My 5 Favorite (Bizarre) Books 2018

BotY covers 1

I’ve read a lot of good fiction this year. In the process, I set a new record for books finished, at 76 so far (mostly because I read more novellas this year rather than any diligence on my part).

The books below were my favorites. They all happen to lie on the spectrum of bizarreness. I should note, these are books I’ve read in 2018, not necessarily books that came out in 2018.

1. HE DIGS A HOLE by Danger Slater

You’re probably sick of me talking about this book. But dammit, I can’t help it. I’ve heard from more than one person that it was their favorite book of the year. If you didn’t read my review, it’s the story of a man who replaces his hands with gardening tools and digs a hole. It only grows weirder from there. Slater’s style is like no other, one of my favorite voices in modern fiction. Read a page and you’ll be hooked.


Wow. While I enjoyed the story of HE DIGS the most on this list, when it comes to quality of prose, Carr is King. The story is preposterous: killer sharks jumping out of puddles in the Wild West, but the writing is golden. Bordering on experimental fiction, Carr elicits emotions and sensations I had not thought possible in a book.

3. BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer

I didn’t know what to expect from this book when I picked it up. Of all the books I’ve read this year, this was the most engrossing. It was my first VanderMeer novel and definitely not my last. He shows us a fresh perspective of the post apocalypse, centered around my favorite non-human character ever “Borne.” Written in VanderMeer’s personal genre “weird literature,” this book refuses to be put down.

4. NEVERDAY by Carlton Mellick III

Usually Mellick offends my prudish sensibilities. His genitalia-titled books scare me off even though I secretly enjoy them. This book, however, is a departure from that. It proposes: what would happen if the Groundhog-Day-effect applied to everyone? It is masterfully constructed and my favorite book of his I’ve read so far.

5. PUPPET SKIN by Danger Slater

Yes, I put Slater twice. While not as magical as HE DIGS, this book blew past my expectations. At first, its YA label diminished it in my mind, but that quickly changed as I read on. This is a beautiful story, filled with Slater’s unique humor, not to mention his electric prose. But it was the last several chapters that put it on this list.

BotY honorable mentions

Honorable Mentions

  • American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
  • Fortune Box (Madeleine Swann)
  • The Sorrow King (Andersen Prunty)
  • The Greatest Fucking Moment in Sports (Kevin L. Donihe)
  • House of Houses (Kevin L. Donihe)
  • Ecstatic Inferno (Autumn Christian)
  • The Crooked God Machine (Autumn Christian)
  • The City and the City (China Mieville)
  • The Obese (Nick Antosca)
  • All Hail the House Gods (Andrew J. Stone)
  • Shit Luck (Tiffany Scandal)

Keep reading.


4 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite (Bizarre) Books 2018

  1. Pingback: My 5 Favorite (Bizarre) Books 2018 - Planet Viral News

  2. Ze. your enthusiasm for this genre inspired me to give it a go – but king co library didn’t carry the first 2 titles on your list. I lucked out with Borne and was able to download to my kindle from the library. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to. I had a hard time getting into the first few pages, but once Borne made an appearance I was hooked. I love this character, and his relationship with Rachel. I loved his journey to find out who he was, a person? a weapon? And the underlying themes of resilience and love and what is a person – I’m so glad I read this book! Which I never would have stumbled onto on my own. I’m really loving your blog, Ze (can’t figure out how to get eh accent) and will see if I can find some more of those titles.

    Liked by 1 person

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