BOOKGASM’s Best (and Worst) of 2007

20th century ghosts reviewAnother year, another load of books down …

Best in Fiction
Since it’s a couple of years old, it may be a bit of a cheat to give 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS by Joe Hill this spot, but I’m doing it anyway. First of all, 2007 marked its first publication in America, and furthermore, it arrived with a new story attached not available in its original British edition. So there. Plus, nothing excited or moved me more this year, with Hill expertly moving from one short story to another, demonstrating incredible range. If you’re into horror fiction, you’ll love it; if you’re not into horror fiction, you’ll still love it. Such appeal is the mark of a great writer.

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SEARCH ME >> 12.07

Our monthly depressing look at the search terms that bring pervs to BOOKGASM!

search terms dec 2007

16 Books I Can’t Wait for in 2008

blasphemy reviewFill your new calendar all you want with lunch dates and business meetings. Mine has publishers’ official release dates of books I want to read listed. I know some of them are bound to disappoint me – and one or two may turn out to be terrible – but for now, these are the 2008 titles on my radar, in chronological order. Hone in.

BLASPHEMY by Douglas Preston – Those of you who are regular BOOKGASM visitors know that anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – together or separately – automatically equates to a “must read.” Hence, this techno-thriller, which Preston told us is “about a particle accelerator where some really strange scientific things go awry in a really bizarre and dangerous way.” (1/8)

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5 Best Sci-Fi Books of 2007

killswitch reviewIn formulating this year’s list, I took a long, hard look at my nominees and made, perhaps, a bold choice: I left out William Gibson. It’s not that SPOOK COUNTRY isn’t a good book – it is. What it isn’t, however, is science fiction.

Mr. Gibson, I really like your work, and SPOOK COUNTRY was one of my favorites in 2007, but other books that are actually science fiction deserve a shot. My new stance also took one of my other favorites of 2007 out of the running: CROOKED LITTLE VEIN by Warren Ellis.

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17 Books I Didn’t Get a Chance to Read in 2007 (But Wish I Had)

dark deadly valley reviewForgive me, but I can’t read everything I want to. Time was my enemy like never before in ’07, so these novels fell by the wayside. However, they remain on my shelf in the hopes I’ll get to them someday – either in retirement or whenever I win the lottery, whichever comes first.

And what about you? What escaped your schedule or fell victim to bouts of laziness over the past 12 months? And hey, if you’ve read any of the books on this list and have an opinion that might convince to make a concerted effort to get to them, I’d love to hear them (even more so if you can freeze time).

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Mark Rose’s Year in Review 2007

beautiful lies reviewIn a world where the Goldman family is now making money (and taking writing credit for) O.J. Simpson’s tasteless IF I DID IT book, and where the Kindle and the iPhone have made the media act like giddy schoolgirls, we at least have the solidity of BOOKGASM, presenting good (and bad) books for us to read on a daily basis. So let’s take a look back through 2007 and pick out the best of the titles you may want to pick up with all the gift cards you got this season.

Best Books I Reviewed in 2007
So what piqued my interest in 2007? We’ll start with the fabulous debut of Lisa Unger in BEAUTIFUL LIES. Truly remarkable were her entirely believable characters, who actually behaved like normal folk when dealing with the police instead of the intensely idiotic morons we are normally used to reading about. It was also highly evocative of New York City – not just using the city as a crutch, but really writing about it.

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3 Promotional Items We Received in 2007

swag 2007

The 10 Best Excerpts from Reviews I Didn’t Get Around to Writing

deathly hallows reviewI, Allan Mott, simply don’t have the ego required to believe that any of you regular BOOKGASM readers have noticed – much less lamented – my absence from this fine, nearly-award-winning site during the past nine months, but I myself was shocked when I realized it had been that long since I offered up a contribution, and gave Mr. Lott the opportunity to go one day without reviewing another book about zombie-werewolf CIA agents going for one last score by breaking the bank at a 23rd-century gladiatorial casino. (Seriously, folks, can we give that genre a rest? It’s totally played out!)

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BULLETS, BROADS, BLACKMAIL & BOMBS >> Crime Time in ’07

big city bad blood reviewWe’re taking a break from the usual column to list my picks for the 10 best crime novels of 2007.

1. BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD by Sean Chercover – I said it when I first reviewed it: This was the book to beat. Chercover is a writer to watch and I can’t wait for his second novel.

2. DUST DEVILS by James Reasoner – It was really hard to put this book in the No. 2 slot, since it was the equal of BIG CITY. Reasoner came back to the crime genre with guns a-blazin’.

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Wolf Woman Bay and Nine More of the Finest Crime and Mystery Novellas of the Year

wolf woman bay reviewJust as they did last year with THE WIDOW OF SLANE, editors Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg have handpicked a crop of notable novellas in WOLF WOMAN BAY AND NINE MORE OF THE FINEST CRIME AND MYSTERY NOVELLAS OF THE YEAR. By year, they mean 2005, generally, and half of them come from the pages of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

It starts with Joyce Carol Oates’ “Honor Code,” in which a girl harbors a years-long crush on her older male cousin, who killed her mother’s good-for-nothing boyfriend as revenge for his abuse. As expected, the prose is strong, the characters are morally flawed and the outcome heartbreaking. It also sets the bar high for the rest of the collection.

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