Understanding Book Use and Its Impact on You

My story “Understanding Book Use and Its Impact on You” has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine.

dangerous books

I drafted this story during a slow shift at an urgent care, in which I alternated between reading the clinic’s drug treatment pamphlets and compulsively checking the hold queue on my online public library account between patients.

You should know that I screen BAST-10 positive.

You can read the story online here.

Year in Reading – 2018

2018 Reading.jpg

Here’s my annual list of the books I’ve been reading. If you’ve read any of these and want to chat about them, please email me! Likewise, if there are books you think I should read, let me know. Sometimes I write short reviews over on my Goodreads page.

This year I’ve put ** next to my absolute favorites.

Selected 2018 Reading (by genre, then alphabetical by author/editor last name)


  • Nine Island by Jane Alison**
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
  • White Noise by Don Delillo
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Into the Forest by Jean Heglend
  • A visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan**
  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer**
  • Motherhood by Sheila Heti
  • The Seas by Sam Hunt**
  • Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  • Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin
  • Stone Sky by NK Jemisin
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner**
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Incendiaries by R O Kwan**
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
  • Self-Portrait with Boy by Rachel Lyon**
  • A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism by Peter Mountford
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Claire North
  • Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates**
  • There There by Tommy Orange**
  • A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel by Ruth Ozeki
  • Excellent Women by Barbara Pym**
  • Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko**
  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich**
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
  • This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren**
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf**
  • Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara**

Nonfiction Books/Essays:

  • Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme edited by Ivan E. Coyote
  • Not That Bad edited by Roxane Gay**
  • How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee.
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  • Plagues, Politics, and Policy: A Chronicle of the Indian Health Service, 1955-2008 by David DeJong
  • Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  • The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism by Kristin Dombek
  • THIS MUST BE THE PLACE by Sean H. Doyle
  • Altitude Sickness Litsa Dremousis
  • All the Real Indians Died Off  by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Dina Gilio-Whitaker
  • The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
  • Writing Past Dark by Bonnie Friedman
  • Against Everything: Essays by Mark Greif
  • The End of My Career by Martha Grover
  • A Bestiary by Lily Hoang**
  • The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits
  • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk
  • Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life by Jim Kristofic
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot**
  • 300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso
  • American Indian Health and Nursing by Margaret P. Moss PhD JD RN FAAN
  • Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
  • How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ
  • I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do) by Tatiana Ryckman**
  • White Man’s Medicine by Robert A. Trennert
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
  • Heroines by Kate Zambreno**

Single-author short story Collections:

  • The Tent by Margaret Atwood**
  • A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel
  • Forty Stories by Donald Barthelme
  • Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
  • The Dark Dark: Stories by Samantha Hunt
  • Get in Trouble by Kelly Link**
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado**
  • People Like You by Margaret Malone
  • Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus
  • Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken**
  • The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
  • Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Lit Mags:

  • Blue Mesa Review, Issue 38
  • Cincinnati Review, 14.2
  • Copper Nickel, 24
  • Frequencies, Vol. 2
  • Gold Man Review, Issue 8
  • Paper Darts, Volume Seven**
  • Pacifica Literary Review, Issue 12
  • Ploughshares, Spring 2018


  • Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar
  • When my Brother was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz**
  • Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing**
  • Go Because I Love You by Jared Harél
  • In Mad Love and War by Joy Harjo
  • Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón**
  • The Carrying by Ada Limón
  • Sparrow Pie by Katie Quinnelly**
  • The Dream of a Common Language by Adrienne Rich**
  • Palominos Near Tuba City: New and Selected Poems by Denise Sweet
  • No Parole Today by Laura Tohe**
  • Tséyi’ / Deep in the Rock: Reflections on Canyon de Chelly by Laura Tohe, with photographs by Stephen E. Strom


  • Jane: Documents from Chicago’s Clandestine Abortion Service 1968-1973 by Firestarter Press**
  • The Nizhoni Beat: Native American Feminist Musings Vol. 1 by Melanie Fey, Amber McCrary
  • Shik’is ShiHeart: My Friend, My Heart (Native American Feminist Musings) by Melanie Fey, Amber McCrary
  • Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona by Bojan Louis**
  • Honorary Men by Marisol Limon Martinez
  • Sugar by Anca L. Szilágyi
  • Violence by Vanessa Veselka and Lidia Yuknavitch

Visual Art & Graphic Novels

  • Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi**
  • Master of the Photographic Essay by W. Eugene Smith
  • Looking Out, Looking In by Andrew Wyeth


“Pergelation” Wins Blue Mesa Review’s 2018 Nonfiction Contest

My story “Pergelation” was selected by contest judge Leslie Jamison as the winner of the Blue Mesa Review Fall 2018 Nonfiction Contest.

I worked on “Pergelation” off and on for years, initially trying to fictionalize it. After reading Jamison’s book of essays, The Empathy Exams, I sat down and rewrote “Pergelation” as pure nonfiction. I submitted it for the first time when I saw Jamison was judging the Blue Mesa Review contest. And it won! I’m so glad and terrified and elated.

Many thanks to the Blue Mesa Review, Leslie Jamison, and all of the friends who read this story before I sent it out. It will be published in Issue 38, forthcoming in early December 2018.

“Do No Harm” in Monkeybicycle

My flash fiction story “Do No Harm” has been published in Monkeybicycle and can be read now on their website. This is my second time working with Monkeybicycle‘s wonderful editor James Tate Hill and it’s been a joy having my writing under his editorial care. Thanks also to Seattle friends and colleagues at Hugo House for helping me with this story.

In previous drafts, the story that is now “Do No Harm” was a Finalist for Glimmer Train’s 2017 Very Short Fiction Award and received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s July/August 2016 Very Short Fiction Award contest.

At 3:17 pm EST Ben McKinnon walked into the Emergency Room at County Hospital and announced that, in eight to twelve hours, he would die.

Read the whole story online at Monkeybicycle.

Radio Play

My short story “Doreen,” originally published in Joyland Magazine, has been adapted into a radio play for Delmarva Radio Theatre, a program of Delmarva Public Radio. It aired on September 9th, 2018 and is now available as a podcast.

From their blurb:

“Doreen” is adapted for radio from a short story of the same name by the author, Margaret Adams. Those of you familiar with The Delmarva Review will remember Margaret as the author of three superb pieces published by the Review. The radio drama “Doreen” is a monologue in which Doreen tells us about being diagnosed with breast cancer and her subsequent choice of treatment. It’s a moving and perhaps somewhat controversial story. Actress Judy Hearn, a member of the Community Players of Salisbury, takes the role of  Doreen. Author Margaret Adams is a nurse practitioner. In interviews before and after the presentation of the play Margaret discusses “Doreen” from both a literary and medical perspective.

You can read the original short story here


You can listen to the show here

PLR #12 Now Available

Pacifica Literary Review Issue 12 can now be purchased online and delivered to your mailbox. It’s got an amazing opening from the editor John Cena Matt Muth, a great design, and includes my story “Bargains.”

PLR 12

I was surprised and delighted to see this amazing introduction from contest judge (& author of the amazing collection People Like You) Margaret Malone when I got my copy:

Introduction Malone

Order a copy of PLR Issue 12, then review it!



Year in Reading – 2017


If you’ve read any of these and want to chat about them, please email me! Likewise, if there are books you think I should read, let me know. Sometimes I write short reviews over on my Goodreads page.

Selected 2017 Reading (alphabetical by author/editor last name by genre)

Short Stories/Collections

  • What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
  • The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
  • A Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon
  • The Black Monk by Anton Chekhov
  • The Essential Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  • Transactions in a Foreign Currency by Deborah Eisenberg
  • The O. Henry Prize Stories edited by Laura Furman
  • Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
  • The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Send me Work: Stories by Katherine Karlin
  • At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
  • Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy
  • Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
  • Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munroe
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor
  • What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
  • Green Mountains Review edited by Dan Pinkerton
  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
  • Tenth of December by George Saunders
  • Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories by Jim Shepard


  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • LaRose by Louise Erdrich
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
  • History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Daisy Miller by Henry James
  • Long Division by Kiese Laymon
  • Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  • Eileen by Ottessa Mosfegh
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
  • The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy
  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington
  • Mythologies by Roland Barthes
  • Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles
  • And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos by John Berger
  • Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  • On Writing by Charles Bukowski
  • Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women by Susan Burton
  • The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine by Rita Charon
  • The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus by Cyril Connolly
  • An American Childhood by Annie Dillard
  • My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain by Aaron Dixon
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  • The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison
  • An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
  • Ethical Issues in Rural Health Care edited by Craig M. Klugman
  • The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
  • Table Talk: From the Threepenny Review edited by Wendy Lesser
  • More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers by Jonathan Lethem
  • Things I Don’t Want to Know: On Writing by Deborah Levy
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
  • In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté
  • Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Matthew
  • Letters to a Young Writer: Some Practical and Philosophical Advice by Colum McCann
  • Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality edited by Jonathan M. Metzl
  • Ventanas de Manhattan by Antonio Muñoz Molina
  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
  • Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver
  • Politics and the English Language by George Orwell
  • Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction by Benjamin Percy
  • Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts
  • Against Interpretation and Other Essays by Susan Sontag
  • God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
  • My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story by Abraham Verghese
  • When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood
  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir by William Zinsser


  • Three Poems by John Ashbery
  • On Cats by Charles Bukowski
  • Loosestrife by Stephen Dunn
  • Ugly Time by Sarah Galvin
  • The Temple Gate Called Beautiful by David K. Kirby
  • Falling Water by John Koethe
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Plays/Zines/Graphic Novels/Other:

  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  • Wit by Margaret Edson
  • A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  • The Ring of Fire Anthology by E.T. Russian
  • The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams