Best Reads Of 2019
I suck at these. As of typing this up I’ve read 208 books this year. So I’ve narrowed it down as low as I can. Apologies to those that didn’t make this list, but this has been the BEST year of reading and discovering new authors of my life. Kudos. Here’s hoping 2020 keeps that trend alive!
** This list is purely from books released in 2019.
Top Novels/Novellas from 2019
- The Homecoming – Andrew Pyper – I mean come on. My fav author, a thriller, isolated setting. Checks off all the boxes.
- Those Who Came Before – JH Moncrieff – one of the best writers out there, Native American folklore setting, topical themes, super gore. Outstanding!
- Remains – Andrew Cull – Jesus on a cracker. Wow. Grief, tears, chills, scares. Amazing stuff. Should win the Bram Stoker for First Novel if the stars align.
- Netherkind – Greg Chapman – underworld, new creatures, tons of mythology. Just great all around.
- Save Game – Joseph Sale – an outstanding take on RPG. Loved it.
- Night Shoot – David Sodergren – college assignment, creepy castle, tons of gore. 10/10!
- Without Condition – Sonora Taylor – an unexpected gem. Great characters and an atmosphere of sorrow. Kudos!
- Will Haunt You – Brian Kirk – bonkers. Totally bonkers. Great 4th wall premise and it just hums along.
- The Dark Game – Jonathan Janz – enigmatic author invites authors to his creepy mansion! Fun and chaos ensues!
- Rotten Little Things – Justin M. Woodward – great companion piece to Tamer Animals. Adds to the world while introducing some great characters.
- The Resurrectionists – Michael Patrick Hicks – historical Lovecraftian horror. How have you not purchased and read this yet?
- The Hungry Ones – Chris Sorensen – book two delivers! Great new setting and ties into the first book nicely.
- Weeping Season – Sean O’Connor – god what a premise. Adult Hunger Games. Just an outstanding take on reality-type programming.
- Big Bad – Christian Galacar – gritty, crime-based drama. Guppy is one of the best characters ever created.
- Ghostland – Duncan Ralston – next level lead up promotion, followed by Jurassic Park with ghosts. Outstanding work.
- Transfer – Terry M. West – super disturbing found footage story that kept getting darker and grittier.
- Cricket Hunters – Jeremy Hepler – delivers the chills and the mystery kept growing. Stellar 2nd novel.
Top Collections from 2019
- Little Paranoias – Sonora Taylor – ‘Weary Bones’ is the best short story I’ve probably ever read. Should win a Stoker for that piece. Amazing.
- This Sublime Darkness – Greg Chapman – ‘The Bedlam Stones’ leads you into a creepy world and the gas pedal keeps getting pushed harder and harder from there on out.
- Served Cold – Alan Baxter – Baxter is a superb author and this collection hits all the high notes. ‘Exquisite’ should be made into a movie ASAP.
- The Daylight Will Not Save You – Mark Allan Gunnells – ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ is such an amazing story. Can’t stop thinking about it. Outstanding release.
- The Apocalyptic Mannequin – Stephanie M. Wytovich – what a collection! Just harrowing poem after harrowing poem. Amazingly painful.
- Various States of Decay – Matt Hayward – I don’t know which story was better; ‘Alisha’ or an ‘Unusual Pet,’ but every single story here was phenomenal.
- Russki Dread – Artyom Dereschuk – loved this collection of Russian based horror. Dereschuk delivers some creeps and some great chills.
Most Anticipated to Still Read from 2019
- Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky – My buddy Glenn raves about this book. I managed to snag it on Black Friday when the ebook dropped in price here in Canada. I love the premise but 700 page has me concerned.
- Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell – Nathan Ballingrud – this sounds fantastic. I still need to read his prior collection North American Lake Monsters as well.
- Lords of Eden – M.R. Tapia – the book Amazon tried to kill, lives! I had planned on getting to this when it first came out, but sadly it’s still sitting in my TBR. Hoping to hop on it shortly!
- The Reddening – Adam Nevill – the cover looks amazing as does the synopsis. I locked the ebook price in with a preorder when it was announced. Crazily – I’ve not read anything by Nevill yet, even though I have 5 or 6 of his releases. Time to fix that.
- The Institute – Stephen King – this sounds great, I pretty much like or love all things King releases, but I still haven’t read The Outsider or 11/22/63 yet… so… it might be a bit haha!
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here