I am not a big fan of best of lists. Personally, every list is subjective and everyone has different tastes. The best of lists tend to rile everyone up because someone didn’t name such and such book. In my opinion, it would seem it is down the amount of books that people try to put in these lists. So when I saw my friend Emily post a top 19 of 2019. I thought I could probably do that.
This year I read some amazing books. There are so many that I really enjoyed but this list are books that really hit me in the feels or books that I really loved. They are in no specific order.
In this stack we have:
Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor
Choking Back the Devil by Donna Lynch
The Girl Aquarium by Jen Campbell
Wonderland Edited by Marie O’Reagan and Paul Kane
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen
Sing Your Sadness Deep by Laura Mauro
Violet by Scott Thomas
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
The Apocalyptic Mannequin by Stephanie M. Wytovich
New Music for Old Rituals by Tracy Fahey
Hex Life edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering
Yes, that is only 12 but here are the books that I loved that I had checked out from my friendly neighborhood library.
Bunny by Mona Awad
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Now You’re One of Us by Asa Nonami
The rest are series that I loved and read this year.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
This was an extremely hard list to make. There were so many things that I loved to read this year. So this list could go on and on. But these are the books that really stole my heart.
I wanted to thank all the authors and the publishers I worked with this year. All the work that goes into writing and creating these amazing little worlds between pretty covers astounds me. A big thank you to Pima County Library!! Thank you for not yelling at me when I turn things in late!!
I have an amazing team that I work with everyday to promote women horror authors. Big thank you to The Ladies Of Horror Fiction. You all make the days and frustrations so much more tolerable.
I love stories where there this a kick ass female protagonist. I also love when a female protagonist sees the writing on the wall but still pushes forward. Not matter if their back is against the wall there is still this drive pushing them forward to kill or solve whatever issue is in front of them. Honestly, that is what makes a strong female character and Cooper has that down.
Synopsis: A woman’s past comes back to haunt her but she takes control.
What I liked: I really enjoyed Cooper’s characterizations. Her characters are three dimensional and you can care about them. You want them to win. You become very invested in the story. I really like Cooper’s writing style. It is a very quick read that you really don’t want to end. You want to continue reading the story of these women. The monsters….I want everyone to read just to meet Cooper’s monsters. Her descriptions of them are vivid and you can see in your mind’s eye exactly what they look like. There is so much to like about Cooper’s writing.
What I didn’t like: I didn’t want it to end.
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
My Thoughts: I read The Festering Ones in two sittings. I really enjoyed the premise. There is something that was really important to me that Cooper did really well. Her characters where strong women without being bitchy and abrasive. They were brave and faced their demons with spunk and grit. I really appreciated that. The idea that a strong woman doesn’t have to be abrasive or a bitch was lovely.
If you haven’t realized that I am a bit of a nerd yet then you really haven’t been paying attention. As the host of a podcast you tend to do lots of research on whatever topic that you are talking about. I have been fortunate in that I talk about a lot of women horror authors. So when I saw this beauty floating around in the twitterverse I had to have it. The book itself is just beautiful!!
Synopsis: Each chapter deals with a influential women in the horror and speculative fiction genres.
What I liked: I loved that I was able to dip in and out of this book while I was reading it. The writing style was super accessible and I really enjoyed the information at the end of each profile. It tells you what to read by the author and other things to read if you enjoyed the author’s work. The illustrations through out the book are lovely.
What I didn’t like: Absolutely nothing
Star Rating: 5 Stars
My Thoughts: I think that this is a really important book. Women have been a part of the horror genre since the beginning. Whether they were writing Gothic horror or are writing now. Women have been instrumental in shaping the horror genre. This is a very important work that lists the most influential women. If you support women in horror this is a book that you will want on your shelves.
Big Thank you to Quirk Books for sending me a review copy. AND A HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa and Melanie for mentioning the Ladies of Horror Fiction!!!
I didn’t really start reading poetry until this year. The darker the better. Sometimes it spoke to me like Amanda Lovelace’s poetry other times it didn’t. But when something you read absolutely wrecks you it s the best feeling ever. That you read the words and they truly mean something to you. It maybe about murder and blood but the emotion behind the murder and blood is something that you feel deeply. When I was in school if this was the type of poetry that we were introduced to I may have continued to read it. But what ever you do pick up Love for Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger.
Summary: Wonderful dark and devilish poems about love and lust. With some murder and stuff thrown in.
What I liked: I picked this up when my friend Emily reviewed it and gave it 5 stars, I now know why! Tantlinger’s prose is beautiful and horrific at the same time. This is a poetess who can turn murder and bondage into a beautiful act of love or hate. There is so much to love about this poetry collection. The mixture of the horrific and the beautiful I don’t think that many people would be able to pull off successfully but Tantlinger does exquisitely time and again in each poem. I really wish that poetry teachers would be able to teach poetry like this as I believe it would keep kids engaged and wanting to know more about the sentiments behind the words.
What I didn’t like: Not a damn thing!!
Star Rating: As many stars as you can give it
My thoughts: I never know what to say about poetry. I don’t have a degree in literature so I never know what to say to accurately convey the way poetry can make you feel. There are so many feelings behind the words that Tantlinger writes I just want to hug them all. I needed this poetry collection when angsty goth kid Toni was trying to bumble her way through Keats, unsuccessfully I might add, but I would have totally understood this and loved this collection. Sara please write more and more!!!