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In 2019, I read 34 novels, 20 novellas, and 180 short stories.

Instead of limiting my favourites to lists of ten or fifteen titles, I’ve included everything I liked. (As usual, not all of these were published in 2019.)

Favourite Novels

Black Mountain — Laird Barron
American Elsewhere — Robert Jackson Bennett
Burglars Can’t Be Choosers — Lawrence Block
Fellside — M.R. Carey
The Black Angel — John Connolly
Chasing Darkness — Robert Crais
The Forgiven Man — Robert Crais
Come Closer — Sara Gran
Afterparty — Daryl Gregory
My Heart Struck Sorrow — John Hornor Jacobs
The Institute — Stephen King
Gidget — Frederic Kohner
Moonlight Mile — Dennis Lehane
Boy’s Life — Robert McCammon
Black Fairy Tale — Otsuichi
Behind Her Eyes — Sarah Pinborough
Dreadnought — Cherie Priest
Monkey Beach — Eden Robinson
Résumé With Monsters — William Browning Spencer
Wanderers — Chuck Wendig

Favourite Novellas and Novelettes

Six Months, Three Days — Charlie Jane Anders
The Ghoul Goes West — Dale Bailey
The Butcher’s Table — Nathan Ballingrud
6/6 — Ray Cluley
Errantry — Elizabeth Hand
Faun — Joe Hill
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky — John Hornor Jacobs
Hammers on Bone — Cassandra Khaw
Tainaron: Mail From Another City — Leena Krohn
The Autopsy — Michael Shea
And This Is Where We Falter — Robert Shearman
All Reality Blossoms in Flames — Simon Strantzas

Favourite Collections and Anthologies

The End of the End of Everything — Dale Bailey
Wounds — Nathan Ballingrud
Creeping Waves — Matthew M. Bartlett
Errantry — Elizabeth Hand
Full Throttle — Joe Hill
A Lush and Seething Hell — John Hornor Jacobs
All the Things We Never See — Michael Kelly
Furnace — Livia Llewellyn
You’ll Know When You Get There — Lynda E. Rucker
Nothing Is Everything — Simon Strantzas

Favourite Short Stories

“The Bluehole” — Dale Bailey
“The Horror of Party Beach” — Dale Bailey
“I Married a Monster from Outer Space” — Dale Bailey
“Keller’s Horoscope” — Lawrence Block
“Keller on the Spot” — Lawrence Block
“The House That Jessica Built” — Nadia Bulkin
“Wish You Were Here” — Nadia Bulkin
“Bloodchild” — Octavia E. Butler
“Barcode Jesus” — Brian Evenson
“Virtual” — Brian Evenson
“The Dark” — Karen Joy Fowler
“Bait” — Michael Kelly
“A Guttering of Flickers” — Michael Kelly
“Some Other You” — Michael Kelly
“Allochthon” — Livia Llewellyn
“The Last, Clean, Bright Summer” — Livia Llewellyn
“Worlds That Flourish” — Ben Okri
“This Time of Day, This Time of Year” — Lynda E. Rucker
“Who Is This Who Is Coming?” — Lynda E. Rucker
“Shades” — Lucius Shepard
“Ghost Dogs” — Simon Strantzas
“It Won’t Go Away” — Paul Tremblay
“Something About Birds” — Paul Tremblay


2 Comments for Favourite Reads of 2019

  1. Steven Nagy
    July 14, 2020 @ 8:18 am
  2. Hi Ian. I’ve been following your yearly reading recaps since you first started posting them. I’m always stunned by your amazing reading appetite.

    Do you allow yourself the pleasure of a favourite re-read? I love The Hobbit and have read it three times now.

    I’m always thrilled to hear of your successes in publishing, but equally love your openness of your behind the scenes posts.

    Wishing you the greatest success?
    Steven


  3. July 14, 2020 @ 8:22 am
  4. Hi Steve,

    I definitely reread books, although I do tend to focus on stuff I haven’t read before, simply because my reading pile is so big and I’m always trying to chip away at it.

    Some of my favourite reads are: “It,” by Stephen King, “Vampire$,” by John Steakley, and the Hap and Leonard books by Joe R. Lansdale.

    Funny you should mention “The Hobbit.” A friend of mine was rereading it on a camping trip, and he said reading the book in a tent by lantern light was one of the best things he’d done in a long time. Made him feel like a kid again.

    Thanks for the comment!

    Ian


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"My own belief about fiction, long and deeply held, is that story must be paramount over all other considerations in fiction; that story defines fiction, and that all other considerations — theme, mood, tone, symbol, style, even characterization — are expendable. There are critics who take the strongest possible exception to this view of fiction, and I really believe that they are the critics who would feel vastly more comfortable if Moby-Dick were a doctoral thesis on cetology rather than an account of what happened on the Pequod's final voyage. A doctoral thesis is what a million student papers have reduced this tale to, but the story still remains — 'This is what happened to Ishmael.' "
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