Over at her book blog, The Literary Omnivore, my friend Clare is seeking lists of Top 10 favorite reads for the year. Note that these are favorites, so they don't require any qualification. This is the stuff that I had the most fun with in 2011. All of these books were reviewed here at the blog so if you want more info, just check the reviews. Anyway, in no particular order, here we go.
The Saga of Eric Brighteyes by H. Rider Haggard
The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones
Act of Providence by Joseph Payne Brennan
Let's Kill Ames by Lester Dent
Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Baltimore by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola
The Last Quarry by Max Allan Collins
Smile No More by James A. Moore
Durandal by Harold Lamb
Harald Hardrada: The Warriors Way by John Marsden
There ya go. Some of the books are old, some of them brand new. Eric Brighteyes is the oldest and I don't know why it took me so long to get around to it. The Desert of Souls is the debut novel of my friend Howard Andrew Jones and Smile No More is part of a series by my pal James A. Moore. Being a friend doesn't get you on the list but it doesn't keep you off either.
Durandal was a rousing historical adventure, and Let's Kill Ames was a rare Doc Savage novel written in the first person POV, which gave it a distinctive flavor. Act of Providence was a book that blurred the lines between fiction and reality, and we know how I love those.
Baltimore was one of the best and most original horror novels I've read in a long time. Harald Hardrada was a fantastic historical biography. Kiss Her Goodbye was my favorite so far of the Spillane/Collins collaborations, and Collins' solo effort The Last Quarry was the best hardboiled book I've read in ages. Had this been a top 11 list, Collins would have shown up again with Quarry in the Middle.
Now I didn't count re-reads so folks like David Gemmell, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Poul Anderson didn't make the list, and I should probably do a list of top 10 favorite short stories of 2011 at some point because I read some really good short tales this year and those authors deserve a mention. Maybe later.
Check out Clare's list here: