The Naming of the Books 2016

I don’t do “best of the year” lists because I’m rarely reading anything that current, but for over a decade now I’ve been posting a list of the books I read each year. I suspect it’s more interesting to me than to anyone else, but it’s become a tradition that I enjoy. Here’s what I read in 2016, in the order I read them:

Mr. White by John C. Foster
Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories by Andrea Janes
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham by Mike Mignola & Richard Pace
Hellboy in Hell: The Descent by Mike Mignola
Fatale: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker
Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
High-Rise by J.G. Ballard
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Slade House by David Mitchell
The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
Glorious Plague by Karen Heuler
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Magician King by Lev Grossman
The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
Aickman’s Heirs edited by Simon Strantzas
Man With No Name by Laird Barron
The Inner City by Karen Heuler
Shock SuspenStories: Volume 1 edited by Al Feldstein
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden
Steve Lichman, Vol. 1 by David Rapoza & Daniel Warren
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film by Mel Brooks
Grendel by John Gardner
Baby Powder and Other Terrifying Substances by John C. Foster

That’s 29 books for the year, just one short of my usual goal of 30. It’s interesting to see that I both started and ended the year with books by John Foster (with both books as ARCs at the time). It’s hard to choose favorites — everything I read this year was pretty good — but I will say that I was especially charmed by Grossman’s Magicians trilogy, and had my mind truly blown by Gaiman’s Sandman: Overture and LaValle’s The Ballad of Black TomSteve Lichman, currently only available to its Kickstarter supporters, is a hilarious D&D-themed graphic novel that I hope to see more of (and hope to see reach a wider audience through trade distribution, too). I’m glad I finally got to read some of Karen Heuler’s work this year after knowing her socially for several years now; she’s an extremely talented literary-fantasist. And of course I loved Tartt’s The Secret History, which reminded me in ways both good and bad of my own Northeastern liberal-arts college experience, and can only wonder why I didn’t get to it sooner.

And now, onto a new year with new books!

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