Year in Reading – 2020

Here are the books I’ve read during this very strange year of 2020. I keep these lists every year as a record for myself, but I post them in invitation for fellow readers to talk about books both read and overlooked. If you want to chat about these or if there are books you think I should read, please email me! Sometimes I write short notes (I hesitate to say “reviews”) over on my Goodreads page.

I’ve put ** next to my absolute favorite reads of the year.

Selected 2020 Reading (by genre, then alphabetical by author/editor last name)


  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison**
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • To the Wedding by John Berger
  • Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather**
  • Trust Exercise: A Novel by Susan Choi**
  • How to Catch a Coyote by Christy Crutchfield
  • The Maytrees by Annie Dillard**
  • Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley
  • Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
  • Empire City by Matt Gallagher 
  • Cleanness by Garth Greenwell 
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
  • The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
  • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane**
  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King
  • Passing by Nella Larsen
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
  • Sula by Toni Morrison**
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
  • Weather by Jenny Offill
  • The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa**
  • Last Night at the Lobster by Steward O’Nan**
  • The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • Such A Fun Age  by Kiley Reid**
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  • The Ancestry of Objects by Tatiana Ryckman
  • Self Care by Leigh Stein
  • Real Life: A Novel by Brandon Taylor**
  • Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  • We the Animals by Justin Torres
  • Distant Dead by Heather Young
  • Drifts by Kate Zambreno


  • Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter
  •  A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  • Art of Perspective by Christopher Castellani
  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  • The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich 
  • Abandon Me by Melissa Febos**
  • Things That Helped by Jessica Friedman
  • The Unreality of Memory by Elisa Gabbert**
  • Make it Scream, Make it Burn by Leslie Jamison
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Ongoingness by Sarah Manguso**
  • Before and After the Book Deal by Courtney Maum
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland **
  • No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder

Short Story Collections

  • Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
  • Animal Wife by Lara Erlich**
  • We Had No Rules by Corinne Manning**
  • Wild Milk by Sabrina Orah Mark
  • Buckskin Cocaine by Erika T. Wurth**

Lit Mags and Anthologies

  • Always Crashing Issue Three
  • The Best Small Fictions: 2019 Anthology
  • The Lascaux Review Prize Vol 6


  • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
  • Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward**


  • One More For the People by Martha Grover
  • Claim Your Space by Minyoung Lee
  • Women at Work: Interviews from The Paris Review by The Paris Review

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