Books, Comics & Zines I Read in 2019

I’ll be updating this page throughout the year, hoping to meet my reading challenge of 52 books (eligible books are numbered below). You can follow me on Goodreads too. Some links to buy are affiliate links.

books

March

8. Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ve been wanting to read this since The Last Jedi but it is frustratingly not available as an ebook. I eventually got it to bump an order up to free shipping. It’s a shame as this is a really good book about Leia’s younger years and the beginnings of the rebellion. Near the end I was thinking it would be a 5 star unless she messed up the ending and, well… I didn’t hate the ending but I didn’t love it. Sure, you have to get rid of any main characters that don’t show up later in the series but (vague spoilers) I would have liked more of a betrayal rather than a big hero situation. [Buy]

7. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
99p IWD bargain! Someone on Goodreads complained that this was too much like a blog, which made me realise that was exactly what I liked best about it. The range of topics is very random with personal essays and pop culture reviews but almost always interesting. I did skim a few of the book/film reviews that I wasn’t familiar with as they go into a lot of plot detail. My favourite was the piece about playing in competitive Scrabble tournaments – I would read a whole book about that. [Buy]

6. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
So good to be back in the Grishaverse and spend time with these characters again. I liked that we get both a Shadow and Bone style storyline with Nikolai and a Six of Crows storyline with Nina. It’s a much darker book but still excellent – that final twist is 😱😱😱and I’m very excited to see what happens next. Definitely don’t read this before the first books though! [Buy]

February

The Procrastination Paper #2 edited by Zabby Allen⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sadly, I have decided this is not for me and canceled my subscription. It’s just not holding my interest and I realised if it was a blog I wouldn’t click through on many of the articles. [Buy or Subscribe]

5. This is Portland: The City You’ve Heard You Should Like by Alexander Barrett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I grabbed one of the last copies on Amazon before Microcosm remove them (an admirable thing to do, but international shipping is expensive). It’s another quick fun read with great illustrations, though I liked the Shanghai book better. It didn’t make me want to move to Portland but it does sound like a great place to live. Looks like there’s an updated 2nd edition now with more content. [Buy]

January

The Procrastination Paper #1 edited by Zabby Allen
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ironically, I took ages to get around to reading this despite subscribing straight away. I will always support a cool zine idea if it’s affordable and this is a fun and colourful collaboration to get people off their phones. There’s a nice mix of personal essays, quick tips, illustrations, puzzles etc. but I wasn’t totally into the Screen Time theme. Probably because I’m not a millennial but I don’t have these worries and anxieties about using my phone too much. It was still a good read and I am looking forward to future issues. [Buy or Subscribe]

4. Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Despite having no interest in weddings, I enjoyed this a lot. It’s the story of Lucy’s engagement, wedding planning and wedding, plus some fun looks at weird wedding traditions and the modern wedding industry. It does come off as a bit privileged though – it’s not that ‘makeshift’ to have your mum build a barn on her land or to call in favours from all your creative and foodie friends. In fact, the scale, detail and effort of their wedding is probably more out of reach than the standard traditional wedding that Lucy is railing against. [Buy]

3. This is Shanghai: What it’s Like to Live in the World’s Most Populous City by Alexander Barrett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was a fun quick read, full of observations from living in Shanghai. There’s nothing mindblowing in here, or much in the way of travel tips, but it’s well written and there are some cool illustrations too. I’ve just bought his book about Portland too. [Buy]

2. No Apocalypse: Punk, Politics, and the Great American Weirdness by Al Burian 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was very excited about a new Al Burian book and only a little less so when I realised it was a collection of old columns. His Punk Planet columns were always the first thing I read in the magazine so I remembered most of them, but it was nice to reminisce since I sold on most of my collection. The other stuff was new to me with the usual mix of random experiences and adventures with touring, traveling, working dead end jobs, trying to avoid being a hardworking member of society and worrying about the future. If you’re new to Al Burian, I would recommend checking out his comic book first or one of the Burn Collector collections – all awesome. [Buy]

1. The GaMERCaT Volume 2: Insert Coin by Samantha Whitten 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Cats who play video games! I don’t usually manage to keep up with the weekly comics so I’m very grateful that these collections are becoming a regular thing. Even when some of the jokes go over my head (I only really play Nintendo games and some Japanese puzzle apps), it’s always cute and funny. You also get extra profiles and artwork of all the cats so well worth buying. [Buy – available to the public soon]