In my world, birthdays are for doing happy-making things and celebrating the good times. I'm visiting the magical land of North Dakota today, and y'all know I'm gonna take advantage of America's large number of Mexican restaurants in my never-ending quest for tacos. One of the restaurants in this here town gives you a free meal on your birthday, so guess where I'm going for lunch.
Tiny Deadpool is with me, and I shall photograph him beside every taco (or taco platter) I eat on this trip. You can follow my progress on Instagram
On the blogging front, I want to step away from our regularly scheduled programming to highlight my Best of 2015 (So Far). July 2nd is as close to the middle of the year as you can get, so it’s an appropriate time for that sort of undertaking. Yes?
In the order I read them, excluding rereads and with links to my reviews where such things exist, my 4.5- and 5-star reads for the first half of 2015 are:
I guess it’s possible Vaughan and Staples will someday craft a SAGA arc to which I do not experience a strong emotional reaction, but it’s hard to believe it. You know?
I feel so much for these characters, y’all. So. Frickin’. Much. SAGA is the comic and the hold-outs among you must rush out and read it.
I cried my way through this whole damned book because it was TOO BEAUTIFUL TO READ IN SILENCE. This upset Murchie, but he got over it.
Listen, I’m never gonna stop telling you to read YOUNG AVENGERS, so you might as well give in. Don’t start with this one, though; it’s painfully awesome, but it’s the second volume of Gillen & McKelvie’s run. You’ll enjoy it more if you already know who the Young Avengers are.
BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS is not a nice book. It is painful and vicious and I will never, ever be over the thing that happens to the small person who climbs into the bird’s nest. But it’s also excellent, if you like dark stuff.
Everyone was like, “You should read THE WICKED + THE DIVINE because it’s basically perfect, and it’s also by the guys who did that YOUNG AVENGERS thing you love so much.” I listened to them, and now I’m the one telling people to read WicDiv because it’s basically perfect.
Read it, friends. It's basically perfect.
Kate Bishop is the light of my heart and the breath in my lungs, and this is her book. Read it, please. (But maybe read the first two volumes of HAWKEYE first.)
And let's all pause to appreciate how Kate embraces tropes but rolls with it when she learns that sometimes tropes aren't enough to get you through life. I don't believe I've highlighted this aspect of her personality in any of my previous gushes, and that's a bloody shame. Kate's conscious attempt to become a plucky girl detective who slowly erodes a frazzled policeman's gruff demeanor is a thing of beauty.
I waited ages to read the third Bridget Jones book because I thought the inciting incident--Mark Darcy’s death--was just a cheap way to make Bridget single again. It’s not. It’s important, and Fielding does a fabulous, heartfelt job of showing how Bridget comes back from it.
BONE GAP began as nothing I ever wanted, but by the end I was sobbing my heart out because OMGROZAOMG.
I love it when that happens.
Nora and Kingley have a large number of emotionally resonant sexytimes with people other than each other, and that’s pretty well all you need to know.
Unless you have no idea who Nora and Kingsley are, in which case you need to back up and read THE SIREN.
So I read THE MARTIAN on audio, and I reached the dramatic conclusion while I was out for a walk, and I came THIS CLOSE to BAWLING MY FUCKING EYES OUT IN THE STREET.
I recommend it.
You really want me to start gushing about SKIP BEAT again? That’s a thing you’re gonna unleash upon the world?
No. I cannot. If I start, I will never, ever stop.
Except I’ve just gotta say, real quick, that I love Kyoko Mogami every bit as much as I love Kate Bishop, and you can maybe guess how much I love Kate Bishop from the whole "light of my heart, breath in my lungs" schtick.
As if I wasn’t gonna geek the hell out over all Ysabeau S. Wilce’s Califa stories in one place, with scholarly commentary. Come on.
ISLA has travel and comics and a deep emotional connection and a bunch of self discovery and oh my god I loved it so frickin’ much.
If you’d told Past Memory she’d love a late-in-the-game volume of the Wheel of Time so much she didn’t even want to analyze it, she’d have screwed up her face at you. If you’d told her a ridiculously large percentage of that love came down to Egwene and Rand, she’d have been like
But here we are in mid-2015, and both those things are true.
Hey, look! I loved the hell out of TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, too! What a happy-making occurrence!
When I'm really into a book or a TV show or whatever, I talk to it. I spent a lot of the latter chunk of this book shouting, "Don't be a cocky little shit!" at my Kobo. Guess how much attention everyone paid me.
HOLY CRAP I ALSO LOVED THE FINALE WHAT IS THIS MADNESS.
I mean, there was a slower bit in the middle, but then the ending picked up in such a huge way that I can't even think of giving it less than five stars. I sobbed my heart out over one thing in particular, but I shan't tell you what because it's hardcore spoilerish.
Also, I have this superstition about June Books. Every year, I read at least one painfully awesome thing in June. My inner twelve-year-old is really, really happy the last three volumes of the Wheel of Time were this year's June Books. The series meant a lot to me when I was a kid, and it turns out it's still got a place in my heart despite its rough patches.
Thank you, Robert Jordan. This was a marvelous journey.
Now, since it's my birthday and I'm into non-material presents, I'd like you to fulfill my fondest birthday wish and tell me your top books of 2015 (so far).
(Unless you're made of money. Then I'd like you to buy yourself a Kindle Fire or other similarly expensive thing through my Amazon affiliate link so I can take my resulting gift card and start my digital SKIP BEAT collection. Or you can buy some smaller stuff for yourself. Whichever. I ain't picky, just so long as you get something nice.)