2016 was the first time I kept track of what I read throughout the year. I’m a fairly slow reader, but I think I got through a respectable amount. I intend to actually read less in 2017, for the simple reason that I intent to WRITE more. Already on my breaks at work, which was when I used to do most of my reading, I’ve taken to jotting in my notebook – a combination of ideas and short stories. My goal, and it’s the most important goal, is always writing. There’s a lot of great books I own and want to read, I’m desperate to read them, but I’ll just have to try and squeeze them in when and if I can. As an alternative, I plan to read a lot more short stories this year – Raymond Carver, Amy Hempel, John Cheever, Chekhov – so I’m quite excited about that.
Anyway, without any further ado, here’s the list of books, kid’s books, biographies and comics I read in 2016, in chronological order:
- The Demon – Hubert Selby Jr
- Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches – Oliver Hurley
- A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
- Red Riding: 1974 – David Peace
- Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said – Philip K Dick
- The Digger’s Game – George V Higgins
- The Knockout Artist – Harry Crews
- Sarah – JT Leroy
- Fantastic Mr Fox – Roald Dahl
- Two For Texas – James Lee Burke
- The Gunslinger – Stephen King
- The Walking Dead vol 15 – Robert Kirkman
- As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
- The Hilliker Curse – James Ellroy
- Music For Chameleons – Truman Capote
- James And The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
- The Devil All The Time – Donald Ray Pollock
- Ridgerunner – Rusty Barnes
- Y: The Last Man Compendium Book One – Brian K Vaughan
- Y: The Last Man Compendium Book Two – Brian K Vaughan
- Almost Transparent Blue – Ryu Murakami
- The Cartel – Don Winslow
- Savage Season – Joe R Lansdale
- Child Of God – Cormac McCarthy
- Saga Book 6 – Brian K Vaughan
- Miracleman: The Golden Age – Neil Gaiman
- The Autobiography Of Malcolm X – Malcolm X
- Hell’s Angels – Hunter S Thompson
- Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney
- Philosophy In The Boudoir – Marquis De Sade
- Ghost Story – Peter Straub
- The Bandido Massacre – Peter Edwards
- A Spy In The House Of Love – Anais Nin
Currently in progress and making the transition into 2017 are Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens, and The Secret History Of Twin Peaks – Mark Frost.
Like I said, I’m a slow reader, but it’s certainly been a case of quality over quantity. The list doesn’t include any of my own stuff that I’ve read/proof-read, nor the numerous short stories I’ve read in a variety of websites and magazines.
To appease any further curiosity anyone may have, the standouts of the year were The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock, The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, and A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James. By virtue of comics being a quicker and easier read, it looks like Brian K Vaughan has been my most read writer, with both Y: The Last Man and Saga (I fucking love Saga, and if you haven’t checked it out you really should).
As for the best?
The Cartel, by Don Winslow. I read it in early summer, I’m still thinking about it now. It kept me up loooong into the night. I was reading it when I should have been writing. Perhaps it’s just because I read it more recently, but I think it was even better than its predecessor, The Power Of The Dog.
Anyway, that was my reading year. Now, back to the writing.