2020 Reads: January

1 & 2. Batman: Birth of the Demon by Mike W. Barr & Dennis O’Neil

I kicked off 2020 with a Batman double feature. I didn't make it through as many graphic novels as I'd have liked last year. So, this year, I'm going to attempt to work through my reading list in cycles: Graphic Novel - Fiction - YA (with a few Classics, Poetry & Non-Fic's thrown in to mix it up). Birth of the Demon was a great start to the year. The story was originally published as a trilogy. The first story in the saga was written in 1977 and it was wrapped up in 1992. It explores Batman's relationship with Ra's al Ghul and provides a stunning origin story for the iconic villain. Required reading for fans of the Dark Knight.

3. 1984 by George Orwell

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." - George Orwell. My first classic of 2020; the definitive dystopian, Goerge Orwell's, 1984. I'd been meaning to read this book for years and I'm so glad I finally did. It may have been written in 1949, but it’s just as relevant today, if not more so. It is unquestionably the most terrifying book I have ever read. You really feel the claustrophobia and horror of life under a totalitarian government. I physically squirmed in parts. Without a doubt, one of the best books I've read. "Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad." - George Orwell

4. S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett

You are cordially invited to Longcross Hall, Cumberland. Prepare for a weekend of fine dining, blood sports and fleeing for your life... Note to self: if a group of elitist, racist, snobs, invite me to their remote estate… give it a hard pass. This YA thriller is the first in a trilogy. It's main protagonist, Greer MacDonald, was utterly infuriating. However, I couldn't turn those pages fast enough. It was like one of those horror movies you love to yell at, "IT'S A TRAP. GET OUT, STUPID!" It's a fun page turner, think The Shooting Party meets Gossip Girl.

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This box set was gifted to me a while back. I don't know why it took me so long to get stuck in, but I'm hooked. I haven't been this excited about a series since Harry Potter. I love the rich juxtaposition Riordan creates by taking Greek mythology and thrusting it into a contemporary setting. I finally understand what all the fuss is about. This enduring fantasy series has it all... It's a timeless adventure quest, filled with humour, heart and heroes. What more could you want? Romance, betrayal, tragedy? Check, check and double check.

6. Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals by Len Wein, George Perez, and Greg Potter

I started brushing up on my Wonder Woman knowledge before the release of WW84. I decided to start with this 80's classic. In 1987, God's and Mortals provided Diana Prince with a much-needed revamp. It retold her origin story and brought the Amazon Princess back to her roots, placing a strong emphasis on her background in Greek mythology. Many of my favorite aspects of the character were sculpted in this era. This awesome volume also features Wonder Woman #1 originally published in June 1942.

Pick of the Month: 1984 by George Orwell

(I mean, come on, it was a no-brainer.)