“Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp…defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons…what’s not to love?!
Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!”
batmanisagatewaydrug’s fave books of this garbage hellyear
none of you asked! I am aware! but I like talking about books and some A++ reading was one of the few upsides of the clusterfuck tirefire of a year that was 2016. the books aren’t in any particular order; I don’t play favorites.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Becky Chambers) - This book is basically everything I’ve ever wanted out of a book: a ragtag bunch of misfits having adventures and becoming a family, IN SPACE. The human cast is extremely diverse and all of the alien species are really interesting and unique. Chambers builds a deep, complex, and incredibly interesting universe that subverts/challenges a lot of conventional sci-fi tropes. (For instance, humans are considered a fairly irrelevant and unimportant species in galactic affairs.) There is an overall plot but each chapter reads like its own short story, making it an almost slice-of-life book. IN SPACE! Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes found families and sci-fi that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Fifth Season (N.K. Jemisin) - N.K. Jemisin has said some really great things about the appalling lack of diversity in sci-fi and fantasy; I won’t insult her by trying to paraphrase. The Fifth Season is definitely a book that you should be reading if you care about diversifying the sf/f scene. Without giving away any spoilers, The Fifth Season (and the rest of the Broken Earth series) is about people who have been systematically abused, oppressed, and mistreated because of who they are - orogenes, people who have the ability to control the earth with their mind. Sound like a metaphor? No need to worry about another racism allegory being played out through white people; cast is composed primarily of people of color seeking revolution. Also nice: some casual trans, queer, and poly inclusion!
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - (Benjamin Alire Sáenz) - You may have noticed that I’m a sucker for sf/f, and I can freely admit that I don’t usually give a lot of attention to fiction that doesn’t have any fantastical elements. UNLESS IT’S GAY. Ari and Dante is a super sweet coming of age story about two best friends falling in love. Both of the boys, Ari and Dante, are thoughtful, introspective, and get to be soft in a way that’s still really rare for teenage boys in medium, especially Latino boys. They don’t actually get together until late in the book (very late), but watching them fall and figure out their feelings will make your heart explode. And there’s a sequel in the works!
Lumberjanes (Noelle Stevenson) - I’ve often seen Lumberjanes described as “Gravity Falls but with all girls” and that’s not a totally inaccurate description. Lumberjanes is set at an all-girls camp where Weird Stuff happens, and five plucky best friends investigate. I’ve only read the first volume so far, and it’s all pretty lighthearted fun, with hints of a bigger plot coming, and I’m super excited to read more! If something as girl-centric and positive as Lumberjanes had been around when I was younger, I would have gotten into comics way earlier! At least half of the five main girls are some variety of queer (including one trans girl!) and their support for each other is non-stop. Friendship to the max!
Detective Comics: Rebirth(James Tynion IV) - I don’t know if y’all can tell by my URL, but I really love the Batfamily. I haven’t been super in love with any of the Rebirth titles I’ve read (although I’m definitely enjoying Green Arrow, too) but Detective Comics really works for me, since it drops some of my favorite and most underloved superheroes into my beloved ragtag bunch of misfits storyline. I’m thrilled to have Stephanie and Cass back, and it’s great to finally get to know Kate Kane in the main continuity after only knowing her from Bombshells. 10/10, will definitely be buying the collected editions.
The Art of Asking (Amanda Palmer) - Oh man, you guys. Oh man. I really love reading the biographies of Creative People ™, and this one was just great in ways I don’t really feel like I have the words for yet. This book is offbeat and intimate and written in a way that makes you never want to put it down. It’s half biography and half self-help and all amazing. It makes me want to travel and hug people and write for days, so basically it’s exactly the kind of book you want to read if you want to make art but you’re a bit of a procrastinator. Also, reading the bits where Amanda talks about falling in love with Neil Gaiman and their subsequent relationship and marriage made me cry in public places multiple times. They’re adorable, y’all.
All of these graphic novels were awesome! If you are new to the genre, I especially suggest the Explorer series by Kazu Kibuishi, because they are an anthology with work from various authors. So, they are a great way to find what art styles, stories and authors you enjoy the most.
What are your favorite graphic novels? Do you have any recs?