Favorite Books in 2020

December 31, 2020

In 2020, I read 65 graphic novels and 15 books. This is down a little bit from 2019 (86 graphic novels and 21 books) mainly because I spent a lot of time this year studying. Almost all of the books came from my local library. I read most of the graphic novels using the Hoopla app on my Android tablet. Other books were read using the Libby app.

The books I enjoyed the most were

  • The Invisible Kingdom volume 2 - Graphic Novel
  • I read volume 1 in 2019 mainly because I'm a fan of the author, G. Willow Wilson. I really enjoyed her work on Ms. Marvel and her 2 novels, Alif the Unseen and The Bird King. Invisible Kingdom is a story of religion, faith, and friendship. The world created by the artist, Christian Ward, is amazing.

  • Superman Smashes the Klan - Graphic Novel
  • Based on a 1940's radio play, Superman smashes the Klan is a book everyone should read. It is the story of a brother and sister who move to a new town and are unwelcome because they are Asian. Without spoiling anything, Superman and the siblings work together to get to the bottom of who is behind their family's poor treatment. This is another excellent book from Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints) with art by Gurihiru.

  • A Biography of Edgard Varese by Fernand Ouellette
  • I was inspired to read this based on a book I read last year that I enjoyed so much I read it twice, Frank Zappa and Jazz by Geoff Wills. Zappa was an admirer of Varese. Being a percussion major, I was aware of Varese, but had never really looked into his music. This book is out of print, but I was given a used copy as a gift. Varese, as with John Cage that I read about last year, had a belief in his creative vision that could not be broken by critics that didn't understand, musicians that made no attempt to play his music correctly, and poverty. I love reading about the creative process and struggle. Writing code is a creative process of sorts.

  • The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (The Revolution Trilogy, 1) by Rick Atkinson
  • This is the first book of a planned trilogy about the Revolutionary War. I enjoy reading about history and this is one of the best books I have ever read. It gives the perspective from both the American and British sides and also has several very clear maps explaining troop movements. Can't wait for the next volume in the trilogy

  • The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Neb Sublette
  • Being a Louisiana native, I had high hopes for this book. It did not disappoint. It covers the history of New Orleans during its first century. This book is unique because it covers the people of New Orleans (French, Spanish, Free people of color, slaves, creoles) and how they interacted. Music plays a key role throughout the book.