Top 5 Books – 2021 Edition
This is a tougher list to do, I’m have read five, at least, new books to me, but that encompasses two series. So it’s a bit less like I’ve read five new books. So I’m throwing some comic books into this as well. Some of why my reading of books is down a little bit is that my reading of comic books has been up so let’s get into it.
5. The Great Library
One of the book series that I’ve read, I’ve talked about this one before. This is a very solid young adult series. I still need to finish up the last book, but the series as a whole works. The basic concept is cool, when the library of Alexandria was burned, it was rebuilt and became the haven for all books. But it was taken to a logical end of protecting books so much that it started to seek to control knowledge.
It is also a nice book that has a diverse cast of characters where you don’t notice it so much. That sounds odd to say, but fairly often in stories authors will like to call out what they are doing. This is integrated into the story in a way that it all makes sense and it flows together with the narrative. And that adds a depth and richness to the story that you don’t get if the author is pointing it out or if the diverseness of the cast of characters isn’t there.
4. Strange Academy
The first of the Marvel series, and this one is an ongoing series. And I somewhat have a soft spot for it because it’s a magical school. There’s one in The Great Library series, and there’s one in the next item on my list. The idea of kids learning that they have magical abilities or how to use them just works.
And here you have a unique cast of characters from Dormammu’s son to some Asgardians and a Frost Giant, and then just normal people. Plus teachers being Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Baron Voodoo and more, it is goofier than some comics, but works for me. And while it’s been more short little stories, I’ve enjoyed that I don’t need to wait as long to find out what is happening.
3. Keeper of the Lost Cities
Another set in a school, and another person who didn’t know they were magical getting sent to a school. Now, they knew they weren’t normal because they were telepathic, but they didn’t know what that meant. And it’s fun because it means that there is a whole other world around/intertwined with ours where magical creatures, elves, gnomes, and more exist.
This reminds me over Harry Potter, though, I think the early book writing is better done. And I think the series, thus far, hasn’t tried to do too much. The scope feels focused and while the world is big, there are a lot of interesting storylines. It isn’t limiting itself to just one story, but a lot of them that I’m sure will eventually come together. And the characters are fun to be around.
2. House of X/Power of X
This might be the top comic for a lot of people in 2020, when it came out. I didn’t get it on Marvel Unlimited until this year, and it’s really good. This is an X-Men or X reboot. It’s now, I believe, just called X. And it’s about Charles Xavier trying to create a utopia where mutants can live and exist outside of the struggles of the world and what it has provided for them.
But of course things don’t work like he expects and there is trial and error. But it’s less of an issue between mutants, he brings all the major players in, but with people as well, with nations. It feels like a side of Xavier that we don’t really see all that often. Him throwing his weight around as a personality and as well as his powers.
1. Secret Invasion
Finally, I read through all of Secret Invasion. I’ve read through the main storyline before, but when you get into the depths of Secret Invasion, there are so many comics. Are they required reading, not really, but it fleshes out the story and world that is being created.
Secret Invasion is one of my favorite storylines with the Skrull infiltrating every part of society, and especially super heroes. And it is fascinating because you are wondering, how is a Skrull. We’re starting to see that get set-up in the MCU and possibly coming up in 2022, late 2022 is my guess, we’ll get a Secret Invasion show. Now not all Skrull are evil, and in the MCU they definitely aren’t, but the question of who is a Skrull is a great on.
So that’s what I’ve read this year. I read some Dr Strange, Fantastic Four, and other comics as well this year. I’ve started on Secret Wars, and I think it was all in 2020, but maybe early 2021 where I read the Age of Apocalypse massive X-Men storyline. And I’m going through Wheel of Time on audiobook, but I’ve done that before.
What is your favorite thing you’ve read this year?