March reads

As I mentioned once before, when it comes to my reading goals, I don’t care if it’s a short story, a novel, or a graphic novel/comic. The point is to read and develop a good habit of reading. Given that I read 4 books between January and February, I’m pretty proud of my improved reading habits for March, and hopefully they’ll continue being strong as the year progresses.

Novels & Short Stories

Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon – Enchanted kingdoms! Hot princes in kilts! Trouble! Romance! Honestly though, I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the rest of the series. Full review here.

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin – finally. It took a lot longer to get through this fifth book than all of the other books in the A Song of Ice & Fire series. This one seemed to have a lot less action and things just dragged on. However, I’m still really loving the series… and now I just have to wonder if the final two books will be published before I turn 40.

Cinder by Marissa Meyers – In all my browsing of various book blogs, everyone was raving about this series, so I had to give it a try. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Cyborgs. Lunars. All brought into this Cinderella tale. It was a quick, entertaining read. But there was a big “COME ON” moment for me. Really curious how she’s going to connect this story with the rest in the series. (Which no, I haven’t really read the synopses. I kind of like going into them blind.)

The Selection by Kiera Cass – I found this on sale for Kindle, and for a couple bucks I’d give it a try. First part of the book is blah. It made me want to give up on it. But once we got into the actual Selection part, you know, the part that’s like the Bachelor.. well, then I stuck with it. And like the Bachelor, you know it’s not quality tv, but yet you watch it anyway.

The Elite by Kiera Cass – See that last sentence if you’re curious why I read book 2 in this series. You keep reading because you want something to happen. Like really happen. And when something major finally does happen, the book’s over. Ugh. But of course I’ll read the third when it’s out. I mean, the drama’s not done until after the final rose anyway, right? (ok, I’m done with Bachelor references.)

Comics & Graphic Novels

Ms. Marvel #1-2 (2014- ) by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona – I’d forgotten how short single issues of comics are… This re-incarnation of this character has been hyped up quite a bit: a Pakistani Muslim 16-year-old named Kamala Khan. It’s hard to tell after two issues, but I’m definitely interested in seeing how Marvel handles this story. I think they could have a really great series on their hands. Kamala’s trying to figure out who she is, and justifying that against her parents’ (and others’) expectations of her. All while dealing with newly gained super powers.

Batgirl, Vol 1: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone & Adrian Syaf – When I was first looking to get into comics (specifically superheroes), a friend highly recommended Gail Simone. So I started reading Birds of Prey, which was my first introduction to Barbara Gordon (Batgirl). After hearing Simone was doing Batgirl for DC’s The New 52, I knew I had to check it out. Easily hooked on this series so far.

Batgirl, Vol 2: Knightfall Descends by Gail Simone, Adrian Syaf, & Ed Benes – After finishing volume 1, I had to get my hands on volume 2. I’ve easily become a Batgirl fan, and her books are opening me up to many more comics. (I really want to get the new Batwoman books now.) Babs’ PTSD isn’t really a big player here, though we’re touching more on The Killing Joke arc tying in. While I don’t want to see the character become all angsty, but I’m hoping we get more good internal conflict with her. Now if only I didn’t have to wait so long for volume 3 to come out in paperback…

Hawkeye, Vol 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, & Alan Davis – This was a complete impulse buy. My only introduction to Hawkeye has been limited to Avengers movies and browsing through the Hawkeye Initiative. But I’m loving this Marvel NOW! series showing Clint Barton’s life outside of the Avengers. Clint’s the kind of guy you can relate to — much more than his movie counterpart. He’s not perfect, but he wants to do good.

Batman, Vol 1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, & Jonathan Glapion – Comixology had a sale on a few volume 1’s of some New 52 books, including this one. Which was nice because I’d been tempted to pick it up anyway. While it was an interesting read, it’s just sort of hard for me to connect with Batman. I get it, that moody, brooding thing is his thing. I’d still give volume 2 a shot, though. Maybe the more time I spend with him, the character will open up more.

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland – I picked this up because I was curious about this story arc in regards to Barbara Gordon. I mean, it’s the turning point for her character. I was kind of sad to see some of the facts that Gail Simone left out that I feel really explain a lot in Barbara’s character. Also, as I’m not really that familiar with Batman’s storyline, I wanted to see more of his relationship with the Joker — I needed more to see why he might feel connected to him. Lastly, I was ok with Joker’s origin story, but well, that too… I was expecting more. Like, I needed to see Joker beginning to change in those flashbacks not just seeing what we’re told caused him to be the maniacal killer he became. Anyway. I’m still glad I pick this up, as it helps piece some things together, but it just wasn’t as completely satisfying as I wanted it to be.

Wonder Woman, Vol 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, & Tony Akins – Another one of the books from the Comixology sale. I’ve not really had a big interest in Wonder Woman, but yeah, the cover art got me… Yeah, Wonder Woman’s supposed to be this leading feminist figure in comics, but well, maybe I’m just not as into Greek mythology as I use to be. I’ll pick up the other books if they come on sale, but for now won’t be adding this to my must-buy budget.

Cursed Pirate Girl: The Collected Edition, Vol 1 by Jeremy Bastian – It took me a while to finish this graphic novel. It’s a lot of — really great — dense artwork. But just a fantastically weird and whimsical story. I’d love to own a print copy just so I can have that artwork. I’ll definitely be re-reading this book.

Tiny Titans #1 by Art Baltazar & Franco – Comixology offered this issue for free, so I decided to check it out. Mainly because it looked adorable. Yes, it’s for kids. Like, little kids. The issue contained 3 mini-stories and a maze. It’s super cute and I’ll be buying these trades later on for my nieces. Did I mention it’s adorable and cute? Because it’s adorable and cute. (This one isn’t included in my reading total.)

An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will O’ the Wisp #1-2 by Tom Hammock & Megan Hutchinson – I’ve had these sitting in my Comixology library for a while now. Decided to give them a go. Whimsical series. I love Missy the raccoon. Basically, a girl’s parents die and she’s sent to a cemetery island way down south to lie with her estranged grandfather. Swamps. Hoodoo. Mystery. Good elements for a nice little story. Good coloring by Adam Guzowski. (These are not included in my total count thus far, once I finish books 3-4 I’ll add it.)

War of the Woods #1: Season 1 by Matthew Petz – A freebie from Comixology. Also a creator-owned comic (self-published through Comixology). Great art. Fun story. Think War of the Worlds but with woodland creatures. Because that’s pretty much what it is. (This issue also isn’t included in my total count thus far either. Waiting to finish all of Season 1.)

Like last year, I set a goal of reading 50 books this year. According to Goodreads, I’ve now read 19 books and am 7 books ahead of schedule. I might finish another book tonight, but it depend on if I get some other tasks done first.

Anyway, top books this month were probably Batgirl & Hawkeye — with Hawkeye, maybe, taking a very slightly lead. Yes, I love Babs, but Clint Barton is just an interesting character and I really like what they’re doing with this book. From the writing to the coloring, it’s just good.

What have been your favorite books so far this year that you’ve read?