A 2018 review and forward to 2019 | More2Read Books
 

A 2018 review and forward to 2019

Hello all, this a new one for me in writing this little round up of the year 2018 and the whole drive forward in the writing world. 

It has been a great year for books being published and some great opportunities in interviewing some great voices with new fiction releases. 

My series of interviews kicked off with one great voice and soul Susan Henderson, and she talked about her great little small town tale of dreams and complexities of her main character’s life told so well. The Flicker of Old Dreams was not heard of initial on its debut but seems to be reaching far and wide now and hope all the best with it. 

Joe Lansdale has been a great force of good and voice in 2018 and I had another chat with him in a revisited interview on his Hap and Leonard success and writing in general. He had new short story release with Subterranean Press that featured memorable characters and voices, also there was another Hap and Leonard release Jack Rabbit Smile.

The third interesting interview to mention in 2018 was with novelist Lou Berney, he had a novel out November Road I called it .., “A tantalizing memorable suspenseful tale done with a crisp and potent voice, with a noir sense of thrill, with love, death, and dreams in the balance.”

One that is to be now adapted to film, it brought me back to that other JFK tale 11/22/63 by Stephen King, and has set me on to read Libra by Don DelLillo and American Tabloid by James Ellroy. 

The rest of the interviews came from authors George Pelecanos, Joe Ide, Alma Katsu, William Boyle, Chris Offutt, Alan Baxter, John Hornor Jacobs, and Allen Eskens.

All of them had must-read novels published in 2018, you can read more about them in their interviews.

The last time I had a string of interviews was back in 2012, a year after I first started with this website More2Read in 2011.

Back in 2012 I had an exclusive with Robert R McCammon an author who didn’t make so many interview appearances, and James Lee Burke, Ron Mclarty author, actor, and audiobook narrator, Joe Lansdale, Jonathan Maeberry, Kealan Patrick Burke, Donald Ray Pollock, Alan Heathcock, Steven W Booth, Peter Farris, John Hornor Jacobs, Lance Weller, Jon Clinch, David Vann, and Michael Koryta.

I had been off for a year or two from doing best of books in that year published, ones that were mostly formed from books I had for review and books I purchased that year.

I missed many tales in 2018, one in particular and part of plenty talk of a Bird Box challenge or in not doing it, and I have yet to read that book, Bird Box, or anything from Josh Malerman, but I have my sights on Inspection that has a nice minimalistic but haunting cover in green out in 2019.

The Border by Don Winslow looks as explosive as the whole details that surround it. If you haven’t yet, you still have time to read The Power of the Dog and The Cartel, that precede this novel out in February 2019.

There is a new one from Robert McCammon with Cardinal Black out April 2019, a new instalment of his historical thriller featuring Matthew Corbett.

There is an anthology releasing in 2019 edited by Lawrence Block, At Home in the Dark, with a story of his in it with many authors including Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Hill, and Duane Swierczynski.

Check out the covers of some books forthcoming in 2019 below, ones of many to look out for including the first in the year from master storyteller James Lee Burke, New Iberia Blues, out January 8th, number 21 in the series with lead character David Robichaueax.

There was many novels that just didn’t match the hype out there then there were many that I liked that many didn’t. A great example was with Elevation by Stephen King, for some reason Goodreads had it in horror category and it won that section, strange, it is not something i would categorise as a horror tale, more science fiction strain of story. Yes it was small and some felt too small, but it was a pocket rocket, sorry for the pun if you read it you would know what I mean. It was small town humanity tale and science fiction doings changing the storm of human dynamics and conflict in the narrative, short but it went so far in the many readers hearts with big town resonation my sentence went, “A modest small tale of a complex mid-life crisis in small-town Castle Rock, with a possible phenomenon, germ, or virus, with big-town resonation.”

Bev Vincent a Stephen King scholar put it so well in his review @ https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/bev-vincent-reviews-elevation/ “Elevation tackles political and social issues without being overly preachy, although it’s obvious on which side King comes down on most matters. Ultimately, the novella is about accepting the inevitable and striving to do good — and encouraging others to do and be good, too. It has the euphoric sense of Pixar’s Up and Joe Hill’s “Pop Art” — uplifting, touching, charming and melancholy. Easily the most optimistic tale King has ever written.”

Late in the year came a novel to hit my best in the year list was from Joyce Carol Oates with Hazards of Time Travel. I have many of her works to read and have read a few great ones, this one had me hooked right to the end with all the strange new world,1984 and Handmaids Tale strain of story concept with the Joyce Carol Oates voice.

One great voice and a story everyone must read, one that I had read and reviewed near the end of 2018, one from my best nonfiction of 2018 list, that matched all the hype especially that of promotion by Oprah Winfrey, was the unstoppable and unforgettable truth work of Anthony Ray Hinton in Sun does Shine. His thirty years stolen from him, his empowerment with words, wisdom, and never giving up, a must-read it.

2018 was a productive year for me in book reading, distinguishing the real best books, and getting reviews done, I hope to do the same in 2019 and with more exclusive interviews.

All the best with your roads and endeavours, with writings and striving forward, hope you all to keep on moving forward into 2019 with hope and optimism.





Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 07 January 2019