The year is almost finished which means it's time to look back on some of the best books we read this year, and while we'd like to name our own, there are plenty of good reads out there for readers and writers looking for something a little different than your average mainstream fluff found on the Best-Sellers List.
Death In Brunswick
Death in Brunswick is a novel written by Boyd Oxlade, which was later adapted into a 1991 Australian black comedy film of the same name. The story is set in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick and follows the life of Carl "Cookie" Fitzgerald, a musician who takes a job as a chef in a local pub. The book is known for its dark humor, eccentric characters, and its exploration of the chaotic and often absurd aspects of life.
Soichi by Junji Ito is a collection of tales featuring Soichi, the uncanny and hilarious hero of the Junji Ito world! Ten tales that celebrate the sinister and hilarious world of Junji Ito’s favorite antihero, Soichi!
Propaganda and the Holy Writ...
Propaganda and the Holy Writ of The Process Church of The Final Judgment: Process Sex Issue•Fear Issue•Death Issue from Timothy Wyllie and Feral House a collection of the group's writings, including their magazines, which were known as "Issues." These publications were filled with a mix of provocative and controversial content, exploring various philosophical and theological themes. They featured articles, artwork, and essays that delved into topics such as sex, fear, and death, often from a unique and thought-provoking perspective.
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin is a 1967 classic that centers on the strange and unsettling events that occur after Rosemary becomes pregnant. She becomes increasingly isolated and paranoid, believing that her neighbors, particularly the elderly couple Roman and Minnie Castevet, are involved in a sinister conspiracy related to her unborn child. Made into a killer movie you can't go wrong!
Making Shapely Fiction
Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern has been used in creative writing workshops and classrooms to help students and writers of all levels improve their storytelling skills. It's known for its clear and practical advice, making it a valuable resource for those looking to enhance their understanding of the art of fiction writing. A MUST for ANY writer in your life.
Trans by Helen Joyce is a non-fiction book that explores the complex and controversial issues surrounding gender identity, transgender rights, and the evolving conversation on these topics. Biological sex is no longer accepted as a basic fact of life. It is forbidden to admit that female people sometimes need protection and privacy from male ones. In an analysis that is at once expert, sympathetic, and urgent, Helen Joyce offers an antidote to the chaos and canceling
The Zaum of Zeena
The Zaum of Zeena by Zeena Schreck is a Collection of Interviews, Essays,
Quotes and Images from Zeena Schreck of Satanic Church fame. Only available through her shop/Etsy shop. It can be purchased with or without an autograph!
Acid Nun by Corinne Halbert is 'Lushly illustrated with influences from spiritual iconography and psychedelic imagery, Corinne Halbert crafts an unflinching yet compassionate graphic novel about pain, rage, and the blessings we can give ourselves.'
A bad trip leads Annie, our earnest heroine, through a journey of suffering and self-discovery. Caught within the confines of her own mind, Annie struggles against the doubled weight of trauma and despair. In order to crawl her way out, she must grapple with the cruelest parts of her psyche, and make peace with her inner child and suppressed past. Annie argues with her demons and punches her way toward the light, with a little help from her dedicated and loving friends.
Monica by Daniel Clowes is a series of interconnected narratives that collectively tell the life story ― actually, stories ― of its title character. Clowes calls upon a lifetime of inspiration to create the most complex and personal graphic novel of his distinguished career. Rich with visual detail, an impeccable ear for language and dialogue, and thrilling twists, Monica is a multilayered masterpiece in comics form that alludes to many of the genres that have defined the medium ― war, romance, horror, crime, the supernatural, etc. ― but in a mysterious, uncategorizable, and quintessentially Clowesian way that rewards multiple readings.
Five years in the making, Monica marks the apex of creativity from one of the defining voices of the graphic novel boom over the past quarter-century. A new book from Clowes is always a huge event in comics and literary circles; Monica will be the biggest literary event of 2023.
The Two-Bear Mambo: A Hap and Leonard Novel
The Two-Bear Mambo by Joe R Lansdale is a rollicking, rollercoaster ride of a novel, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine take a break from their day jobs to search for Florida Grange, Leonard's drop-dead gorgeous lawyer and Hap's former lover, who has vanished in the Klan-infested East Texas town of Grovetown. Before she disappeared, Florida was digging up some dirt behind the mysterious jailhouse death of a legendary bluesman's son, who was in possession of some priceless merchandise. To Hap and Leonard, something doesn't smell right. With murder on their minds, Hap and Leonard set out to investigate as only they know how . . . chaotically.
What is the best book you read this year?