Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Choices for Most Notable Books of the Year

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
and
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.

11 comments:

  1. Going to be reading that mountain goat thing soon - great to hear you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list, what a mother-fucker of an year for writing and reading this has been!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for including me. That's some good company!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a good list. Anything I haven't read (and immensely enjoyed) is on my NO REALLY, HURRY UP TBR. The mountain goat thing is new to me, though. Great title, will have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You read 200 books? You machine you. CHOKE ON YOUR LIES and THE END OF EVERYTHING are my two best among those you named

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey, Ben Re-calculating, it was actually closer to 150. So I exaggerated a little bit...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Far, far to kind to me but thank very much indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really honored that you picked Pulp Ink. Nigel and I were thrilled to get so many fantastic writers in one place at one time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Heath, I'm absolutely blown away to be included in this list... ta, matey!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's tremendous as a list and as an honour. From one of my favourites, author of one of my own year's top 3, I'm absolutely delighted. And I can't wait to ride that Tobacco-stained goat.

    xx

    Happy New Year

    ReplyDelete