In late 2016 I started keeping a book journal, mainly as a way of getting into the habit of writing every day. It turns out to be useful for actually remembering what I read, and what each book was about, and what I was thinking, and how life was going at the time. Plus, a handy resource for book recommendations or gifts.
I kept it up this year, so now am able to provide you, dear reader, with an exhaustive list of Stuff I Read. Green are top of the tops. Blue are also quite good. Red were not for me. Here goes:
Tomi Adeyemi. Children of Blood and Bone. 2018. YA Fantasy. 525pp.
John Allison, Lissa Treman, Whitney Cogar. Giant Days vol. 1. June 2016. Coming-of-age comic series. 128pp. [Only reason not top is because have read before. ❤ JA.]
John Allison, Lissa Treman, Whitney Cogar, Max Sarin. Giant Days vol. 2. April 2016. Coming-of-age comic series. 128pp.
Leonid Andreyev. Seven Hanged. Trans Anthony Briggs. 1908/2016. Realist Russian novella. 128pp. [The saddest sad book of sadlyburg.]
Kate Beaton. The Princess and the Pony. 2015. Picture book. 36pp. [Farting fat pony.]
Kate Beaton. Step Aside Pops. 2015. Comics. 158pp.
Billy Ray Belcourt. This Wound Is a World. 2017. Poetry. 62pp. [Book club book. Wrenching and good.]
E.F. Benson. How Fear Departed the Long Gallery. 1911/2017. Ghost story. 52pp. [Sweetest ghost story. Includes mushroom scabs.]
Brooke Bolander. The Only Harmless Great Thing. 2018. Speculative fiction novella. 89pp. [Sci-fi book club book. Broke my whole heart.]
Blair Braverman. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube. 2016. Memoir. 274pp. [Tough read but worth it.]
Ananda Braxton-Smith. Merrow. 2010. Fabulist YA novel. 197pp. [Excellent sense of place.]
Peter Brown. The Wild Robot Escapes. 2018. YA spec-fic(?) novel. 288pp. [Ros is on her way home.]
G. Brender à Brandis. A Wood Engraver’s Alphabet. 2008. Art book. 61pp. [By Smudge the Peke’s Person!]
Anne Brontë. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.1848/2008. Didactic novel. 417. [Book club book. Anne is done with rakes.]
Steve Brusatte. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs. 2016. Non-fiction. 394pp. [Birds are t-rexes! Also there are some proto-mammals. And a bit too much academic rock-star-ism.]
Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden. 1911. YA novel. 331pp. [So very much racism and ableism. And a garden.]
Steve Burrows. A Siege of Bitterns. 2014. Detective fiction. 352pp. [Birbs.]
Lewis Carroll. The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll. 1998. Miscellany. 1160pp. [Oh geez a lot of this stuff is tedious.]
Bailey Cates. Some Enchanted Eclair. 2014. Cozy mystery/romance. 327pp.
Becky Chambers. Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. 2014. Sci-fi. 518pp. [Sci-fi book club book.]
Agatha Christie. A Murder Is Announced. 1950/2011. Mystery. 297pp.
Agatha Christie. And Then There Were None. 1940/2011. Mystery. 247pp. [Thrilling. But then I read about the printing history/titles and…it is unpleasant.]
Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. 1939/2011. Mystery. 272pp. [Dame Agatha was p into blood.]
Caryl Churchill. Top Girls. 1982. Contemporary-ish drama. 87pp. [THE BANQUET. Saw a production of this and the final scene was chilling.]
Brian Conaghan. The Bombs that Brought Us Together. 2016. YA spec fic. 368pp.
John Crowley. Little, Big. 1981/2006. Urban fantasy. 538pp. [Slow and rich and full of melancholy.]
Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris. My Lady’s Choosing. 2018. Romance. 351pp. [Choose-yer-own romance format. Things escalate absurdly.]
Charles Dickens. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. 1870/2004. 19th-c detective fiction. 284pp. [Did he drown or was he washed ashore? Jasper probs did it but we’ll never knooooow.]
Charles Dickens. The Signalman. 1866/2015. Ghost story. 51pp. [Not that scary…?]
Cherie Dimaline. The Marrow Thieves. 2017. Spec fic/Dystopia. 231pp. [Painful and hopeful.]
Jean Dutourd. A Dog’s Head. Trans Robin Chancellor. 1951/1998. Fabulist novella. 149pp. [Guy’s got the head of a dog.]
George Eliot. Middlemarch.1874/2015. Realist novel. 785pp. [I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, CASAUBON.]
Sheree Fitch and Anne Hunt (eds). Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things. 2017. YA poem anthology. 160pp. [Lovely.]
Helen Fielding. Bridget Jones’ Diary. 1996. Romance. 310pp. [Sadder than the movie. It’s so good tho.]
Alan Garner. The Owl Service. 1967/2006. YA fantasy. 240pp.
Tom Gauld. Baking with Kafka. 2017. Literary comics. 160pp. [Delightful as ever.]
Karina Yan Glaser. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. 2017. YA fiction. 311pp. [Just a nice warm story about a community at Christmas.]
Hiromi Goto. Half World. 2009. YA fantasy. 233pp. [Book club book. Weird and wonderful.]
Hiromi Goto. Darkest Light. 2012. YA fantasy. 328pp. [book club book.]
John Green. Turtles All the Way Down. 2017. YA fiction. 286pp. [Completely believable representation of anxious mental illnesses. The best JG book.]
Donna Haraway. Staying with the Trouble. 2016. Feminist eco-criticism. 312pp.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Mozart’s Starling. 2017. Memoir(s). 266pp.- [Starlings are charing geniuses.]
Betty Hechtman. Hooked on Murder. 2008. Cozy mystery. 280pp.
Nicole Helget. The End of the Wild. 2017. YA eco-fiction. 261pp.
Catherine Hernandez. Scarborough. 2017. Realist fiction. 255pp. [Funny and warm and so loving.]
James Herriot. It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet. 1972. Memoir. 229pp. [Herriot is kind, and loves his animals and his family. But never forget he lies about his name.]
James Herriot. Let Sleeping Vets Lie. 1973. Memoir. 251pp.
James Herriot. Vet in Harness. 1974. Memoir. 252pp.
James Herriot. Vets Might Fly. 1977. Memoir. 240pp
Laurence Hill. The Book of Negroes. 2007. Historical fiction/memoir. 470pp. [Book club book.]
Eowyn Ivey. To the Bright Edge of the World. 2016. Adventure/Fantasy. 417pp. [Stunning writing. Am looking for reviews by indigenous readers. Feel a bit unsettled about its use of indigenous narratives/figures (ravens) and representation of Alaska’s colonial history.]
Miranda James. The Silence of the Library. 2014. Cozy mystery. 305pp. [Includes a giant cat.]
P.D. James. Death Comes to Pemberley. 2011. Regency detective novel. 291pp. [Law and Order meets Jane Austen. Rly well written tho.]
T.J. Kline. The Radcliffes. 2017. Romance novella collection. 372pp. [Found it p hard to sympathise with the poor little Richcliffes]
Bettina Krahn. A Good Day to Marry a Duke. 2017. Romance. 329pp. [Daisy’s greatest fear is that her mum won’t be able to go to the best parties and is never in any real economic danger. Just marry the poor-but-dashing brother already!]
Ambelin Kwaymullina. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf. 2012. YA spec fic. 380pp. [Sci-fi book club book]
Ursula Le Guin. Worlds of Exile and Illusion. 1966/67. Sci fi. 370pp. [Book club book]
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell. March: Book 1. 2013. Graphic novel. 128pp.
Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arseneault. Virginia Wolf. 2012. Picture book. 30pp. [I will always love this book.]
Kyo Maclear and Esmé Shapiro. Yak and Dove. 2017. Picture book. 50pp.
Francesco Marciuliano. I Could Pee on This. 2012. Cat poems. 112pp.
Christopher Marlowe. Dido, Queen of Carthage. 2018/19. Early modern drama. 85pp.
Victor Milán. The Dinosaur Knights. 2016. Fantasy. 448pp. [Developing lady characters through sexual violence! Plus weird pacing and not nearly enough dinosaurs?]
Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables. 1908/2014. YA fiction. 371pp. [Book club book. Emily is better than Anne.]
Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne of Avonlea. 1909/1984. YA fiction. 277pp.
Jen Neale. Land Mammals and Sea Creatures. 2018. Fabulist novel. 277pp. [Some gorgeous writing but really disturbed by the attitutde towards suicide.]
Jeanette Ng. Under the Pendulum Sun. 2017. YA fantasy. 409pp. [Well-written. There’s some…weirdness in here and I need someone to read it so we can talk.]
Mary Norton. The Borrowers. 1953/81. YA fantasy. 180pp.
Mary Norton. The Borrowers Afield. 1955/83. YA fantasy. 215pp.
Mary Norton. The Borrowers Afloat. 1959/87. YA fantasy. 191pp.
Mary Norton. The Borrowers Aloft. 1961/89. YA fantasy. 224pp.
Mary Norton. The Borrowers Avenged. 1982. YA fantasy. 298pp.
Michael Ondaatje. Warlight. 2018. Fictional memoir. 285pp. [Gorgeous intimate writing as usual, but had a hard time connecting to the characters/story.]
Tochi Onyebuchi. Beasts Made of Night. 2017. YA fantasy. 298pp.
Daniel Ortberg. The Merry Spinster. 2018. Horror/Humour/Feminist fairy tales. 188pp.
Emily X.R. Pan. The Astonishing Colour of After. 2018. YA magical realism. 466pp.
Shelley Peterson. Sundancer. 2017. YA fiction. 402pp. [A girl and her horse.]
Plautus. Menaechmi. Oldey times. Roman drama. 100pp.
Philip Pullman. The Book of Dust. 2017. Fantasy. 451pp.
Laura Purcell. The Silent Companions. 2017. Horror. 304pp. [Creepy af]
Bob Purnell. Crops in Pots. 2007. Non-fiction. 160pp.
Jason Reynolds. Long Way Down. 2017. YA poetic novel. 306pp. [Chilling.]
Jason Reynolds. Ghost. 2015. YA fiction. 180pp. [One of the most charismatic narrators of the year.]
Stuart Robertson. Tips on Container Gardening. 2008. Non-fiction. 216pp. [Surprisingly funny.]
Eden Robinson. Son of a Trickster. 2017. Fantasy…? 316pp.
Kelly Robson. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach. 2018. Sci fi. 230pp.
L.C. Rosen. Jack of Hearts and Other Parts. 2018. YA queer fiction. 344pp.
Ruta Sepetys. Salt to the Sea. 2016. YA historical fiction. 392pp.
William Shakespeare. The Comedy of Errors. 1504. Early modern drama. 70pp.
William Shakespeare and Matthew Dunster. Imogen. 2016. Early/modern drama. 80pp.
Megan Shepherd. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill. 2016. YA fantasy. 195pp.
Mikhail Sholokov. Quiet Flows the Don. Trans. Robert Dagliesh. 1934/1997. RUSSIAN NOVEL. 1408pp.
Clint Smith. Counting Descent. 2016. Poetry. 74pp. [Book club book]
Danez Smith. Don’t Call Us Dead. 2017. Poetry. 88pp. [Haunting.]
Benjanun Sriduangkaew. Winterglass. 2017. Queer fantasy novella. 114pp.
Robin Stockwell. Succulents. 2017. Non-fiction. 288pp. [Half plant care, half glossy life-style magazine ft Californianans with ‘small’ rooftop gardens bigger than my apartment. Good succulent guide tho.]
Denise Swanson. Murder of the Cat’s Meow. 2012. Cozy mystery. 272pp.
Antonio Tabucchi. The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico. Trans Tim Parks. 1987/2013. Short miscellany. 113pp.
Jillian Tamaki. They Say Blue. 2018. Picture book. 40pp.
Laini Taylor. Strange the Dreamer. 2017. YA fantasy. 532pp. [Inventive, excellent characters, rich story.]
Laini Taylor. Muse of Nightmares. 2018. YA fantasy. 514pp.
Hasan Ali Toptaş. Shadowless. Trans Maureen Freely and John Angliss. 1995/2017. Magical realist novel. 303pp. [A stunning fever dream.]
Lynn Truss. The Lunar Cats. 2016. Urban fantasy. 295pp. [Talking cats.]
Stuart Turton. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. 2018. Fantasy mystery. 505pp. [WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON IN THIS BOOK.]
Unnamed academic monograph (for review). 2018. 200ish pp.
David Foster Wallace. Infinite Jest. 1996. Dystopian Tennis Boys. 1088pp. [NOPE]
Peter Wahlleban.The Inner Life of Animals. Trans Jane Billinghurst. 2016/17. Eco-criticism. 262pp. [Charming, but I so loved his trees book which this doesn’t quite match.]
Michelle Wan. The Deadly Slipper. 2005. Detective novel. 379pp.
Edith Warton. Afterward. 1910/2016. Ghost story. 84pp. [Starts innocuous. Gets sufficiently creepy.]
Joshua Whitehead. Jonny Appleseed. 2018. Fictional memoir. 223pp.
31 December 2018