Last week I posted my reading count (129) for the year, which for me is a good year. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite books read during the year. Note I didn’t say “best”, but rather favorite, I think it’s an important distinction. My first pass through my read list yielded over thirty books, too many for a post like this. My second (painful) pass cut that down and eventually I got to 20. Sigh. Note there were quite a few books I liked a lot that aren’t in this post. What follows is in no particular order. Covers follow title groupings.
West of Guam: The Complete Cases of Jo Gar by Raoul Whitfield – mystery short stories including a series of connected ones. Really superb, probably my favorite book of the year. Five stars.
Ka by John Crowley – either fantasy or general fiction, depending on your thought. Not for everyone, but I liked it more and more the further I read.
And Be A Villain by Rex Stout, Second Confession by Rex Stout – mystery – the second and third of the three Arnold Zeck novels, and though the first is fine, I like these the best. Always worth rereading.
A Killing in Quail County by Jameson Cole – mystery – this 1996 hardcover had been sitting on the shelf since new, and I finally pulled it off the shelf in a fit of “I don’t know what to read next”. Sure glad I did, I especially liked the 15 year-old narrator.
Ragged Lake by Ron Corbett – mystery – His first mystery and a good one. I also liked the next one, Cape Diamond, just not quite as much.
The Killer Angels by Michael Sharra – non-fiction (slightly fictionalized) – excellent account of the battle at Gettysburg.
An Informal History of the Hugo Awards by Jo Walton – non-fiction – though I had some occasional issues with the author’s point of view, over all this was both a fun book and a good reference.
A Serpent’s Tooth by Craig Johnson – mystery – A Longmire novel. I read a lot fewer of these in 2018, but may pick that up this year. Though not my favorite in the series, those favorites were read in previous years.
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen – historical drama – Taking place at the beginning of World War II in England, I found this character-driven novel good, and even better upon reflection.
Age of Myth, Age of Swords, Age of War by Michael Sullivan – fantasy – I loved these three thick fantasy novels as well as anything I read during the year. Probably the best fantasy I’ve read in several years. I can scarcely wait for the next book, The Age of Legend, coming in April.
Broken Ice by Matt Goldman – mystery – An intriguing mystery in a slightly different setting with an interesting cast. Good one.
Desolation Mountain by William Kent Krueger – mystery – Cork O’Conner gets involved when a Senator’s plane goes down near Aurora, and men in sun glasses and dark suits come crawling out of the woodwork. Excellent as usual from this favorite author.
Hawke’s Prey by Revis Wortham – thriller – This was a new-to-me author, character, series (2 so far). Fast, exciting, plenty of shell casings fly.
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny – mystery. The good news: another excellent Chief Inspector Gamache novel from Penny. The bad news: I suspect (though Barbara and most of my friends disagree) it could be the last. Let’s hope not!
Irontown Blues by John Varley – science fiction – one of the few SF novels I read and really liked a lot. There were others, but they got cut in narrowing things down for this post.
That’s it. Maybe I missed some, or forgot some, but those were all favorites.