Everyone should resolve to read more good books this year, and to help you along, I thought I’d post a list of some great reads available now or coming soon.
First up, I’ll start with a little shameless self-promotion: my very own The Pack: Winter Kill. People are digging it, I think you will, too. And hey, as of this evening, the publisher still has the Kindle edition at $4.99!
I discovered Victor Gischler this year, and my first read by him happened to be his first novel Gun Monkeys. I was hooked, and I’m currently halfway through Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and am thoroughly digging it. I plan to check out The Deputy soon.
For a good anti-hero, check Anthony Neil Smith’s Yellow Medicine. Kent Gowran turned me on to this book, and I loved it. Smith recently announced he’ll be writing other work under a pseudonym because Yellow Medicine and it’s sequel, Hogdoggin’, aren’t selling, and I think that’s a crime in itself.
I’ve finally gotten around to checking out Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard books, having read Savage Season just a few weeks ago. What a great pair of characters. The rest of the series has been added to my Amazon wish list.
Dig Westerns? Check out one with a supernatural bent with The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt. This one comes out in trade paperback a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait. You may also want to check out their gangster-demon mash-up The Damned.
Cullen is also writing a young adult novel for Evileye Books called Crooked Hills. It looks like a fun read from what I’ve seen, and it’s one I hope to share with my oldest son.
I turned some folks on to Richard Laymon’s Savage last month, and I’ll do it again right now. This book is a Huckleberry Finn for the horror genre, and one of my favorite books from Laymon’s catalog. Hell, it’s one of my favorite books, period. Well worth tracking it down in paperback if you don’t have a Kindle.
I’m going to sneak in a fitness book I plan to re-read soon: The Abs Diet from the editor of Men’s Health, David Zinczenko. I hate the title of this book because it makes it sound like a fad diet, but it’s actually all about proper eating and getting exercise. The idea is you build muscle to burn fat, and you eat to maintain that muscle. It makes sense, and I lost twenty pounds in just two months following it before I started karate. It has a male point of view in several chapters, but there’s an The Abs Diet for Women, too.
We’re still six months out from Duane Swierczynski’s Fun and Games, but it’s probably my most-anticipated book of next year. I’ve been a fan of his work since I read Severance Package, and last year’s Expiration Date was pretty damn good, too. I’ve heard here and there that Severance Package has been picked up for the film treatment, and I think it would be perfect for the big screen. Here’s hoping it makes it all the way.
Tom Piccirilli’s Nightjack will be near the top of my 2011 reading pile. A Pic book for $4.99? SOLD! Pic made the transition from horror to crime some years back, and I think it’s been a great move for him.
Finally, one more book on my nightstand is Seth Harwood’s Young Junius. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Harwood’s writing, and the publisher, Tyrus Books, sent me a copy as part of a Twitter giveaway, so I’m all over it. They also published Gischler’s The Deputy.
Those are the stand-outs for me for now. I think they demonstrate where my reading tastes have been headed of late, but hey, given my own book has a strong crime slant despite the horror element, and I’d really like to get my thriller Sick Day written and published, it’s not surprising.