James’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from James Rucker.

So, a few of these books could have served in Multiple Categories, but I decided not to double up, but I put numbers in parentheses for other possible answers.

Favorite new author or series you tried:
Arlette Farge [I read Allure of the Archives]. (and #6)

A book that surprised you:
The Power of the Powerless by Vaklav Havel. (and #7)

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
The German Ideology by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. (I intend to reread them all.)

The best book you read that was also published this year:
As far as I know, I have no books for this category.

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
Why Philosophize? by Jean-Francois Lyotard.

The book that you recommended to the most people:
The Present Age by Soren Kierkegaard. (and #2)

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
Godel-Escher-Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.

eternal golden braid

Garrett’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from Garrett Crowell. Follow Garrett’s reviews throughout the year on Goodreads.

Favorite new author or series you tried:
Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files series, books 1 & 2, Sleeping Giants & Waking Gods.

A book that surprised you:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by Leigh Bardugo. For a YA treatment of Diana before she’s WW, this is better than it has any right to be.

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
The Binti books, by Nnedi Okorafor. I plan to turn right around and re-read those once this trilogy or arc or whatever she’s doing is over.

The best book you read that was also published this year:
Devil’s Bargain, by Joshua Green – super useful for getting your head around what might be motivating our current President.

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Normally, epic American family novels about people changing through hard times is not my thing, but this was.

The book that you recommended to the most people:
The Wild Storm, by Ellis & Davis-Hunt: excellent new action/hero driven stuff that’s well-written, pretty, and relevant, and you can drop right in on this volume.

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
Karnak, by Ellis & Zaffino, Marvel Comics.

karnak

Penny’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from Penny Hilton.
Favorite new author or series you tried:
The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A book that surprised you:
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

The best book you read that was also published this year:
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The book that you recommended to the most people:
Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the illustrated edition, by J. K. Rowling

image.png

Jessica’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from Jessica Bruce.

Favorite new author or series you tried:
The Raven Cycle  by Maggie Stiefvater

A book that surprised you:
Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor  ( Binti #1    Home #2 )

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

The best book you read that was also published this year:
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
Voices From Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

The book that you recommended to the most people:
American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Descender comic book series by Jeff Lemire art by Dustin Nguyen

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
My Favorite Thing is Monsters  graphic novel by Emil Ferris

my favorite thing is monsters

Denise’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from Denise Charlton.

Favorite new author or series you tried:
Meik Wiking

A book that surprised you:
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
Night by Elie Wiesel

The best book you read that was also published this year:
n/a

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
The Sushi Art Cookbook by Ken Kawasumi

The book that you recommended to the most people:
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
n/a

Brittney’s 2017 Reading Year in Review

We’re kicking off 2018 by looking back on the best books we read in 2017. Today’s picks come from Brittney Reed-Saltz.

Favorite new author or series you tried:
For me, 2017’s reading was all about making time for books I had put off, and discovering that I loved books I had assumed I would dislike. Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series, which begins with The Raven Boys, fit squarely in both of those categories.

A book that surprised you:
I read a couple of classics that I had been too intimidated to try in the past and which I found surprisingly approachable and enjoyable: Orlando by Virginia Woolf and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. I also re-read The Stranger by Albert Camus, and I was shocked by how much I missed or misunderstood when I originally read it in high school.

A book you read for the first time that you will reread in the future:
Near the beginning of the year, I tore through the first two books of V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, reading against the clock so I could attend an author event spoiler-free. I loved them, but I feel like the experience lost something from my breakneck pace.  A Darker Shade of Magic is the first book.

The best book you read that was also published this year:
I read several great books that came out in 2017, and had enough trouble narrowing it down to a tie.

First, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which has received many deserved accolades for its timely, powerful, and much-needed depiction of the death of a black teenager at the hands of a white cop and the effects it has on the witness and on the community.

Second, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. How can you go wrong with a romantic, historical adventure featuring a bisexual young lord, his best friend, and his bluestocking sister embarking on a Grand Tour of Europe that goes spectacularly awry?

A book you read that was outside of your comfort zone:
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer is a book that I might never have picked up if not for a reading challenge that required me to read a collection of short stories. It helped me get past my oddly stubborn insistence that I don’t like short fiction and eased the way for me to read two other short story collections in 2017.

The book that you recommended to the most people:
After reading Gabrielle Zevin’s novel The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and discovering that it was heartwarming without being the saccharine mess I had assumed it was, I told everyone who would listen to me to read it. If you’re like me, and sometimes the crappiness of the world numbs you until you just need to feel something, read this book.

The best cover from a book you read this year (please include image):
Undoubtedly it’s Drag Teen by Jeffery Self.

drag teen

What’s New in Graphic Novels

by Al Brittain

As one of the people who helps order graphic novels I wanted to let you know about some recent additions to the collection.  We have new volumes of a lot popular series (like Bleach, Deadpool, The Walking Dead, and such), but here are some specific titles I’m excited about:

Generations – These stories take place immediately after the events of Secret Empire.  Many of the younger heroes have been flung back in time and get a chance to interact with the past selves of their older counterparts.

How to be perfectly unhappy – The latest book from Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal.  In this book Inman talks about not being a happy person.  How there may be something wrong with him because other people seem to be capable of being happy.  Or maybe they’re just faking it.  Who knows?  Check out some of his other books here.

my brother's husbandMy Brother’s Husband – Canadian Mike Flanagan visits Japan after the death of his husband, Ryoji.  He meets and ends up staying with his husband’s twin brother Yaichi and his young daughter Kana.  Over the course of the visit Yaichi is forced to confront his homophobia and examine his feelings toward his dead brother and how things changed between them after Ryoji came out.

The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan – This book is for Walking Dead fans who want to knowbob's burgers more about Negan.  Who was he before the walkers showed up and how did he become the bat wielding villain we know?

Bob’s Burgers – Fans of the show can enjoy the further adventures of the Belcher family.  Hope you’re ready for some erotic friend fiction.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card – This magical girl sequel series takes place during Sakura’s junior high years.  Her cards have turned blank and are no longer usable.  She and her friends investigate the cause and set out to uncover more powerful magic.

Grizzlyshark – A gory action comedy about a shark infested forest.  Beware!  The smallest cut will have the deadly shark popping out of the trees to devour its prey.

power upPower Up – 3 ordinary people (and a goldfish) become protectors of Earth in this Sailor Moon inspired story.  They don’t really know what they’re doing, but they’re trying their best to save the planet.

Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead – This book is a followup to the movie and is (hopefully) a lead up to a sequel.  While the movie follows 4 interwoven stories taking place over a single Halloween night, Days of the Dead tells 4 stories set on Halloween nights throughout time.  Sam, the burlap clad trick-or-treater from the movie, makes an appearance in each story.

Rat Queens Vol 4 High Fantasies  – The long awaited 4th volume in the Rat Queens series is finally here!  The Queens have returned home to a greatly changed Palisade.  Buildings have toppled, friends have changed, and there’s a new rival team making life difficult.  Will a new member be enough to help them overcome these challenges?

Injustice 2 Vol 1 – The war is over and the “pancake” heroes (as Harley calls them) have returned to their own universe.  Batman works to heal the world after all the damage caused by Superman, but dark forces are at play.  Someone is out there impersonating him and putting everything he fought so hard for in danger.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol 2 – The 2nd volume of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is FINALLY (maybe) being released!  Mr Spellman has been resurrected in Harvey’s body, but Sabrina doesn’t know.  She defends “Harvey” from her aunts and it’s all-out magical warfare.

And here are some titles that we’ll be ordering soon that might catch your interest (they aren’t in the system yet, so check back):

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank – A girl and her friends attempt to rob a bank to keep her dad and his idiot accomplices from going to jail.51Ni3WUy9JL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats – The name says it all.  Join Elvis, Puck, and Lupin as they report on everything from thunderstorms to Thanksgiving dinner.  Based on the comic strip of the same name.

Only the End of the World Again – Werewolves meet elder gods in this rereleased Neil Gaiman tale.

She and Her Cat – This is the story of a woman and Chobi, the stray cat she adopts.  Over the course of a year Chobi falls in love with his owner.  He may not understand everything she does or know why certain things make her sad, but he loves her and wants her to be happy.

Shiver: Junji Ito Selected Stories – A collection of Japanese horror manga legend Junji Ito’s best stories, complete with author commentary.  Trypophobia sufferers may want to steer clear of this one.

There you go.  I hope you found something you like.  Look for more of these posts in the future.