I read a lot of great comics and books last year. I finally finished the Lunar Chronicles series. I started and finished the Red Queen series. I read fun, old Spider-Man, Conan, and X-Men comics. As we enter a new year, I looked back on all the books and comics I read in 2019.
Here are my top ten books and comics of 2019.
10. Notable Notebooks: Scientists and Their Writings
This was a great picture book that talked about all the different scientists throughout history and about their notebooks. The art was so cute and perfect for this book. The story teaches children the importance of using a notebook. It is also full of fun facts about scientists.
9. The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
This book was great in giving examples of different expressions and movements with all the emotions we writers make our characters go through. I loved how it also gave examples of how one emotion could turn into another. The Emotion Thesaurus has become a staple at my writing desk. It is something I pick up frequently to help me in a tough scene. If you are a writer, I definitely recommend this book.
8. The Rose
So, there is a story behind this book. This book was the book that got me into reading. My all-time favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast. I have loved that movie since I saw it in theaters with my dad. There is no topping that movie for me. As a kid, I didn’t read very much. I would rather play basketball or video games. The Scholastic Book Fair came to my school. And like any kid, I was super excited that there was a store in my school. My parents gave me a check for enough to buy two books. I was over the moon, excited. I would get to go shopping on my own for the first time and pick out whatever I wanted. When it was time for my class to go, I went shopping. Looking at all the books and reading all of their back covers. Then, I picked up this book. It was a retelling of my favorite movie ever! I had to get this. I checked out, and during my free time in class, I dove in. When I got home, I continued to devour this story. I read all evening. Before I went to bed, I had already finished the book. Not only was this the first book that I finished (that wasn’t a school assignment), but it was the first book I had read in a day. Now it isn’t very long, but to a kid who wasn’t a reader, this was a big deal. I loved that book. After, I couldn’t stop reading. Every few years, I reread this book. I still have the same book I bought when I was a kid. Every time I open up that worn bent up cover and read the first few sentences, it takes me back to when I first discovered the magic of reading. The Rose will always be one of my most treasured books.
7. Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Vol. 5
I am so enjoying this series. Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess was such a good game. The retelling of it is fantastic. I love the added detail and the development of Link’s character. This is by far my favorite retelling of the Legend of Zelda. Link is trying to save Hyrule from being consumed by the shadow realm which has altered him into a wolf. With the reluctant help of Midna, they search for a way to save both of their worlds.
6. Age of Conan Belit
This comic does an excellent job of creating Belit origins. If you are a Conan fan, then you know Belit appeared in the old comic series for a time. She is a swashbuckling pirate that can go toe to toe with Conan. The Belit series creates her origins. In the old Conan series, her origins were never really detailed out. The writer did an excellent job of creating this young girl who was determined to become a famous, rich, and deadly pirate captain like her father. She is driven and will make sacrifices for her dream, even though those choices, weigh heavily on her. The art in this series is just amazing. I love the details and the colors; it just makes the story more vibrant. This was a great read.
5. Cress the 3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles
Cress was just a fun read. Cinder has always been my favorite character in the series, but Cress comes at a pretty close second. I loved her awkward character. She would talk herself into being brave my reimaging herself and her surroundings. How perfectly nerdy is that? My favorite scene in this book is where Cress and Thorne must somehow survive their trek through a vast desert. Marissa Meyer described the situation and the scenery so richly that I actually felt thirsty for them. The vivid writing of that moment in Cress made this one of my favorites of the series.
4. Winter the 4th book in the Lunar Chronicles
Winter is the conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles, and it doesn’t disappoint. It is jam-packed full of action and happily ever afters. This book did a great job of wrapping up the story. Marissa Meyer is a master at writing for multiple characters and completing all of their arks. Every character was vastly different from each other, and all of them had different goals. The friendship that develops among this ragtag group is so sweet and endearing. You feel the strong bond these characters have for each other. The romance that slowly develops between some of our main characters has a wonderful end for each of them. My favorite was Cinder’s and Cress’s ending. This was a great series, and the final book did a great job, which is why it is on my favorites list of the year.
3. Conan the Barbarian Giant-sized issue 1
I am a bit of a Conan the Barbarian fan. I grew up watching Arnold Schwarzenegger play Conan in this imaginative fantasy world. They were some of my favorite movies growing up. When I started reading comics, it wasn’t too surprising that I would begin collecting Conan. I was really excited to come across the Giant-Size Conan in 2019. It had two stories in it. Both were really interesting. My favorite of the two was the first one. Conan was a king, and he felt a powerful threat coming to face his army. He starts to reflect back on his many adventures. I won’t go into too many more details. I don’t want to spoil it. This was such a fun sword, and sorcery read that I actually read this comic three times last year.
2. Zero Stone
I just discovered Andre Norton last year when I picked up her book The Zero Stone. I actually bought Uncharted Stars first, which was the sequel. This led me to hunt down the first book. I found it at a used book store in south Texas. That bookstore had a beautiful collection of old SciFi books. Plus a generous amount of Andre Norton books all of them around two to three dollars. Needless to say, my souvenirs from my vacation to Galveston was great old SciFi books.
Zero Stone is about a man who has lost it all and is thrown into some crazy adventure with a talking cat. Yes, you read that right. His companion in this book is a talking cat, named Eet. Norton does a fabulous job in writing just enough details to describe this alien planet that Mordoc crash lands on. As you read this book, you feel like you are struggling to piece together the mystery behind the zero stone right along with Murdoc and Eet. Zero Stone is a fun, adventurous story set in space.
1. Uncharted Stars
The sequel to Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars, was my favorite book of the year. I loved how Norton wrapped up the story with Murdoc and Eet. In Zero Stone, Murdoc was forced into the adventure and along the way learns what he is capable of. In Uncharted Stars, Murdoc is more confident to take risks and actively seeks out adventure in his journey to discover the answer to the mysterious Zero Stone. The twist at the ending was just awesome. I didn’t see it coming. Norton does a great job again describing fantastical alien worlds and beings as Murdoc and Eet sets a course to uncharted territory.
2019 was an excellent year for reading and discovering new authors that I enjoy. The one thing I wish was that I kept better track of was all the comics I read throughout the year. This year I have made my own tracker in my planner. Hopefully, I will keep better track this year. I can’t wait for all the new books and comics that I will read and discover in 2020!
What great books do you read this year? Let me know in the comments down below.
Until Next Time!