Read these.

booksThis article by Kristen Lamb reminds me why I never expected to survive off of writing and may be doing it partly as a fuck-you-adult-world-you-said-I-could-be-anything-I-wanted-but-you-weren’t-entirely-truthful act of defiance. It also reminds me that I’ve read a whole bunch of awesome books this year, and probably haven’t yammered nearly loudly enough about them.  So, with that in mind, and in a curiously timely fashion, here are the eight* best books I read in 2015 that I really enjoyed and that you ought to consider reading: * Eight because I like the number eight.  Also, books by authors who are already crazy rich (looking at you with love and respect, Stephen King) have been left off the list because they don’t need the exposure quite as much.

  • City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett:  This one’s an amazingly-constructed far-future world with an equally amazing and thorough mythology.  Also, you absolutely must meet Sigrud.
  • I, Villain, Marcus V. Calvert:  Calvert’s got an interesting take on a superheroic world, with a bad guy turned protagonist and brilliantly thought-out scheming. 
  • Feed, Mira Grant:  This is one of the better zombie tales I’ve read in, like, ever.  Also, it’s got one of the most thoroughly intense scenes I’ve ever read in it, and I can’t say more without spoiling it.
  • Goliath, Scott Westerfeld:  The third book in the Leviathan dieselpunk trilogy completes the story nicely and in a very satisfactory manner.  All three are worth the read.
  • Dog on It, Spencer Quinn:  A cozy mystery slash thriller told convincingly from the point of view of…the private eye’s dog?  Yup.  Quinn takes what seems like a silly conceit and makes it work fantastically.
  • Red Claw, Philip Palmer: There’s a lot going on here, but center stage is an utterly alien planet with utterly alien biology, and Palmer’s almost loving exploration of the place against a backdrop of double- and triple-crosses.  it’s fun just roaming around this world. 
  • The Liminal People, Ayize Jama-Everett: What’s special about this one is that it’s a slick, well-written non-Eurocentric superhero story, basically.  A very fast read.
  • Ack-Ack Macaque, Gareth Powell:  This story of a WWII fighter-ace monkey is deeper than it seems at first.  I got into it expecting a pleasantly silly story, and got a unique and well-told adventure.