My Favorite Reads of 2020

These are my top reads of 2020 (released in 2020). They’re sort of in order, the top three (Magpie/Survivor/Ring) being too close for me to choose. It was probably the best year in horror fiction that I can remember. There’s always a bunch of good books, but this year was super packed. If you don’t own these books, make a list and start grabbing them! And I strongly believe this year is going to be just as freaking good.

As I always do, here’s the list of other great books just outside of my Top 11:

MISFITS by Hunter Shea, TOMB OF GODS by Brian Moreland, TRUE CRIME by Samantha Kolesnik, THE BELL CHIME by Mona Kabbani, MYSTERY ROAD by Kevin Lucia, and THE INVENTION OF GHOSTS by Gwendolyn Kiste

Other books that I enjoyed Best non 2020 reads WHERE THE CRAWDAD’S SING by Delia Owens, DECEMBER PARK by Ronald Malfi, DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

Favorite Non Fiction: AMERICAN PREDATOR by Maureen Callahan (not from 2020) END OF THE ROAD by Brian Keene

Favorite Anthology: Bludgeon Tools edited by K. Trap Jones and Survive With Me edited by Kenneth W. Cain

Feel free to check out my GoodReads page for my reviews. https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2020/16739484

If you haven’t read my 2020 release (UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND) check it out. Definitely for fans of 80s/coming of age/vampire stories.

Stay safe, stay positive!

-Glenn

HYPED FOR 2020: Most Anticipated Reads

2019 is over (almost), so I thought I’d follow in the footsteps of some of my writer and reviewer buds, and give you my most anticipated books of 2020!

We’ll do top 5, since I’m sure there are plenty of books by writers I love that I am not yet aware of for the upcoming year.

AND AS ALWAYS.click on the covers below to pre-order.

(DEVIL’S CREEK isn’t up yet)

 

 

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Stephen Graham Jones is an outstanding writer. His coming of age werewolf novel, MONGRELS, is one of my favorite books of all-time. His collection, AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF, is also one of my top collections ever. It is with baited breath that I await THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jonathan Janz is one of the most dedicated horror writers around. His two newest FLAME TREE PRESS books, THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER, and the amazing, THE DARK GAME, serve as proof that he is only getting better. There’s no reason to not think THE RAVEN isn’t a hit just waiting to be unleashed!

 

 

 

 

 

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Todd Keisling is best known for his novellas and the fantastic UGLY LITTLE THINGS set of horror stories. I’ve been patiently waiting for this man and his piles of endless talent to deliver an epic horror novel…and the wait is nearly over! Thanks to SILVER SHAMROCK, we will be given Keisling’s next horror offering, the novel, DEVIL’S CREEK.

 

 

 

 

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Adam Cesare is one of the most driven forces in the horror writing world that I’ve ever run into. His books, TRIBESMEN, THE SUMMER JOB, and VIDEO NIGHT rocked my horror loving heart. In terms of “new releases”, he’s been missing the last year or two.  I figured he was up to something big, and I was right.

CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD will mark Cesare’s debut within the realm of Young Adult Horror, and I think he’s going to nail the heck out of it.  Also, it’s coming from HARPER COLLINS, so expect a great push. And peep that rad cover!

 

 

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Brian Moreland is one of my favorite writers of he last decade. His books, SHADOWS IN THE MIST and DEAD OF WINTER are amazing, and his novella, DARKNESS RISING, is a true horror gem.

Watching how well Moreland has worked historical periods within some of his stories, I cannot wait to see what he does with Ancient Egypt. TOMB OF GODS marks his first full-length release in a couple years, and I feel like I’ve been starved. Easily my MOST anticipated book of 2020.

 

 

 

 

I’m curious to see what we get in way of new releases from Patrick Lacey, Gwendolyn Kiste,  and Ronald Malfi, too.  Hopefully, we get something from each of them!

I left off the new King book, IF IT BLEEDS. I think that one goes without saying (even though I kind of just said it).

 

Anyways, I also have a new book on the way (May 21st from Flame Tree Press), if you dig love stories, coming of age, vampires, Old Orchard Beach, and all things 1980s, you’ll probably want to check out UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND.

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When fifteen year old Rocky Zukas meets a mysterious dark-haired girl named November, his world is forever changed. The young couple falls under the spell of summer love, but not everyone approves. November’s brother, Gabriel, is the keeper of the family’s secret, and big brother is always watching, growing more sinister as his bloodlust gets the best of him. Directing his attention to Rocky’s family, Gabriel aims to make sure little sister knows who is in charge.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Horror Books Post-2000, Non-King

A Twitter friend posted a picture of her Top !0 favorite post 2000, non-King books.

I liked the idea, so I just wanted to share some of the ones under that criteria that have stuck with me above all the others. These are some of my favorite all-time.

If you haven’t read these yet, make a list  and go find them.

 

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Top Reads of 2016 (So far).

Wow, how is it July 1st already?

I’ve read some really awesome books in the first half of 2016, and I thought I’d share them with you. Now. there are plenty of books I expect to make this list at  year’s end (Tremblay, Malfi, Shea, and plenty of others have some great works out there or coming soon that I need to read), but these are the best of what I’ve read to date.

Novels

9. THE MONSTER UNDERNEATH– Matthew Franks

This debut from Samhain Publishing author, Matthew Franks, is an interesting psychological mash up of Criminal Minds, The Following, Silence of the Lambs, and something with a mind reader/dream invader. If you want to make a splash out the gate, I guess creating your own concoction that nobody has seen before is a good way to achieve that.    *THIS ONE IS ON SALE for 99 CENTS!

8. THE COMPLEX by Brian Keene

A lot of reviewers (myself included) mentioned how great is to see Keene return to form with this vicious, yet thoughtful horror ride. A gang of possessed people descend upon an apartment complex full of interesting characters. It pays to be on speaking terms with your neighbors! One of Keene’s short story character’s plays a major role in here, an added bonus for BK fans. I’m not sure THE COMPLEX will make my end of the year list, but I’m happy to see him back in any of my top lists.

7. CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz

Janz delivers another strong effort. This one has him reaching into the coming-of-age bag, pulls out of big, bloody ball,  and bats a solid hit. I’ve seen a lot of praise out there from the Janz-ites, and if you’re a big JJ fan, you will no doubt have this one on your 2016 list. COTD serves as a prequel to Janz’s SAVAGE SPECIES novel and I’m thinking we’re in for more from this universe. Stay tuned!

6. MAYAN BLUE by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Remember what I said about creating your own concoction to make that initial impact? Well, the “Sisters of Slaughter” have done just that. MAYAN BLUE has a very original story (Mayan ruins/artifacts in Georgia?) and showcases their unabashed taste in writing some pretty vicious scenes. I mentioned in my review how their style had me thinking back to Brian Keene’s original Leisure Books run. I stand by that statement.

5. THEY RISE by Hunter Shea

Hunter writes like he’s making these crazy horror/action movies. It’s perfect for that hungry horror bookworm who wants something good that reads like a match set to gasoline. This one has a lot of JAWS-like sensibilities which, I’m sure, suits Mr. Shea just fine. A great monster fish long thought extinct resurfaces and in numbers that would scare the bejesus out of any seaman…

4. PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES by John McNee

This is a haunted hotel story that reads like something hidden in Clive Barkers steamer trunk. The writing is smooth and exciting, and the story  is just about perfect. The evil creations McNee uses and the horrifying sights they show the guests in this ghost attraction hotel are top notch and scary. I really loved this book.

3. NORTHWOODS by Bill Schweigart

This book is a sequel to a novel I have never read (Beast of Baycroft). That being said, I had no trouble following along with the characters or their situations. A great sequel stands alone. Schweigart nails that model here in spades. I had a lot of fun reading this one and will go back and find the first book before Christmas.  If you like shapeshifters, cryptozoology, and action, you will love this! (Writing-wise, he could be Hunter Shea’s twin brother!)    *AND this one is on sale for 99 cents !

2. DESOLATION by Kristopher Rufty

Definitely a contender for my Top 5 at the end of the year, Rufty’s DESOLATION really hit me in the guts. With the most heart-wrenching opening I’ve read in years, this novel dares to go straight for your soft spot. There’s revenge, there’s right and wrong, there’s a family trying to keep itself together while trying to avoid being chopped to bits…it’s pretty freaking great.  I loved this one. You should make time for it, too   And, if you act now, you can get the paperback version from Amazon for just $7.23!

1. MONGRELS by Stephen Graham Jones

I LOVED this book!  Sounds like I’ve had a pretty good 2016 in the reading world, right? Yes, I have, and MONGRELS tops the list. SGJ writes this book like he has some sort of inside information on werewolves that the rest of us don’t. It’s not a fast and furious werewolf blood bath like Janz’s WOLF LAND (or that book that I wrote), but what it is is SOOO MUCH better. Not to kick any of the werewolf novels that came before it in the nuts, but I truly believe Mr. Jones is in or knows a real wolf pack. This is just a wonderful piece of literature wearing a horror jacket and being really fucking cool. The story of a werewolf family and the challenges they face trying to stay under the radar in the world around them, and a boy waiting to see if he’s ever going to change. A really wonderful book and one that should make everyone’s Top 10 of 2016.

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I’ll drop a few novellas and a collection that I really enjoyed here. Check out:

WOMAN IN WHITE by Kristin Dearborn

VICKI BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon

THE WINTER BOX by Tim Waggoner

and FLESH AND FIRE by Lucas Mangum

(Mangum’s is part of Journal Stone’s double down collection, and is paired with a new Jonathan Maberry piece-BONUS!)

And don’t miss A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD by David Bernstein, a fantastic and imaginative collection of perfect horror.

 

To see all the books I’ve read so far this year, go check out GLENN’s GOOD READS CHALLENGE  (I will add this link later-my computer is acting fruity)

 

CHEERS!

-GR

 

 

NEW (or newish) RELEASES in the WORLD of HORROR!

Being that October is the most socially acceptable time for horror literature,when the seductive veil we refer to as Dark Fiction is peeled back like flesh from the victims in our imaginary realms,  and many of our throng love to unleash our latest  keep-the-reader-up-all-night goods, I wanted to highlight a few that have caught my (evil) eye.

(nice looooong sentence, Glenn 😉  )

So last week I shared my October  reading list, this week I want to point out some of the releases (recent or upcoming) by some of my favorite horror authors out there right now.

Let’s start with the new releases today from Samhain Horror: Which you can purchase at Amazon or at SAMHAIN

John Everson- THE FAMILY TREE

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Mark Rigney- CHECK-OUT TIME

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Tim Waggoner- A STRANGE AND SAVAGE GARDEN

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WHAT WAITS IN THE SHADOWS (Samhain’s Gothic-themed Anthology with Russell James, Catherine Cavendish, JG Fahertyry, and Devin Govaere)

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And also some recent releases I’ve either read or will be reading soon!

Jonathan Janz- EXORCIST ROAD

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Hunter Shea- HELL HOLE

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Mercedes M. Yardley- PRETTY LITTLE DEAD GIRLS

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Stephen Graham Jones- AFTER THE PEOPLE LIGHTS HAVE GONE OFF

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Adam Cesare- TRIBESMEN

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And if you get curious, or enjoyed my debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS…You can Pre-Order my forthcoming collection, SLUSH

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AND the new anthology from Terry West: JOURNALS OF HORROR: Found Fiction (featuring Todd Keisling, Stuart Keene, Robin Dover, and myself among others)

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ALMOST forgot: coming in November (I will also have an interview with him later this month)—

Ronald Malfi- A SHRILL KEENING

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These are all available to order or pre-order at Amazon. You may also find them on Barnesandnoble.com

Find ’em and give ’em a chance!