January/February 2018 Reads
New year, new reading list! January and February are always big reading months for me, as while Scottish winters aren’t great for sunbathing, they are perfect for curling up with coffee and cake and a good novel. I’ve somehow managed to finish 32 books so far this year (?!). I read a lot of non-fiction and graphic novels in particular, so next month I want to get stuck into some longer novels.
Here are the best books I’ve read so far this year:
Dark Pines, Will Dean – I read this over a few months, and every time I came back to it I was instantly engrossed in the mossy, rotting, claustrophobic Swedish forest. All this plus a deaf, bisexual protagonist – I loved it.
Fadeout, Joseph Hansen – Short, snappily-written mysteries with a grieving gay investigator? Yes please. Already have the next in the series lined up.
You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages, Carina Chocano – I will read ALL THE BOOKS about feminism and pop culture. I wished this went a little deeper, but there was still much to enjoy and think about.
Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade, William Goldman – I underlined something on every single page. If you’re interested in writing screenplays (or any type of fiction), this is a must-read.
In The Pines, Erik Kriek – Gloriously illustrated murder ballads. I didn’t even know I needed that in my life until I saw this book.
Bookworm, Lucy Mangan – I love books about books, and this is one of the loveliest I’ve read. Lucy Mangan’s voice is so pleasant to read, like chatting to a funny, self-deprecating, book-nerd friend. I had a long, boring day consisting of 8 hours of train travel (all of it delayed, of course), and this book was the only thing that got me through.
Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water: Creating a Fairy Tale for Troubled Times, Gina McIntyre – I adored this film, and I actually read this book before I watched it. It’s a great, visual insight into the filmmaking process, with details about the film’s screenplay and characters, special effects, costumes and set design.
Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, Hope Nicholson (editor) – This is the gothic graphic anthology that was missing from my life. Plus high marks for LGBT and POC representation.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton – Bonkers but brilliant. It’s an Agatha Christie manor-house mystery but with a Black Mirror twist.
Damn Fine Story, Chuck Wendig – If you haven’t been reading Chuck Wendig’s writing advice, where the hell have you been? He’s so funny and readable that it’s easy to get caught up and devour his writing. But slow down and work through the tips, because he’s got some of the best and more useful advice out there.
Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, Carl Wilson – Who knew I wanted to read a whole book about a Celine Dion album? I’ll read anything in the 33⅓ series, and I loved the directions this book went in.
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What are the best books you’ve read recently?