2024 Reading List

Welcome to the 2024 Reading List! I read 39 books last year! Very happy with that number! This year I will keep the list more orderly, with newest acquisitions at the TOP. It got messy last year! All the books brought forward from 2023 will be at the bottom, with xmess next, and so on. Here we go!

Number of novels: 12 (inc. in progress)
Number of graphic novels/comics collections: 27

Ollies Hurl Feb 2024!

Finding the Flavors We Lost, Patric Kuh. Started today. It’s a tad dry, but it is an exploration of the notions of “artisanal” and “farm to table” and how they’ve shaped the American restaurant landscape. This is my treadmill book, so it will take a minute to get through it.

The Emergency Survival Manual, Outdoor Life. Prepper guide.

Dark Tales Series
The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Emilie Majarian. VERY good! I enjoyed this very much, both the story and the art.

Beauty and the Beast, Jeanne-Marie Leprince, illustrated by Pete Katz. Also VERY good! The story was original and the art was good as well.

The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran, adapted and illustrated by Pete Katz. The story was a bit disjointed because the author chose to weave the actual poetry into the tale. Not as good as the two above, but the book binding and art was great.

Fables Encyclopedia, Jess Nevins with Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham.

Four Hours of Fury, James M Fenelon. The story of WWII’s largest airborne invasion and the final push into Nazi Germany.

Bunker, Bradley Garrett. Building for the end times. This is a look at prepper communities around the world and how they prepare for the apocalypse.

Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite, Roger Daltrey. His memoir.

Wonder Woman Warbringer GN, based on novel by Leigh Bardugo, Adapted by Louise Simonson and Illustrated by Kit Season. Good read! I like the story!

Xmess 2023:

The whole run of Fables, 22 graphic novels. This is my first read of 2024! I read this whole collection. I do best with comics when they are collected. I also plan to read several Terry Moore collections that I’ve not gotten to yet.

Chasing the Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar. This guy is sort of a Stephen King protegé. He wrote the Gwendy books with King. This novel is NOT what you’d expect. It’s more of a murder procedural than anything. It’s also NOT the story you are led to believe it is. It’s a good read, but not horror.

Alice Hoffman’s Magic Series (NOT in published order, but in storyline order)
Magic Lessons, Alice Hoffman. Part 1
The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman. Part 2
Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman. Part 3
Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman. Part 4

Old Man’s War Series, John Scalzi
1. Old Man’s War, Started this one June 24.  I really love Scalzi’s turn of a phrase! 
2. The Ghost Brigades
3. The Last Colony
4. Zoe’s Tale
5. The Human Division
6. The End of All Things

Straight, Chuck Tingle. I got this for Nick and just read it. The story premise is a very good one: once a year, straight people lose their minds and become homicidal towards gay (or any non straight type) people. Unfortunately, Tingle is a TERRIBLE writer. Oh. SO. Bad. He is addicted to adverbs, particularly BLURT: he blurts, she blurted – on almost every other page. There was one section that had 6 blurts between 2 pages. So, yeah, horrible writing, but the book is just a novella, so short enough that you don’t want to KILL Tingle by the end. BUT I do want to send him a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. #deathtoadverbs

Pretty Sure You’re Fine, David Vienna. I got this for Nick as a joke for xmess – he leans a little towards hypochondriac – and I just read it. It’s a small, cute little book, a fast read. It’s byline is “The Health and Wellness Guide for Hypochondriacs, Overthinkers and Worrywarts” and that’s pretty much it. While there are some great funny lines, it boils down to the author listing a trait or statement (“I don’t love fast food, it loves me!”) then telling the reader to stop eating fast food and cook more healthy foods. WELL, DUH. It’s basically regurgitating all the stuff we KNOW, but don’t do for whatever reason. Which is not particularly helpful, IMO. I read the first bits then skimmed the rest. There *are* some funny bits, tho, and it’s a good stocking stuffer.

Holly, Stephen King. WOW was this one great! NOT at ALL what I expected from an established character. Great plot! No more, because everything is a spoiler.

Starter Villain, John Scalzi. I LOVE IT!! Great book, great story and soon to be a [hopefully] good movie! Spoilers abound with this one, too!

From 2023:
The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd. I liked The Secret Life of Bees, so thought I’d give this a go. Been on the treadmill, finishing now.  The story is pretty good, but she does fall into rather bodice ripper descriptions occasionally. 

Raising the Horseman, Serena Valentino. Valentino’s take on the Headless Horseman. She also does a full series of Disney Villains books. They are in YA (young adult), but very readable.

Unwinding Anxiety, Dr Judson Brewer. Rec by Nana Visitor. Started this one then wandered off when it became a workbook sort of thing. NAH. BUT it does have some really good info in the first half, so if you suffer with anxiety, it is definitely worth reading. 

The Distance Between Us, Reyna Grande.

The Good Demon, Jimmy Cajoleas. Started this one in April. It’s YA, but pretty good.

The Queen’s Lover, Vanora Bennett. Not sure when I picked this one up, it’s been on the nightstand for a long time. It’s historical fiction about English Queen Catherine of Valois, before the Tudors (early 1400s). The history is pretty good, but it does lean towards bodice ripping and/or flowery writing. For some reason, the author loses all sense and starts using adverbs (murmur and mutter in particular) for a few chapters towards the end. They were horrible and infested each and every page then they stopped as quickly as they started. WEIRD. All I can guess is the editor(s) missed those sections or they were added back in after editing. In any case, as I said with Tingle’s book: DEATH TO ADVERBS. Just don’t do it. I’ll not read any more by Bennett. 

Paper Son, S.J. Rozen.

Fear, Bob Woodward. Yes, THAT Bob Woodward. Nick picked this one, but I’ll read it, it’s about T****. This one languishes in the stacks because I live with that orange shitgibbon DAILY and I just can’t read about it right now. I might NEVER.

On Gold Mountain, Lisa See. I always get her books.

Wake, Lisa McMann. This is a YA book about a young woman who can see other people’s dreams. It’s an easy read and pretty good story. I plan to get the other two of the trilogy: Fade and Gone. 

Born Standing Up, Steve Martin. His autobiography/memoir. I’ve read some of his fiction – he’s a good writer.

The Revenant, Michael Punke. Yes, the book that the movie is based on.

Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz. This is a rather intricate tale of a family in the early 20th century. I liked it! 

Teachings of Zen, Thomas Cleary. Just curious about Zen.