2013: Has for me been a year of exceptional quality when it comes to books, books of many genres, types, skills and authors.
For my reading pleasure this year I had a few attempts at trying something different. (on that note, always listen to twitter, when enough people say a book is exceptional ….well it often is)
Apart from the authors, the people who have helped make this year possible are the publishers, this year, more than any other they have been amazing, I balk at saying one might be better thank another, even at naming the individuals, if i missed just one i would kick myself, They are all so wonderful. This is a group of people who spend their time helping someone (the authors) succeed in their profession and passion, and to do it they help another group of people, like me explore a love of reading, at the same time many of them exploring their own deep passion for words, books, writing and being nice.
So a huge huge thank you one and all, to the great people, in PR, marketing, sales, editing etc at all the publisher. You know who you are, please know i appreciate everyone of you, and every book you send.
Special mention also to book shop of the year (IMHO) Goldsboro Books, who keep the fine art of book collecting alive and well.
I found it impossible to do a single top 5 or top 10 of books for 2013, so i did 3 genres instead (cop out) and even then i feel i cheated so many great writers and books out of a mention. These lists are books that just spoke to me directly this year.
Best Thrillers of 2013:
1: Terry Hayes: I am Pilgrim
2: David Gibbins: The Pharaoh
3: James Douglas: The Excalibur Codex
4: Chris Kuzneski: The Hunters
5: Hugh Howey: Dust
Terry Hayes book was a revelation in thriller terms, a book that was just simply superb, if you have not read it you really must.
David Gibbins, not only an amazing author who gets better with every book, but a truly nice person whom i have had the pleasure to get to know a little this year.
Chris Kuzneski, brilliant new series, and for me great to know there is a whole other series i have not read and has no joined my TBR pile.
Hugh Howey, probably one of the finest dystopian series out there at present.
Best Fantasy / Supernatural books of 2013
1: Nathan Hawke: Crimson Shield
2: Nathan Hawke: Cold Redemption
3: Luke Scull: Grim Company
4: James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell: Blood Gospel
5: Ben Aaronvitch: Broken Homes
2 amazing debut authors arriving with a bang (Nathan Hawke and Luke Scull), and some stalwarts of the genre staying where they belong.
Best Historical Fiction of 2013
1: CC Humphreys: Shakespear’s Rebel
2: Paul Collard: Maharajahs General
3: Christian Cameron Tom Swan and the head of St George (Parts 1-6)
4: Nobel Smith: Sons of Zeus
5: Robert Fabbri Romes Fallen Eagle
Historical fiction was the hardest list to write, so may others were deserving of a place, Ben Kane Fields of Blood, Michael Arnold and his Highwayman Ironside short story and his wonderful Assassins Reign, SJA Turney: Priests Tale, Conn Iggulden with Stormbird and the last in the Emperor series Blood of Gods, James Wilde Hereward End of Days, Nick Brown Far Shore, David Gilman Master of War, the fabulous Anthony Riches and his Eagles Vengeance, James Benmore Dodger, Julian Stockwin and the amazing Kydd series , Steven Mckay and his new Robin Hood series Wolfs Head, the every fabulous Angus Donald and his unique Robin Hood series .
So many of these authors can be found at The HWA web site and forum
There are more than this list, so many more great books and authors. this last year has been so full of amazing books choosing 5 was amazingly hard.
My top 5’s are the books that stayed with me as well as offered enjoyment, books that immersed me so deeply I lost where and who I was. Its even harder to write a list like this when so many authors are friends and are wonderful people as well as writers, people who have given so many great books and keep doing so year in year out.
Its a list you all deserve to be on.
What continues to amaze me is that so many of the really great books are by new authors.
2014 holds the same promise, having just finished the fantastic Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements a debut title that could have taken top spot in 2013, I know there is an amazing year ahead.
I look forward to enjoying the journey with all the authors, publishers, readers, bloggers and those kind enough to read my blog.
Happy new year all.