Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. This week, in honour of Thanksgiving up in America, participants of Top Ten Tuesday get a freebie topic based around something they are thankful for. While there are many book things I am thankful for this year, I thought I would take this opportunity to start my customary Top Ten List count-down towards the end of the year by listing some of my favourite pre-2020 novels that I read this year.
This year I have ended up reading quite a few books and comics that were published at some point prior to 2020. I have checked these various books out for a number of reasons, such as the book had an awesome plot synopsis, it was part of a series or an expanded universe that I had been exploring, or because I wanted to see an author’s earlier works. Most of these older releases are really good, and in some cases they are amongst my favourite books I read all year. I have also featured quite a few of these books as part of my Throwback Thursday series, and pretty much all of them receive an extremely high rating from me. As a result, I wanted to highlight which books amongst these series are my absolute favourites and decided to feature them in their own Top Ten list. This is a bit of a continuation of a list I did last year, and I will probably list some of my favourite pre-2021 books next year as I quite enjoy going back and checking out older novels I haven’t had the chance to read yet.
This version of the list came together quite well as I read quite a number of awesome novels released before 2020 this year. While there is a bit of a focus on Star Wars tie-in novels and entries in Jonathan Maberry’s exceptional Joe Ledger series (which I finally finished of this year), there are a range of other cool books and comics which made the list. While a few of these are books I missed in 2019, there are a couple of other interesting entries in there. I had a fun time coming up with this list and all 10 books on the list, plus the books I included in my Honourable Mentions, are excellent pre-2020 reads that are really worth checking out.
Batman: Detective Comics – 2016
In 2020 I had a bit of a hankering to finally check out some of the recent comics that DC has been producing. To that end, I went out and grabbed out several great series that were relaunched in 2016 as part of the DC Rebirth range. While I had an amazing time reading some of the impressive comic book series in this range (such as the new Suicide Squad and Batgirl series), one of my favourite pre-2020 comics has to be the new take on the classic Batman series, Detective Comics. This new Detective Comics series had a bit more of an ensemble focus, following a new team of Batman family members, including Batwoman, Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan, Clayface and more. Not only did these comics feature some amazing storylines but the authors really dive into the past of each member of the team, providing intriguing new backgrounds which form the basis for some excellent character arcs. Highlights of this series include a detailed arc around Red Robin that goes deep into the publishing history of the character, a surprisingly heart-warming attempt to turn long-time villain Clayface into a hero, and a major focus on Batwoman, who in some volumes gets more attention than Batman. A truly amazing series that I deeply enjoyed.
Top Ten Tuesday (By Publication Year):
Batman (vol. 3) – 2016
While I had a lot of love for the new series of Detective Comics, the pre-2020 comic book line I enjoyed the most this year was easily the series of Batman comics that started in 2016 as part of the DC Rebirth. This series of Batman comics, written by Tom King, is truly impressive and contains, in my opinion, some of the best Batman storylines in recent years. These stories dive deep into the psyches of Batman and his insane villains, showing just how complicated and layered comic book characters can be. King comes up with some amazing arcs during his run, and I personally loved how he revolutionised the compelling romance between Batman and Catwoman, with their wedding arc being one of the most distinctive parts of this entire series. King also revitalises Bane as one of Batman’s most significant villains, really diving into the heart of their rivalry, and showing Bane at his most dangerous. This series are easily some of the best comics I have read in recent years, and I am extremely glad I decided to check them out in 2020.
Well, that is the end of this latest list. I had an incredible time reading or listening to all of the above books/comics, and each of them comes highly recommended by me. As I mentioned above, I am planning to read a lot of older books next year, so I should hopefully have a Top pre-2021 list in about a year. At this point in time I am hoping to check out some more Harry Dresden novels (after loving Battle Ground a few weeks ago), and I am also thinking about reading some more books in The Powder Mage trilogy by Brian McClellan (the first book, Promise of Blood, was pretty awesome) and Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive (if I can find the time to read these epic books). In the meantime, let me know what you think of my list and if you have any suggestions for older novels to check out next year, I would be interested to hear them.