Okay – so the truth is I’ve only read about 37 books so far this year, and only some of them were published in 2015 (about 10 of them), but hear me out. Read to the end because I have an idea. After reading some of the vapid “Best of 2015” book lists from the New York Times, I found myself nodding off and thinking to myself — I wouldn’t have picked up any one of these books on my own. Who writes these lists? Anal retentive literary snobs?
Because I mostly read genre stuff (with some literature thrown in for good measure, like I did re-read To Kill a Mockingbird before reading Go Set a Watchman), that’s what you’re getting with this list. Good old genre fiction.
So here we go:
SPORE by Tamara Jones. You really can’t go wrong with this horror/sci-fi cross-genre thriller. It has everything. A serial killer, zombies, and a bizarre plot twist that will leave you feeling really satisfied. Vindicated even. This is still my favorite release from this year.
A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS by Paul Tremblay. So basically this is a “memoir” of one teenage girl’s descent into schizophrenic madness as told from the POV of her 8-year-old little sister, and that same little sister fifteen years later. Think “The Exorcist” meets “Sybil”. Fantastic writing, superb tension building and creepy as fuck. This is good stuff right here. I warn you ahead of time, it’s a little more depressing than you’d expect.
FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King. Okay – yeah, I’m throwing Stephen King on the list because I like his Bill Hodges books. After so many years, King hasn’t lost his ability to spin a good yarn. As a matter-of-fact, he may even be getting a little better because he’s not taking thousands of pages to tell a tale. Not that I mind books that take thousands of pages to tell a story, but only if those words get to the point and every word is relevant to furthering the plot. I hate excessive description and King has a tendency to do that. However – with this series it’s not so terrible. Anyway, I’m rambling. This book is about a guy who killed a famous writer… and he’s just been released from prison. Cue mystery.
A CURIOUS BEGINNING by Deanna Raybourn is the first in the Veronica Speedwell mysteries. And what a curious beginning it is. Inside this sleeper gem is a wonderful mystery set in 1887 London wherein a young woman learns a terrible secret about her own past while searching for the man who murdered her strange traveling companion. It’s bizarre, fast moving, with strained sexual tension between the MC and her good-looking, if reluctant male sidekick. It was fun and definitely worth a read if you like Sherlock Holmes style mysteries. Fans of historical romances will likely find this one worthwhile, too.
In the Graphic Novel arena, if you like “horror” comics or darker graphic novels, check out Joshua Williamson’s GHOSTED series (volume 4 released in 2015) and Caitlin Kitteredge’s COFFIN HILL (finale released in 2015). I found both rather enjoyable.
So yeah, not a long list, but it’s a start.
Now to the best part of this post. What were YOUR favorite genre fiction books of 2015? Come on, don’t be shy. Let’s give the reading public a GOOD list of enjoyable reading material that won’t make them weep from boredom!