As is now customary, below is a complete list of all the books I read, from cover to cover (or from 0 to 100%, as is increasingly the case) last year. I gave up on more than a few, which I won’t bother to name. Life’s too short to read a shitty book.
I didn’t read as much as I would have liked in the first half of the year, but in my defence a couple of entries in this list are absolute monsters. I actually started the longest, Sleeping Beauties, weighing in at 702 pages, about eighteen months ago. I kept drifting in and out of it. All things considered, let’s just say that it was far too long and meandering. A good editor could cut at least 30% off the word count and not lose anything from the plot. I had high hopes for the Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, but I rolled my eyes so much reading it that by the end it was like a physical affliction. Amy Cross hit another couple of home runs, but probably the best book I read last year was Lost at Sea by British journalist Jon Ronson. A selection of essays and investigative reports, it’s not my usual thing but I found it both insightful and refreshing.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more widely, which is why I gave some new writers a shot. At least, writers new to me. And I fell back in love with the short story and read a bunch of anthologies, the pick of which being Body Horror: Trigger Warning. And I’m not just saying that because one of my stories is in it. Ultimately, however, I returned to Dean Koontz after a long break. I actually forgot how good the guy is. At first, anyway. But then a dog and a demented serial killer turned up like they do in all his books and I had to suffer yet more preachy, religious overtones. Sigh.
Signal Failure by David Wailing (2016)
Private Number/claws by Derek Muk (2018)
Stranded by Renee Miller (2018)
The Lighthouse by Amy Cross (2015)
The Last Days of by Jack Sparks Jason Arnopp (2017)
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (2017)
Filthy Beast: Diary of an English Teacher in China by White Buffalo (2018)
Bad News by Amy Cross (2019)
Living After Midnight: Hard & Heavy Stories by Various Authors (2010)
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (2017)
The Nowhere Men – The Unknown Story of Football’s True Talent Spotters by Michael Calvin (2014)
Room 9 & Other Stories by Amy Cross (2018)
Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson (2012)
The Neighbour by Dean Koontz (2014)
Take the Corvus: Short Stories & Essays by Luke Kondor (2018)
Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill (2017)
The Taking by Dean Koontz (2007)
Zombie Punks Fuck Off by Various Authors (2018)
You can check out last year’s bookshelf HERE.