I read a lot. A LOT. So here are my current favorite books. This list changes frequently, so don’t hold me to these.
1) Gun Machine by Warren Ellis. I looked forward to this for a long time, ever since Crooked Little Vein came out. I make no secret of my adoration of everything and anything Ellis writes, and Gun Machine is no different – a brutal and beautiful look at New York through the eyes of a madman and a clinically-depressed (at least I think so) cop.
2) Fun and Games/Hell and Gone/Point and Shoot by Duane Swierczynski. Easily my current most favorite trilogy of books, these Charlie Hardie books are brilliant and off-the-wall and so much goddamn fun that I didn’t want them to end. And then they did, and I’m still searching for someone to blame.
3) Caught Stealing/Six Bad Things/A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston. My second favorite trilogy of novels, the Hank Thompson trilogy. Huston’s style is so abrupt and sharp. Like reading the text on the blade of a knife. Again, full of brilliantly realized and broken characters.
4) Vanilla Ride by Joe R Lansdale. I fucking LOVE the Hap and Leonard series. I’ve re-read all of these books so many times, and there’s always something new and hilarious I find. Vanilla Ride is pretty awesome, as they face off with the Dixie Mafia. Great stuff, funny as all hell.
5) Devil Red by Joe R Lansdale. See #4. Devil Red is another hilarious and dark Hap and Leonard novel. Lansdale really understands and knows his characters, which you don’t always see, and it makes them seem like real people. I hate getting to the end of a Hap and Leonard book.
6) A Bomb Built in Hell by Andrew Vachss. Vachss ranks among my very favorite novelists ever. His Burke series changed the way I approached both my reading and my writing. This story chronicles the rise of Wesley, the ice-man assassin who had cameos in several Burke novels, and it’s as chilling and terse as any Vachss novel that came before it.
7) Horns by Joe Hill. I haven’t read NOS4A2 yet, but I re-read Horns recently and fucking loved it all over again. This book takes all the best parts of Hill’s first book, Heart-Shaped Box, and distills them into a thundering page-turner. They’re making it into a movie, but don’t let that stop you from reading this. And then read NOS4A2, but don’t spoil it for me.
8) Alpha by Greg Rucka. Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak novels are in my top 5 favorite books of all time, and Alpha is treading similar ground. Rucka can write the shit out of a thriller, and this is supposedly the first of a new series of books focusing on ex-Delta Force soldier Jad Bell.
That’s it for now. I never claimed it would be a list of 10, did I?
Do yourself a favor – go read ANY of these books. You can thank me later.