Back in October I did a list of my favourite books for the first three quarters of the year. The year now being well and truly over, I can give a final tally of the books I enjoyed the most.
I read a total of 144 books in 2013, six down on the number read in 2012 – I’d planned to read a (short) book a day in December, which would have taken me past the 2012 figure, but other demands on my time royally screwed up that plan.
In the order I preferred them when I compiled the list just ten minutes ago (given a different time and mood, the rankings might alter), here are the thirteen books that gave me the most pleasure in 2013, with new entries shown in bold:-
Abarat: Absolute Midnight – Clive Barker (Harper Voyager)
The Wide, Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies – John Langan (Hippocampus Press)
Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories – Nina Allan (PS Publishing)
A Natural History of Ghosts – Roger Clarke (Particular Books)
Whom the Gods Would Destroy – Brian Hodge (DarkFuse)
Path of Needles – Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
Hauntings – Edited by Ellen Datlow (Tachyon)
Midnight and Moonshine – Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)
Rupetta – N. A. Sulway (Tartarus Press)
Corrosion – Jon Bassoff (DarkFuse)
Microcosmos – Nina Allan (NewCon Press)
Whitstable – Stephen Volk (Spectral Press)
As Dead As Me – Ralph Robert Moore (Sentence)
It breaks down as five novels, two novellas, four collections, one anthology and one non-fiction. DarkFuse are the only publisher to appear twice on the list and Nina Allan is the only individual.
Although they’re included in my total of one hundred and forty four books read in 2013, I didn’t take into consideration books that I’ve read previously, which is why Clive Barker’s Weaveworld isn’t on the list, and I’ve also excluded anything published by TTA Press, so no Spin by Nina Allan.
I’ve also haven’t counted any of the books that I read in connection with my role as a judge for British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer, as I don’t want anyone reading this blog as a way to second guess how the judging process went.
By my count three of these books weren’t first published in 2013, so it is a ‘best of Pete’s reading in 2013’ rather than ‘Pete’s best of the year’ (a not too subtle distinction) and, of course, I only read a fraction of what was published.