Monday, January 12, 2015

My Reading List for 2014

(This post is crossposted from The Gypsy Librarian.)

We made it to 2015. Welcome to what is basically my annual reading report with some additional comments. It feels like I read a lot this year. Reading was the easy part. Blogging my book notes and reviews was not so easy. One reason is that in the fall my grandmother (mi abuelita), to whom I was very close, passed away. My grieving period lasted quite a while, and it threw me off the blogging rhythm. In fact, there were certain genres, such as erotica, I just did not feel up to reading during that time, which means I had some good books that did not get read right away (including one or two review copies I was sent around that time I just could not get myself to read. For that, I do apologize to those folks and reassure them I am catching up). A couple of other small personal complications threw off my professional blogging here too, which is why previous to this post I have not really blogged here since last September. It has not been for a lack of content. Just did not feel like it. Fortunately, time does heal a bit, and I am slowly starting to catch up on my reading of those items for posting at The Itinerant Librarian. I am also lining up some new article notes here (because I still read a lot of the library literature so you don't have to). So stay tuned throughout the year for new things.

The Itinerant Librarian, my personal blog, grew a bit more this year as a book blog. This is something that pleases me, and I hope to continue building on it in the new year. My notes and reviews of books vary in length from very short to a bit more substantial. Much of my goal is to simply tell folks if they ought to read something or not and why, then I let folks decide. Sure, I still do a few other things there, such as "Signs the Economy is Bad," but the increasing focus on books is nice.

In spite of the not so good, I can say it was a pretty good reading year. I made some new discoveries. I also read some classic things. I have to say there were a couple of disappointing readings too. Oh well, it happens.

So here is my list of books read for 2014. I will add my comments and other numbers of interest after the list. As I have done previously, books marked with an asterisk (*) are books I re-read this  year. Most of these are reviewed here at The Itinerant Librarian. Click on the "books and reading" label in the sidebar to get to the reviews.


  • Scott Lobdell, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52). 
  • Kyle Higgins, Nightwing, Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52). 
  • Brian Wood, Mara
  • Jim Butcher and Mark Powers, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin.
  • Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts: 1965-1966.
  • Kenny Byerly, et,al., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures, Vol. 1
  • Stephen Mooney, Half Past Danger
  • Box Brown, Andre the Giant: Life and Legend
  • Mark Rahner, Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars, Vol. 1.
  • Cullen Bunn, Hellheim, Volume 1: The Witch War
  • Alex Strick Van Linschoten, ed., Poetry of the Taliban
  • Graham McNeill, Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy, Book 9. Warhammer 40K)
  • Sylvain Cordurie, Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of London
  • Gene Luen Yang, The Shadow Hero
  • Chris Roberson, The Shadow, Vol. 3


  • Jenny M. Jones, The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay
  • John Lewis,, March, Book One
  • Gail Simone, Red Sonja, Volume 1: Queen of Plagues
  • Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, Book 9 (Hardcover compilation)
  • Oz Clarke, Let Me Tell You About the Wine
  • Ashanti White, Not Your Ordinary Librarian
  • Harry Fisch, The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-ups
  • Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night
  • Mark Waid, The Rocketeer and the Spirit: Pulp Friction
  • Mac Walters, Mass Effect: Foundation, Volume 1.
  • Ed Brisson, Sheltered, Volume 1.
  • Pat Shand,, Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Realm Knights


  • Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  • Jai Nitz, Dream Thief, Volume 1
  • Mike Richardson, 47 Ronin
  • Andrew Knapp, Find Momo
  • Simon Oliver, FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Volume 1: The Paradigm Shift
  • Phil Jimenez,, Transformers: Dark Cybertron, Volume 1.
  • Charles M. Schultz, The Complete Peanuts: 1967-1968.
  • Becky Siegel Spratford, The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror
  • Rachel Kramer Bussel, ed., Best Bondage Erotica 2014
  • Dan Christensen, Archer Coe
  • James Swallow, Hammer and Anvil (Sisters of Battle, Book 2: Warhammer 40,000).
  • Joe Schreiber, Star Wars: Maul-- Lockdown
  • Carol Leifer, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying


  • Jonathan Hickman, East of West, Volume 1: The Promise
  • Miranda Forbes, ed., Dark Desires.
  • Michael Uslan, The Shadow/Green Hornet, Vol. 1: Dark Nights.
  • Russ Phillips, Canned! Artwork of the Modern American Beer Can
  • Jacques Lob, Snowpiercer, Vol. 1: The Escape
  • Ales Kot, Zero, Vol. 1: An Emergency
  • Peter V. Brett, Red Sonja: Unchained
  • Dwight Garner, Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements
  • Jeff Lemire, Green Arrow, Vol. 4: The Kill Machine (The New 52). 
  •  Peter David, Wolverine Classic, Vol. 3
  • Scott Snyder, American Vampire, Vol. 6.
  • Matz, The Killer, Vol. 4: Unfair Competition
  • William Stadiem, Jet Set: The People, The Planes, the Glamour, and the Romance in Aviation's Glory Years
  • Scott Snyder, Batman, Vol. 4: Zero Year--Secret City
  • Rachel Kramer Bussel, ed., Going Down: Oral Sex Stories
  • James S.A. Corey, Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves (Empire and Rebellion series).
  • Joe Brusha, Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz.
  • Joe Harris, The X-Files Season 10, Volume 2


  • Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite
  • Zac Bissonnette, Good Advice from Bad People
  • Karl Bollers,, Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black
  • Michael Bemis, Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources.
  • James Stokoe, Wonton Soup
  • Lucas Steele, ed., Boy Fun
  • Mike Mignola, Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent
  • Daniel Yaffe, Drink More Whiskey!
  • Chris Claremont, Wolverine Classic, Vol. 2.

  • David Bartone, Practice on Mountains. (Poetry)
  • Paul Dini, Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell
  • Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda, Coffin Hill, Vol. 1: Forest of the Night
  • Archie Goodwin, Wolverine Classic, Vol. 4
  • Max Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters
  • William B. Whitman, The Quotable Politician.* 
  • Greg Pack, Batman/Superman, Volume 1:  Cross World (The New 52).
  • Andrew Walsh and Padma Inala, Active Learning Techniques for Librarians
  • Brian K. Vaughan, Saga, Volume 3
  • Kyle Higgins, Nightwing, Volume 4: Second City (The New 52).
  • Tristan Taormino, 50 Shades of Kink: an Introduction to BDSM
  • J. Michael Straczynski, Superman: Earth One
  • Joanne O'Sullivan, Bizarre Weather.
  • Scott Snyder,, The Joker: Death of the Family.
  • Jeff Kline, Indestructible, Volume 1.
  • Ed Falco, The Family Corleone
  • Peter J. Tomasi, Batman and Robin, Volume 4: Requiem for Damian
  • Dean Motter,, The Heart of the Beast


  • Scott Snyder, American Vampire, Vol. 4
  • Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon, Family Ties: an Alaskan Crime Drama
  • Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore, The Artist's Library: a Field Guide
  • Donald Nausbaum, Cuba: Portrait of an Island.
  • Paul Allor, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire
  • Ruth Ashby, The Great American Documents: Volume 1: 1620-1830.
  • Robert Dawson, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
  • Taran Killam,, The Illegitimates.
  • Jeff Parker,, Batman '66, Vol. 1.
  • David Gerrold,, Star Trek: the Manga Ultimate Edition
  • Osamu Tezuka, Adolf, Vol. 1: a Tale of the Twentieth Century


  • Dinah Fried, Fictitious Dishes.
  • Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert, Damian: Son of Batman
  • Osamu Tezuka, Adolf, Volume 2: an Exile in Japan
  • Rachel Maddow, Drift: the Unmooring of American Military Power
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Gets in a Pickle.
  • Jimmy Palmiotti,, All Star Western, Volume 1: Guns and Gotham


  • Jimmy Palmiotti,, All Star Western, Volume 2: the War of Lords and Owls
  • Gary Larson, Far Side Gallery 2.
  • Osamu Tezuka, Adolf, Volume 3: the Half-Aryan
  • Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Vol. 1). 
  • Jeffrey Brown, Goodnight Darth Vader.
  • Louis Eguaras and Matthew Frederick, 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School.
  • Graham McNeill, Ultramarines: the Second Omnibus
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Sings for his Supper


  • Jim Davis, Garfield: Caution: Wide Load
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Brings Home the Bacon: His 53rd Book
  • Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back
  •  bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress
  • Rick Spears,, Jennifer's Body
  • Various authors, So. . . I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse, and All I Got Was This Podcast
  • Christopher Yost, X-Men: Emperor Vulcan
  • Eric Garcia, City: The Mind in the Machine, Volume 1
  • Joe Russo,, Ciudad.
  • Steve Niles, Ash and the Army of Darkness
  • Streeter Seidell, White Whine: a Study of First-World Problems
  • Huang-jia Wei and Jean-David Morvan, Zaya
  • Mark Irwin,, Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin
  • Geoff Johns, Batman: Earth One
  • Jim Davis, Garfield: Fat Cat 3-Pack
  • David Sax, Save the Deli.
  • Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween.*
  • Eileen Wallace, ed., Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists
  • Matthew Inman, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances


  • Matt Wagner, Batman and the Monster Men
  • Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, Awkward Family Photos.*
  • Sean Michael Wilson, Musashi.
  • Jonathan Maberry, V-Vars, Volume 1: Crimson Queen.
  • Osamu Tezuka: Adolf, Volume 4: Days of Infamy
  • Scott Adams, Problem Identified: And You're Probably Not Part of the Solution (Dilbert). 
  • Osamu Tezuka, Adolf, Volume 5: 1945 and All That Remains
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Goes to Waist: His 18th Book
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Keeps His Chins Up: His 23rd Book
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Takes His Licks: His 24th Book
  • Simon Garfield, To The Letter: a Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing
  • Claude Roessiger, Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business.


  • Jeff Lemire, Teen Titans: Earth One, Volume 1
  • Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, Deadman Wonderland, Volume 1
  • Jim Davis, Garfield Pulls His Weight: His 26th Book
  • Jean-David Morvan and Bengal, Meka
  • Marc Silvestri, Incredible Hulk, Volume 1
  • Tom Taylor, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Volume 2
  • Rachel Kramer Bussel, ed., The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories
  • Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Hot in the City (The New 52). 
  • Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1
  • Juzo Tokoro, Spawn, Volume 1: Shadows of Spawn
  • Heather Mann, Craftfail: When Homemade Goes Terribly Wrong

OK, let's look at some numbers and commentary to see how we did in 2014.

The basic numbers:

I read 152 books this year, including 2 re-reads.

Number of books read in 2013: 173, including 2 re-reads (the 2013 list).
Number of books read in 2012: 117, with 6 re-reads (the 2012 list).
Number of books read in 2011: 119, with 3 re-reads (the 2011 list). 
Number of books read in 2010:  119, with 6 rereads (the 2010 list).
Number of books read in 2009: 98, with 5 rereads. I believe this is the first time I started to actively track rereads. (the 2009 list).
Number of books read in 2008: 111 (the 2008 list).
Number of books read in 2007: 85 (the 2007 list).
Number of books read in 2006: 106 (the 2006 list).
Number of books read in 2005: 73

I read a little less this year. As I mentioned earlier, I did have a couple of down days that slowed down the reading, but I did come back towards the end of the year. 21 books less this year. I still did OK this year. I continued to read items from NetGalley actively in 2014; Edelweiss to a much smaller extent (their selection in what interests me is smaller, but I check it now and then). Still the majority of my books this year I read in print. Most of those books in print were borrowed from libraries. The majority came from the public library followed by my college library (and in this I would count any ILL's, that is interlibrary loans for my non-librarian friends).

A few other numbers of interest:
  • 87 print books read. 
  • 64 e-books. 
  • I read 96 graphic novels this year. This includes graphic novels and comics in fiction and nonfiction. Many of these I read via NetGalley. 
  • I read 7 mangas this year, which is already better than last year. 
  • I read 37 nonfiction books. It seems a little low to me, but then again, I was reading a lot of graphic novels, comics, and manga this year. Some of the nonfiction did come from NetGalley; from this selection, at least two were serious disappointments. 
  • I read 56 books from my local public library (Madison County Public Library--Berea branch) and 9 from my college library (Hutchins Library). This reflects in part that I am enjoying reading "pop" (as in popular reading) kinds of books versus more scholarly fare. While I do enjoy scholarly fare now and then, I do prefer my nonfiction a bit more relaxed so to speak. Additionally though, I do have a good amount of books checked out from my college library, but I have not gotten to them, and since I do get longer checkout times on them as faculty versus the shorter period at the public library, I tend to favor the public library ones to get done sooner. One of my challenges for 2015 may be trying to read more of those items from my college library I was interested in. 
  • I read 61 books via NetGalley. Most of these were graphic novels, but there were a few nonfiction titles as well. NetGalley for me is a good source to keep up with current graphic novels and comics compilations. It also works as a good collection development tool for our growing graphic novels collection in our library. 
  • Other numbers: 
    • Poetry books: 2
    • LIS and book-related: 6. I still managed to get some LIS reading done this year. The stuff on readers' advisory was the most interesting to me. Some of the pedagogy and instruction stuff I found a little underwhelming to be honest. While I continue to read LIS literature to keep up, especially in my areas of interest in librarianship, I am being much more selective given that there is a lot of stuff out there that is of lower quality or basically rehashing of stuff done before. Let's just say the LIS literature is living up to its reputation of lacking substance at times. 
    • Erotica books: 6 Actually, these are 6 that are books published by a mainstream publisher. I did read a few samples of self-published stuff, but as I did not review them, I did not track them (I may in the future, not sure yet). I certainly will continue to read and review erotica as it is a genre I enjoy along with the Better Half. 
    • 1 audiobook. If my public library had a better selection of these, I would probably read more in audiobook format. CD, for instance, I can pop in my computer and listen to while I do other things online. 
    • Education: 1 book, which was the bell hooks book. I read this one for a faculty book discussion group. That was the first time I have taken part in a book discussion group since I left library school, and I had to do some book discussions for readers' advisory classes. I am not a big fan of book discussions (something I may discuss in another post). However, I did sign up for at least three more faculty book discussions in the spring term, so stay tuned. I did take notes in my journal about the bell hooks book discussion, which I hope to get  up on the blog down the road. 
    • Books provided for review, not via NetGalley: 11. These are books that may have come from an author or a publisher with a request for a review. This also includes a book or two won in an online giveaway. 
    • I read 6 books that were mine. I am very good at acquiring books, but I am not as good about getting to read them right away. I tend to especially acquire graphic novels and mangas that I know are not easy to get via the library systems. But I also read a lot by serendipity, which means I see something new and interesting in the library, borrow it, and naturally have to get it back to the library, so I read it sooner than the stuff I bought. This is something I would like to work on, so I may pick up a TBR type book challenge to help motivate me in this regard. 
  •  2014 was the second year where I formally participated in a book reading challenge. I participated in four book challenges.  If you click on the link, you can see the list and the progress on each one. As I noted in the post, I strove to read within my reading flow and habits. The big challenge for me in these was posting my reviews in a timely fashion and then sharing them with the challenge group; some send reminders, some do not. The one that sent a reminder every so often was the most helpful. As I write this I am in the process of selecting my book challenges to 2015, which I will post over on The Itinerant Librarian. This year I may add one that is a bit out of my way, so to speak, to see if I can diversify my reading a little. Not making promises though.

This year was a very good year. I got 39 books that I rated the full five out of five stars. In addition, many got four stars, which for me means it was a book "I really, really liked" but not quite at the 5 stars amazing level. Since that is a big number I will make a separate post with my list of the best reads of 2014 later on with links to the book reviews.

And as 2015 starts, I am currently reading or starting to read the following books:

  • Lawrence Osborne, The Wet and the Dry
  • Alison Tyler, ed., Bound for Trouble: BDSM Erotica for Women
  • Ian Doescher, The Jedi Doth Return
  • Matt Smith and Carl Critchlow, Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division

Finally, if you are interested, here are other folks I was able to find who do end of year reading reports (in no particular order):

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