To which I usually respond, “How dare you. How goddamn dare you, you sonofabitch. How DARE you question my commitment to literature?
I am a goddamn Man of Letters™. I have degrees and shit. I’m educated AF. I have a library with many pleather-bound books.
I am literature personified. Me, a Bud Light, a bonfire, a sacrificial goat, a VHS bootleg of Episodes 1-3 of FRIDAY THE 13th THE SERIES, and some freakin’ hard-readin’ literature. That’s my business. I give the phrase “let’s get Lit” a whole new meaning, you dig?
So to answer said question: yes, I read books.
At right is a list of the tomes I read in 2016. For me, it was a very good year of reading. I might have missed a few, but thanks to tracking thins on my Goodread page this is the bulk of them.
FAVORITE BOOK OF 2016:
A KNIGHT OF SEVEN KINGDOMS. George R. R. Martin is a straight-up pimp.
WORST BOOK OF 2016:
THE FIRST MAN IN ROME. It was recommended to me by my pal Pierce Brown. I’m a big fan of Pierce’s RED RISING trilogy, so I assumed, great writing = great taste in books.
As I listened to THE FIRST MAN IN ROME, I discovered that theory is total bullshit. The book was awful. And then, after 6-7 hours of my life lost, I realized the book was abridged*. I italicized that shit on purpose, because abridged is the name of the devil. That’s right: “Old Scratch,” “Satan,” “The Trickster,” and “Abridged.”
Pierce’s recommendations are usually spot-on, so I should have realized earlier something was amiss. Know what was amiss? THE FIRST MAN was a shit-turd, because some corporation asshole cut out eighty-five percent of the book. That’s right, the original audiobook is 43 hours long, the abridged version is a fart-in-the-wind 6 hours.
Know what happens if they cut 85% out of my novel INFECTED? Perry gets an itch, he stabs himself in the collarbone, then he’s waving his junk all over while people shoot at him. That’s it. That’s the entire abridged* plot of INFECTED.
(Granted, I am the one who bought the wrong audiobook, so, you know, I could have looked for the word *abridged, but instead I’ll just coin a new phrase and tell you “I blame corporate.”)
Therefore, I will not hold this blasphemy of a recommendation against Ser Brown, because I’m sure that somewhere in the missing 37 hours of text is a dang good story.
DUDE THERE ARE COMIC BOOKS ON HERE. WTF DUDE?
Those are graphic novels, you pretentious fuck. Do you hear me talking to you, Hillbilly Boy? You must be like the Gimp, in the box, with a padlock and everything.
Yes, there are graphic novels on this list. Frank Miller writes graphic novels, you sonsabitches. Frank. Goddamn. Miller.
Mike Barron’s 1985 BADGER series is my all-time favorite comic. They rebooted it for the modern-day, so I had to have it. It’s good, but not quite the same level as the ’85 version, which is the single best comic book in the history of comics of graphic novels or whateverthefuck you are talking about that involves pictures and also words.
I also read SKIES OF FIRE. This is some dope stuff. Airships, fighter planes, massive battles, beautiful art. Check it out.
THE ONE BOOK THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD READ:
DARKTOWN. Read it. Amazing.
BEST CONCEPT OF 2016:
Matt Wallace’s ENVY OF ANGELS. Bro hit his stride with this one. It’s golden to watch a writer you like as a person and admire as a creator to finally find his “voice.” The series is fun, well-crafted, and wicked-smart. If this isn’t a TV show in the next five years then Hollywood needs to lay off the blow.
WHAT’S WITH THE NON-FICTION? YOU ALL FANCY NOW?
Oh come on, there’s only three non-fic titles in there. I wasted away most of my days with the fictional dreams of others, and it was all time well spent.
2017 BOOKS YOU CAN’T WAIT TO READ?
Nothing in particular, just this teetering tower of the 200-250 books I’ve bought and probably won’t get to. Part of my 2017 plan to become a better person involves reading every morning, before the gym or the workday begins. I think I’m going to be one well-read motherfucker this year. I’ll let you know how that turned out circa January 2018.
Did you read any of the books on this list? What did you think? And what book rocked your socks in 2016? Tell me which book and why in the comments. I might add your tome to my teetering tower.**
*DO NOT LISTEN TO GODDAMN ABRIDGED BOOKS GODDAMIT.
**If that’s not a euphemism for something naughty, it should be.