I am a bit late with my 2015 as the first month of 2016 is rapidly coming to a close, but I still wanted to take a minute and share some of my favorite reads from this year. 2015 was a great year here at The Horror Bookshelf. The blog celebrated its one year anniversary back in April, I made some great friends, I got to take part in SFSignal’s Mind Meld feature and I had the honor of premiering a brand new story from Glenn Rolfe.

I never really made a post for The Horror Bookshelf’s first anniversary, so I wanted to just take a minute and touch on a few things before getting to my list of favorite reads for the year. I started this blog as my way of giving back to the extremely talented writers who have created the books I enjoy reading and connecting with other horror fans. In that respect, I think the first year of The Horror Bookshelf was a huge success. I am so thankful for all of the writers and publishers who reached out to me and offered me review copies and words of encouragement along the way. Without you and the books you spend so much time crafting, The Horror Bookshelf would not exist. I also want to thank anyone who has ever taken the time to read any of my reviews, interviews or guest posts. There is no greater feeling as a reviewer than introducing someone to a potentially new favorite author or a great book and I hope that by visiting this site, you have found a few.

There are so many people to thank for helping this blog become what it is today, but I wanted to take a moment to thank a few special people who have shown me a humbling amount of support since the very beginning. A huge thank you to my friends and family, Tony and Sharon at Grey Matter Press, John F.D. Taff, David Spell, Mark Matthews, Dale Elster and Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. You have all offered me so much support and tons of encouragement when The Horror Bookshelf was getting off the ground and I will always be grateful for that. I also want to thank my beautiful wife for encouraging me to follow my dreams and for giving me that boost of confidence I need when I feel like I can’t possibly keep everything going.

I am not usually big on New Year’s Resolutions, but what the hell, I came up with some for The Horror Bookshelf anyway.

1. Read more in 2016 – This one is fairly vague and for anyone that runs a review site, it sounds borderline crazy. I read a ton of great novels in 2016, but one of my biggest regrets was that I didn’t read that many novellas, short stories or anthologies this year. I hope to change that in 2016 and also to increase the amount of novels I read in a year.

2. Get more organized – I am notorious for my poor organizational habits, but I have already made some progress by using a planner (that my wife made me buy) to help me keep track of all my upcoming reviews, interviews and features. This may be the most mundane and boring resolution of the list, but it is an underrated part of keeping a review site going in my opinion.

3. Keeping the site updated more frequently – This may be the biggest challenge of them all. I am the only writer on The Horror Bookshelf and the amount of reviews I have going at any given time can be overwhelming, but I want to set a modest goal – starting in February – of posting at least once a week. Sort of on the same topic, if I owe you a review and have not posted it yet, I promise I haven’t forgotten! I appreciate every author that sends me a book for review and sometimes time gets away from me, but I promise I will get to them soon.

Here is a list of my favorite reads from 2015. I decided to go with a Top 10 for novels, a Top 5 for novellas and a Top 3 for Anthologies and Collections. Thanks for sticking with me this far and I hope you find some great new reads on this list!

1 . Brian Kirk We Are Monsters (Samhain Horror)

we are monsters

2. Richard Thomas Disintegration (Random House Alibi)

disintegration

3. Ronald Malfi Little Girls (Kensington)

ronaldmalfiLG

4. Ania Ahlborn Behind These Walls (Gallery Books)

withinthesewalls

5. Hunter Shea Tortures of the Damned (Kensington/Pinnacle)

TOTD

6. Jonathan Janz Wolf Land (Samhain Horror)

wolf-land

7. D. Alexander Ward Blood Savages (Necro Publications)

bloodsavages

8. Russell James Q Island (Samhain Horror)

QIsland

9. Glenn Rolfe Blood and Rain (Samhain Horror)

blood-and-rain

10. Kristopher Rufty Jagger (Sinister Grin Press)

jagger

Novellas

1. John F.D. Taff The Sunken Cathedral (Grey Matter Press)

TSC

2. Kealan Patrick Burke Sour Candy (Self-published)

sourcandy

3. Glenn Rolfe Abram’s Bridge (Samhain Horror)

abramsbridge

4. Adam Howe Gator Bait (Comet Press)

gatorbait

5. Matt Manochio Twelfth Krampus Night (Samhain Horror)

twelfth-krampus-night

Anthologies and Collections

1. Savage Beasts (Grey Matter Press)

savagebeasts

2. Todd Keisling Ugly Little Things – Volume One (Precipice Books)

uglylittlethings

3. Tony Knighton Happy Hour and Other Philadelphia Cruelties (Crime Wave Press) 

happy hour

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Comments
  1. What an amazing line-up! Thank you so much for all you do for everyone! But a special thank you for always being there to read the authors I have on tour and putting up with all my e-mails! You’re a great foundation of support for me as well and the nicest person ever! It’s been an exciting year. And don’t worry I plan to tell even more jokes in 2016! 🙂

    Erin Al-Mehairi
    Hook of a Book Media and Publicity
    Hookofabook@hotmail.com

  2. […] Claimed the top spot in The Horror Book Shelf’s “Favorite Reads of 2015″ […]

  3. tonyknighton13@netzero.net says:

    Rich, Thank you for including Happy Hour! You’ve made my day. How the heck are you? Tony

    • You’re welcome Tony! I loved your collection and hope to read more from you soon. I have been doing well, keeping up on the blog and reading some great stuff. How about you?

      • Rich, I’m sorry that I’m so late to reply. Right now, like everybody else around here, I’m up to my ass in snow. Other than that, I’m still working, and still writing. Comet press just took my story “The Scavengers’ for a best of 2015 Horror Anthology, so I’m excited about that, and I’ve been reading some cool stuff, too.
        Stay warm.
        Tony

  4. Hunter Shea says:

    Thank you so much for having Tortures on your list!

    • You’re welcome Hunter! I loved all of your books this year and it was hard picking which one to include in the Top 10, but Tortures won out on the ending alone 🙂 Looking forward to your 2016 releases, “They Rise” was excellent!

  5. David Spell says:

    Great list Rich, I see we have a lot of the same favorite reads from last year. Also thanks for the mention! Keep the great reviews coming, you do write excellent reviews and I always love reading them.

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