Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2013

So it's been some time since I've updated. I've got a bunch of books I plan on a reviewing and a few that were sent to me by authors and publishers I need to get to. Life and the holidays happened, so I didn't get to them as soon as I planned to. I'll try to get to them sooner than later. For now here are my favorite books that I read in 2013.

10. The Association by Bentley Little

An excellent horror story about the loss of privacy that mixes dark and absurd humor with creeping paranoia. I instantly became a Bentley Little fan after reading this. An honorable mention also goes to his short story collection, The Collection. That one convinced that Bentley Little is overrated as a horror author, but is also the most underrated absurdist writer working today.

9. Crash by JG Ballard

A trippy novel about a man stumbling on an underground cult of car crash fetishists. Is it science fiction, pornography, or high literature about man's relationship to technology? Whatever it is, it was a hell of a read. An honorable mention also goes to Super-Cannes. I recommend reading that if Crash proves to be too heavy for you.

8. The Collected Works of Noah Cicero Vol. I

Noah Cicero remains one of my favorite authors working today. Full review here.

7. Apocalypse Culture edited by Adam Parfrey

I confess that I'm still reading this one, but I had to put it on here. This book has pulled me in too much to not put it on here. Essays on the fringes of life in the 20th century, from an interview with a necrophile, to a case against agriculture itself, to Parfrey's funny as fuck essays on self-castration and Michael Jackson as the Antichrist. Seriously, this book is awesome. I can easily see why it's regarded as an underground classic.

6. The Bizarro Starter Kit (Blue)

A collection of short stories and novellas from the biggest names in the "Bizarro" scene. This and the Orange edition are essential reading for fans of unusual literature. Stand outs include Cheesequake Smash-Up by Bradley Sands, Shamanspace by Steve Aylett, and the short stories of Ray Fracalossy.

5. The Talkative Corpse by Ann Sterzinger

This bitterly funny novel perfectly captures the angst of being a working American in the 2010's. Full review here.

4. Filth by Irvine Welsh

A sociopath cop with a talking tapeworm growing in his gut. That's all I have to say.

3. The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille

Funny, surreal, erotic, disgusting, and beautiful. Everything that a novel should be. 

2. Journey to the End of the Night by Louis Ferdinand-Celine

The picaresque story of a doctor and World War I veteran who travels the world to discover that no matter where you go, no matter who you meet, life still sucks. 

1. Whatever by Michel Houellebecq

“I've lived so little that I tend to imagine I'm not going to die; it seems improbable that human existence can be reduced to so little; one imagines, in spite of oneself, that sooner or later something is bound to happen. A big mistake. A life can just as well be both empty and short. The days slip by indifferently, leaving neither trace nor memory; and then all of a sudden they stop.” 

Honorable Mentions

- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
- With Charity Towards None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy by Florence King
- Tool. by Peter Sotos 
- Mad by Jonathan Bowden
- Lolita and Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
- Lint by Steve Aylett
- My Work is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti

Go out and read all the books I mentioned above in 2014 if you haven't already, they will enrich your life.