Every year since 2003 I’ve had one plan for New Year’s Eve: to listen to Death Cab For Cutie’s “The New Year” at midnight1. Besides being one of the few New Year’s songs (as compared to the saturation of Christmas songs), the opening lines: So this is the New Year / and I don’t feel any different, sum up my feelings when the clock strikes midnight. Don’t get me wrong, I love being huddled around a board game with friends as the earth completes another orbit around the sun; but to me New Year’s has always seemed more of an excuse to celebrate than a reason to celebrate.
So at first, I thought it was ironic that someone who wasn’t really that into New Year’s was tasked with writing the last blogpost of the year. Then I did some research, because that’s what librarians do, and discovered that in the entire history of Booked nobody has done a ‘New Year’s’ blogpost. The closest entry I found was Collette’s Got Gift Cards? Get Books! post from January, 2014. So, it turns out disparaging New Year’s in the last blogpost of the year isn’t ironic, maybe just sadly absurd instead. This is too bad, because I like irony.2
I do realize that not everyone feels the same way about the upcoming New Year as I do. If I was one of those people who, say, looked to the New Year to get excited about upcoming books, I would be excited for Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe. This book uses simple words and simple drawings to provide simple explanations for how things like microwaves and tectonic plates work. Munroe is also famous for the web comic XKCD, so I expect it should be funny as well.
If I was one of those people who used the New Year as a chance to reflect on the past, I would be excited for The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past by Shotaro Ishinomori. This is a classic comic based on the classic game that was originally published piecemeal in the classic magazine Nintendo Power. The book is one of the earliest and best examples of a video game story being translated into a literary medium.
Lastly, if I was like me, and I am, I would be excited for anything old or new—just so long as long as it was new to me—my pick would be Cardboard by Doug TenNapel. Cardboard is a story about a poor boy who gets an empty cardboard box for his birthday. But of course the cardboard box is magic, and anything you make out of it comes to life. I won’t spoil it, but things don’t go quite so well after that.
-Alan is a librarian who like irony and footnotes3
1 In case you were wondering, much like forgetting the train of thought I laid out in this opening sentence, every year since 2003 I’ve forgotten to play “The New Year” at midnight.
2 It is, however, ironic in that by writing a disparaging New Year’s post I have inadvertently written the most New Years’-y New Year’s post in Booked history.
3 Alan also likes ironic footnotes