Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Good Stuff: Books

In the order read, with minimal commentary.

The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, by Paul Malmont. Nothing topped it for pure escapism.

Hit Parade, by Lawrence Block.

King Dork, by Frank Portman. My lone foray into YA fiction yielded the best-plotted mystery of the year. (Aside: is there really this much oral sex in contemporary high schools? Because ... damn. When I was in high school, oral sex was like the Loch Ness monster. We all wanted to believe in it, and there was a rich body of anecdotal evidence, but not much in the way of hard data. Go ahead, snicker at ‘hard.’ Juveniles.)

The Night Gardener, by George Pelecanos.

The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood, by Joe Eszterhas. A non-fiction selection. Weirdly, crazily inspiring. I’m still agitating for that Jade Special Edition DVD.

The Zero, by Jess Walter. A divisive book, and my personal favorite.

Death’s Dark Abyss, by Massimo Carlotto. A 2004 title receiving its first U.S. publication courtesy of Europa Editions. I pause here to acknowledge the overall fine work of Europa and Hard Case Crime this year.

World War Z, by Max Brooks. Man alive, do I hate zombies.

A Dangerous Man, by Charlie Huston.

Ask The Parrot, by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake). The last book I read in 2006 was also one of the finest.

What do you know, ten on the nose. Don’t worry. It won’t happen again.