1. Ryan's Christmas - LJ Ross
2. The Quick - Lauren Owen
3. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang-- This was a surprisingly quick read for how long it was (over 500 pages)-- fast-paced, pulpy, gritty and brutal and dark. Not sure if I'm going to continue the series or not.
Hark! the Herald Angels Scream, Christopher Golden-- Christmas themed horror anthology for my themed anthology collection! Some absolute gems in this, including the story title "It's A Wonderful Knife."
The Butterfly Girl, Rene Denfeld-- A bit of a sophomore slump compared to the first in this series, but still well above most of her genre. Very luminous prose.
The Ghost Writer, John Harwood-- Super fun gothic ghost story, albeit with a kind of strange and sudden ending.
Mouthful of Birds, Samanta Schweblin-- Bizarre and ethereal and somehow hauntingly familiar, just like her knockout book Fever Dream.
Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado-- Loved these stories. Strange and funny and queer and dark and feminist and cutting very true.
The Atrocities, Jeremy Shipp-- All surrealism and no substance. And it's very difficult to make me say that.
The White Darkness, David Grann-- A fascinating and infuriating look at Henry Worsley's attempt to cross the Antarctic on foot.
Thrones of Desire, Mitzi Szereto-- Found this on $3 clearance and obviously couldn't not. Every bit as cheesy as I was hoping, although sadly cishet and zero dragons.
Ghosts By Gaslight, Jack Dann & Nick Gevers-- Apparently combining steampunk and ghosts nets you an extremely wide variety of settings, subjects, and styles. I loved a lot of these, skimmed through many that were trying too hard to be authentically prose-dense, and was delightfully confused by some.
The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling-- This was such a huge Venn diagram of my reading interests (caving! cave diving! horror! sci-fi! lesbians!) but it just fell so flat for me. Super bummed.
Flowers of Mold, Ha Seong-nan-- Way more literary fiction and less new weird than the back cover blurbs hinted at, but I liked these stories. They were sharp and blackly funny and frequently unexpected.
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #24, Stephen Jones-- Hit or miss as always, a bit more on the miss side this time. A few great ones, though.
1. The Taxidermists Daughter - Kate Mosse 08/12/18
2. The Talisman - Stephen King & Peter Straub 25/07/19
3. The Hoarder - Jess Kidd - 03/08/19
4. Mr Mercedes - Stephen King - 15/10/19
5. 50 Things You Can Do Today To Boost Your Confidence - Wendy Green - 16/11/19
Growing Things, Paul Tremblay-- Astonishingly, enviously good horror and dark stories, beginning to weave together previous works into an expanded universe. I would kill to write that well.
Wicked Wonders, Ellen Klages-- Swung wildly between the glorious essence of Ray Bradbury and 2 Twee 4 Me.
We Were Liars, E Lockhart-- A fun quick lunch break read.
Into The Grey, Celine Kiernan-- This had some pacing/plotting issues, but was still deliciously creepy and very evocative. I'd definitely try other books by her.
Kraken, China Mieville-- Holy hell, this is a new favorite. Took me almost a month to read because I was constantly stopping to shriek and send quotes to everyone I knew.
Crash, JG Ballard-- Ballard is so hit and miss for me but god, when I love him, I love him.
This Census-Taker, China Mieville-- A big departure in style for him, and heartbreakingly, cuttingly, hauntingly beautiful.
The Drought, J.G. Ballard-- Significantly less racist and slightly less sexist than its companion novel, The Drowned World! Still painfully early 60s, but. Intense and surreal and original. His concepts are so frighteningly plausible and so bizarre at the same time.
The Perfect Mother, Aimee Molloy-- Another predictable, fun pool book.
Running Wild, JG Ballard-- Not my favorite, not bad. I have to imagine it came across more shocking back in the 80s.
Adèle, Leïla Slimani-- Sexy, readable, the perfect book to sit by the pool with.
Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror, Ellen Datlow-- Now this was fabulous. She is one of the absolute masters of curating horror.
Flight or Fright, Stephen King & Bev Vincent-- I was super disappointed by this collection. A book of airplane horror should have been way more fun. Nice to see some unexpected historical choices, though.
Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss-- A delicious little quick read of feminism and anthropology and disturbing young awakenings.
The Cellar, Minette Walters - Baaaaad.
Entropy in Bloom, Jeremy Robert Johnson-- Real mixed feelings about this one. A real mix of cringey stuff and shockingly genius prose. Not sure if I'll try his other stuff or not.
Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage-- This thriller alternated between a mother and daughter's viewpoints, and the daughter's were weird and wonderful and rang true while the mother's were much clunkier and less realistic. I was gonna give it three stars on Goodreads, then the ending showed a Law & Order: SVU level lack of research into psychology and psychiatric facilities. Boo.
Occultation, Laird Barron-- This wasn't my favorite of his, but the stories that hit really hit. Even the ones I didn't prefer generally had some wild and weird greatness to them. He's definitely a unique voice.
The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard-- This was classic dizzying Ballard for the first half, staggeringly racist for the second half.
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente-- I was sooo mad at this book. Look at that cover! That concept! And the writing was gorgeous. But it was a mess and racist to boot. So disappointing. THAT COVER.
The Three, Sarah Lotz-- I always like her stuff a lot-- solid paperback horror that's just a cut above in concept and description. This one ties in heavily to other works and I gulped it down.
Stranded, Bracken MacLeod-- Meh. I love maritime horror and I love arctic horror and I love time-out-of-space sci-fi-bent horror, so this should have been triple my jam. But the writing just didn't hold up.
The Devil and The Deep, Ellen Datlow (ed.)-- This is the first time one of Datlow's themed anthologies has been so overwhelmingly hit or miss for me, which is a shame as it's the theme I was most excited to read by her. Pretty much the entire first half of the book fell flat for me. A few great ones towards the end, though, especially by Alyssa Wong and Stephen Graham Jones.