There were plenty of duds I read this year but I’m getting better about ejecting from books I’m not enjoying. The list below contains only the highlights though it might appear to be a comprehensive list of books read. But first, some stats:
- Read 257 books; 62% women writers; 38% men. Non-fiction (66%) edged out fiction (34%) for the fourth year in a row.
- More tangents and rabbit holes: pneumatic tubes, finance in Victorian literature, noise pollution, soundscapes, the acoustic world of early modern England, dealing with grief, Diogenes of Sinope, and the underground film scene in SF. Plus the usual suspects: walking, nature, tourism, solitude.
- Most bizarre graphic images were in Fletcher Hanks’s amazing work. Most bizarre story might be Appius and Virginia.
- The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
- The Winter Sun: Essays by Fanny Howe
- The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
- The Happiness Myth by Jennifer Hecht
- The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes by Janet Malcolm.
- The New Me by Halle Butler
- The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
- The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
- Bunny: A Novel by Mona Awad
- The Cazalet Chronicles (5 volume series) by Elizabeth Jane Howard
- literally show me a healthy person by Darcie Wilder
- Gilgi by Irmgard Keun
- Breaking and Entering by Joy Williams
- Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano
- Biloxi by Mary Miller
- How not to write a novel. Hilarious, great advice.
- Re-read Stephen King’s On Writing, always fantastic.
- A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver
- Beastie Boys Book – one of my favorite books of the year, a time machine back to the 1980s and 90s.
- Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr
- Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez
- Books about Oliver Sacks: Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes And How Are You, Dr. Sacks? by Lawrence Weschler
- Save Me the Plums and Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
- Life in Code by Ellen Ullman
- The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster
- Too Late to Die Young by Harriet Johnson
- The Wolves: A Play by Sarah DeLappe
- Letters to Wendy’s by Wenderoth; I consider this poetry, not fiction.
- Read everything by Tony Hoagland I could get my hands on.
- Other poets like Deborah Landau, Ada Limón, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Dorianne Laux, Frank O’Hara, Whitman, Rimbaud, Billy Collins, Campbell McGrath.
- Everything about David Wojnarowicz: Close to the Knives, his diaries, his art, his tape journals.
- Anything and everything about artists that intrigued me, like Wim Wenders’ photos, Jess, David Ireland, David Hockney, Ruby Ray, Philippe Petit, Beth Moon.
Read Walt Whitman (1855 Leaves of Grass edition), Rimbaud’s Illuminations, the first volume of Coleridge’s letters, De Salvo’s Virginia Woolf book and the final collection of diaries VW read, Anthony Trollope’s Miss Mackenzie, Guy de Maupassant’s travel diary Afloat.