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What I read in 2014—and some things I watched

Happy new year, and welcome to 2015 and the annual list of stuff I read in 2014. You’ve noticed that I have not for the longest time written an article on visual media like film or television, including animé. Sadly, my animé discoveries have been sparse over the last several years. But on the plus side of being in grad school, I’ve recently gotten back into watching more television—kind of as a format-induced way of recreation to contrast with all the reading I need to do—even though most of such reading is non-fiction!

As usual, 💡 (lightbulb icon) indicates a recommendation on my part, with the exception of the shorts section.

I have yet to be utterly wowed by a recent feature-length film (exceptions to follow), but I’ve found a few incredibly engaging tv series: Orphan Black; Elementary, better than BBC’s recent Sherlock, in spite of Cumberbatch’s excellent acting—Liu’s Watson is the best characterization, and I even found the Elementary‘s version of Moriarity the best yet; Person of Interest for obvious timely reasons; the web series Bee and Puppycat, because we all need more animated weirdness in our lives; Warehouse 13, except for its last season, alas; and Community as the delightful exception to my usual dislike of sitcoms.

Exceptional film recommendations (i.e., the ones I remember watching last year *ahem*): A Letter to Momo (2011, animé); Ida (2013, Poland); Starlet (2012); The Royal Tannenbaums (2001); Monsieur Lazhar (2011, Canada); and Her (2013). Why yes, I do fall behind easily with video media. 😉

To jump to a section:

Comics & Art Monographs

💡 Ang, Joy. A variety of cute, quirky comics.

Baldwin, Christoper. Spacetrawler.

💡 Bardy, Dakota. Changeling (completed).

💡 Barrack, David. Grrl Power (ongoing).

💡 Becker, Aaron. Journey.

💡 Bell, Cece. El Deafo.

💡 Bing, Kory. Skin Deep (ongoing).

💡 Bitch Magazine. Don’t Be a Dick, a series on gender, sex, and comics (completed).

💡 Boulet. It’s a Kind of Magic and Kingdom Lost (both completed).

Brown, Lars. Single Dragon (completed).

Burns, Charles. Sugar Skull.

Cartozia Tales (ongoing anthology), edited by Isaac Cates.

Campbell, T., Phil Kahn, John Waltrip, Samantha Kyle, and Erica Henderson. Guilded Age (ongoing).

Carroll, Emily. Through the Woods.

💡 Conley, Aaron. Laila and Luther (completed; NSFW).

💡 Cope, Ashley. Unsounded (ongoing).

💡 Cunningham, Darryl. Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes, and Scams.

Dawson, Mike. Prospect Park Dusk (completed).

Delporte, Julie. Everywhere Antennas.

Dezgado, Todd and Craig Rousseau. Perhapanauts: Dark Days.

Doctorow, Cory and Jen Wang. Con/Game.

💡 Drouhard, Brianne. Harpy Gee (ongoing).

💡 Ewing, Al and Lee Garbett. Loki: Agent of Asgard (ongoing).

💡 Fraction, Matt and Chip Zdarsky. Sex Criminals: One Weird Trip, volume 1 (ongoing, NSFW).

Gedris, Megan Rose. Le Jardin, warning: NSFW.

💡 Gillman, Melanie. Smbitten in its entirety is available as a pay-what-you-want download. 🙂

💡 Goldstein, Sophie and Jenn Jordan. Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell (completed).

Goudreau, Christianne and Taneka Stotts. Full Circle (ongoing).

Greenberg, Isabel. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth.

Harrell, Rob. Monster on the Hill.

💡 Hatke, Ben. Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Space Girl, and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (completed).

Heber, Amos, Sean Heber, and David Lanham. Big Towers.

[reread] Hicks, Faith Erin. The Adventures of Superhero Girl.

Humon. Humon Comics.

Irwin, Jane. Clockwork Game (completed).

Itty Bitty Orphan Black.

💡 Iwaoka, Hisae. Saturn Apartments, volume 7 (completed).

Jackson, Mike. Apartmageddon (on hiatus).

Jobateh, Gisele. Star Trip (ongoing).

Johnston, Antony. Umbral: Out of the Shadows.

💡 Kibuishi, Kazu. Amulet (ongoing).

💡 Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen and An Age of License: A Travelogue.

Kosek, Christopher. The Default Trigger (completed).

💡 Lagacé, Gisèle, David Lumsdon, and Maria Victoria Robado. Ménage à 3 (ongoing, NSFW).

💡 Law, Alex and Ted Anderson. Spark! Part of Little Girls Are Better at designing Superheroes than You.

💡 Layne, Aliza. Demon Street (ongoing).

Leong, Tim. Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe.

Leyh, Kat. Supercakes.

💡 McNeil, Carla Speed. Finder: Third World.

💡 Melançon, Isabella. Knot and Silver Button (completed).

Menotti, Peter, Joe Cashman, et al. Evil Diva (ongoing).

Monster, Sfé. Kyle & Atticus (on hiatus).

Moore, Alan and Steve Parkhouse. The Bojeffries Saga.

Moore, Alan, Fecundio Percio, and Malcolm McClaren. Fashion Beast.

💡 Norton, Mike. Battlepug (ongoing).

O’Malley, Bryan Lee. Seconds.

💡 O’Neill, Katie. Below the Waves (completed).

Peeters, Frederik. Aama volume 1: The Smell of Warm Dust.

💡 Porter, Magnolia. Monster Pulse (ongoing).

Robin, Holly. The Robinhead.

Ruth, Greg. The Lost Boy.

Ryan, Sara and Carla Speed McNeil. Bad Houses.

Salmone, Peter and Sandra Lanz. Yonderling (on hiatus).

Sala, Richard. Super-Enigmatix (ongoing)

Sam. Short stories on a mermaid ( 💡 ), a banshee, and a dragon. Ongoing webcomic Granted.

💡 Sell, Chad and Jay Fuller. The Sorceress Next Door (completed).

Sennwald, Aleks and Pete Toms. The Short Con.

Sexton, Michael. Everblue (ongoing).

Shiga, Jason. Bookhunter.

💡 Soo, Kean. Jellaby: The Lost Monster and Monster in the City (completed).

💡 Smut Peddler 2014: Ladyporn Conquers Earth (NSFW). More excellent selections from C. Spike Trottman and Johanna Carlson Draper, featuring or created by women.

Strumpet: A Transatlantic Feast of Lady Comix, issues 2 and 3 (anthology).

💡 Swinehart, Nate. “Being good to each other is so important, guys” (completed).

💡 Tan, Shaun. The Arrival.

Thelen, Greg, et al. 30 Minutes to Live (completed)

Thompson, Scott, et al. Husk: The Hollow Planet, volume 1.

💡 Vaughan, Brian K. and Fiona Staples. Saga, volumes 2 and 3 (ongoing).

Warren, Paige “Rampaige” Halsey. Busty Girl Comics (completed).

💡 Watson, Andi and Simon Gane. Paris.

Weathington, Leia, et al. Bold Riley (ongoing).

Whitley, Jeremy and M. Goodwin. Princeless: Save Yourself, book one.

Wilgus, Alison. A Leaf in the Night (completed).

💡 Wilson, G. Willow and Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel: No Normal.

Wu, Kylie Summer. Trans Girl Next Door.

💡 Yang, Gene Luen. The Shadow Hero.

Yumi, Kiiro. Library Wars, volumes 9 through 11.

Longer Fiction

Oof, even fewer books than last year!

de Lint, Charles, and Charles Vess. The Cats of Tanglewood Forest.

DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Battle for WondLa, book 3 of the WondLa trilogy.

McKinley, Robin. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast.

💡 McKinley, Robin. Rose Daughter.

Mohanraj, Mary Anne. The Stars Change.

💡 Montero, Rosa. Tears in Rain.

Scalzi, John. Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome.

💡 Schwartz, David J. Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic.

💡 Thomson, Amy. Virtual Girl.

Wilson, Daniel H. Amped.

Shorter Fiction

Unfortunately, the past year’s list of my favorite short stories is abridged due to technical issues: namely iOS now requiring usage of a separate app which no longer allows ratings, and iTunes no longer tracking (at least in a way I could follow) my manual ratings in OS X. 🙁 In any case, as with past posts, these shorts are the ones I gave top ratings to.

I recommend the following as excellent sources of short speculative fiction.

Acks, Rachael. “Significant Figures.”

Adams, Elisabeth R. “Subversion.”

Anders, Charlie Jane. “Complicated and Stupid.”

Arnason, Eleanor. “The Lovers.”

Bardugo, Leigh. “The Too-Clever Fox” and “Little Knife.”

Barnett, Barbara A. “The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen.”

Baxter, Stephen. “Cilia-of-Gold.”

Becker, Aaron. “Journey.”

Black, Holly. “The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue.”

Bourne, Mark and Elizabeth. “One Flesh.”

Brennan, Marie. “The Ascent of Unreason.”

Bucciaglia, Cole. “Bee Yard.”

Buckell, Tobias. “System Reset.”

Burgis, Stephanie. “Foxwoman” and “The Wrong Foot.”

Cade, O.J. “Longfin’s Daughters.”

Callaway, Adam. “Walls of Skin, Soft as Paper.”

Chu, John. “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade” and “Thirty Seconds From Now.”

Clarke, Arthur C. “Rescue Party.”

Clitheroe, Heather. “Cuts Both Ways.”

Cuba, Gary. “Making Friends.”

de Bodard, Aliette. “Heaven Under Earth,” “The Breath of War,” and “Ship’s Brother.”

Daniels, Gillian. “Quiet Death Machines.”

Danvers, Dennis. “Leaving the Dead.”

Dellamonica, A.M. “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.”

Dicken, Evan. “Paradise Left.”

Dickinson, Seth. “Never Dreaming (in Four Burns)” and “Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation.”

Emrys, Ruthanna. “The Litany of Earth” and “Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land.”

Friesner, Esther. “The Shunned Trailer.”

Garrity, Shaenon K. “Francisca Montoya’s Almanac of Things That Can Kill You.”

Gloss, Molly. “Lambing Season.”

Goonan, Kathleen Ann. “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” Part of’s “Space Ballet” series.

Goss, Theodora. “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon.”

Heuvelt, Olde, Thomas. “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket.”

Hines, Jim C. “Stranger vs. the Malevolent Malignancy.”

Hoffmann, Ada. “The Mother of All Squid Builds a Library.”

Howard, Kat. “The Saint of the Sidewalks.”

Hutt, C.T. “Walking Still.”

Ivy, Anne. “Scry.”

Jemisin, N.K. “Playing Nice with God’s Bowling Ball,” “Stone Hunger,” and “Walking Awake.”

Jones, Gwyneth. “The Ki-anna.”

Kahn, Meda. “Difference of Opinion.”

Kelly, James Patrick. “The Promise of Space.”

Kress, Nancy. “First Principle.”

Kressel, Matthew. “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye.”

Kritzer, Naomi. “Bits.”

Lackey, Jamie. “Seeking The Great Raymundo.”

Lambert, Benjamin Roy. “Division of Labor.”

Leckie, Ann. “Saving Bacon.”

Lee, Yoon Ha. “The Contemporary Foxwife,” “The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars,” and “Wine.”

Lemberg, Rose. “Teffeu: A Book from the Library at Taarona.”

Levine, David D. “The Tale of the Golden Eagle.”

Lingen, Marissa. “Armistice Day,” “Cursed Motives,” and “The Suitcase Aria.”

Liu, Ken. “Reborn,” part of’s “Space Ballet” series; “Good Hunting” and “The MSG Golem.”

MacFarlane, Alex Dally. “Found” and “Singing Like a Hundred Dug-up Bones.”

Machado, Carmen Maria. “Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”

MacLeod, Kate. “Din Ba Din.”

Mankiller, Katherine. “Saving Alan Idle.”

Marcus, Daniel. “Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes.”

McAllister, Bruce. “The Boy in Zaquitos.”

McAuley, Paul J. “Dead Men Walking.”

McDonald, Sandra. “Selfie.”

McHugh, Maureen F. “Special Economics.”

McIntosh, Will. “Dry Bite.”

McIntyre, Vonda N. “Little Faces.”

Mellor, Greg. “Mar Pacifico”

Mierzwa, Jack. “Saltwater Economics.”

Miéville, China. “Polynia.”

Moffett, Judith. “Space Ballet,” part of’s “Space Ballet” series.

Mohanraj, Mary Anne. “Communion.”

Moraine, Sunny. “I Tell Thee All, I Can No More.”

North, Ryan. “Cancer.”

Novakova, Julie. “The Symphony of Ice and Dust.”

Ocampo, Victor Fernando R. “How My Sister Leonora Brought Home a Wife.”

Palwick, Susan. “Going After Bobo.”

Pinsker, Sarah. “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind” and “Join Our Team of Time Travel Professionals.”

Pratt, T.A. “Ill Met in Ulthar” (featuring Marla Mason).

Reed, Robert. “Mystic Falls.”

RoboNinja. “The Legend of RoboNinja.”

Rosenbaum, Benjamin. “Feature Development for Social Networking.”

Rosenblum, Mary. “The Egg Man.”

Rutkoski, Marie. “Bridge of Snow.”

Schneyer, Kenneth. “Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer.”

Shaw, Heather and Tim Pratt. “Seasonal Disorder.”

Shawl, Nisi. “Red Matty.”

Singh, Vandana. “Infinities.”

Sobel, Rachel. “The River Does Not Run.”

Spencer, William Browning. “The Halfway House at the Heart of Darkness.”

Sriduangkaew, Benjanun. “Golden Daughter, Stone Wife” and “Sixty Years in the Women’s Provence”

Steinmetz, Ferrett. “Black Swan Oracle” and “Dead Merchandise.”

Tarr, Judith. “Made of Cats.”

“Thirty-Six Interrogatories Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation.” Read on Toasted Cake.

Tomaras, Joseph. “Bonfires in Anacostia.”

Treadwell, A.B. “Bakemono, or The Thing That Changes.”

Truslow, Tori. “Boat in Shadows, Crossing.”

van Eekhout, Greg. “Far as You Can Go.”

Vernon, Ursula. “Jackalope Wives.”

Wade, Juliette. “Soul’s Bargain.”

Walker, Deborah. “Glass Future.”

Walters, Damien Angelica. “The Serial Killer’s Astronaut Daughter.”

Walton, Jo. “Sleeper.”

Watt-Evans, Lawrence. “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers.”

Wheeler, Lillian. “ARIECC 1.0.”

Williams, Sean. “Face Value.”

Wilson, Alex. “Vestigial Girl.”

Wilson, Robert Charles. “Utriusque Cosmi.”

Yoachim, Caroline M. “Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion.”

Yu, E. Lily. “Ilse, Who Saw Clearly” and “Loss, With Chalk Diagrams.”


This section includes textbooks and other materials I’ve used for graduate school. But, still, mostly food books. 😉

Austerberry, David. Digital Asset Management, 2nd edition. Pricey, focuses primarily on video and broadcasting industries, and rather out of date for a rapidly developing field. Keathley’s book is much better, and more timely (as of this writing).

💡 Baljekar, Mridula. The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 classic recipes from the great regions of India, shown in over 1500 vibrant photographs.

💡 Campbell, James W.P. and Will Pryce. The Library: A World History.

💡 Carrillo Arronte, Magarita. Mexico: The Cookbook.

💡 Cassell, Kay Ann and Uma Hiremath. Reference and Information Services: An Introduction, 3rd edition.

Chan, Lois Mai. Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction, 3rd edition.

Fitzgerald, Michael. Introducing Regular Expressions.

💡 Fulbeck, Kip. Part Asian: 100% Hapa.

💡 Intner, Shelia, Joanna F. Fountain, and Jean Weihs (editors). Cataloging Correctly for Kids: An Introduction to the Tools, 5th edition. Applicable to materials for all ages, actually!

💡 Keathley, Elizabeth Ferguson. Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Manangement, and Creating Order out of Digital Chaos. Also available as a free, abridged podcast from the author’s website.

💡 McGlagan, Jennifer. Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes.

💡 Medrich, Alice. Flavor Flours.

Medrich, Alice. Seriously Bitter Sweet, a revised version of Bitter Sweet; updated with weight measurements, yay!

💡 Medrich, Alice. Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts.

Meredith, Leda. Preserving Everything: Can, Culture, Pickle, Freeze, Ferment, Dehydrate, Salt, Smoke, and Store Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Milk, and More.

Mortimer, Mary. Learn Descriptive Cataloging, 2nd North American edition.

Nobleman, Marc Tyler. What’s the Difference? How to Tell Things Apart that are Confusingly Close.

💡 Ottolenghi, Yotam. Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi.

Palazuelos, Susanna. México The Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of México.

💡 Presilla, Maricel E. Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America.

💡 Schott, Ben. Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition.

Stubblebine, Tony. Regular Expression Pocket Reference.

Williams, Robin. The Non-designer’s Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice (2008, 3rd edition).

Wing, Charles. How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home. Otherwise helpful, except for the strange omission of residential photovoltaic systems in a book published in 2012!


Once again, some of this I abandoned out of disinterest (so many things to read, listen to, and watch, so little time!), but some I left incomplete because they are best digested in bits and pieces even though they were excellent resources. I have denoted the latter with the 💡 icon.

Note about food manga: I continue to be saddened that I cannot get into any of the food manga I’ve read over the past several years. I had hoped that the combination of medium and beloved themes (food culture and/or recipes in a manga format) would delight me. But as with Oishinbo, I have found that despite the subject matter, the characters and storylines (but especially the former) are either too self-absorbed or just too aggravating for me to keep reading. I hope I’ll eventually find a food manga to enjoy in the future—or, have more patience to retry works by Yoshinaga, Ishikawa, Kariya, et al. One of these years… :-\

Alexius, Vitaly S. Romantically Apocalyptic.

💡 Bailey, L.H. and E.Z (editors). Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada.

Baljekar, Mridula et al. Best Ever Indian Cookbook: 325 Famous Step-By-Step Recipes For The Greatest Spicy And Aromatic Dishes.

💡 Barry, Lynda. What It Is.

Bertozzi, Nick. Persimmon Cup.

Bogart, Matthew. The Chairs’ Hiatus.

💡 Brickell, Christopher (editor). American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening.

Cagle, Mary. Kiwi Blitz.

💡 Campbell, T. A History of Webcomics.

Campos, Maritza, and Bachan. Power Nap.

Ciurczak, Dan. Vibe.

💡 Creasy, Rosalind. Edible Landscaping (revised and updated 2010 edition).

💡 Devine, Jane and Francine Egger-Sider. Going Beyond Google Again (2014, with companion site) and Going Beyond Google (2009). Many of the resources in the earlier book (Chapter 6, “A sample of tools for mining the Invisible Web”) are now defunct.

Dorse, Vince. Untold Tales of Bigfoot.

Draught Associates. Visual Aid: Stuff You’ve Forgotten, Things You Never Thought You Knew, and Lessons You Didn’t Quite Get Around to Learning.

Duggan, Michael. Web Comics for Teens.

Edwards, R.J. Riot Nrrd.

England, Joseph. Zebra Girl.

Falcone, Amy T. and Mary Cagle. Clique Refresh.

Fedoruk, Kadi. Blindsprings.

Friedl, Jeffrey E.F. Mastering Regular Expressions, 3rd edition (2012).

Geary, Suzanne. Brainchild (ongoing).

Hage, Salma. The Lebanese Kitchen.

Hastings, Christopher and Anthony Clark. The Aventures of Dr. McNinja.

Hesse, Tyson. Boxer Hockey.

Houston-McIntyre, Savannah, Andrew Hewitt, and Rebecca Gunter. Amya.

Howard, Abby. The Last Halloween.

Ishikawa, Masayuki. Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture.

Jennings, Jamie. Lavender Legend.

💡 Kapoor, Sanjay. How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen.

Kilgannon, Jon and Mark Sachs. A Miracle of Science.

Lee, Jenn Manley. Dicebox.

Lepas, Pascalle, and Chris Layfield. Zap!

Masayuki, Ishikawa. Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture.

Mo, Ricardo, Henry Ponciano, Alberto Muriel, HdE, and Rodolfo Reyes. Propeller.

Morrison, Zack. Paranatural.

Naro, Maki and Nadir. Sci-ənce.

Nunnelly, Heather. Vacant.

Panagariya, Ananth and Yuko Ota. Johnny Wander.

💡 Pépin, Jacques. New Complete Techniques (revised and updated edition, 2012).

Pepoy, Andrew. The Adventures of Simone and Ajax.

Pratt, Thomas and Kambrea. Shadowbinders.

Roman, Dave and Jason Ho. Agnes Quill.

💡 Rubin, Greg and Lucy Warren. The California Native Landscape: The Homeowner’s Design Guide to Restoring Its Beauty and Balance.

Saaremael, Silver and Kaija Rudkiewicz. Run Freak Run.

Sakugawa, Yumi. Comics and illustrations.

💡 Simpson, Dana C. Ozy and Millie (completed, but I haven’t finished reading).

Straub, Kris. Starslip.

Sundberg, Minna. A Redtail’s Dream.

Szabla, Annie. Bird Boy.

Tamaki, Jillian and Mariko. This One Summer.

Terracciano, Michael. Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire.

💡 Trottman, C. Spike and Diana Nock. Poorcraft.

Tufte, Edward. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative.

Vigneault, François. Titan.

White, Alex W. The Elements of Graphic Design: Space, Unity, Page Architecture, and Type (2011, 2nd edition).

Xamag. The Black Brick Road of O.Z..

Yoshinaga, Fumi. What Did You Eat Yesterday?.

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