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The Naming of the Books: 2015

Every year, I keep a list of the books I’ve read between January 1st and December 31st. Mostly it’s for my own reference, but I know some people enjoy talking about books so I post it to my blog every year, too. The list does not include magazines, short stories, or individual comic-book issues, but it does include things like chapbooks and graphic novels/trade comic-book collections. So, without further ado, here is the list of books I read in 2015, in the order I read them:

Gifts For the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall
The Yeti’s Hand by Daniel Braum
Nightingale Songs by Simon Strantzas
Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters by August Ragone
Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
Afterlife With Archie, Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Best Horror of the Year, Vol. Six edited by Ellen Datlow
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
These Last Embers by Simon Strantzas
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
The Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Neonomicon by Alan Moore
In the Woods by Tana French
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
Phoenix Island by John Dixon
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Burnt Black Suns by Simon Strantzas
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King

That’s 25 books this year, five fewer than my usual average of 30, probably because I spent so much time working from home last winter, which always results in less reading time. (I do the great majority of my reading on the subways.)

Looking over the list, a few patterns emerge. I read more collections and anthologies this year to make up for not reading any last year. This was also the year of my Linkathon, in which I read all the Kelly Link collections I hadn’t gotten to yet, as well as the start of my Early Kingathon, in which I intend to catch up on all of Stephen King’s classic older works. Watch for that to continue next year.

I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite book from this year’s list because so many were excellent. But I can definitely point to my two least favorites: Neonomicon, which devolves from an interesting Lovecraftian homage into just another Alan Moore wank fantasy, and In the Woods, which is beautifully written but left me frustrated and unsatisfied. I even liked The Scarlet Gospels better than both of them, and that novel has tons of problems!

That’s it for 2015, folks! I hope you and yours have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016 that’s filled with great books!

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