The Grim Reader awards: My books of 2017

I love a good list, especially one that highlights some of the years best books. Many bloggers do this and I’m always interested to see what books they include. My list features books I read this year, not necessarily books published this year. I’m not going to waffle too much here, instead I’ll get straight into it. But one thing before I do, thanks to everybody that shared, liked, commented or contributed to my blog this year. It’s been a real up and down 2017 for me personally, but onwards I march. I wouldn’t carry on doing this if it wasn’t for the support from a lot of different people, so thanks heaps.

I sincerely hope you have a great Christmas and new year. May 2018 shine a little light on you all. See you next year.





Richard Chizmar’s epic collection of short stories and a novella left me with a huge smile upon my face. Chizmar is such a great storyteller. His prose is very smooth and his characters are first class. A massive collection of tales and not a dud in sight. Hugely impressive!



Bonkers! That’s the best way to describe Andrew Hilbert’s Invasion of the Weirdos. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this one quite as much as I did, but I laughed my ass off. Like a Kevin Smith movie, Invasion of the Weirdos is one of the most original and entertaining books I read in 2017.



This is my favourite read of 2017. A huge book brimming with atmosphere and darkness. A story of two halves, Aletheia blew me away. It left me shattered and I was still thinking about it for weeks afterwards. Excellent.

Check out Crystal Lake Publishing



Running a close second for book of the year is Relics by Tim Lebbon. Like a darker version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Relics simply blew me away. Tim rarely disappoints, and with book 2 dropping next year I’m very excited to see where this goes next.



There was a lot of hype surrounding this book by Jordan Harper and boy did it live up to it. Superb storytelling, a tale full of heart, action… this book has it all. I only wish it was longer. My favourite crime book of 2017 by some distance.



One of the first novels I read in 2017, UBO deserves a much larger audience and is my choice for third favourite book of 2017. A science-fiction tale with a message and one filled with great ideas. I didn’t see the end coming at all. Sublime read from Steve Rasnic Tem. Unbelievably good.



Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes was also another book that surprised me. The hype for this was HUGE with the #WTFthatending hashtag becoming a regular feature on my social media feeds. Very clever, plenty of questions, great characters, tight pacing and plotting. An excellent thriller.



Alan Baxter’s novella brought something completely new to the cosmic horror table. A quick but thoughtful read, Baxter’s story twist and turns into truly mind-bending directions leaving me speechless. This is Alan’s best work to date for me. A must-read.



Erik Hofstatter gets better and better with every release. This is a classic Hofstatter tale of love, loss and….crabs! What an incredible imagination this guy has, truly, I wish more people were reading Erik’s work because he is a highly original writer of dark fiction. Top, top quality. I love this!



I didn’t shave for a month after reading this. I ate all my meals with my fingers and drank ale from the skulls of my enemies. Honestly though, this collection is simply wonderful. I was concerned it might become a little tedious, but Morgan’s stories remained fresh throughout the collection. This book has everything!


Here is a slide show featuring some very honourable mentions.



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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Adams says:

    Hi Adrian,

    This is a great list of want-to-reads. I’d heard a lot about Aletheia but never got round to buying it. That’s going to change! The author runs classes at Litreactor and I’m pretty sure I’m going to sign up to one of them in 2018. Thanks for all the sterling work in reviewing during the year, It’s very much appreciated. One question I have: you review so many books – are you speed reader?

    Best regards and have a Merry Saturnalia,

    Tom Adams


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Tom. I do read fast, yes! I also don’t watch TV. Cricket and football, but that is it. I spend most of my free time in books. I’ve heard good things about Lit Reactor classes. Especially those run by Jennifer and Richard Thomas, who is an excellent writer. Best of luck to you and your family for 2018. Have a great Christmas.


  2. Anindita@A Bohemian Mind at Work says:

    I have read other works of Sara Pinborough and Alan Baxter and like them both. Going to steal your list for my kitty. I usually spend the first half of the year on darker themes, so this will be perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Splendid! I tried to include other stuff, apart from horror this year. I highly recommend all of these books. Enjoy!


  4. Lilyn G says:

    It’s amazing how two people can read inside the same genre and yet read such different stuff. The only thing I’ve read on your list was Ubo, and that was…not a good experience for me!

    Our list comes out Jan 2. I like giving 2017 a full chance to wow me, just in case something sneaks in at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely! I’m looking forward to your picks. I love a good end-of-year list 😉


  6. LizScanlon says:

    Good looking list… so much for me here to explore in terms of new titles!
    Hope you enjoy the festive season! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You too! Thanks for the support and have a great Christmas!


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