(These are books read here at CHC in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.)
First the authors that each had two books on my list:
The Cormorant and Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory. This was my favorite author discovery of the year and The Cormorant my favorite book. Mr. Gregory is an author of stunning prose and originality. I will faithfully purchase whatever books he puts out for the rest of my life. (A big thank you goes out to Valancourt Books for this discovery!)
Wild Fell and Enter, Night by Michael Rowe. My second favorite author discovery of the year. Enter, Night is a seriously underrated vampire novel and Wild Fell refuses to be categorized. While beautifully written, these two stories pay off and pay off big. Horror is too small a word for what these two books deliver.
The Delicate Dependency by Michael Talbot- 4.5*An old school vampire tale that is unlike any other. This one is slow paced at times and is not for everyone. But it definitely was for ME.
The Elementals by Michael McDowell- 4.5* This book transformed me into a HUGE Michael McDowell fan. Because of The Elementals, I sought out the Blackwater series and that was fantastic too. With a beautiful ear for the language of the south, and with a haunted house story that was both entertaining and terrifying, Mr. McDowell cemented his place in my list of favorite authors.
Animosity by James Newman-5* This story about a horror author's worst nightmare got to me and got to me good. At one point I was bawling my eyes out. So yeah, good book! You should read it right now.
The Thicket by Joe Lansdale- 5*This is the only audiobook on my list. I'm still relatively new to audios, but this will be the last year I can say that. I "read" a lot of them this year, and this was, by far, the best. An excellent western featuring a crazy cast of characters. I am very excited to see the movie when it comes out. The narrator did a bang up job and brought those crazy characters alive in my head. It was fun, sad and touching all at once.
Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon- 5* This is a story originally written back in the 50s. Usually horror stories from back then are different from the way they are today, and this one is no exception. It's very short, for one thing. It's also subtle and has to be read carefully in order to get everything out of it. It's told in an epistolary style and I love that. This is a tale that could be interpreted in a number of ways. You will have to read it and see how it plays out for you.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-5* Book one in the Library of Forgotten Books series. It was amazingly beautiful. There's nothing else to say. (Not pictured.)
The River Through the Trees by David Peak- 4.5* I chose this story from the many books submitted to Horror After Dark throughout the year. I'm not sure what drew me to it, but whatever it was, I'm glad. This was my biggest reading surprise of the year, which is why it got the last spot on my list-I've read many 4.5 star books this year, but this one stuck with me. It's beautifully written, dark and gritty. I think this author is one to keep an eye on, and I plan to do just that.
A BIG thank you goes out to Valancourt Books! (Click to read my interview with them at Horror After Dark.) They are my favorite publishing discovery this year and 3 of my top books came from them. They are dedicated to bringing books back from certain death. Out of print books or books that are only available to those with large bank accounts are targets for Valancourt. I might not ever have discovered Stephen Gregory without them, and I had been searching for Michael McDowell books for years before Valancourt came along. I love what they're doing and I think anyone with a love of books can find something from Valancourt to quench their reading desires. ((Click to check out their website.)
Thanks to my followers and fellow Booklikers for making blogging a pure joy and for never allowing me to be bored. I have enjoyed my time here so much and am hoping for another book filled year. You guys are the best!