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Here are my favorite adult reads in 2016. ¬†Only 6 months late ūüôā ¬†Hope you find something you like.


20696006Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

A doctor writes about both his professional and personal experience with people facing terminal illness, and discusses different approaches to dying. As a doctor he’s trained to fix problems, but when the problem is not fixable, what then? Should patients spend small fortunes on treatments that may or may not extend their lives, suffering terrible side effects and giving them false hope? Should they do nothing at all? And what about those who are not technically dying, but too ill to care for themselves? What does research and experience tell us about how to spend our final days?

This is a book for everyone. We are all mortal, all dying one minute at a time. And so are our friends, our family, and everyone we love(dark, I know). This is a book about how to deal with the practical and medical problems of facing the inevitable.


26072609The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

A conversation between Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. It’s fascinating to hear Gloria Vanderbilt, 91 at the time, talk about her privileged but lonely childhood, and her tumultuous youth. She reflects on the life she was born into, and how it influenced her decisions, while Anderson Cooper reflects on how her life in turn affected his own. The point of the conversation was to deepen their relationship and understanding of each other as parent and child, and inspire others to do the same. I think they succeeded.




David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell on advantages, disadvantages, and how sometimes they are not what they seem. Fascinating, as always.






You’re Never Weird on the Internet(Almost) by Felicia Day

Fantastic biography, especially if you get the audio because it’s read by Felicia herself! I loved hearing about her weird childhood, her anxiety and insecurities, and how she began working on The Guild. She’s infinitely relatable in her enthusiasm for all things geeky, her frequent moments of mortification, her hopes and her fears. It’s all in there, including her struggles with gaming addiction, depression, and Gamergate. When I finished, I just wanted to hug her and thank her for sharing such personal memories. I have a great empathy and respect for anyone who can acknowledge that they are struggling with mental illness, get help and recover, and then share their story despite all the social stigma. Felicia, I adore you more now than ever.



Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This was probably the best book I read all year. ¬†If you or anyone you care about has suffered from mental illness of any kind, you should read this book. And if you don’t know anyone who has suffered from mental illness, then either you don’t know that many people, or more likely, they’re just afraid to tell you. Basically, I’m saying you should read this book. Jenny tells funny personal stories about her strange life and her experiences with depression, anxiety, and other disorders. But she also talks about how mental illness lies to you, tries to hurt you, and promotes a wonderful idea: if depression can make you sink low enough to want to die, then maybe you also have the capacity to rise to the height of being crazy with joy too. She wants to spite her depression by being furiously happy. I love this idea(and this book), and I’ve tried to incorporate furiously happy into my own life. ¬†I’ve had ballgown themed birthday parties, kissed people just because I wanted to, wore a dinosaur hat at work, and just generally tried to be unrestrained with things that make me happy. ¬†It doesn’t solve anything, but I’ve found it to be a useful tool in coping with depression. ¬†Thank you, Jenny Lawson.



25735012Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

This is book 3 in a series, and I love it, so I’m gonna list it even though it’s not the first one. ¬†Get used to this. ¬†Cormoran Strike and Robin are up against their first serial killer while Robin and Matthew’s wedding date looms… Once again, I wasn’t sure about the killer until Strike revealed his hand, but oh, the ending! ¬†Gah! ¬†I want the next one already.




16071701Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaason

A fisherman off the coast of Florida reels in a human arm flipping the bird. ¬†A disgraced police detective demoted to restaurant inspector starts investigating, hoping to earn his badge back. A Bohemian fisherman and his spiteful pet monkey try to put a voodoo curse on a the white man who’s bought his family home out from under him. There’s also a sexy morgue doctor, a fugitive sex offender, a drunken voodoo hag, and a few unscrupulous land developers. Wackiness ensues. I love the crazy character back stories, including the monkey’s back story, and the way all the characters find that their paths cross in a satisfying ending. ¬†A very fun read if you don’t mind a little crude humor.




Timeline by Michael Crichton

Classic Michael Crichton, and definitely one of his better stories. A big tech corporation funds a historical dig of a medieval castle while doing research on time travel. Then a history professor steps into the past and his graduate students must go back in time to get him. But of course, everything goes wrong, and they are caught between warring medieval factions with no way home…






Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Fat Charlie Nancy is easily embarrassed, gullible, and kind-hearted. He is also, unbeknownst to him, the son of Anansi, the spider trickster god. Then he gets word that his father has died, and learns of a brother he doesn’t remember, and everything starts to get weird.

This was touching, hilarious, mysterious, and filled with wonder, all of the things I love about Neil Gaiman.





Saga volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples

One again, a book that is pretty far into a series, but there’s nothing stopping you from going out and getting volume 1(and you should). ¬†This volume made up for the sucker punch at the end of volume 5. Reunited with many of my favorite characters, and Hazel is finally old enough to begin speaking her mind. ¬†Loved it.


Happy reading.


MOAR Comic-Con!¬† It’s taken me a while to post this since I got really sick shortly after Phoenix Comic-Con(what the hell? You mean vodka doesn’t kill mono?!) and then went to San Diego Comic-Con anyway.¬† Feeling mostly healthy again, fortunately.¬† I was also working on this: Clarion West Write-A-Thon.¬† Anyway, here’s all the cool books I bought, or in some cases got for free:

Phoenix ComiCon swag

Also, I must spread the good news about the Holy Taco Church, which I learned about at the Taco Council panel ūüôā¬† There will be vegetarian options posted since Our Lady of Pico De Gallo, Leanna Renee Hieber is a vegetarian(with excellent fashion sense).

I also learned about Nerd Noms, a Youtube cooking show about making delicious nerd food.  I was most excited about the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, for which I may be needing to use my hangover cure:CAM00502

No, I don’t put it all in the blender and choke it down.¬† That would be gross.¬† I drink the whole bottle of water before bed, then make the Emergen-C and miso soup separately for breakfast.¬† The vitamin water also helps if you can’t stand Emergen-C, or if you still feel kinda icky and need to take something with you on horrible travels into the harsh light of day.

Aaaaaaaannnnddd, here are the adult books discussed at the Cool Things I’m Reading Panel.¬† My co-panelists were Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Books, Nadine from the Phoenix Comic-Con staff, and Patrick from Poisoned Pen Books.¬† Brief teasers follow for the books I’ve read.

Rachel Rising: The Shadow of Death (Rachel Rising, #1) Rachel Rising by Terry Moore

Beautiful graphic novel written and illustrated by Terry Moore.¬† This is the horror story of Rachel, who awakens and drags herself out of a shallow grave in the woods outside of her small town. She returns home with plans to resume her life as if nothing unusual happened, only to realize she’s lost 3 days, and that’s not all.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This book was ridiculous and horrible and sad and hilarious and weird as shit. And I loved it.
It’s the “mostly true” story of of how Jenny Lawson grew up in a tiny town in Texas with a crazy taxidermist father. The phrase “you’re going to get blood on you” came up A LOT.¬† If you are not easily offended, or like being offended, this is for you.

The Parasol Protectorate series, beginning with Soulless, by Gail Carriger

A comedic paranormal romance with a steampunk setting. It has an outspoken, soulless spinster, werewolves, vampires, and comedy, so I loved every page.

Shattered by Kevin Hearne 

The Goblin Emperor The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1)

  After Life with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ; artwork by Francesco Francavilla ; lettering by Jack Morelli.

Alpha by Greg Rucka Alpha

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1) Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie(after the panel happened, this debut novel went on to win the Nebula AND the Hugo!)

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia Monster Hunter International (MHI, #1)

Empire of Salt Empire of Salt by Weston Ochse

The Slab by Jeffrey Mariotte The Slab

Wicked After Midnight (Blud, #3) Wicked After Midnight by Delilah Dawson

Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1)

The Pretenders (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy, #1) Cemetery Girl by Christopher Golden and Charlaine Harris

In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

Tome of the Undergates (Aeons' Gate, #1) Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan Maguire Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)

Anything by Benedict Jacka

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

The Innkeeper's Song Innkeepers Song by Peter S. Beagle

Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Charles Vess Stardust, Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie Book 1 of 4

Tristan Thorn crosses the wall into the land of Faerie in search of his Heart’s Desire: a shooting star to give to the girl of his dreams. But when he finds the star, he discovers that it does not look, or act, at all the way he expected.

Green (Green Universe #1) Green by Jay Lake

I also wrote down the title of a book called “Ice,” but forgot to write down the author… and there are a lot of books called Ice, so good luck there unless Maryelizabeth remembers :p

Hope this gives you lots of fun things to read.  It has definitely added to the Jenga style piles of books by MY bed!