Mystery Ink polled over 50 fiction writers, reviewers and other assorted
readers, asking them to name their five favorite books they read during the
year. A list of those, well, lists are up at their website. T. Jefferson Parker’s CALIFORNIA GIRL, Scott Phillips COTTONWOOD and Ken Bruen’s THE GUARDS show up a lot. Here’s my list of five.
Moment to Prey by Harry Whittington
Name of the Game Is Death by Dan J. Marlowe
Paradise by Elmore Leonard
Shuffle by Lono Waiwaiole
Curious Case of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon
My brother Tod’s LIVING DEAD GIRL also shows up in a couple of the lists…including this mention, from author Thomas Perry:
Dead Girl by Tod Goldberg — Probably the most skillful and unusual
piece of crime fiction by a young writer I’ve read in years.
If I were to expand my list to include, say, the top ten books I read this year, it would also include:
- Larry McMurtry’s four Berrybender novels (which I think of as one book spread out over four volumes).
- Frederick Manfred’s The Scarlet Plume.
- Paul Quarrington’s Fishing with My Old Guy
- Dan J. Marlowe’s One Endless Hour
- Lawrence Block’s Hitman novellas and short stories (which I also think of as one book. I thought the novel he wrote with the character, though, was rather weak).
That’s not to say I didn’t read a lot of other great novels this year, including many listed by others at Mystery Ink, but these are the ones that will stick with me for some time to come.
3 thoughts on “Top Fives”
Well it has been quite a year…
In no particular order:
COTTONWOOD by Scott Phillips.
RED JUNGLE by Kent Harrington – a true masterpiece
TWO-WAY SPLIT – Al Guthrie
THE BIG BLIND – Ray Banks
SECRET DEAD MEN – Duane Swierczynski
CHEAPSKATES – Charlie Stella
EARTHQUAKE WEATHER – TErrill Lankford
MONKOLOGY – Gary Phillips
Anything by Bruen
CASE HISTORIES – KATE ATKINSON
I didn’t include Tod’s book, because I read it last year. I’m still waiting on a new Tod book.
I know that is more than 10, but this was a great year. My TBR pile contains 50 more books to read.
Your wait will soon be over, Aldo — my short story collection The Last Time We Never Met will be released in September…and check your email box for another…
And getting picked by Thomas Perry makes me feel like a little kid on Christmas.
My top 5 that I read this year (and later, I’ll print my top 10 books released this year in my column in the Mercury…the top 2 of which are the top 2 here):
You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
Cottonwood by Scott Phillips
Paris Trout by Pete Dexter
And The Dead Shall Rise by Steve Oney
The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce (I don’t know anyone else who has read this, but I sure did love it.)
What is THE FACTS OF LIFE by Graham Joyce about? I’ve never heard you mention that one before.