December Reads 2014

I’m going to put up my favourite books of 2014 later today, but, first, the books I read in December:

the rabbit back literature societyThe Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (Novel, Finnish in translation)

(Trans. by Lola M Rogers). I really enjoyed this wintery, dark fairytale about stories, memories, and writing. It’s odd and cosy and doesn’t really tie things up at the end but it works. Full review here.

my cousin rachelMy Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (Novel)

This is much more in the style of Rebecca than the last du Maurier I read (The House on the Strand). It’s a did-she-or-didn’t-she slow suspense novel set (mostly) in a manor house in Cornwall that never really gives you a definitive answer. du Maurier’s writing is beautiful, as always, and I really like the way she draws the main characters (though prepare to think ‘Philip, you idiot’ fairly often). Not as good as Rebecca, but definitely worth a read.

Bitch PlanetBitch Planet #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro (Comics – fiction)

I absolutely loved this and have high hopes for the series as it gets going properly in 2015. It’s about a prison planet where women are sent for being ‘non-compliant’ (basically anything that’s not how a woman ‘should’ be). It’s like Margaret Atwood had a comics baby with extra sass. Full review here.

wytches 2Wytches #2 by Scott Snyder & Jock (Comics – fiction)

I love the splashy watercolourish style of the horror pages in this. You get to see a bit more of the wytches themselves in this issue, but my problem, as with all single issues, is there isn’t quite enough. I’m definitely going to continue the series, but will wait for the trades now.

plainsongPlainsong by Kent Haruf (Novel)

I first picked this up a year ago but wasn’t in the right mood, and I’m really glad I gave it another go. It took a couple of chapters to get into it but I soon loved it. Haruf has a very stripped back, simple writing style, and yet can make you Feel All The Things. It follows the intersecting stories of three characters in a small town in Colorado. I loved the McPheron brothers (two older brothers living on their farm), and I’m hoping they will feature in the next book. Quietly beautiful.

information is beautifulInformation is Beautiful by David McCandless (Non-fiction)

I bought this for a friend for Christmas but couldn’t resist have a sneaky read first. To say this is a book of graphs and charts makes it sound much drier than it is. This is a book of varied and random information presented graphically and colourfully (one of my favourite light-hearted ones was a timeline depicting where time-travellers in films/books will run into each other). It’s a fun coffee table book to flick through, though make sure you get the re-printed second edition as it corrections some problems with colour contrast and illustrations disappearing into the fold of the book.

ex machinaEx Machina Vol 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris (comics – fiction)

This is like the West Wing but with an ex-superhero instead of Bartlet. I loved it. When Mitchell Hundred retires from superhero-ing and becomes mayor of New York, he has deal with all the usual politics and issues as well as the fall out from his previous career. I’ll definitely be reading more of this.

chew 3Chew Vols 3, 4 & 5 by John Layman & Rob Guillory (comics – fiction)

Weird and funny and gross, and, somehow, getting weirder. It’s very enjoyable and easy to read, and was exactly what I needed when I had a rubbish cold.

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