I wasn’t going to do this. You know, post a list of my favorite reads of the year. There were just so many, is the thing. But seeing all the other “Best of” lists got me thinking, and I even posted a brief thing on Facebook about a couple of my favorites, so… what the hell.
Most of my reading this year was divided between Westerns (old and new) and a bunch of small-press indie releases, mostly on e-book. In fact, I don’t think I read a single new book all year that was put out by one of the major publishers. That wasn’t by design; it just worked out that way. But you know what? I didn’t miss the Big Boy Releases at all.
Anyway, sticking solely to novels, novellas and short story collections released in 2011, and in no particular order, here’s what I consider the cream of the crop:
THE LAST DEEP BREATH, Tom Piccirilli
GUN, by Ray Banks
CHOKE ON YOUR LIES, Anthony Neil Smith
MONKEY JUSTICE, Patti Abbott
SMOKE, Nigel Bird
BRIT GRIT, Paul D. Brazill
TOXIC REALITY, Katherine Tomlinson
THE END OF EVERYTHING, Megan Abbott
THE ADVENTURES OF CASH LARAMIE & GIDEON MILES, VOL. 2, Edward A. Grainger
ONE DEAD HEN, Charlie Williams
PULP INK, edited by Bird & Rhatigan
THE CHAOS WE KNOW, Keith Rawson
… and I’m going to add two more last-minute choices—last minute because one of them I only finished this morning, and the other I’m likely to finish before the night is over and unless it takes some sudden weird turn into shitsville it belongs here. They are:
SOUTHERN GODS, John Horner Jacobs
TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT, Andrew Bergen
That’s 14 books out of almost 200 I read this year, so please don’t feel too bad if your book isn’t on this list. You can be sure that, if I featured it here at this blog, I loved it.
Happy New Year.