The year 2022 saw the return of my reading, most impart due to my work situation changing and being able to take the train every day. Having 4o minutes a day to just relax and read was wonderful again. My monstrous to-be-read pile has diminished nicely and I've been able to enjoy some great books this year.
Writing wise I finished the last of my university courses in creative writing and have started to enter some small writing competitions. Form my uni course I wrote three scenes using existing characters which serves as a nice little taster for my main stories, followed by a larger piece that will serve as part of my sci-fi work in progress. Finally I wrote some flash fiction for a writing comp. Hopefully 2023 brings more opportunity to write, or more accurately I need to make time to write.
Books read in 2022
The 22 Murders of Madison May / by Max Barry
Abaddon's Gate / by James S.A. Corey
A Cat, A Man, And Two Women / by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Network Effect / by Martha Wells
The Tragedy of Heterosexuality / by Jane Ward
Shards of Honour / by Lois McMaster Bujold
Subversion: A Ménage Paranormal Romance / by Allyson Lindt
Barrayar / by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fugitive Telemetry / by Martha Wells
Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory / by Martha Wells
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits / by David Wong
The Cloud Roads / by Martha Wells
Nona the Ninth / by Tamsyn Muir
A Psalm for the Wild-Built / by Becky Chambers
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within / by Becky Chambers
Command Decision / by Elizabeth Moon
Dracula / by Bram Stoker
Victory Conditions / by Elizabeth Moon
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy / by Becky Chambers
Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy / by Jessica Fern
Bullet Train / by Kōtarō Isaka
Most anticipated read
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Book two of the Locked Tomb series was my most anticipated read last year and I've got a feeling that book four will be on that list next year. This is such an interesting series and I absolutely devoured this book. The back story of John Gaius (His Celestial Kindliness, the First Reborn, The Necrolord Prime, the King Undying), in this novel was so good and I want to know more. I can't wait to read more about Alecto the First (the one true enemy of the King Undying, the abyss of the First, the death of the Lord) and how this series ends. I will offer this advice, with Harrow and Nona, just forget you've read Gideon for the first 60% of the book, like, it never happened. Trust me, it'll help.
Most interesting read
Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy by Jessica Fern
This is one of the best books on attachment theory I have read, and it deals with nonmonogamy as well! Fern describes the attachment styles clearly and explains where they come from, as well as how to move towards a more secure style in your relationships. Clear, solid, practical examples round out this book that are sure to help anyone regardless of the relationship style you practice.
The Tragedy of Heterosexuality by Jane Ward
This book is the queer tea spilt on heterosexuality and I am here for it. Ward treats heterosexuality as the 'other' and does a queer reading on it. An entire chapter is dedicated to delving into the origins of 'heterosexual repair manuals', AKA relationship self-help books. Well worth a read for queer and straight people alike, and minor spoiler alert: the tragedy of heterosexuality is misogyny (with a hint of racisim).
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
I adore Becky Chambers, her take on science fiction is delightful in that it focuses mainly on character rather than plot. It took me far too long to get around to reading the Monk & Robot series, something I regret. These novellas are so loving, kind, and caring that I want to live in this 'solarpunk' world Chambers created. If your heart and soul need replenishing, pick up these wonderful little stories, it'll do you good.
Dracula (Daily) by Bram Stoker
This year I participated in Dracula Daily, a Substack experience where the entire novel of Dracula is emailed to you as it happens. As the story of Dracula is an epistolary novel, with each of the letters, clippings, and journal entries having a date. Matt Kirkland took these pieces and created an email list that delivers the entire novel between May 3 and November 7 in chronological order. It took most of the year to get through but it was fun to read this novel in real time, and the memes on Tumblr were amazing! #DraculaDaily #MyDearFriendJonathan #DraculaPolycule
Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka
I recently watched the Hollywood adaptation of this novel and enjoyed it enough to dig into the original novel. I really need to stop doing this, somehow I manage to pick all the adaptations that work better as a movie or television series because the original novel is utter trash. I'm unsure if the translation was off but this novel was juvenile, boring, and completely full of itself. I'll be putting on the movie again well before even thinking of reading this again.
Comics Read in 2022
Punderworld / by Linda Šejić
Go with the Clouds, North-by-Northwest, Vol. 1 / by Aki Irie
Fine Print / by Stjepan Šejić
Yes, Roya / by C. Spike Trotman, Emilee Denich (re-read for like the 10th time, but in colour!)
How Do You Smoke a Weed?
Dear Sophie, Love Sophie: A Graphic Memoir in Diaries, Letters, and Lists / by Sophie Lucido Johnson
Nozoki Ana 1 / by Honna Wakou
Nozoki Ana 2 / by Honna Wakou
Birdy the Mighty 1 / by Masami Yuki
Cafe AU Lait
Birdy the Mighty 2 / by Masami Yuki
Across a Field of Starlight / by Blue Delliquanti
Lore Olympus: Volume One / by Rachel Smythe
Money Shot / by Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie
Lore Olympus: Volume Two / by Rachel Smythe
Princess Princess Ever After / by K. O'Neill
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 4: The Catastrophe Con
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 5: Worst Among Equals
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Vol. 6: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 7: A Rogue's End
Gender Queer / by Maia Kobabe
Flung Out of Space: The Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith / by Grace Ellis
Lore Olympus: Volume Three / by Rachel Smythe
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands / by Kate Beaton
Crowded Vol. 1: Soft Apocalypse / by Christopher Sebela
Squire / by Nadia Shammas, Sara Alfageeh
Monstress, Vol. 7: Devourer / by Marjorie Liu
She-Hulk by Rainbow Rowell Vol. 1: Jen, Again / by Rainbow Rowell
The Umbrella Academy Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion / by Gerard Way
Saga Vol 10 / Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Money Shot Vol 2 / by Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie
Birdy the Mighty 3 / by Masami Yuki
Money Shot Vol 3 / by Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie
Crowded Vol. 2: Glitter Dystopia / by Christopher Sebela
Most anticipated read
Dear Sophie, Love Sophie: A Graphic Memoir in Diaries, Letters, and Lists by Sophie Lucido Johnson
I love Sophie Lucido Johnson, her earlier work 'Many Love' was wonderful, and Dear Sophie was no exception. Illustrated letters to her past self based on diary entries from young Sophie are full of introspection and insight. The care and love she gives her past self make me want to do the same. I would highly recomend subscribing to her Substack, You're Doing A Good Enough Job, and get some Sophie joy in your life weekly (subscribe and give her some money and become an Erin, you won't regret it).
Most interesting read
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
Kate Beaton has been a favourate of mine from the early Hark! days. This biography tells the story of Kate as she worked away on the Canadian oil fields in the early 2000s. These stories could be familiar to many people in Australia working FIFO these days, although I hope the industry has become a lot better over the years. This is well worth the read, even if it is slightly heartbreaking.
Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe
I picked up all three volumes of Lore Olympus on a whim after seeing a bit of it on my Tumblr dash, and I wasn't disapointed. This is the story of Hades and Persephanie told through a retro-modern lense. The artwork is beautiful and full of life, I do laugh out loud regualarly from this (although not all of it is fun and games). Pouting Hades has become somewhat of a icon of mine. I even joined WebToons to read more of this comic.
A shout out to Crowded and Money Shot as well. I finished both of these on NYE and they are highlights of my comic year. Crowded takes social comentary on things like Kickstarter, streaming, and American gun control and kicks it up a notch, plus it has a great queer subplot. I picked up Money Shot because it looked stupid-fun and it initally was, but the second and third volume focus more on the characters and the problems their world face and makes it an enjoyable series.
Nozoki Ana by Honna Wakou
I recently found out that the Internet Archive has a lot of manga scans uploaded, and some great older films (we'll just ignore the glaring copyright issues!), so I downloaded a bunch of 'highly recommended' to try out. This was sold to me as a cute romance but in reality it was highly problematic with consent issues throughout. I hoped the second volume would be better but it only got worse. At least I know when to quit and move on to something else now.