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I read the following books in 2018, in chronological order.

Books with an asterisk(*) particularly affected me. My top five-ish are: Alice Notley -- The Descent of Alette, Rachel Blau DuPlessis -- Interstices, Kiki Petrosino -- Witch Wife, Terrance Hayes -- American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, Selah Saterstrom -- Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics, and Ottessa Moshfegh -- My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

This year, I also read a lot for Inverted Syntax, a new literary journal for which I’m an editor.

Full list 

Arundhati Roy -- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Barbara Mauriello -- Making Memory Boxes
Richard McGuire -- Here
Tana French -- The Secret Place
Dylan Krieger -- Giving Godhead
Roberto Bolaño -- The Savage Detectives
Renee Gladman -- Newcomer Can’t Swim
Melissa Kwasny -- Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950
Philip K. Dick -- Ubik
Paula Hawkins -- Into the Water
Jean Valentine -- Shirt in Heaven
Alex Lemon -- Feverland
Sawnie Morris -- Her, Infinite
Don Delillo -- White Noise
*Selah Saterstrom -- Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics
Gregory Dowling -- Ascension
Elizabeth Robinson -- Rumor
CAConrad -- While Standing in Line for Death
Renee Gladman -- Prose Architectures
Ellen Bryant Voigt -- Headwaters
Tana French -- The Trespasser
Donna Tartt -- The Little Friend
*Rachel Cusk -- Outline
Taisia Kitaiskaia -- Literary Witches
Tara Nolan -- Raised Bed Revolution
Sarah Waters -- The Little Stranger
Halle Butler -- Jillian
Meg Wolitzer -- The Wife
Michelle Tea -- Modern Tarot
Courtney Weber -- Tarot for One
Bethany C. Morrow -- Mem
*Samantha Hunt -- The Seas
Rosalie Knecht -- Who Is Vera Kelly?
*jamie mortara -- some planet
Christina Dalcher -- Vox
Jennifer Egan -- Look at Me
Peter Frase -- Four Futures: Life After Capitalism
Carmen Maria Machado -- Her Body and Other Parties
Fatimah Asghar -- If They Come for Us
Laura Lippman -- Every Secret Thing
Allison E. Joseph -- Corporal Muse
Jessica Knoll -- Luckiest Girl Alive
Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English -- Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers
Alexander Chee -- How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
Ilene Rosen -- Saladish
*Kiki Petrosino -- Witch Wife
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett -- Good Omens
*Terese Marie Mailhot -- Heart Berries
Dorothea Lasky -- Milk
*Rebecca Makkai -- The Great Believers
Timothy Snyder -- On Tyranny
Lawrence Ferlinghetti -- Poetry as Insurgent Art
Monica McClure -- Tender Data
*Alice Notley -- The Descent of Alette
J. T. Ellison -- Lie to Me
Yoel Hoffmann (Ed.) -- Japanese Death Poems
*Ottessa Moshfegh -- My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Sherwin Bitsui -- Dissolve
*Rachel Blau DuPlessis -- Interstices
Diane di Prima -- The Poetry Deal
Megan Abbott -- The Fever
Karen Auvinen -- Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living
*Modern Women -- Many Moons 2018 Vol 2: July - December
Nicolai Houm -- The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland
*Terrance Hayes -- American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin



The following is a list of books I read in 2017, in approximate chronological order. I didn't track journals and magazines, so the list isn't complete.

Books with an asterisk(*) particularly affected me. My top five-ish are: Renee Gladman – Calamities, CAConrad – Ecodeviance, Julie Buntin – Marlena, Mary Ruefle – Madness, Rack, and Honey, and Chris Kraus – I Love Dick. Bonus points to Tana French for getting me into thrillers this last year.

Full list 

Anna Smaill -- The Chimes
*Chris Kraus -- I Love Dick
Stéphane Mallarmé -- Selected Poetry And Prose
Maggie Nelson -- Bluets
Hal Elrod -- The Miracle Morning
Cat Marnell -- How to Murder Your Life
*Anne Boyer -- Garments Against Women
Wang Wei -- Laughing Lost in the Mountains
Yumi Sakugawa -- Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe
Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik -- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Miriam Towes -- All My Puny Sorrows
Jennifer Denrow -- California
Howard R. Bloch -- One Toss Of The Dice : The Incredible Story Of How A Poem Made Us Modern
Elizabeth Mckenzie -- The Portable Veblen
Ruth Stone -- In the Next Galaxy
Stuart Shedletsky -- Still Working: Underknown Artists of Age in America
Sarah Manguso -- 300 Arguments
Jami Attenberg -- All Grown Up
*Maggie Nelson -- The Argonauts
Tana French -- In the Wood
Ada Limón -- Bright Dead Things
Elena Ferrante -- The Story of a New Name
Tana French -- The Likeness
Joan Didion -- South and West
*Julie Buntin -- Marlena
*Lynn Emanuel -- The Nerve of It
Dani Shapiro -- Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage
Ann Patchett -- Commonwealth
*Safia Elhillo -- The January Children
Wendell Berry -- The Country of Marriage
Denis Johnson -- Train Dreams
**Renee Gladman -- Calamities
Liane Moriarty -- The Husband’s Secret
*Tommy Pico -- Nature Poem
Jim Harrison -- Off to the Side
Agnes Martin with Frances Morris And Tiffany Bell, ed. -- Agnes Martin
Monica Youn -- Blackacre
Kenneth Goldsmith -- Wasting Time on the Internet
Daphne Oram -- An Individual Note
Eve Babitz -- Slow Days, Fast Company
Paul Beatty -- The Sellout
Brenda Shaughnessy -- So Much Synth
Felicia Yap -- Yesterday
Maile Maloy -- Do Not Become Alarmed
Madison Smartt Bell -- Behind the Moon
**CAConrad -- Ecodeviance (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness
Ruth Ware -- In a Dark Dark Wood
Morgan Parker -- There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé
Claire Dederer -- Love and Trouble
John Berger -- Ways of Seeing
*Mary Ruefle -- Madness, Rack, and Honey
George Saunders -- Lincoln in the Bardo
J. Diego Frey -- The Year the Eggs Cracked
Tana French -- Faithful Place
Karyna McGlynn -- Hothouse
Claudia Rankine -- Citizen
Dale Power and Jeffrey B. Snyder -- Making Wooden Boxes
Jema Hewitt -- Steampunk Emporium
Joyce Carol Oates -- The Accursed
Saryn Sowell -- Silhouettes
*Rebecca Solnit -- Men Explain Things to Me
Dawn DeVries Sokol -- 1,000 Artist Journal Pages
Virginia Woolf -- On Being Ill
Tana French -- Broken Harbor
*Kaveh Akbar -- Calling a Wolf a Wolf
Roxane Gay -- Hunger
Robin McKenzie -- Treat Your Own Neck
Sally Rooney -- Conversations with Friends
Patti Smith -- Devotion
Emily Dickinson -- The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
*Juliana Spahr -- That Winter the Wolf Came
Manjula Martin (Ed.) -- Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living


The following is a list of books I read in 2016, in approximate chronological order. Approximate because I tend to read five or so books at a time, picking up whichever corresponds to my mood, so there can be some overlap. 

Favorite fictions: 
James Hannaham – Delicious Foods; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah; Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life; Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See; Emma Cline – The Girls; Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things

Favorite non-fictions: 
Patti Smith – M Train; iO Tillett Wright – Darling Days

Favorite poetry/hybrids: 
Matthea Harvey – If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?; Claudia Rankine – Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; Stéphane Mallarmé – One Toss of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance; Solmaz Sharif – Look 

Full list 

Patti Smith – M Train
Tomas Transtromer – Selected poems
Vladimir Sorokin – The Blizzard
Tracy Knapp – Mouth
Jeffrey Eugenides – The Marriage Plot
Ursula LeGuin – The Wind’s Twelve Quarters
Jenny Lawson – Furiously Happy
James Hannaham – Delicious Foods
Chris Ransick – Language for the Living and the Dead
Andrea Gibson – Pansy
Suzanne Scanlon – Promising Young Women
Barbara Pleasant – Starter Vegetable Gardens
Ali Smith – There but for the
Jhumpa Lahiri – In Other Words
Elizabeth Willis – Alive: New and Selected Poems
Jennifer Weiner – All Fall Down
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah
Sherman Alexie (ed.) – The Best American Poetry 2015
Marie Kondo – The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Ben Lerner – The Lichtenberg Figures
Hanya Yanagihara – A Little Life
Ocean Vuong – Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Carl Jung – Man and His Symbols* 
Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
Ben Lerner – The Hatred of Poetry
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – The Nest
Gretchen Marquette – May Day
Max Porter – Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
Emma Cline – The Girls
Jessica Valenti – Sex Object
Laura Munson – This Is Not The Story You Think It Is
Kim Addonizio – Bukowski in a Sundress
Kathryn Budig – Aim True
Sara Majka – Cities I’ve Never Lived In
francine j harris – play dead
Solmaz Sharif – Look
Catherine Lacey – Nobody Is Ever Missing
Amy Sohn – The Actress
Cole Swensen and David St. John, eds. – American Hybrid* 
Ann Lauterbach – The Night Sky
Sascha Arango – The Truth and Other Lies
Anuradha Roy – Sleeping on Jupiter
Molly Prentiss – Tuesday Nights in 1980
Emily Dickinson – The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson* 
Ingrid Schaffner – The Essential Joseph Cornell
iO Tillett Wright – Darling Days
Lauren Groff – Fates and Furies
Marisa Silver – Little Nothing
Julia Turshen – Small Victories
Liane Moriarty – Big Little Lies
Dana Levin – In the Surgical Theatre
Jessie Burton – The Muse
Claudia Rankine – Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
Dana Spiotta – Innocents and Others
Jess Walter – Beautiful Ruins
William Gibson – Mona Lisa Overdrive
Jeffrey Wechsler and Townsend Ludington – Image in the Box: From Cornell to Contemporary
Lee Montgomery, ed. – The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House
Anne Carson – Float* 
Stéphane Mallarmé – One Toss of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance
Elizabeth Gilbert – The Signature of All Things
Mary Ruefle – Madness, Rack, and Honey* 
Megan Abbott – You Will Know Me
Matthea Harvey – If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? 
Charles Simic – Dime-Store Alchemy
Gregory Pardlo – Digest

* Incomplete, still in the process of reading 


The following is an incomplete list of books I read in 2015. “Incomplete” because I didn’t track as I read; I had to piece it together using library receipts, emails to friends, and my bookshelf. I really wish I’d started this in 2014, that was the year I read only women writers. For 2016, I’ll track as I go #resolutions

To count as read: 

–I included poetry books where I didn’t read every single poem (for example: 500 page collected works volumes). 
–Same with non-fiction: I included books if I read at least half. 
–I included only fiction that I completely finished (though fiction that I quit midway through would be an interesting list). 

Best fiction: 
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Best non-fiction: 
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed, Meghan Daum

Best poetry: 
Springing, Marie Ponsot

Full list 

Meghan Daum – Selfish, Shallow,and Self-Absorbed
Patti Smith – Just Kids
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
Leslie Jamison – The Empathy Exams
Maggie Nelson – The Argonauts
Zoë Howe – Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours
Suzanne Scanlon – Her 37th Year
Claudia Rankine – Citizen
Maggie Nelson – Bluets
Sarah Manguso – Ongoingness: The End of a Diary
Heidi Julavits – The Folded Clock
Salman Rushdie – Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven
Tracy Daugherty – The Last Love Song (Joan Didion bio) 
Kate Atkinson – A God in Ruins
Roxane Gay – Bad Feminist
Jenny Offill – Dept. of Speculation
Mary Oliver – A thousand Mornings
Mary Oliver – Why I Wake Early: New Poems
Chris Ransick – Never Summer : Poems from Thin Air
Louise Glück – Averno
Meghan Daum – The Unspeakable
Meghan Daum – Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House
John Burnside – Black Cat Bone
Vendela Vida – The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty
Kate Zambreno – Green Girl
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn – Sharp Objects
Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train
Adrienne Rich – Diving into the Wreck
Adrienne Rich – Tonight No Poetry Will Serve : Poems, 2007-2010
Rebecca Makkai – The Hundred Year House
Ottessa Moshfegh – Eileen
Rachel Kushner – The Flamethrowers
Rachel Kushner – The Strange Case of Rachel K
Sarah Michas-Martin – Gray Matter
Emma Straub – The Vacationers
Yes, Please! – Amy Poehler
Amanda Cohen – Dirt Candy Cookbook
Ben Lerner – Leaving the Atocha Station
D. Nurkse – A Night in Brooklyn : Poems
Michael Hofmann – Where Have You Been? : Selected Essays
Natalie Goldberg – Writing Down to the Bones
Kino Macgregor – The Power of Ashtanga Yoga
Mary Barr – Friends Disappear
John Ashbery – Collected Works
Wallace Stevens – Collected Works
Marie Ponsot – Springing
Zadie Smith – On Beauty
Umberto Eco – How to Write a Thesis
Helen Vendler – The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar
Lili Anolik – Dark Rooms
Kevin Kwan – Crazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan – China Rich Girlfriend
Tyson and Brown – Home Buying for Dummies
Haruki Murakami – The Strange Library
Kenneth Koch – Collected Poems
Margaret Atwood – Negotiating with the Dead : A Writer on Writing
C. K. Williams – Writers Writing Dying
Olivia Liang – The Trip to Echo Spring : On Writers and Drinking