2016: A Year’s Review of Books

By Lisa Kröger

By the end of every year, I am exhausted. I’m tired from too many celebrations. I’ve eaten too much sugar and drank too much wine. I’m wishing that darkness didn’t begin to fall at 4 p.m. Usually, I’m eager to put the holidays behind me and get back to my “real” life. But the prospect of a new year also brings excitement. 

I love getting to review my past year and, yes, make plans for the next. Every year, I try to read 50 books, though I rarely make it. This year, I finished 33; if I count the six that I’m in the middle of, then I’m at 39, and I didn’t do so poorly. Of course, there’s always 2017 to beat that record. 

The Know Fear crew thought we’d share a few of our favorite books that we read over this year. Hopefully, you’ll drop us a line (via e-mail or social media) and share some of yours.

Mel’s Picks for Nonfiction: Ruth Franklin's Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (2016) and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach (2005). 

Mel’s Top Fiction: Edgar Cantero's The Supernatural Enhancements (2014), David Mitchell's Slade House (2015), and the graphic novel The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage, Vol #1 by Jen Van Meter (2015).  

Matt’s Best in Books: Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves (2015), Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts (2015), Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation (2014), Andy Weir’s The Martian (2011/2014), Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2016), and Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni (2013).

Lisa’s Favorite Reads: Emily Carroll’s graphic novel Through the Woods (2014), Gillian Flynn’s novella The Grownup (2015), Stephen King’s The Long Walk (1979, originally published under pseudonym Richard Bachman), Paul Tremblay’s Disappearance at Devil’s Rock (2016), Josh Malerman’s Bird Box (2014), Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood (2015), Stephen Graham Jones’s Mongrels (2016), and M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away (2015)

What will 2017 bring? Who knows. But these are few books on our wish list for next year:

Colin Dickey's Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (October 2016)

Tananarive Due's Ghost Summer: Stories (2015) 

Andy Davidson’s In the Valley of the Sun (June 2017)

Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing (September 2017)

Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (November 2016)

Ania Ahlborn’s The Devil Crept In (February 2017)

No matter what your 2017 brings, I hope it brings you a few good books. Happy reading!

The Know Fear Cast: We Know What Scares You