2009 was the year I got introduced to the graphic novel and leaped into a torrid love affair with the same almost immediately. I was extremely fortunate to have friends with a common passion which meant that I got some of the best novels without spending a dime.
Apart from graphic novels, there were other books I enjoyed. And thanks to Twitter I managed to keep track of my reading this year. Here’s a list of all the books I read (not as many as I’d have liked!) this year. Just for the record (in descending order)
1. RONIN – Frank Miller
Sci-fi meets samurai in this tale of revenge, corruption and high-tech gadgetry. I found the story a bit hard to follow, but it has one of the best love scenes I’ve come across in a graphic novel.
2. THE NOT-SO-VERY-NICE GOINGS ON AT VICTORIA LODGE - Philip Ardagh
3. HELLBOY: STRANGE PLACES – Mike Mignola
I liked the movie, but this book in the series was just too bizarre for my liking.
5 & 6. MAUS 1 & 2 - Art Spiegelman
A hauntingly brilliant graphic memoir of the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman captures his ageing father’s account of surviving the Holocaust, and in the process shows what it’s like to ‘survive the survivors’. I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I finished reading it.
7. RUNNING WITH SCISSORS – Augusten Burroughs
Outrageously outstanding. Reading about the author’s bizarre childhood with a kooky mother and her nutjob psychiatrist, was enough to make me go on my knees and thank God for my ‘normal’ childhood. Written with a rare wit and candour.
8. LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN – Alan Moore
9. EAT, PRAY, LOVE – Elizabeth Gilbert
10. MW – Osamu Tezuka
Exposure to a deadly chemical renders one of the characters morally corrupt. And the other protagonist, a Catholic priest, spends his life trying to cover up for him. The story is rife with homosexuality, rape and other deadly sins. Simply brilliant. Amen.
11. ENDLESS NIGHTS – Neil Gaiman
Seven fantastic stories, each about one of seven immortal siblings – Dream, Death, Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium – collectively known as The Endless. If you read nothing else by Neil Gaiman, read this one!
12. MY STORY – Kamala Das
13. BLANKETS – Craig Thompson
14. EMBROIDERIES – Marjane Satrapi
15. 100 BULLETS: FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL - Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
16. KARI – Amruta Patil
17. PERSEPOLIS 1 & 2– Marjane Satrapi
18. PUSH MAN & OTHER STORIES – Yoshihiro Tatsumi
19. ABANDON THE OLD IN TOKYO - Yoshihiro Tatsumi
20. CORALINE – Neil Gaiman
Am glad I didn’t read this story when I was growing up. Downright scary!
21. SANDMAN: NOCTURNES & PRELUDES – Neil Gaiman
22. HALF OF A YELLOW SUN – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
23. OUTLIERS – Malcolm Gladwell
24. THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST – Mohsin Hamid
25. WATCHMEN – Alan Moore
My baptism into the bewitching world of Graphic Novels. What I learned: not all superheroes are good and noble.