The Monthly Round-Up: December

Despite my lofty ambition for December of reading all the books I acquired this year and didn’t read, I just read whatever I wanted and kept acquiring more books. Oh well.

  1. Armada by Ernest Cline
    Too geeky for me. I reviewed it here.
  2. The Wicked and The Divine Vol.4: Rising Action by Kieron Gillen
    A return to form; volume 3 was awful, but this was excellent. Great artwork and interesting character arcs.
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
    I loved this; the Prague setting, the creepy fantasy elements, the stuff with angels – it was all good. Now I need to get the second and third books.
  4. Angel Catbird Vol.1 by Margaret Atwood
    I love Atwood and this was an interesting development in her work. Aside from the animal-merging of the main character, I was baffled by the little fact boxes about domestic cats. It was weird.
  5. The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis
    This was brilliant; a historical novel with an anachronistically badass female protagonist. Here’s my review.
  6. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
    I am still not over this one; set in Nigeria, with an Adichie-esque combination of relationship drama and cultural idiosyncrasies. It’s out in March and I strongly urge you to buy it.
  7. Saga Vol.3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    Hurrah, more Gwendolen. At the time of writing this list, I am halfway through volume 5 which has rendered me incapable of remembering anything about this one. Whoops.
  8. Silver Stars by Michael Grant
    The sequel to 2016’s Front Lines, Grant continues with the story of his female GIs in WWII. My review will be up in February when this comes out, but suffice to say it’s violent and Frangie isn’t in it enough.
  9. Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
    Set in a Mexican border town ruined by drugs and gangs, this is a dark and depressing story but features some amazing writing.
  10. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Muhajan
    My review of this will be on Fourth and Sycamore in January. It’s a compulsively readable account of a bomb blast in Delhi and its short and long term impacts.
  11. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
    YA f/f love story; this was funny and touching at the same time. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading it.
  12. We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
    You might know Crossan from her verse novel One, which remains one of the best YAs I’ve read. This is also in verse, telling the story of a troubled teenage girl and a Romanian migrant boy who meet in community service. It’s out in January and it’s excellent.
  13. Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy
    I really enjoyed some of the poems here, particularly the one about the laughing school girls (my copy is all the way upstairs so that’s all the detail you’re getting, folks).
  14. The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
    All young people I know rave about Walliams; while I’m not the biggest fan of his TV persona, I can confirm that he can write a funny children’s book. Although the Dahl-esque demonisation of the big-boned is not necessary, dude.
  15. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
    This was ace; starting with narrator Darling’s childhood in Zimbabwe and transporting to America later on, it’s a brilliant representation of contrasting cultures.
  16. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
    I loved Fuller’s last novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, and this was excellent too. It’s a family drama in which the mystery of a long-disappeared mother is unravelled.
  17. American Savage by Matt Whyman
    Not as funny as The Savages, but still entertaining, with some bizarre plot twists.
  18. The Global Novel by Adam Kirsch
    A short consideration of how novelists have reacted to globalisation in their work. I’ve not read all the books mentioned here, but Kirsch’s discussions of Atwood and Adichie were interesting.
  19. Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    I enjoy this series more and more as it goes on, although I do need to read the books closer together to avoid forgetting everything that happens.
  20. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
    I am officially obsessed with Adichie. I’ve written a raving, nonsensical review of this collection of sublimely good short stories which you lucky people will be able to read later in January. You’re welcome.
  21. Saga Volume 5 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
    Yes, I am still reading this series.
  22. Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
    Making a late play for my favourite non-fiction of the year, this was funny, touching and made me want to punch the air and shout “CRUSH THE PATRIARCHY.”
  23. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
    The sequel to Passenger, this was good in all the ways that book was (time travelly goodness, numerous locations) with added familial complications. Also, it turns out it’s a duology, which I did not know.

And that’s 307 books read in 2016! Woohoo. Now I need a sleep.

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