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The Naming of the Books 2021

As I do every year, I’m sharing a list of the books I read this year. As you’ll see, I read 28 books in 2021, just shy of my annual goal of 30 books. My rules for what goes on the list are somewhat arbitrary but work for me: I don’t count single issue comics, but I do count trade collections; I don’t count magazines, even if I read them cover to cover like Rue Morgue; I don’t count manuscripts I have been asked to critique; I don’t count individual short stories, but I do count stories published as chapbooks, because I guess that’s more book-like? Don’t ask me to explain, I don’t think I can! Anyway, here is the list of what I read in 2021, in the order I read them:

The Writing Life by Jeff Strand
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Troop by Nick Cutter
Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Felonious Monk by William Kotzwinkle
Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman
The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell
Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism by Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Spirits Unwrapped edited by Daniel Braum
Addams’ Apple: The New York Cartoons of Charles Addams by Charles Addams
Men to Avoid in Art and Life by Nicole Tersigni
Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones
Die, Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillon
Die, Vol. 2: Split the Party by Kieron Gillon
Die, Vol. 3: The Great Game by Kieron Gillon
Giving the Devil His Due edited by Rebecca Brewer
Something Is Killing the Children, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV
Something Is Killing the Children, Vol. 2 by James Tynion IV
Something Is Killing the Children, Vol. 3 by James Tynion IV
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson
Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel
Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin
Zod Wallop by William Browning Spencer
Die, Vol. 4: Bleed by Kieron Gillon

And that’s it for 2021! I hope you have a happy and healthy 2022 that’s filled with great books to read!

Zod Wallop

Zod WallopZod Wallop by William Browning Spencer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Years ago, after the tragic death of his daughter, popular children’s author Harry Gainesborough spent time in a mental institution, where he wrote his most popular children’s fantasy novel, ZOD WALLOP. Now, his friends from the hospital, convinced everything in the novel is real, have broken out to search for Harry and drag him along on their quest. At first, Harry assumes it’s just their mental illness at work, but soon he’s seeing creatures and settings from his novel in the real world and doubting his own sanity.

I loved this novel! Like Spencer’s previous novel, RESUMÉ WITH MONSTERS, this one bursts with madcap energy and unbridled creativity. An audacious examination of reality, fiction, and the space in-between where imagination fills limitless bounds, ZOD WALLOP astonishes on every page. Wildly inventive with tons of heart, I consider it a must-read!

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