"People with so much to say but I'm only hearing the words that you left me with on that day." - Mary J. Blige, Nobody but You
I thought I had read a lot more this year than last because I’ve spent the entire year commuting by LA public transit but because of Serial and my new interest in podcasts, I’ve spent the last month listening rather than reading so I’m only five books up on last year. Boo. There’s too much media to consume.
I read a lot of good stuff this year, particularly in the first three months. I wrote about Americanah and Urban Tumbleweeds in January both of which are still among the most memorable. I finally read Kindred which somebody should make into a film. That time travel story was after I read 11/22/63 which is Stephen King’s excellent novel around the same concept. I love a good time travel tale.
I read a grip of graphic novels this year. The Manhattan Projects and Saga and Hawkeye continue to be great fun. I also read Winter Soldier and Days of Future Past after seeing the movies. On friend recommendation, I checked out Ms. Marvel and Lazarus and was not disappointed. On Amazon recommendation, I read The Wicked + Divine, Black Science, FBP, Velvet, and Sex Criminals and all of those were entertaining and often gorgeous to look at. Image is really hitting it out the park right now.
I think my favorite book of the year, though, was Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton. The service dominates my every day. It’s birth (and the tools and people that spawned it) coincide with my own growth and participation in our digital culture. I was at those South Bys. In some ways, its history feels a bit like my own history. #relatable
It’s also just a damn good read. I devoured it and wanted to talk about it to anyone who had also read or cared.
I also recommend (in no particular order)
- The Bat by Jo Nesbo
- Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
- Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
- L.A. Son by Roy Choi
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
- Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson
Also, books I acquired this year but have yet to read/finish reading
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- Huckleberry: Recipes, Stories, and Secrets from Our Kitchen by Zoe Nathan
- Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C. by Harry S. Jaffe
- Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
- Gun Dealer’s Daughter by Gina Apostel
- What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Monroe
- Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South by Martin Ruef