Sometimes you go to the comic book store and they are having a five dollar sale and the 11-year-old you who didn't ever play D&D but would sit at the same table with her friends while she read and they played it says, "BUY THOSE PLEASE." This is particularly likely to happen if you have already read the first volume in individual issues that you borrowed from your friend-boss-gaming-group-buddy when they were coming out. Where by you I mean "I/me". They were funny and predictable and compulsively pleasant to read, and they have since made their way to 2 other people who felt the same way, and they are not done yet. Not a bad investment for 10 bucks.
(245, 246; O42, O43)
On the Books, by Greg Farrell
A sobering, personal, mildly quirky look at a labor struggle at Strand Books. If you are interested in labor and/or working in bookstore, it's more than worth your time.
Processional, by Anne Compton
When I was a little girl, before I went to school, Anne Compton was one of my mum's friends and her sons Quentin and Aaron were friends of mine. Time and distance mean I haven't talked to her or them in years, but it was still lovely to read this (extremely accomplished, Governor-General's-Award-winning) volume of poems and feel the echoes of our shared Maritime heritage and my fragmentary little girl memories of a strong and compassionate woman.
North Face, by Mary Renault
I read this because it's a novel about climbing and about love and there aren't a lot of stories in that Venn diagram. I very much liked it and it is very strange.
The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson (complimentary copy)
So basically the only reason I haven't read everything Sanderson has written by now is that I'm afraid the golden-goose correlation between "he writes it" and "I enjoy it in an undemanding but meaningful way" might get worn out if I push on it too hard. There may be a binge someday, though. And I very very much enjoyed this one.
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris
It's awfully nice when I uncharacteristically develop a fondness for a celebrity AND said celebrity consistently acts / writes / speaks / etc in such a way as to reinforce rather than undermine said fondness. The Choose Your Own Adventure gimmick was just gravy.
Stand on Zanzibar, by John Brunner
Intellectually tasty and very readable. I found some of it rather tooth-grinding - there's a thing where people who were actually *ahead* of the curve on certain things (race, gender, sexual orientation), back in the day, can be a bit harder to read than people who didn't think about it - because they DON'T ignore it and so the disjunct between their perceptions and my own is omnipresent. Whereas other books that are far more philosophically annoying because me and so many of my friends aren't even in them, can be less annoying while I'm in them, because it just ... doesn't grate so. I'm used to disappearing myself to read a book, not so used to arguing with it all the time. But the latter really is better, and in this book it's far from the most important thing anyway. I'm immensely looking forward to grumping my way through more of his work next year.
The Smurfs Anthology Volume 1, by Peyo
When I was in French immersion for elementary school, my school library had ALL the Smurfs books and Asterix books and Tintin books and Spirou books and several other sets of bandes dessinees besides, and I read and reread and rereread them. I've kept rereading Asterix and Tintin, but it was superfun to revisit the little blue guys. Will probably reread the rest, but I know a ten-year-old who will be a better home for them than I would.