Friday, December 29, 2023

Top Ten Reads of 2023

Here are my favorite books that I read in 2024. As usual, these are book I read, not necessarily books released in 2024. 

10. Mother Howl by Craig Clevenger 

A highly memorable crime story about lost identity. 

Full review here.

9. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante writes about the beauty and horror of life with one of the keenest eyes in contemporary literature. 

8. Sea of the Patchwork Cats by Carlton Mellick III

One of Mellick's more dream-like stories, also one of his most melancholy. A depressed alcoholic finds himself alone after the entire human race committed suicide. It only gets odder and sadder from there. 

7. Generation X by Douglas Coupland

I'd been pretty lukewarm on what I'd read from Coupland before. This story of disaffected Gen-Xers, however, very much lives up to the hype. 

6. Marshal Law: Fear and Loathing by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill

Before The Boys, there was Marshal Law. An early parody/deconstruction of superhero comics that holds up better than ever. 

5. The Passenger/Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy's final word to the world was amazing. The two books are companions, so I'm counting them as one. 

4. Notice by Heather Lewis

A pitch-black noir story about addiction, prostitution, and abuse. I reviewed this one for my The Unreprinted column, and I'm happy to say Semiotext(e) is bringing it back into print next year. 

Full review here. 

3. The Works of Guillaume Dustan, Vol. 1 by Guillaume Dustan

Dustan invites us into his life in Paris, one haunted by the specter of the AIDS crises as a gay man in the 90's. The results captured in these three short novels are honest, fascinating, and gripping. 

2. Haunter/Soma by Charlee Jacob

This poetic novel of imperialism and religious horror sets the bar for extreme horror and splatterpunk very high. 

Full review here. 

1. Your Dreams by Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore's work continues to simultaneously be some of the most disturbing and the most tender and affectionate that I've ever read. 

Full review here. 

Honorable Mentions
- Spaniels by Jukka Siikala
- The Shards by Bret Eason Ellis
- The Enchanters by James Ellroy
- The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley 
- Neo-Decadence Evangelion, edited by Justin Isis

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