It’s Weekend Reading 40, the final entry for 2020! It’s been quite a year, but we survived, and here at Stately Beat Manor, we’ll be celebrating the only way we know how: with reading!

We hope that you’ll head to the comment section and let us know what you’ll be paging through as you count down the minutes to 2021. Here’s to another year filled with books and comics. We’ll meet again, friend!

Weekend Reading 40
Weekend Reading 40: Maids

AVERY KAPLAN: This weekend, I’ll be starting with Maids by Katie Skelly. Then, I’ll be heading to (a version of) Victorian London thanks to Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol, an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story by Jim McCann, David Baldeon, and Jeremy Treece that adds the mysterious plague known as the “Hungry Death” to Scrooge’s seasonal story.

Weekend Reading 40
Weekend Reading 40: Voice Lessons

TAIMUR DAR: I’ve been lucky enough to interview one of my all-time favorite voice actors, Rob Paulsen, at least two times since becoming a regular contributor and doing press coverage for The Beat for the last few years. Without a doubt, Paulsen is one of the nicest and most charming people you’ll ever meet. Not too long ago he was battling throat cancer. Thankfully Paulsen has since recovered and chronicled his experience and voiceover career by writing the book Voice Lessons: How a Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky, and an Animaniac Saved My Life. Been on my list to read for a long time and seems appropriate to dive into something uplifting and hopeful this weekend. 

Weekend Reading 40
Weekend Reading 40: Superman Smashes the Klan

ADAM KARENINA SHERIF: After leafing through our own 2020 highlight reel here at The Beat, I did a spot of window shopping over at comiXology. Which of course meant I ended up buying a bunch of books that were (and maybe still are!) on sale. As well as that elusive 2002 Taskmaster mini-series that’s always been recommended to me in the most glowing of terms, I also picked up Superman Smashes the Klan. And I’m very jazzed to read what I hear is a true modern superhero classic over the holiday weekend!

Weekend Reading 40
Weekend Reading 40: Zegas & Star Wars: Jabba’s Palace Pop-Up Book

BILLY HENEHAN: For Christmas, my nieces gave me the Fantagraphics collection of Zegas by Michel Fiffe. I read the original issues years ago, and I’m excited to read through them in this nice paperback volume. And a friend bought a vintage Star Wars Jabba’s Palace Pop-Up Book for my daughter and me this Christmas. It tells the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi through artwork from legendary Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie. I read ALL of the Star Wars novels in the 90s, so I was excited to see one of my favorite Star Wars writers from that time, Kevin J. Anderson, co-wrote this book. We’ll be reading that one at bedtime story time tonight. It plays music too! (Needs batteries though and it’s cold outside, so that feature will have to wait for another day). Have a happy New Year, and thanks for tuning into this column every week, everyone! 

Weekend Reading 40
Weekend Reading 40: Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

RICARDO SERRANO: I was once asked if horror was an appropriate genre to get into on Christmas. My answer: What else is there to read on Christmas? Okay, I may be biased, but that didn’t stop from getting my horror on this season with a Christmas horror anthology called Hark! The Herald Angels Scream. It’s a gleefully terrifying collection of prose stories centered around the ghastly things that hide behind commercialism and ancient Yuletide traditions that sometimes take their holiday jingles’ threats at their word. It includes stories from Kelly Armstrong, Joe Lansdale, Josh Malerman, Sarah Pinborough, Jonathan Maberry, among others. It also has one of the best book covers I’ve seen in a while. Welcome the new year with a bit of horrifying cheer and a scream with this book! It’ll show 2021 you’re ready for it.