Let’s get to it and make with the lists and such.
Best books published in 2015 that I read
—Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt: My favorite book of the year. To call it Princess Bride meets the Coen Brothers is fair but also sells the novel short. No novel that I read was as funny and serious, and I’ll say it, magical, as this novel was.
—Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Written as a letter to his teenaged son, BtWaM is a blistering contemporary history lesson and a call for change. Profoundly moving.
–Three Moments of an Explosion by China Mieville: His best fiction collection to date. Incredible range of stories and characters.
—The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud: Deeply disturbing. If you weren’t already afraid of your cell phone and computer and local barflies and your own, complicit dark heart, then, well, you will be.
—Vermilion by Molly Tanzer: Read and you will be charmed by Lou Merriweather and Molly Tanzer’s endlessly inventive romp through a steampunk, ghostbustin’, old west.
—Symphony for the City of the Dead by M. T. Anderson: Russian history–from the revolution to Stalin, WWII, and the siege of Leningrad– compellingly intertwined in the life and times of composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.
—When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord: A meticulously stylized werewolf novel without any werewolves. Trust me. You’ll dig it.
—Dead Soon Enough by Steph Cha: A LA PI novel with big and small secrets, yes, but it’s also about family, and what family means. I find myself still thinking about this book and its characters at odd times.
—Safe Inside the Violence by Christopher Irvin: Wonderfully restrained collection of dark/crime short stories that create a menacing cumulative affect.
—Hausfrau by Jill Alexender Essbaum: One of the darkest books I read this year. Totally unhinged and erotic and un-erotic (in the right way, if that makes sense).
—Familar 2 (Into the Forest) by Mark Danielewski: Even though much of it is cat fan-fiction, I’m hooked.
Favorite books of 2016 that I’ve read already because I have a time machine, or people have sent me ARCs.
Elizabeth Hand’s HARD LIGHT, Brian Evenson’s A COLLAPSE OF HORSES, Victor LaValle’s THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM, Laird Barron’s SWIFT TO CHASE, and Andrew Michael Hurley’s THE LONEY should all be on your must-read lists for 2016. I can all but guarantee they’ll be in my top ten list for next year.