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