So tomorrow I’ll be posting my Top Ten (actually top 11 as I have a joint No 1 which will come as no surprise to anyone who follows me) but for today I just want to mention a few books that didn’t QUITE make it – I have read over 300 books this year and whittling it down is never easy – if a book does not appear here or tomorrow it won’t mean I didn’t love it. All my thoughts on all the books I’ve read this year have popped up at the time of reading and are as true today as they were back then. But here are some notable ones that really, in any other year, may well have made it into tomorrows post. And a note should be made that any novel I have read in the last few weeks is now in the mix for next year…
So here by category are those books which when I think back have popped up in my mind immediately.
All The Rage was an amazingly insightful and hard hitting look at the aftermath of rape – told through the eyes of one girl this one will have you in tears and knocked out by the incredibly sad/happy ending. Delicate Monsters spoke to mental health issues in young people with an intelligent and atmospheric plot. When We Were Animals is a gloriously different read which I will let you discover for yourself. And Darkness Brutal stood out for me as a brilliant fantasy/urban fantasy YA novel, a self published delight. Hoping for book two in that series very soon.
Landfalls by Naomi Williams was a beautiful read with a story based on a factual sea journey – wonderful language and a compelling story. Olivay was a dark, atmospheric and claustrophobic read which will mess with your head. Devastation Road devastated ME when I read it and The Last Pilot hit me with its gorgeous historical flavour and unique writing style. Great books all.
The hardest category to think about due to my extensive reading in this area – a couple more will pop up tomorrow and of course these four here are just the tip of the iceberg in a MOST intense year for crime when some really superb novels were released. I’d be here all day mentioning them all but these are the ones my head immediately went to. Also it should be noted that for the most part I’ve ignored the plethora of brilliant psychological thrillers this year for the purposes of this post as I’m intending to write up a “Best of the thriller year ” article in the New Year. So for now – Hidden by Emma Kavanagh is one of my favourites of the year. Absolutely. Any other year at ALL it would have seen my top ten. What Remains was an addictively brilliant crime novel that Christine and I read one fast paced weekend and Tim Weaver is an evil genius when it comes to setting off an emotional aaargh moment. Sarah Hilary’s “No Other Darkness” is notable due to the incredible writing and one of the most emotionally resonant openings in any crime novel ever. Luca Veste is coming into his own as a writer and Blood Stream just proved to me that the best is yet to come.
Another hard category, again you’ll see a couple pop up tomorrow. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was a HUGE read for me, I adored every minute of it. Incredible – do not miss it. Again any other year would most definitively be in my top ten. The Death House from Sarah Pinborough is the book that made me cry huge buckets of tears. Strictly speaking this should probably come under YA but it is a read for all ages, emotional and utterly fantastic. Steve McHugh’s Nate Garrett series is fast becoming one of my favourite Urban Fantasy sets so demands a mention here. And The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy reignited by love of Post Apocalyptic fiction.
And the rest…..I can’t leave without mentioning these…
Snowblind. Stunning just stunning. Eva Dolan’s After You Die – amazing. Burnt Paper Sky, one of the best of the psychological thrillers and will be getting another mention in the New Year post. And Solomon Creed – with Solomon Creed you just have to meet him for yourself! Honestly.
SO there you go. I’ve done my best to give some top picks. Top Ten (ok ok Top Ten plus one) tomorrow – then we are into 2016 reading for the most part. I’ve already read a few. And THIS one is going to be HUGE.
You heard it here first… (Well maybe. Definitely kind of first)
Happy Reading Folks!!