Books I read and loved in 2018

Five years ago, in response to a rise in discourse about why women authors are less read and reviewed than male authors, I posted a roundup of all the books by women I read in 2013. But this blog has always been about creating a personal record for myself above all else, so I’ve kept on making lists. In 2014: books by women I read and loved. While finishing my dissertation: books I re-read and loved. After my degree, when I had more time to seek out work by queer authors and writers of color: books I read and loved. I started posting reading roundups every other month; this year, I started posting every month. It has been a year of joyful, curious pleasure-reading that flourished without the constraints of an academic schedule or a time-sucking job.

Since I’ve already recapped all the books I read in 2018, my year-end list features a few of my favorites–in haiku form, like last year.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
It’s true: I’m in love
with a funny, lyrical,
and very queer book.

Every one of the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante except the first one, which I read in a previous year
What is it to grow
up, away, apart–only
to return, rework?

Three novels by Tana French throughout the year
She has a real gift
for giving a voice to jerks–
humanity, too.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
A private, fragile
life, circumscribed as it is
by a sugarbowl.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Clever as a curse,
fast-paced as a flying rug,
glittering as brass.

Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton
What wouldn’t you do
if glamour and capital
seemed within your grasp?

Dietland, by Sarai Walker
Revenge fantasy,
feminist manifesto,
permission to be.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The science of life:
indistinct at times from magic,
messy and turgid.

The Changeling, by Victor LaValle
Our greatest treasure,
love of others, is also
our greatest horror.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
With the golden boy
in love with his own genius:
his wife, sharp as knives.


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