Friday 20 December 2013

The Fifth Annual Westies - review of the year 2013

Well this year seems to have whipped by (even quicker than last year, if that's possible) and so, as we gear up for Christmas, it’s time to remember the good (and not so good) books of 2013.

Once again it was a really strong field this year (or a sign that my reading choices are generally pretty good) and places in the top 20 were hard-fought.  So hard fought, in fact, that for the first time ever I had four books that were all - in my opinion - five star reads.  Since I couldn't separate them, I've decided to have a joint first place between all four.

So without further ado, I present the Fifth Annual Westies Award - “My Best Fiction Reads Of The Year” - and the top 20 looks like this:

Joint first:
The Year Of The Ladybird, by Graham Joyce
Joyland, by Stephen King
I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
The Language of Dying, by Sarah Pinborough

5:  Path Of Needles, by Alison Littlewood
6:  House of Small Shadows, by Adam Nevill
7:  The Bones Of You, by Gary McMahon
8:  Is This Love? by Sue Moorcroft
9:  Stir Of Echoes, by Richard Matheson
10: The Latchkey Children, by Eric Allen
11: The Shelter, by James Everington
12: Shiftling, by Steven Savile
13: Invent-10n, by Rod Rees
14: Pale Kings and Princes, by Robert B. Parker
15: Phoenix, by Steve Byrne
16: Bite, by Gardner Goldsmith
17: Necromancer: Necropolis Rising 2, by Dave Jeffery
18: Guns Of Brixton, by Paul D. Brazill
19: The Fox, by Conrad Williams
20: Urban Occult, edited by Colin F. Barnes

The Top 5 in non-fiction are:

1:  Rod, The Autobiography, by Rod Stewart
2:  The Making of Return Of The Jedi, edited by John Philip Peecher
3:  Parallel Lives: Blondie, by Dick Porter & Kris Needs
4:  The Making Of Scarface, by David Taylor
5:  The Star Wars Archives, by Mark Cotta Vaz

Stats wise, I’ve read 65 books - 34 fiction, 7 non-fiction, 12 comics/nostalgia/kids, 2 I co-edited/edited and 10 Three Investigator mysteries.

Of the 55 books, the breakdown is thus:

3  biographies
21 horror novels
4  film-related
5 drama (includes chick-lit)
5 crime/mystery
7 sci-fi
2 nostalgia
8 humour

All of my reviews are posted up at Goodreads here

Just in case you’re interested, the previous awards are linked to from here:


  1. Cheers for that, Mark. Glad you enjoyed GOB.

  2. What a wide-ranging pair of lists! Thanks, TONS, for doing what you do, Marko! :)

  3. Love this. Going to have to track my reading better next year. I will be on NDA for my work as I do it, but if the books are already out there, I can slip them in my list and make myself look like a jolly fast reader!