Books & Comics Read in 2016

I’ll get to my list in a moment, but I want to talk about my ridiculous backstock of books. This post is largely self-indulgent and probably of little interest to anyone else.

Like most avid readers, I have a ridiculously large backstock of books to read. It especially expanded while I worked at Value Village. After every shift, I’d scour the cheap books and take advantage of my staff discount (50% off). Sometimes it was a reference book that would come in handy for my own writing. Sometimes it was a neat non-fiction book that caught my eye. But most especially, it was any number of genre novels (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery).

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My backstock, not including a full banana box in the closet.

While I enjoy reading, my reading habits are horribly inconsistent. It sometimes took me a month or two to read one book. So my backstock grew exponentially, collecting dust on shelves or in boxes. At the start of 2016, I tried reading at least two books a month, taking a little time each day to read, say, a chapter. I also tried mixing it up by making every second book non-fiction (I failed that sometimes if a particular series hooked me, like Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW trilogy). I also tried throwing in the odd classic like The Picture of Dorian Grey or The Great Gatsby, though those weren’t as often as I would’ve liked. I tracked my progress, listing them and even breaking them down by the month.

This past year, I discovered the love that is audiobooks. I could putter around the house, listening while I cleaned. I could go on long bike rides and listen to a short book in a day. I could listen to a chapter while driving to work or to see friends. It was great! Sometimes, I’d sit back, listen to the book, and read along, which reminded me of being back in grade school. I particularly enjoyed narration by Wil Wheaton (John Scalzi’s Redshirts and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One), C.J. Crit (Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series), and the ensemble cast for Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. I even took the time to listen to the audiobook version of my own first novel, The City of Smoke & Mirrors.

Once I started listening to audiobooks, my stacks of backstock slowly shrank. I cleared entire boxed sets, like the above mentioned His Dark Materials and Douglas Adams entire Hitchhiker’s series. Don’t get me wrong, I still have far too many to get through, but now, it doesn’t feel like such a Herculean task. Listening to audiobooks feels a bit like cheating, though. Technically, I’m not reading them. I suppose “enjoying” is a better descriptor.

nick-diomedes

Sometimes I had a reading companion.

On the comics front, I started going to the library to save money. I got to try all kinds of new comics, series, or creative teams. Some I might buy once I have the money, some I’m happy to have read but might have regretting buying.

So, here’s my list of books and comics read (or listened to) in 2016. For 2017, I’m hoping to “enjoy” at least 50 books. I almost made it to 50 this past year, but depression and life in general sometimes got in the way.

BOOKS READ IN 2016
JANUARY

1) Rollback, Robert J Sawyer

FEBRUARY
2) Whipping Girl, by Julia Sereno
3) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

MARCH
4) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams
5) Quiet, by Susan Cain

APRIL
6) Mr. Majestyk, by Elmore Leonard
7) Wonder Woman Unbound, by Tim Hanley
8) Ru, by Kim Thuy
10) Life, the Universe, and Everything, by Douglas Adams

MAY
11) Still Me, by Christopher Reeve
12) Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
13) So Long and Thanks for the Fish, by Douglas Adams
14) Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams
15) The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
16) Two for the Dough, by Janet Evanovich
17) Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

JUNE
18) The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
19) Vengeance is Mine, by Mickey Spillane
20) Telling Lies for Fun & Profit, by Lawrence Block

JULY
21) How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
22) Grifter’s Game, by Lawrence Block
23) Three to Get Deadly, by Janet Evanovich
24) Triggers, by Robert J Sawyer
25) The Dark Half, by Stephen King

AUGUST
26) The Diary of Anne Frank
27) Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett
28) On Writing, by Stephen King
29) The Portrait of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
30) Wake, by Robert J. Sawyer
31) Know-It-All, by A.J. Jacobs

SEPTEMBER
32) Four to Score, by Janet Evanovich
33) Watch, by Robert J Sawyer
34) Wonder, by Robert J Sawyer
35) The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom

OCTOBER
36) Playback, by Raymond Chandler
37) Redshirts, by John Scalzi

NOVEMBER
37) In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
38) Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher
39) Technopoly, by Neil Postman
40) The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman

DECEMBER
41) The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman
42) My Gun is Quick, by Mickey Spillane
43) Guy Noir & the Straight Skinny, by Garrison Keller
44) The City of Smoke & Mirrors, by Nick Piers
45) The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
46) Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

COMICS READ IN 2016
JANUARY
1) Nightwing Vol. 3 (Dixon)
2) Superman Adventures Vol. 1

FEBRUARY
3) Alex & Ada Volume 1
4) Alex & Ada Volume 2
5) Alex & Ada Volume 3

MARCH
6) Astonishing Ant-Man Volume 1: Second Chance Man
7) Archie vs. Predator
8) Trees, Volume 1
9) Animal Man, Vol. 5 (Jeff Lemire)
10) Tranquility Vol. 1, (Gail Simone)
11) Thief of Thieves Vol. 1 (Robert Kirkman)
12) Thief of Thieves Vol. 2 (Robert Kirkman)
13) Thief of Thieves Vol. 3 (Robert Kirkman)
14) Thief of Thieves Vol. 4 (Robert Kirkman)
15) Empire Vol. 1 (Waid/Kitson)
16) Nailbiter Vol. 1
17) Nailbiter Vol. 2
18) Nailbiter Vol. 3
19) Punisher Vol. 1 (Rucka)
20) Punisher Vol. 2 (Rucka)
21) A Town Called Dragon (Winnick/Shaw)
22) Fatale, Vol. 4
23) Fatale, Vol. 5
24) Superior (Millar/Yu)

APRIL
25) Punisher, Vol. 3 (Rucka)
26) Punisher, Vol. 4 (Rucka)
27) World’s Funnest
28) Ghosted, Vol. 1
29) Ghosted, Vol. 2
30) Ghosted, Vol. 3
31) Ghosted, Vol. 4
32) The Sculptor, by Scott McLeod
33) The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 3
34) Captain America Omnibus: The Return of the Winter Soldier
35) Happy, by Grant Morrison & Darick Robertson

MAY
36) Justice, by Alex Ross & co.
37) Batman Adventures Vol. 3
38) Batman Adventures Vol. 4
39) Secret Six Vol. 4: Caution to the Wind
40) Nightwing Vol. 4: Love & Bullets
41) Superman Adventures Vol. 2
42) Black Panther Complete Collection Vol. 1 (Priest)

JUNE
43) The Punisher Complete Collection Vol. 2 (Ennis)
44) Birthright Vol. 1
45) Birthright Vol. 2
46) Birthright Vol. 3
47) Batman: The Cult
48) Superman: The Golden Age, Vol. 1

JULY
49) Before Watchmen: Minutemen & Silk Spectre
50) Northlanders Book One (Brian Wood)
51) Shortpacked, Vol. 5 (David Wills)
52) Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Vol. 1

AUGUST
53) Are You My Mother, by Alison Bechdel
54) DMZ, Book One (Brian Wood)
55) DMZ, Book Two (Brian Wood)
56) Wimbledon Green, by Seth
57) Bitch Planet, Volume 1
58) Mind the Gap, Volume 1
59) Mind the Gap, Volume 2
60) Mind the Gap, Volume 3
61) Birds of Prey, Volume 1 (Chuck Dixon)

SEPTEMBER
62) Y: The Last Man, Book One (Vaughan)
63) Y: The Last Man, Book Two
64) Y: The Last Man, Book Three
65) Y: The Last Man, Book Four
66) Y: The Last Man, Book Five
67) Birds of Prey, Volume 2 (Chuck Dixon)
68) JLA: The Nail (Adam Davis)
69) JLA: Another Nail (Adam Davis)
70) Starlight, by Mark Millar & Goran Parlov
71) Prey (and Terror), by Doug Moench & Paul Gullacy
72) Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis
73) Deadly Class Vol. 1 (Rick Remender & Wes Craig)
74) Deadly Class Vol. 2 (Remender & Craig)
75) I Hate Fairyland (Skottie Young)
76) Black Widow, Vol 1 (Edmunson & Noto)
77) Ninja Turtles, Ultimate Collection Vol. 4

OCTOBER
78) Ghosts, by Raina Telemeier
79) Omega Men: The End is Here (Tom King)
80) The Fade Out omnibus (Brubaker/Phillips)
81) Krampus (Michael Dougherty)
82) Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than a Man (King/Walta)
83) Stuff of Legend, Omnibus Volume 2
84) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1 (North/Henderson)
85) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 2
86) Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking & Screaming
87) Night of the Living Deadpool
88) Return of the Living Deadpool
89) Batman Death in the Family
90) Harrow County Vol. 1 (Bunn/Crook)
91) Harrow County Vol. 2
92) Nightwing, Vol. 5 (Dixon, McDaniel, Land)

NOVEMBER
93) Squirrel Girl Vol. 3
94) The Mighty (Tomasi/Champagne)
95) Black Panther, Vol. 2 (Priest)
96) Journey Into Mystery Vol. 1 (Keiron Gellen)
97) Journey Into Mystery Vol. 2
98) Robin: Reborn (Grant, Dixon)
99) Punisher Complete Collection Vol. 3 (Ennis)
100) Sandman: Overture (Gaiman, Williams)
101) Ex Machina, Book One (Vaughan, Harris)
102) Ex Machina, Book Two
103) Ex Machina, Book Three
104) Ex Machina, Book Four
105) Ex Machina, Book Five

DECEMBER
106) Astro City: Honor Guard (Busiek)

About Nick C. Piers

Writer and creator of the Armadillo Mysteries, I've had a passion for the creative arts all his life. I'm an avid comic book fan, a DDP yoga practitioner , and urban cyclist.
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