Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Holiday Post 2014: Books and Reading

Continuing my series of holiday posts, today I am doing a small one on books and reading. This is the time of year when reading lists come out. It is also the time of year folks start reflecting on what they read the previous year as well as setting new reading goals and challenges. So, if you need some ideas of what to read, maybe these links can help.

"Group of women reading in library normal school, Washington D.C." Found at

  • Esquire offers what they claim are the five most important books of 2014. These are selected by their writers and editors, which may explain why I have not really heard of any of them. On a serious note, the one book that interests me and may add to my TBR list is Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America (link to WorldCat record). The book started out as an essay that made the rounds online, one that I have read and can certainly relate to. If you read and liked works like Nickel and Dimed (link to my review) you will likely want to read this.
  • Mother Jones has their own list of best books of 2014. Most of the books are, as often for me, a bit on the high brow stuff. However I was impressed they chose the Saga series by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. The graphic novel recently got the first three volumes compiled in a deluxe edition, and it is still ongoing. As I have mentioned before in my reviews, the series was a pleasant discovery and one I will continue reading. It has been picked out in other lists, and with good reason. Right now, it is one of the best graphic novel series going on.
  • I read a business book here or there, but it is not a genre I think highly of since it often boils down to either statements of the obvious, common sense, or CEOs with inflated egos telling you what to do (even if it cannot be replicated). However, if you want to explore this genre, the folks of GOOD magazine have a small set of suggestions. They claim their list is worth looking over. I will leave it to my readers to decide.
  • GOOD also has a list of cookbooks for non-foodies. The books here combine stories and recipes, and there is even one in graphic novel form.
  • I also found some lists with graphic novels and comics, so naturally had to share those:
    • Mental Floss has their list of 25 most interesting comics for 2014. From this list, I have read the Andre the Giant graphic novel biography (link to my review, and it is one I recommend), the Saga series, which I have mentioned already as excellent, and The Shadow Hero (link to my review). The list features one or two titles more I would be interested in reading. I think you are bound to find something you like here.
    • The Advocate has a list for the LGBT graphic novel lover. From this list, I have Secret Agent Moscow on my TBR loading in my e-reader.
    • Graphic Policy has a massive list of the best comics of 2014 where they look at other lists, do some math, and make a massive master list. Worth a look. They also include links to their lists from previous years.
    • Finally for this time, GOOD has a nice small list of gateway graphic novels. If you are not reading comics and graphic novels, but you've thought about it, some of these may be a nice way to enter the genre. Again, Andre the Giant and Saga make this list. In addition, The Best American Comics 2014 made the list. This was a volume I was not too enthusiastic about; I liked it, but not more than that. However, I can see for folks wanting a sampling, the volume would be good.

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