Back in July I did a list of my favourite books of the year so far, and I intended to update this at the end of September, but circumstances prevented that, and so I am going to do it now.
I read twenty eight books in the third quarter of the year, and started a few more that I’ve yet to finish (but I’ll include those in the final tally for 2011).
In the order I preferred them when I compiled the list just ten minutes ago (and, of course, it may be subject to change), here are my top thirteen books for 2011 so far:-
The Third Section – Jasper Kent (Bantam)
The German – Lee Thomas (Lethe)
Frankenstein’s Prescription – Tim Lees (Tartarus)
The Dracula Papers – Book 1: The Scholar’s Tale – Reggie Oliver (Chomu)
The Leaping – Tom Fletcher (Quercus)
Blonde on a Stick – Conrad Williams (Max Crime)
Revenants – Daniel Mills (Chomu)
Loss of Separation – Conrad Williams (Solaris)
Sylvow – Douglas Thompson (Eibonvale)
The Thing on the Shore – Tom Fletcher (Quercus)
The Painter, The Creature, and the Father of Lies – Clive Barker (Earthling)
I Wonder What Human Flesh Tastes Like – Justin Isis (Chomu)
I Smell Blood – Ralph Robert Moore (Sentence)
And, to my surprise, it appears that I now have an all male list.
Tim Lees had the top spot for the first six months of 2011, and at times I seriously thought that I wasn’t going to read a better book this year, but he’s now down to third place, having been ousted by Jasper Kent’s vampire romp The Third Section and Lee Thomas’ tale of small town bigotry and murder The German. Interestingly, the four top books are all what I’d classify as ‘historical horror’.
The other new entrant, Revenants by Daniel Mills, is also ‘historical horror’, and has finally put some space between the two Conrad Williams titles that I couldn’t choose between before (I’m now leaning in the direction of Blonde on a Stick as the better book). The Mills is the third title on the list from Chomu Press, a new publisher who are quickly putting together an excellent list.
To reiterate previous comments – (1) several books I read but didn’t take into consideration as I’ve already read them at least once before 2011, and (2) quite a few of these books were first published in 2010, if not earlier, so it is a ‘best of Pete’s reading’ rather than ‘best of the year’.