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 over the past twelve months.
I read a total of 161 books in 2016, which was fifteen more than I managed in 2015, with fifty two of them completed in the last quarter (in the month of October I simply selected the shortest books in my TBR pile and whipped through them at the rate of one a day, more or less).
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 2016, with new entries shown in bold:-
The Pleasure Merchant – Molly Tanzer (Lazy Fascist Press)
The Parts We Play – Stephen Volk (PS Publishing)
You Can Never Spit It All Out – Ralph Robert Moore (Sentence Publishing)
The Sea of Blood – Reggie Oliver (Dark Renaissance Books)
The Night Clock – Paul Meloy (Solaris)
You’ll Know When You Get There – Lynda E. Rucker (Swan River Press)
Ventriloquists – David Mathew (Montag Press)
Horrorology – Edited by Stephen Jones (Jo Fletcher Books)
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eight – Edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books)
Uncertainties Volume 1 – Edited by Brian J. Showers (Swan River Press)
Singing With All My Flesh and Bone – Sunny Moraine (Undertow Publications)
The Secret of Ventriloquism – Jon Padgett (Dunhams Manor Press)
A Song of Shadows – John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
It breaks down as four novels, six collections, and three anthologies. Swan River Press is the only publisher to appear twice on the list.
By my count, six of these books weren’t first published in 2016, so it is a ‘best of Pete’s reading in 2016’ rather than ‘Pete’s best of the year’ (a not too subtle distinction) and, of course, I only read a fraction of what gets published.