Monday, January 2, 2017


Many talk about how bad 2016 was. Now I won't deny all the terrible crap that happened his year, but to me it was one of my best years professionally and because of that, I found myself busier this year. So my reading this year was a lot slower and I was more distracted. So it wasn't as exciting a year for me reading-wise. Many of the disappointing reads this year could've been the product of me just being distracted.

2017 is going to be great! I plan on reading more books that I REALLY want to read. I'm planning on continuing to discover new dark crime, noir, and horror writers. I wanted to also focus on more short fiction as well as more female authors. I also subscribed to Richard Thomas's new Gamut magazine to discover some new authors as well. And I've recently got back into reading graphic novels so I'll be reading more of those too! And Jordan Harper, the author of one of my favorite story collections from last year is coming out with a new novel in 2017!

So anyway, thanks to you all and can't wait to see what you read.

Check out my favorite reads from 2016 below:

Favorite Novels I read in 2016:

*The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow - an irresistably readable, meticulously researched 30-year crime epic about the War on Drugs and all it's players on both sides.

The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli - this wonderful crime novel by an amazing writer and the book's great characters really left an impact

Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias- my biggest surprise of the year and one of the most audacious books I've read, a crime novel with elements of horror, and heavy doses of Spanish, Russian, Yoruba, and old-school Pagan religion

Sunblind by Michael McBride- one of the best horror novels I've read in a while; a terrifying trip into the world of illegal Sonoran border crossing and a trip into something much darker, with real monsters that are truly scary.

Sacrifices by Roger Smith - an epic family class tragedy that sports Smith's trademark impeccable plotting

 Honorable Mentions:
Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer, Death's Sweet Song by Clifton Adams

Favorite Books Published in 2016:

*Dark Matter by Blake Crouch- enjoyable, addictive, high concept entertainment; a great mix of heady sci-fi and an accessible hero

Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon - there are not many book series as consistent as the Matthew Corbett series, and this one is just as entertaining and impressive as the previous books, if not more so

Nowhere by Roger Smith - Smith takes all the elements of his previous novels and creates one of the most well-crafted and well-plotted crime novels this year

The Day I Wore Purple by Jake Vander Ark - the most epic and ambitious novel this year, filled with gigantic ideas and passionate emotion. Still thinking about it.

Favorite Novellas I Read in 2016:

*Fierce Bitches by Jedidiah Ayres- an impressive achievement in economy, structure, and prose; introduced me to a great new writer

Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke - a great horror story that drips with creepiness

Best Short Story Collection I Read in 2016:

*A Fuckload of Shorts by Jedidiah Ayres - the other great piece of work that I read this year from Jedidiah Ayres

The Black Widow Club by Hilary Davidson - every story here is gleefully and wickedly plotted; stories that Hitchcock would love

Best Short Stories Read in 2016
 "Son of So Many Tears" by Hilary Davidson (from The Black Widow Club)
"Hoosier Daddy" by Jedidiah Ayres (from A Fuckload of Shorts)
"The Night Cyclist" by Stephen Graham Jones (Tor Original)
"Blind Spot" by Christopher Irvin (from Safe Inside The Violence)
"The Johnny Cash Killer" by Chris Leek (from Smoke Em If You Got Em)

Favorite Horror Book:

*Sunblind by Michael McBride

Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke

Worst Book Read in 2016:

Dig My Grave Deep by Peter Rabe

Best Author Discovery in 2016:
*Jedidiah Ayres
Don Winslow
Eric Beetner

Favorite Protagonist in 2016:

*Mayra from Sunblind - the perfect point of view for this story, she's strong-willed and observant but we also feel her fatigue, hunger, and thrist, as well as her definite terror as the unthinkables happen

Matthew Corbett from Freedom of the Mask - consistently an amazing protagonist. You can't help but root for the guy in every book

Jason Dessen from Dark Matter - a romantic everyman that's a perfect vehicle on this complex sci-fi ride.

Favorite Villains in 2016:

*Jason Dessen from Dark Matter - in a clever concept, the hero of the book is intrinsically forever-linked to our villain and as the saying goes: "you are your own worst enemy."

Steve Bungu from Nowhere - on one hand, he's a terrifying, emotionless villain, but as the book moves along, his past is revealed as a tragic one, and his motivations are much more complex than you'd think

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