My favourite books of 2021
#5: Plus 21 things that got me through the year
Happy New Year!
I assume you’re reading in 2022 and not in the final minutes of 2021 when this landed in your inbox. I’m hoping you were far too happy celebrating the death of 2021 and the birth of what we hope will be a better year.
I’m choosing to approach the next year with cautious optimism. And part of that optimism is the commitments I’m making.
The next issue of this newsletter will arrive on January 15th. I’m aiming to get the newsletter out TWICE a month from now, thus doubling my output.
I’d hoped to have a creative piece ready for today’s newsletter too, but alas not all plans work out in my favour. But I’m aiming to write a lot more poetry in 2022, so fingers crossed this won’t be a recurring problem.
Anyway, without further ado, here are 10 things from December I wanted to share:
I’m currently reading Dave Rudden’s Twelve Angels Weeping. Each short story in this collection centres around a villain from Doctor Who. I’m reading one for each of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (December 25th — January 6th). Speaking of Doctor Who, I also wrote a review of the most recent season earlier this month.
I finished Marjane Satrapi’s moving graphic memoir Persepolis earlier this month. I wrote more about it and included some panels from the book to illustrate Satrapi’s excellent artwork in my final Sunday Sharing post.
Leading up to Christmas, I re-visited my favourite comic book series of all time: Saga. Described as “Star Wars meets Game of Thrones” whilst also evoking Romeo & Juliet, this is a love story between two people from different races who’ve warred against each other since forever. One day I’ll write a lengthy post about how this science-fantasy series has just about everything I want and love from a series. Fiona Staples’ artwork is phenomenal and Brian K. Vaughan knows exactly how to use the page-turn to make you laugh or break your heart.
Sam Missingham’s last issue of The Empowered Author included some incredibly useful resources for writers. From Susan Neal’s guide to creating an author press kit to Nebula-winning author John Wiswell’s invaluable advice on submitting short stories. If you’re an author/aspiring author, I’d definitely recommend subscribing.
Ijeoma Oluo (author of So You Want To Talk About Race) has a Substack newsletter: Behind the Book. I only discovered this the other week, but I can already tell it’s going to become one of my favourite newsletters. Her piece on writing without inspiration in “Sometimes Writing is Just a Job” is a great read.
December is a month for lists, especially on Twitter. Scott Bryan’s annual list of WTF British TV moments never disappoints. A complete timeline of Twitter events and meme formats etc. from @LlamaInaTux really illustrated just how long this year has been. But Mic Wright’s list of the worst columns from 2021 is a horrific showcase of how much of a cesspit the British media is. He elaborates on this list in his newsletter (part 1 & part 2).
I don’t really like to share what music I listen to. My friend Max Beckett, on the other hand, loves to share what music he likes. Earlier this month he published his 50 best albums of 2021.
As always, thank you so so much for reading! If you haven’t subscribed yet but wish to, you can do so here:
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Once again, Happy New Year! I’ll see you in the middle of the month. :)