2021 was an eventful year for me. I had a lot less free time than in years previous, and I wasn’t able to put as much effort into this blog. I published my lowest amount of posts since 2017, and those that I did publish were generally a bit shorter than what I used to put out. Sorry dear readers. It’s been hard juggling a family, a full time job, a nervous breakdown and a blog about creepy books.
When I started doing annual review posts, I used to link to my 10 favourite posts of the year. I stopped doing that for a few years because I was finding it difficult to limit myself to 10 posts, but this year 10 noteworthy posts almost seems like a stretch.
10. The Lovecraftian horror fiction of Frank Belknap Long
I got the bottom of the convoluted publishing history of The Hounds of Tindalos collections.
9. Joe R. Lansdale’s God of the Razor stories
I started off reading a novel and ended up reading comics for the first time in years. It was a good time.
8. Adventures in Sleep Paralysis
Welcome to my nightmare.
7. Edward Jarvis’s Maggots
This is a rare and sought after paperback because of its rotten cover. I got my hands on a copy and actually read it.
6. Bram Stoker’s The Lair of the White Worm
This is an old and relatively well known book, but I went all in with this review.
5. Keeping Politics out of Satanism
A few years ago, I think I thought Satanism was cool. Not anymore.
4. The Ingoldsby Legends
The first and last time I will ever write a review in the form of a poem.
My attempt at giving an indie author some well deserved coverage.
2. The Sexy Mind Control Novels of Russ Martin
This one took a lot of work, and as far as I know is the most detailed piece of writing on Martin’s novels in existence.
1. Putting a Curse on my Noisy Neighbour
I spent the first half of 2021 living under an arrogant prick. This is an account of how I set my revenge in motion.
Looking back at this list, it becomes apparent that I actually preferred writing non-book-review posts this year. My favourite post, the one about the neighbour, is my favourite because it felt properly creative. I love books and still enjoy reading as much as ever, but I’m a bit bored reading horror novels and feeling like I have to churn out a review by the end of the week. It has been feeling more like an obligation than a hobby recently .
I’m not giving up, but I’m going to think about ways to make the blog more interesting for me to keep. I’m not entirely sure how this will work. I might try a few more opinion pieces on the horror genre or occult phenomena. I was mostly reading for pleasure this year, and I found it hard to stick to any kind of research, but that might change next year. Whatever I decide to write about, it will almost definitely involve books.
Also, I didn’t publish any fiction this year, but I have been working on some recently. I’m going to try harder at this.
Anyways, here’s a bunch of books I read this year. If you want to read my reviews of them (or any one of the other 500 or so books I’ve written about), you can find links to each review on my index page.
My favourites of the year were probably The Ceremonies, The Crone, Children of the Black Sabbath, Familiar Spirit and The Flesh Eaters. Let’s Go Play at the Adams‘ was by far the most disturbing. Mervyn Wall’s The Unfortunate Fursey and William Lindsay Gresham’s Nightmare Alley were also great books.
I only did a handful of non fiction books this year, and they were all terrible. When I have 40 minutes to myself a day, I don’t want to spend it reading stupid nonsense.
Well that does it for 2021. It was a shit year really, but I still got through more than 80 books. I wrote posts like this for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 if you’re interested. If you have any recommendations or questions, you can leave a comment, message me on twitter, or email me at dukederichleau666gmail.com.
Thanks for reading. I hope it has been somewhat interesting/entertaining. Happy new year.
4 thoughts on “2021, The Year in Review”
My recommendation is that you try to read some of the late Ron Weighell’s supernatural fiction. His novel King Satyr has just been issued by Sarob Press and involves characters inspired by Crowley, Austin Spare and Dennis Wheatley. Ron’s books tend to be expensive though his Irregular Casebook of Sherlock Holmes is still available from sellers on Amazon for as low as £12 in the paperback version.
My god, some of his books are going for more than $1000? At this point $25 for a book is an utter extravagance for me. I have bills to pay and kids to feed. I will check him out though. I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read a single Sherlock Holmes story ever, so I may start elsewhere.
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His Holmes stories are all supernatural though. I agree about prices – Ron’s books are all from small press outlets. A lot of books I have bought have been £35 or £40 in limited editions of a few hundred and a couple of years later I find they are going for hundreds of pounds.
There’s a similar situation with a great writer of literary weird short stories named Reggie Oliver, though thankfully Tartarus have reissued them later in trade paperback editions.
Have a great 2022!
The nervous breakdown sounds like an interesting topic to write about, especially if you can tie it to Satan. Anyway, keep ’em coming, and best for 2022.