Books, Comics & Zines I Read in 2020

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. Please note I am a kind and generous reviewer and usually give a 4 star review. I generally choose books by whatever is under £3 on my wish list and try to keep switching between genres and fiction/non-fiction.

books
What’s on my bedside table in January

December

63. Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama
I got this for Christmas last year so glad I finally got to it. It’s a delightfully Ghibli-esque manga about a young girl fascinated by magic who gets the chance to train herself. The magic system is extremely cool and I like that there’s no real chosen one plotline. The artwork is beautiful to look at, and there’s even an adorable monster sidekick that I hope to see much more of. Definitely putting the rest on my wish list.

62. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
I had completely the wrong idea about this book, based on the blurb which only covers the very first chapter. A Black nanny being accused of kidnapping her White charge in a supermarket could be the beginning of all kinds of stories but this one is surprisingly something of a smart, funny farce as her White yummy-mummy employer and woke boyfriend keep trying to help in ways that make it all about them. The story kept doing surprising things and while I wasn’t overly keen on the twist ending, it was an enjoyable and though-provoking read.

61. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney
Unrated for reasons I will explain later in a blog post of business-related books. [Buy]

60. Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More by Dianne Jacob ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is an excellent resource for any kind of non-fiction writing. While it goes into a lot of detail about food writing, I could easily apply most of it to my own interests and most of the writing exercises could be easily adapted. It covers almost everything you need to know about becoming a professional writer – how to improve your writing, and edit it; how to start a blog and make it successful; how to get started with freelancing or reviews; how to get a book deal and write a book – including quotes and advice from bloggers, agents, editors etc. I wish I’d read this before I got my own book deal! 1 star off because it is US-centred in an almost-infuriating way, and a little out of date. [Buy]

59. Runaways, Vol. 5: Canon Fodder by Rainbow Rowell, Andres Genolet, Kris Anka 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I meant to pick this up sooner as it’s been on hiatus this year but better late than never. It’s always great to be back with these friends and this had a fun little superhero arc that felt more traditional to what I imagine Marvel comics are usually like. I wouldn’t like that all the time but it was a cool diversion, and the superhero outfit stuff was hilarious. [Buy]

58. The Prince and the Troll by Rainbow Rowell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Short story for some Amazon promotion. This is straight up fantasy so a little bit different from her other stories, and also written in a more stylised way. It’s definitely a Rainbow Rowell story though, with smart dialogue and an amusing amount of Starbucks references. Liked it but wouldn’t necessarily want more. [Buy]

57. A Change Of Climate by Hilary Mantel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ve been interested to read some non-historical fiction Mantel but this wasn’t a good place to start. It’s very well-written and I was interested enough in the story to finish it but this is not my kind of book. I get an email of cheap ebook recommendations every day and always skip everything described with phrases like “family saga”, “hidden secrets”, “shocking past” etc. and this would fit right in. [Buy]

56. Serpentine by Philip Pullman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Very short story about adult Lyra that was interesting to read and adds some context to what she’s like in The Secret Commonwealth. Only for fans really. [Buy]

52 – 55. Cute! An Our Super Adventure Comic Collection + Our Super Canadian Adventure, Our Super Adventure Vol. 1: Press Start to Begin, Our Super Adventure Vol. 2: Video Games and Pizza Parties by Sarah Graley 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I supported the Kickstarter for Cute! and got a bundle with these other books of hers that I hadn’t read. I probably shouldn’t have read them all together as it did get a bit much. Sarah and Stef have an adorably nerdy life with their numerous cats but the romantic stuff gets a bit repetitive at times. [Buy]

November

51. Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Decent Star Wars fill-in novel between The Last Jedi & The Rise of Skywalker while the few remaining rebels try to find new allies. This is the first book I’ve read with Poe/Rey/Finn/Rose and they all felt either a bit flat or too cartoonish but the new characters were great and there’s some nice appearances from older characters. Not the best Star Wars book but worth a read. [Buy]

50. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Unrated because while it was clearly an important and timely book when published, it wasn’t very useful for me in 2020. The summary of Black British history is well done and it also does a great job of explaining white privilege and microaggressions but I already knew all these things. I’m definitely not saying I am above it all, but this wasn’t the book for my current needs. It was good to refresh this information and it did help me understand better why it’s more important to tackle race first rather than class and capitalism. If you’re looking to educate yourself or family/friends, I think there are better, newer, books – and other media – out there. [Buy]

49. Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails by by Michelle Markowitz & Caroline Moss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
A ‘hilarious’ book that is actually quite funny and well-written, in the form of email and text chains between some severely over-privileged and oblivious New York friends. They barely have any redeeming features but it’s a breezy read that’s hard to stop and kept me entertained while sick. [Buy]

48. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was a bad choice during a pandemic as it really made me miss Tokyo! The story of a growing friendship and romance between a woman and her ex-teacher. It takes place over a year and they spend a lot of time eating seasonal food and doing seasonal Japanese things that were so nice and hard to read about right now. Both characters are also a bit odd by Japanese standards which I always enjoy, being a bit odd myself. [Buy]

47. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I felt a bit cheated as this is advertised to sound like a collection of diary excerpts from Carrie Fisher’s time filming the first Star Wars film. But really it’s a long stream-of-consciousness ramble through how she got there, what filming was like (though she admits she can’t remember much about it) and what it’s like being Leia forever, plus A LOT about her affair with Harrison Ford. The diary entries are (annoyingly formatted on ebook) oblique journal entries mostly about the affair and full of poetry. I liked Carrie Fisher a lot but I skimmed through much of this – it felt both too personal and too secretive. [Buy]

46. Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga by Rainbow Rowell, Sam Maggs & Gabi Nam 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I was very excited to hear one of my favourite books was being turned into a manga and it was such a perfect choice! I loved this so much – the character design is pretty perfect and it’s great to see all the locations. I cannot wait for the next volumes and get more of the Cath-written Simon & Baz in action. [Buy]

45. Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Very quick read (took me an hour I think) about exactly what the title says. Nothing hugely unexpected but he’s always an entertaining writer. [Buy]

44. Stasiland: True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’ve been learning German as a hobby and so like to watch German TV & films, which are invariably about the GDR or WW2. This is a really interesting set of stories from people who lived and worked in the GDR -that covers so many different aspects of life there, from the people trying to escape or who had their whole lives ruined for no real reason to people who were part of the system or work to keep the history from being forgotten. All these stories have many unexpected twists that they’d each make a great book in themselves, plus you’ll recognise some from fictional dramas. I feel like I understand the GDR a lot more now and that mix of idealism and oppression. [Buy]

43. Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, & My Midlife Quest to Dance The Nutcracker by Lauren Kessler ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This could have been a fascinating long read magazine article about a middle-aged woman attempting to fulfil a dream and get a part in The Nutcracker after being rejected as a child ballet dancer. I loved reading her conversations with ballet dancers about their lives, and about her experiences taking part in adult ballet classes, ballet company rehearsals and on tour. However the rest of the book is filled with endless musings on mid life crises, the results of many internet personality tests (really), potted histories of ballet and lots of boring stuff about her friends, many reminders that she writes books for a living and her exercise regime. Not really recommended unless you get it very cheap, like I did, so can skip half the book. [Buy]

October

42. I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Decent YA about a boyband member and a megafan with alternating chapters. There’s far too many coincidences and it’s a little bit melodramatic but it makes good points about the general unhealthiness of extreme fandom without blame or shame. Good mix of diverse characters as always too. [Buy]

41. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Worth the wait and proof that even 2020 is not an entirely terrible year. Something of a sequel to Hyperbole and a Half, this is less focused but almost as funny and heartbreaking, and constantly surprising. I don’t know any other writer that is so aware of the absurdity of life I don’t think I could come up with single incident in my life that would rank even close and I’m quite glad about that. Buy it for everyone. [Buy]

40. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I read an interview with Jia Tolentino and everything she said was so damn right that I put this book of essays straight on my wish list. This is a bit different than I expected with long essays on a variety of subjects that meander around and end somewhere completely different than the start. I especially enjoyed her thoughts on reality TV having taken part in a series as a teenager. It’s not overly thought-provoking but if you enjoy a good columnist, this is worth picking. [Buy]

39. Treason by Timothy Zahn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Best book of this Thrawn series and possibly even better than the original trilogy bar Heir to the Empire. It’s just a solid story where you get to Watch Thrawn Figure Stuff Out from small clues. A lot of the new Star Wars books can really feel like they’re dragging out a very short period of time between other content into a full novel but this one is never boring, despite knowing the actual events could probably be covered in a single episode of Rebels. [Buy]

September

38. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is a charming yet brutally honest look at old age, telling of the small adventures of a community of elderly people living in a London hotel as their last time of independence before ending up in a care home or hospital. Specifically Mrs Palfrey who befriends a younger man, who adds an extra plotline to the story that’s too good to spoil. It’s all really well-written, being both sad and funny and quite depressing too, and the ending is just perfectly done. [Buy]

37. Hey! Listen!: A journey through the golden era of video games by Steve McNeil ⭐️⭐️
What a waste. I was excited to read this but ended up hate-reading the last third quickly to get to the N64, which wasn’t even covered in much detail. I assumed from the title that this would be a fun personal history of gaming with a strong Nintendo bias (aka fun games over serious man games) but instead got a “funny” Wikipedia retelling of all the ins and outs of game companies struggles from arcades to the N64/Playstation era. It has that horrible air of ‘being a nerd is embarrassing so let me make fun of all this in a juvenile way to show I’m above it’. It’s also littered with footnotes and you never know if you’ll get an important connection, an interesting fact, a pointless personal anecdote or a ‘LOL this name is funny’ comment. UGH, avoid. [Buy]

36. The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I love The Office and I love an oral history so this was a fun read with lots of cool behind the scenes details. It’s a bit gushing all round and skims over some of the obvious big issues with later seasons but worth a read if you’re a fan. It definitely made me want to do a(nother) rewatch. [Buy]

35. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Solid ending to a really good trilogy. The twists weren’t really that surprising though and there was a bit too much of a happy ending for everyone but that’s not really a complaint in our terrible year of 2020. [Buy]

August

34. The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I can’t get over how much happened in this book! Any other author would have spread this much plot over a trilogy but this is just the first of 5 books. There’s a hero quest, magic, dragons, demons, goddesses, shapeshifters, a lost sword, royal intrigue and a million other things. The story is told in alternating viewpoints at different times that eventually join up and you rarely get through 2 chapters without some major revelation or twist. It’s a bit too much to keep track of at times but well worth it. [Buy]

33. American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I enjoyed this twisty and gripping 80s spy story with a black female protagonist, especially how well it described the settings in Africa and Martinique. I wasn’t very keen on the format as a letter written to her children and the ending was very abrupt but maybe there’s a sequel planned, and I would probably read it. [Buy]

July

29-32. Aggretsuko #1 – #4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I recently discovered there’s an Aggretsuko comic book series and was able to pick up the first 4 in a bargain bundle. They’re very cute and similar to the anime, though the plots and characters felt a bit more Americanised. It’s all new stories that can be read in any order, and even if you haven’t watched the show and I will likely buy more. [Buy]

June

28. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I almost didn’t rate this because I had such wildly different opinions on it during my read but ultimately it gave me so much to unpack that I’m rating on the high end. I loved Queenie’s relationships with her family and, especially, friends (their group chats are the best thing in the book), and it was great to see a difficult Black woman and her daily experiences with racism. However, it starts off with a chick lit style hapless protagonist who is messing up every part of her life but then gets very very dark and upsetting before eventually starting to reveal Queenie’s past trauma and getting her to a point where she seeks help. This really turns the book around but the middle part is tough going and not entirely clear that it isn’t still being played for laughs, given the whole Black Bridget Jones blurb. [Buy]

27. The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I felt a little deceived by this, assuming that the book would be from the cat’s perspective but really the cat is just a device to link a series of short stories about a group of individuals living in Tokyo who are all somewhat connected already. Most of the stories were good though, and a few were really excellent, especially a manga cartoon drawn by a kid and a character’s translation of a story by a Japanese author. Setting it around the Olympics makes it feel very surreal though since there’s obviously no pandemic in this reality. [Buy]

26. Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Memoirs by people in popular bands are often boring or trash but Kim Gordon is so intelligent, interesting and honest that I don’t think it would matter what subject she chose to write about. Being primarily a visual artist, and coming up in the no-wave/punk scene of NYC, gives this a totally different take than most musicians, and she has collaborated and hung out with so many cool people. If you’re only in it for Sonic Youth stories, she does skim over quite a lot of that, but what she wrote about each album had me wanting to dig them all out again ASAP. [Buy]

25. Serious Eater: A Food Lover’s Perilous Quest for Pizza and Redemption by Ed Levine ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was expecting a fun nostalgic read from the early days of blogging with the origin story and behind the scenes tales from one of my favourite blogs. What I got instead was a tough to read memoir about running a startup and how it almost lost him everything he owned including his family and friends. I’ve never really understood people who start businesses – especially creative ones – with the sole aim of selling them and found a lot of this story baffling and depressing. I spent way too much time wondering where all the money was going and thinking that this would have turned out very differently if he’d just let it grow organically as a side job. [Buy]

24. Dune by Frank Herbert 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’ve been meaning to read this for years and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. My parents had the movie tie-in board game so I knew going in that it had deserts, something called spice and GIANT SAND WORMS. The actual book is much more than this and very dense with a surprising focus on ecology plus lots of cool mythical chosen one stuff. It was hard going at the beginning but I really want to reread it. [Buy]

May

+ some travel zines from Etsy: WTF America is a short but entertaining zine of culture shock by a Brit visiting the USA. The Green Bean 5 is a sweet comic about a trip to New York & Chicago. Beijing Travelogue is a diary style doodle comic. All worth your money.

23. Solitaire by Alice Oseman ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Since I love her Heartstopper comics (see February below) I was intrigued to read a novel, and see where it all started. I didn’t really enjoy it though – it’s great to see an unlikeable protagonist and lots of real teenage problems like depression, OCD etc. but a lot of the plot is just cartoonish and over-dramatic. I really hope she doesn’t feel like Heartstopper needs to follow this same plotline as the glimpses of future Charlie & Nick made me very sad. [Buy]

22. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan ⭐️⭐️⭐️
An entertaining read to get me out of the lockdown doldrums but somehow both a bit too boring and a bit too over the top. [Buy]

April

21. Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Smartly price-dropped for everyone finishing the new Mantel. I’ve never been quite clear on how much of her Cromwell’s life is invented and this was quite helpful with that. It’s quite staggering to realise just how much historical detail she did use, thanks to letters and legal documents. The biography author is extremely interested in religious history so it skips over much of the more gossipy parts of Cromwell’s life (e.g. Henry’s wives) and devotes multiple chapters to every detail of the monastery suppressions but still definitely worth a read. Fascinating to see all the documents and paintings too. [Buy]

Annually by Pet Shop Boys & Chris Heath ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I enjoy these so much – always full of fun behind-the-scenes info and stories. This one is mostly about making their current album and has a lot of interesting process detail + the usual conversations and Q&A. [Buy]

20. Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I feel very lucky to have known Tyler back in the List App days and she would definitely have been voted ‘most likely to get a book deal’. I’m so glad she did as this is such a great graphic novel, about losing her mother to cancer while at college and her (and her family’s) experience with grief. It’s all so touching and loving – and even funny and heartwarming. I really recommend you pick it up. [Buy]

19. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Unrated because I am so confused. I started watching the TV adaptation and while I liked the story/setting (and LOVED the look of it), I just didn’t believe the main characters cared enough to risk so much so quickly. I decided to read the book instead but it’s so different and aimed at a much younger audience. Maybe I will give the TV show another chance. [Buy]

March

18. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is not as hilariously entertaining as What If? but still a fun read. It explains some fairly simple concepts about physics and nature but with a few absurd and silly twists. I especially enjoyed the section where he grilled astronaut/test pilot Chris Hadfield about whether he could land a plane/space shuttle in ever-more-ludicrous situations. The answer generally being yes, which really shows you what kind of problem-solving mind you need for those careers. [Buy]

17. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
If we had to have a global pandemic, I’m very happy it coincided with both a new Animal Crossing game and the final Cromwell novel. Who even wants to go outside? This is SO GOOD and so indulgently long and somehow even better than I hoped. It took me, a fast reader obsessed with these books, 16 days to read and I doubt I’ll read anything better this year (decade?). She plays so well with the idea that we know Cromwell’s downfall is coming while he doesn’t. When it finally comes, it’s still shocking and heartbreaking. I really appreciated the little catch up at the end for all the living characters, though I can’t be the only person kind of wishing she’d just carry on through the viewpoint of Cromwell’s ghost – however ridiculous that might be. [Buy]

16. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐️⭐️
I did not like this at all, and would never have guessed it was the same author as Daisy and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It’s a pretty generic ‘what if’ romance with a Sliding Doors moment leading to 2 similar-but-different paths for the protagonist. Probably the main reason I disliked it is that one of the changes revolves around an unexpected pregnancy and I have zero interest in the whole thing of people who don’t want kids/aren’t ready and then suddenly are 100% all for it, even if that happens a lot in real life. [Buy]

February

15. Censorship Now!! by Ian F Svenonius ⭐️⭐️⭐️
More satirical essays about music, culture and society. The first one about censoring all popular culture is great but the rest is a bit patchy. It’s often difficult to tell the difference between facts and nonsense but it’s almost always entertaining either way. [Buy]

13 & 14. Heartstopper: Volumes 2&3 by Alice Oseman 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
While the first book has the swoony falling-in-love story, these are just as good as Charlie & Nick figure out their new relationship and continue to be completely adorable while tackling some tough situations. It also adds depth to lots of side characters and gives them their own sweet relationships and crushes. Add a school trip to Paris in the third book and I am all in. I love all the little extra too, like diary pages and drawings of their bedrooms. [Buy]

12. The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I kept seeing mentions of this book so decided to read it. I did watch the film a long time ago but couldn’t remember many details. Turns out it’s so well written that all the levels of deceit and imminent discovery made it so stressful that I could hardly bear it, and was really happy to finish. I need to stop taking fictional stories so much to heart. [Buy]

11. Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A well-timed price drop made me pick this up and…wow. This is not easy reading and yet it has the pacing of a thriller. It’s an excellent, detailed and shocking tale of the lengths Weinstein and others went to to keep this story from being told. [Buy]

10. Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This has been on my wish list for ages and I could kick myself for not buying it sooner. It’s a totally adorable romance comic that was a perfect Valentine’s Day read. I immediately had to buy the next 2 books in print (and will have to go back and get this one in print later too). Despite some angst it’s all so happy and positive and I really love the art style – sometimes there’s loads of detail and sometimes she just puts a simple smiley face and it works so well. [Buy]

9. Star Wars: Darth Vader – Dark Lord of the Sith, Vol. 4: Fortress Vader by Charles Soule ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ve enjoyed this series, even if it is a bit pointless. This time it’s how Vader came to live on Mustafar (which is totally metal of him btw). It’s a bit slow to start but there’s a super cool dream/nightmare section that bumped up the rating. [Buy]

8. Make a Living Living: Be Successful Doing What You Love by Nina Karnikowski ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a review copy of this so will be blogging about it another time. [Buy]

January

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This really grew on me as the story did. It’s just all so magical and imaginative, telling the story of a traveling magical circus and the characters who work in it and are tied up in its fate. It’s one of those books you can just sink into and not worry too much about keeping track of the timelines and characters or trying to figure out the ending. [Buy]

6. Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor: Music, Manchester, and More: A Memoir by Dave Haslam ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This probably should have been two books. The first half about growing up during post-punk and being part of the Manchester/Factory/Hacienda zine and club scene was really well-written and fun to read. The second half is more of a join the dots ramble through his DJ career, kids, Brexit etc. plus endless stuff about his interviews with celebrities that just comes across as bragging. [Buy]

5. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Some kind of publisher complications made the ebook unavailable for over a year in the UK so I was only able to catch up with the Lady Astronaut now. There’s a big time jump to the first Mars mission so it ends up as more of a traditional space journey tale but with the 1950s backdrop and strong themes of feminism, race and privilege. Part of me wishes this was a much longer series as I’d love to read more about the Moon base and the Mars story is almost too exciting/eventful. Really intrigued to see where the final book goes and I’m going to avoid reading anything about it. [Buy]

4. Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders by Billy Jensen
Unrated because I don’t really know what I think about this. It’s a mix of personal memoir, true crimes he became obsessed with and how he started solving murders using Facebook targeted ads. It’s a bit too much for one book and the final section with an actual guide to following his system is just too weird for me as someone who is not that interested in true crime stuff. [Buy]

3. Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was so interesting as someone who loves video games but sticks mostly to Nintendo systems. Sadly there are no Nintendo games covered but there’s a range of companies and games from massive teams churning out the next instalment of a best-seller and one guy in his bedroom making a Kickstarter game. There’s a good mix of stories too that are both inspiring and depressing. Hope there’s a sequel some day. [Buy]

2. Darth Plagueis by James Luceno ⭐️⭐️⭐️
My favourite new holiday tradition is buying myself a Star Wars novel. Usually there’s something on my wish list but they were all still expensive so I had a look around at cheaper books and couldn’t resist this. Surely no one asked for this to exist? It’s a lot better than I expected but still kind of stupid, especially since the last third has to fit itself around The Phantom Menace. The prequels are pretty terrible but the story is great and it’s pretty cool to see how Palpatine started his path to becoming the Emperor. [Buy]

1. Runaways, Vol. 4: But You Can’t Hide by Rainbow Rowell 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
It’s obviously impossible to choose a favourite Runaway but mine might be Molly so it was great to get more of her story, and about some of what went down in the original comics (since I haven’t read them). Just a great set of stories with awesome art. [Buy]