Monday, April 20, 2015

Readathon: My April 2015 Pile

A yellow-green-toned image of a pocket watch set to 1:00 leaning against an open hardcover book with its pages bent into the shape of a heart. The words 'Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon' appear in the upper right hand corner.
Image by Darren of Bart's Bookshelf

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is a twice-yearly event that invites participants to read as much as they possibly can during one twenty-four hour period. The next one is scheduled for April 25th, so there's still plenty of time to sign up if you're so inclined. Don't feel like you have to bow out because you can only commit to a small portion of the day; every reader is welcome to participate to whatever extent works best for their schedule.

I usually use the Readathon to clear novellas and other shorter titles from la TBR, but I'm in a bit of a pickle this time around. My recent TBR-reduction efforts have left my list populated solely by chunksters and longer non-chunksters. There ain't a single title among 'em that'll take me less than 4-6 hours. Eep!

This being the case, I've decided to back away from la TBR in favour of comics and anthologies/collections. Here's a peek at my pool of potential reads for next weekend:

Nine digital comics arrayed on a digital bookshelves. They're listed below.

I've accumulated a fair few unread digital comics thanks to the Image Comics Humble Bundle and the VALOR Kickstarter. I want to prioritize the following titles during the 'thon:

  • C.O.W.L. Volume One: Principles of Power by Kyle Higgins, Alex Sigel, and Rod Reis - superhero procedural. A Humble Bundle acquisition. I've seen this one described as "quietly awesome."
  • Satellite Sam Volume One by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin - noir mystery. Another Humble Bundle title. I've loved everything I've read from Fraction, so fingers crossed this one rises above that ghastly cover.
  • Deadly Class Volume One: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig, and Lee Loughridge - crime fiction, I think? It's a third Humble Bundle title centred on trainee-assassins in the late 1980s.
  • Haircut by Sara Goetter - fantasy. It's a short story, so I should be able to make short work of it.
  • Alex + Ada Volume One by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn - science fiction. Also a reread in advance of Volume Two. There's a chance I'll decide to red it a bit early.
  • Beauty and the Beast by Megan Kearney - fantasy. A Kickstarter reward. I know very little about it, but hey! It's a fantasy comic by a woman, so it's relevant to my interests.
  • Shutter Volume One: Wanderlust by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca - fantasy. A Humble Bundle title. I know almost nothing about it beyond that Kelly was interested in it.
  • Namesake Volume One by Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon - fantasy. Another VALOR perk. I've heard this comic does super well on the queer and POC representation front, so I'm looking forward to it.
  • Namesake Volume Two by Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon - fantasy, and obviously a sequel to the above.

An assortment of nine digital books arrayed on a digital shelf. They're listed below.

I've also packed a special Scribd collection with some comics and such I'd like to tackle next Saturday. Some of these have been on my radar for aaaaaages, so I'm excited to finally get to them.

Shameless plug time: Scribd has tons of shorter workers that're perfect for the Readathon: comics, novellas, anthologies, essay collections, etc, plus audiobooks for those times when you want to do something active but you don't want to quit Readathonning it up. You can try it free for two months instead of the usual one month if you sign up with my referral link. I also get an extra month, so everyone wins!

  • Illyria: Haunted by Mariah Huehner, Scott Tipton, and Elena Casagrande - fantasy/horror. Also a continuation of ANGEL, Joss Whedon's vampire detective TV series. The Angel comics are a mixed bag past a certain point, so fingers crossed this one's enjoyable.
  • Secret Scull by Steve Niles and Chuck BB - fantasy/horror. Secret Skull also appears in MYSTERY SOCIETY, Niles's collaboration with Fiona Staples, so I'm excited to see how it all began for her.
  • Wild's End by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard - science fiction/fantasy. I know very little about this one, but I had a great time with Abnett's runs on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and NOVA so I'm hoping this one captures that same magic.
  • The Woods Volume One by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas - science fiction/horror. Again, I know very little about this. I think Kelly told me about it? I can't remember.
  • Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones - essays. I started this one a while back and hope I can get a little further through it during the Readathon.
  • Locke & Key (full series) by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez - horror/fantasy. Also a reread. I've been meaning to revisit the entire series ever since I finished the final volume. I want to see how it looks laid out in its entirety.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie March - general fiction, I think? I know there are queer ladies in it, and I'm always in search of more fiction about queer ladies.
  • Red Sonja Volume One: Queen of Plagues by Gail Simone, Jenny Frison, and Walter Geovanni - fantasy. I've never read Gail Simone because I'm a piece of trash, so, yeah. Gonna correct that.
  • A King Undone by Cooper Davis - fantasy/romance. I sort of started this one a few months back but ended up putting it aside because it's a PDF with really, really tiny font, and also because the main character keeps referring to women as "females." (Ugh. Don't do that.) Still, it's got a blub from Ava March so I'd like to give it a bit longer to wow me.

Six digital comics arrayed in a grid. The titles are listed below.

Y'all know I'm gonna wrangled some time with Marvel Unlimited during the Readathon. It's my favourite, and I fear I've neglected it of late because so few of Marvel's titles fit with my read-more-comics-by-women initiative. Still, it's packed with stuff I want to read, and I think I've managed to build up enough of a buffer that I can sample a few comics by dudes in the near future.

I try to limit my library (which I use as my immediate Marvel Unlimited TBR) to 8-10 titles, but I fear it's grown too large to display in its entirety due to some delectable recent additions to the catalogue. Here's a sneak peak:

  • Astonishing X-Men (2004) - supposedly my big reading project at the mo, though I've spent a long time away from it for the abovementioned reasons
  • New X-Men (2004) - another of my reading projects. I want to tackle read House of M before I go any further with it, so I probably won't dip into this one during the Readathon.
  • Cable & Deadpool (2004 - I like Deadpool (for values of "like" that mean "am entertained by" rather than "would ever want to meet"), and I want to explore more of his backstory. Also, I recently realized I know fuck-all about Cable. Like, what's his power, even? I got no idea.
  • Star Wars (1998) - a former Dark Horse title. I used to read this series in issues when it was first released, but I had to quit because Dark Horse raised their cover prices. (Sadness.) Should be fun to revisit it.
  • Star Wars: Dark Empire (1991) - this is one of the many, many Star Wars comics Teenage Me wanted to read but couldn't find. I'm so excited Marvel has now integrated Dark Horse's titles into their catalogue so I can finally read it.
  • Magik (1983) - part of my ongoing reading project centred on 80s miniseries

Ten books layed out on a bed. The titles are listed below.

And of course, I have a nice pile of print books to dip into as the mood strikes me. I may finish a couple of these before the Readathon, but the rest will certainly have a presence in my life come Saturday even if I just pick 'em up and put 'em back down again.

  • Warriors, ed. by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois - multi-genre anthology. I've been working through this one for a couple months now, but I keep getting derailed because the stories are looooooong. It'd be nice to knock another one or two of 'em off during the Readathon.
  • Digger Volume One by Ursula Veron - fantasy, I think? It was one of the comics commenters suggested on my recent guest post about comics by women.
  • Alex + Ada Volume Two by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn - science fiction. There's an excellent chance I'll read it before next Saturday.
  • Prophecies, Libels & Dreams by Ysabeau S. Wilce - fantasy collection. Wilce is one of my favourite authors and I'm so, so excited my library purchased her collection of Califa stories.
  • Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay - essays. I should probably prioritize this one; it's due back on the 27th.
  • Skip Beat Volumes 4-15 by Yoshiki Nakamura - shojo manga. I'm certain I'll read a few volumes before the Readathon, but there'll still be plenty left to dip into on Saturday!
  • Tomboy by Liz Prince - memoir. I haven't heard anything at all about this one; I plucked it off the shelf at random because it's a comic by a woman and y'all know I want to read more of those

And there we go. I won't read everything listed above, of course, but once I started rounding up potential titles I found it difficult to stop. And after all, it's better to have too many choices than to run out of reading material!

What do you plan to read during the Readathon? Which of the abovementioned books should I prioritize?