October: Month of the Comic Book, Month of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Aaaand that’s a wrap for the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair. I bought two bags of books for real cheap from fleeing foreign publishers, almost all comics and cookbooks, and I am dying of happy laying in bed leafing through them all tonight. My daughter was more amused by the flat escalators than the cosplay costumes but everyone who saw her in her Merida costume gave her gummi bears and sticker books so a good time was had by all.
Frankfurt Book Fair Pro Tip: On Sunday, German books are selling for regular old prices that you do not need to pay admission to buy at your local bookstore. Foreign publishers are selling their books DIRT CHEAP because it is expensive to fly them back to wherever they call home. Seek out the foreign publishers. Buy hardbacks and cook books and art books and comics. That’s where the deals are.
I brought home seven cookbooks (*whistles innocently*) and all the comics I’ve been eyeing for the last six months. Plus some random discoveries. Three cheers for discovery. I haven’t posted my Frankfurt Book Fair wrap-ups, but you can see photos and read hastily typed words on the Young Germany blog.
Before I go on, behold! The October Reading List:
126. Dune by Frank Herbert
127. Penner by Christopher Burgholz
128. The Ballad of the Barefoot Bandit by Alexandra Rügler
129. Illuminating the Prophecy by Maggie Stiefvater
130. Lumberjanes Volume 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen
131. Lumberjanes Volume 2 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen
132. A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones (cookbook)
133. Saga Volume 5 by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughn
134. Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch
135. Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch 136. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
137. ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times by Andrew MacLean
138. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
139. Spinner of Darkness and Other Tales by Intan Paramaditha
140. Speculative Fiction 2014 edited by Renee Williams and Shaun Duke
141. Way Down Dark by J.P. Smythe
142. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (audio, re-read)
And my favorites were:
Dune left me in a slump at the beginning of the month. It was awesome, but exhausting. I didn’t read anything else for two weeks. Then comics rained down upon me, and the people rejoiced.
I doubt I need to tell you that Saga was and is awesome, but I do need to tell you that Rat Queens is now my second favorite comic. Four incredibly well-developed woman warriors who are funny and complex and who drink and talk a lot about sex between quests? The trials of being the only female dwarf who shaves her beard? A squid-based religion? FOUR DAVES? Words had not managed to convey to me how awesome Rat Queens would be, just as they are failing to convince you right now. I read the squee, but I didn’t grasp the awesome. Well hallefuckinglujah, I have been saved. Join me. Read Rat Queens. Rejoice.
Rat Queens came at me out of nowhere and slapped me happy, but Lumberjanes came at me with expectations and left me lukewarm. I guess it isn’t possible to reach Nimona-level awesome with every publication—though I love it for a younger audience who aren’t me. ApocalyptiGirl was a surprise—ooh, an apocalyptic comic? you’re coming with me—that was just ok. Penner and The Ballad of the Barefoot Bandit are German comics that I read while awkwardly drinking champagne at a graphic novel reception at the fair. They were nice, but the Earth was unshaken.
I loved Josh Malerman’s horror debut Bird Box (despite some serious flaws), and was dissatisfied with Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. At the very beginning of the month I reviewed the delicious The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, but was too busy complaining about bad book design, looking at photos of Harry Potter tattoos, attending a local science fiction convention, and interviewing post-apocalyptic novel authors to write reviews. OH WAIT. There was also that awesome glow-in-the-dark book.
That leaves a handful of disparate books: The Anna Jones cookbook, which has inspired me to, you know, cook things (yes, I read cook books, front to back); Speculative Fiction 2014, which increased both my books- and blogs-to-read lists; and Illuminating the Prophecy by Maggie Stiefvater, the instruction booklet Stiefvater wrote to accompany the tarot cards she illustrated. At the beginning of the month when the darkness of impending
doom winter was getting tangled up in my mood, I enjoyed fiddling with the cards and reading about The Fool and Death and The World.
Reading Acheivements Unlocked!
Fucking X, man, fucking X. I am THIS close to finishing both of my 2015 alphabet challenges, but I have arrived at the annoying letters that you have to go out of your way to read. Just six more books. Not doing this one again next year. Might not complete it this year.
Of the 16 books I read, ten were authored or co-authored (or co-edited) by women: I just might make my author gender parity goals this year. However, since reading Vajra Chandrasekera’s essay about the term “people of color”, I have been uncertain about how to continue talking about my goals to read books from a wider range of authors about a wider range of people. I dislike the way the term “non-white” frames “white” as the default, but Chandrasekera makes a good point about the term “people of color” being a phrase specifically grounded in America, and I don’t think America deserves to be at the center of every conversation either.
However I describe it, though, there are too many white, American faces on this month’s reading list, with the notable exception of Intan Paramaditha, an Indonesian horror writer whose work I was thrilled to discover in translation at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Reading Achievements Locked!
Remember all those books I said I was going to read this time last month? Yeah me neither. Guess I didn’t read them. I am reading Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson in slow motion, but not for a lack of enjoyment. I picked up Tananarive Due’s My Soul to Keep and put it back down. And then October was over already, what the fuck? I didn’t even get to the two miniscule Connie Willis books on my list. The year is almost over, and my goals are quickly slipping out of reach. I’ll be damned.
November is coming.
And so is Sci Fi Month, an event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow. Sci Fi month was my very first books-on-the-internet event, and this year I’m carrying the torch once again. As a result, my reading goals for November are pretty specific: all sci fi all the time. But as you’ll see tomorrow when I post my remaining 2015 reading goals, THERE IS NO TIME. Every book I read needs to cross something off of the list, and I am hellbent on trying.
What did you read in October?