And a wonderful world of reading it is too, there are so many talented authors out there and is this post I will be highlighting the ones that really stood out. Note that this list is books that I have read this year, they may have been published earlier.
Let's start with my favourite read of the year:
The Scream of Angels by David Haynes
David Haynes makes the list twice and in fairness with his Macabre Collection he could have made it three times! I write horror (of a sort) and I like to think I'm pretty good at it, but this author is incredible.
There's a few reasons why I hold this author in such esteem, the first is the quality of the writing, it is well crafted and conveys the story with real skill. The second is the story, in this one we have the gruesome theatre in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. He writes in a style that is reminiscent of the penny dreadfuls from the same era which really evokes the period when you are reading.
The third reason is the purity of the horror. This (and his others, although he writes more than just horror stories) is unashamed horror, dark, brutal and very bloody. It doesn't pull its punches, but it does so in a sinister fashoin (like all great horror), but it's not afraid
The Scream of Angels is available from Amazon
I love drabbles, both as an author and as a reader and this book is one of the big reasons that enjoyment of the 100 word story form continues.
Jonathan Hill is a past master of writing drabbles, he does so with a sometimes humorous and often chilling wit. Kath Middleton is a relative newcomer to the scene but has already made quite a splash.
If you want to find out why then just give this book a read and I'm sure you'll become a fan of drabbles too.
Beyond 100 Drabbles is available from Amazon
Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi
I like a good ghost story and this is a marvellous one, not only did keep me guessing until the end (and it's not often I'm surprised when reading a book!) it's also a fantastic read.
The quality of the writing really sets this book apart, the author has an incredible turn of phrase that makes it a joy to read.
Floating Staircase is available from Amazon
The Boy Who Kissed The Sky by David Haynes
David Haynes is a remarkable author, I have enjoyed all of his books so far, in particular his Victorian era horrors, however this is a very different story.
It's the tale of a boy who once flew and then follows his dream in a quest to fly again. The journey is well told and has almost magical quality that stays with you even after you've finished reading.
The talent here is not only the quality of the writing, or the unique story, it's that the author can switch between writing the darkest horror and something this positive with equal talent.
The Boy Who Kissed The Sky is available from Amazon
My Granny Writes Erotica by Rosen Trevithick
Like many of the authors on this list Rosen Trevithick possesses a multitude of talents, her children's books (The Smelly Trolls series) are all excellent reads, I've also read some of her wonderful and moving short stories. She also writes humour very well and that is most evident in her tale 'My Granny Writes Erotica' which was the funniest book I've read in a long time.
The premise is a simple one Betty needs to make money and quickly, she's a writer (or at least wants to be) and discovers that erotica sells well. The answer seems obvious, but writing an erotic novel isn't very easy if you don't know much about sex, especially the more unusual flavours.
What follows is a hilarious story and I can't wait for the sequel due out in a few weeks.
So those were my top five reads for the year, what were yours?