44 Books for 2018

Until October this year I was able to borrow books from Senate House Library, which is one of my favourite buildings in London and a superb academic library. I tried to make the most of it, although apart from a few more accessible history and politics tomes I mostly gravitated towards my usual nerdy interests (Tolkien, anime etc). That accounts for the sheer amount of non-fiction I got through this year – stuff I read in the hope it would make me wiser but then almost immediately forgot. I've determined to read more novels in 2019 – at least the texture of a story stays with you a little bit more, even if the content evaporates.

I tried to think of intelligent things to say about comics this year, and although I managed three columns for the London Graphic Novel Network, I'm not convinced I succeeded. It's a bit of a struggle at the moment to find creators to get excited about, but perhaps that's just a failure on my part to be more curious. I'm hoping that re-reading some of the books that got me into the medium in the first place will kick-start my interest in the new year.

I keep track of the things I read on Goodreads, although I've yet to find the will to do more than assign stars to reviews there. Apart from the comics, the links below are just to snippets I thought were interesting and worth reproducing on the blog, or pretty pics I've taken of the covers to put on Instagram.

Tim Shipman - Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem
Tim Bale - The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron [link]
Harriet Harman - A Woman's Work [link]
Philip Cowley, Rob Ford (eds.) - Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: 50 Things You Need to Know About British Elections [link]
Simone de Beauvoir - The Ethics of Ambiguity [link]
Sarah Bakewell - At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails
Anthony Gottlieb - The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy [link]
Declan Kiberd - Ulysses And Us: The Art Of Everyday Living [link]
Dennis C. Rasmussen - The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought [link]
Tom Shippey - J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
Susan J. Napier - Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation [link]
Adam Roberts - Science Fiction
Mark Fisher - The Weird and the Eerie [link]
Pauline Kael - The Age of Movies: Selected Writings [link]
John Mullan - How Novels Work
Paul Addison - Churchill: The Unexpected Hero [link]
Peter Clarke - Keynes: The Rise, Fall, and Return of the 20th Century's Most Influential Economist
Maggie Nelson - The Argonauts [link]
Harold Bloom - The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry [link]
Sigmund Freud - Civilisation and its Discontents

M. John Harrison - Viriconium
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki - The Key [link]
Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely
Anaïs Nin - Little Birds
J.M. Coetzee - Disgrace
Margaret Atwood - Surfacing
Yasunari Kawabata - House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories
John le Carré - The Constant Gardener
Norman Mailer - An American Dream
Chris Mullin - A Very British Coup [link]
Various - Inside And Other Short Fiction: Japanese Women By Japanese Women

Harvey Pekar - American Splendour [link]
Edward Ross - Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film [link]
Meg-John Barker,  Julia Scheele - Queer: A Graphic History [link]
Pat Mills / Greg Staples / Clint Langley - Slaine: Lord of Misrule
Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio - Caliban [link]
David Lapham / German Nobile - Caligula vol. 1 [link]
Billy Tucci - Shi: The Way of the Warrior
Randy Queen - Darkchylde
David Wohl / David Finch - Aphrodite IX: Time Out of Mind
Brandon Choi / Jim Lee / J. Scott Campbell – Gen¹³
Fabien Nury / Mathieu Lauffray / Mario Alberti / Zhang Xiaoyu / Tirso - The Chronicles of Legion vols 1-4
Hiroaki Samura - Blade of the Immortal Omnibus 1
D.J. Bryant - Unreal City

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