So many traditions have fallen by the wayside around here that I’m glad to see this one continuing. It’s my annual reading roundup.
I wish it wasn’t my least exciting one yet.
For starters, I only read 61 books this year, which is down considerably from past years. My high, you may recall, was 144. The good news is that of those 59, there were only six I didn’t finish.
Twenty-two of these books were assignments from the Review People, so I can’t talk much about them, since I review incognito and all. (Bummer, because a couple of them were good enough to talk to you about.)
It looks like only nine were for my book club, and the only one I absolutely adored was Jenna Blum’s The Stormchasers. It might be my standout for the year, in fact. We also delved into Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death series, reading two of the four. The other two are in our queue. As a group, we love historical fiction and don’t shy away from Biblical Historical, but… nothing stood out this year. If you’ve read some, please let me know.
In a happier vein, I read 10 works of Rock Fiction this year, and reviews for all of them are up. The standouts? Olivia Cunning’s original Sinners on Tour novel, Backstage Passes. Okay, she gets a lot of the rock and roll details wrong, but she can tell a story and write an even better sex scene.
Other Rock Fiction worth reading: DJ Butler’s Hellhound on my Trail. I’ve got the second and third installments waiting for me here, and they had better live up to the first or I’m going hurt DJ. Join me. Book One is fantastic.
Another standout was the horror story, Voice. Joseph Garraty… you read his name here first. Not so scary you won’t be able to sleep, this one’s got a fresh take on what could have been an overly familiar trope.
Sound Bites and Rock Star’s Girl were both fun but not groundbreaking. And Rob Reid skewered everything in sight in Year Zero. Science Fiction fans and Terry Pratchett lovers should jump at that one.
Otherwise… I spent some time with old friends: Rebecca Cantrell’s A Knight of Long Knives reunited me with Hannah Vogel, Stephanie Plum still can’t stop Volume 12, Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco series gets better and better. She swears she’s winging the overarching plotline in that series. If so, look out, world.
Those were the highlights, such as they were. It was probably my most disappointing reading year since I started these year-end wrap ups, but I suspect that had more to do with my limited pleasure reading time. Maybe it’s because now that I’m reviewing and editing so steadily, my expectations have risen.
Either way, go pick up the books I’ve highlighted here if you’re looking for something good to read. As always, if you can order them through your local independent bookstore (or, failing that, use either of mine), you’re helping not only an author but a small business and a whole slew of people, as well.