Thursday, December 8, 2011

Books Of The Year

By Jay Stringer

Hey hey.

I wanted to keep this simple this week. There's a lot of negative news stories out there about the publishing industry at the moment; bookstores going under, plagiarism, the never ending debate over pricing, the lovely kindle fire, the terrible kindle fire.

We're into the second week of December. I know, scary, right? Buy someone a book for the holidays. Buy several people a book for the holidays. Honestly? I don't care what format, for what device or at what price. Just buy people books, written by authors, and make that the centre of the debate.

So, with that in mind, I'm throwing it over to you guys. Let's out together a reading list in the comments. What have been the best books of 2011? What authors do you want others to read? What books should we be talking about here at DSD?

Just before you get to posting, here's a bit of house cleaning. I guested again on the Fuzzy Typewriter podcast, this time to discuss When The Sacred Ginmill Closes, by (and we can say this now) friend of DSD, Mr Lawrence Block. It was great to chat about one of my favourite crime novels, and to hear what Paul, Caroline and Dave had to say about it.


Thomas Pluck said...

My favorite reads of the year:

Josh Stallings: Out There Bad
A strong new voice and character on the scene, Mo McGuire is a dark hero, a wounded warrior, who dares shove our face in the evil we tolerate every day. L.A. has a new crime boss, it just doesn't know it yet.

Megan Abbott: The End of Everything
The most daring novel of the year, exposing the rotten heart of suburbia.

Christa Faust: Choke Hold
A pulp hellride that pairs us with two sacrificial lambs, a porn star and a fighter, who destroy themselves for our entertainment. A great story with a lot of heart.

Mat Johnson: Pym
Not a crime novel, but one of the funniest and honest books on race and English literature I've ever read. It turns a brutally racist Poe tale on its head and has a snicker on every page while doing it.

Frank Bill. Crimes in Southern Indiana
A brutal emotional dispatch from the war zone in your backyard. The debut of the year.

Matthew McBride. Frank Sinatra in a Blender
From the title, to its meaning, to its hard-drinking anti-hero and fully-fleshed hard luck villains, not since early Carl Hiaasen has vicious comedy of human existence been so entertainingly portrayed. I still sometimes remember a scene or a line, stare into space and laugh, and everyone around me takes a few steps away from me. Just a great read.

I also really liked Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski, which plays on Hollywood conspiracies and the starlet meat grinder, all while telling a fast paced, thrilling and very funny tale.

Al Tucher said...

I'm way behind for a number of reasons, but I did get to Choke Hold, and I concur.

Peter Rozovsky said...

My own year’s-best list is headed by:

Absolute Zero Cool by Declan Burke
Bloodland by Alan Glynn
The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
Dust Devils by Roger Smith

I liked Choke Hold, too. It packs a real emotional punch.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"