, Morning Glories!

Ooh, Secret Avengers and Wolverine & The X-Men sound interesting.
inkvoices: avengers:clint comicinkvoices on January 11th, 2014 12:02 am (UTC)
As much as it's a fantastic story about two young people, love, friendshop, and banter, I LOVE that it also has all the stories about stories and representation stuff going on, the whole thing being a version of 'this is not a pipe'. And I picked up this week's Morning Glories comic today :)

The Secret Avengers comics, that is the most recent Marvel Now run, are basically all the SHIELD-ness that I wanted for Agents of SHIELD that we didn't get - Clint, Natasha, Coulson, Maria, Fury, Bobbi, and twisty, mind-bending SHIELD missions and antics. Wolverine and the X Men is crack, I swear, and yet. Wolverine in charge of a school! And I now see this as the sanest part!
brightnshiney: wickedbrightnshiney on January 28th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
The only book I can see in your list that I have read is The fault in our stars, which I loved. I'll have to try to read a few from your Fantastic list. :-)
inkvoices: dr who:arm yourselves (with books)inkvoices on January 31st, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
Books are love :D What kinds of things do you usually like reading?
brightnshineybrightnshiney on February 3rd, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
My favourite books ever are probably the Harry Potter Series. I'm also a big fan of Cecelia Ahern Jodi Picoult and Dan Brown. This Year I want to read a lot more more than i usually do since I don't have to worry about studying for college.
inkvoices: girl readinginkvoices on February 19th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
Apologies, I thought I'd replied to your comment. Okay, so now I'm apparently imagining book recommendations *shakes head at self*.

Based on those, have you read 13 little blue envelopes by Maureen Johnson, Before I Die by Jenny Dwonham (although I think it has a new name now and a film), or anything by Holly Black or Sara Rees Brennan?

Off my 2013 list I would throw at you The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (magical realism and it's Neil Gaiman), Omens (if you like Harry Potter, Kelly Armstrong is supernatural and I really like her stuff, this is also the first in what's more a supernatural crime thriller type series), The Rook (because it's essentially the magical equivalent of MI5 and the main character is a fantastic lady), Among Others (magic and loving books), Angelfall and World After (fantastic dystopian supernatural series), and How I Live Now (coming of age but internesting setting and narrative voice, and echoes of John Green type style).