2011: The Story So Far – Final Quarter

Back in November I did a list of my favourite books for the first three quarters of 2011. The year now being well and truly over, I can give a final tally of the books I enjoyed the most in 2011.

I read a total of 119 books in 2011, which is about a dozen more than in 2010, but falls well short of the number I got through in the years before I had a computer and the distraction of the internet.

And some of these books were very short.

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:-

The Third Section – Jasper Kent (Bantam)

The Silent Land – Graham Joyce (Gollancz)

A Dark Matter – Peter Straub (Doubleday)

The German – Lee Thomas (Lethe)

Frankenstein’s Prescription – Tim Lees (Tartarus)

The Dracula Papers – Book 1: The Scholar’s Tale – Reggie Oliver (Chomu)

The Ritual – Adam Nevill (Pan Macmillan)

The Leaping – Tom Fletcher (Quercus)

Blonde on a Stick – Conrad Williams (Max Crime)

A Cold Season – Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)

Dead Bad Things – Gary McMahon (Angry Robot Books)

Revenants – Daniel Mills (Chomu)

The Redemption – William Peter Blatty (Piatkus)

It was a strong end to my reading year, with six of the final thirteen read during the winter months, and all of the thirteen are novels.

And, looking at this list, really brings home to me how subjective this all is. On another day I could easily reverse several of these positions, knock a few titles off the bottom and draft in some of those that have disappeared.

One thing is certain – this is a really good time to be reading horror fiction, with the breadth of vision and the wealth of talent on display speaking of a golden age for the genre.

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’.

Later on this week I’ll draw up a ‘best of the year’ list of books read by me and published in 2011. Several of these titles will be removed from the list – the Joyce, Straub, Fletcher, Williams and Blatty, all of which were first published in 2010, and the Littlewood, which was officially released in 2012 – and some will come back.

Watch this space.

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2 Responses to 2011: The Story So Far – Final Quarter

  1. 117 for me last year, but most were comics and little books. I think I only read 30 or so full-length books, which might come close to an all-time low…

  2. petertennant says:

    Yeah, a lot of mine were chapbooks and novellas, so the total is probably not as impressive as it sounds.

    I managed in the region of 240 one year long ago – a combination of long bus journeys every day and Michael Moorcock’s entire back catalogue to catch up with.

    And the lowest yearly total is approximately 40 – a combination of very long books and actually having a life 😉

    Used to read hundreds of comics, but then found I had to make a choice between them and magazines, and opted for the latter, as I wasn’t submitting stories to Marvel and DC. I only counted them in the yearly tally though if they’d been collected in book format.

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