BOOKS I'VE READ IN 2016
Making use of the "add to your list" feature to update this in real time.
- •"A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy" by Sue Klebold.Incredibly brave, important, required reading.
- •"Dear Mr. You" by Mary-Louise Parker"Dear Future Man Who Loves My Daughter" and "Dear Oyster Picker" are my favorite. "Dear Oyster Picker" is a perfect piece of writing.
- •"The One and Only: A Novel" by Emily Griffin.I read an interview with Griffin in Lenny Letter where she said many people didn't like this book, which made me curious. Now that I've read it, I get that. The characters never felt real to me. I do think this could be a great movie, though.
- •"Miss Misery" by Andy GreenwaldThere's a scene where the main character describes bars on the LES, and I've actually been to one (Meet the Johnsons, shoutout @clairelbs!), and it made me feel *very* cool. This was a good second-day-of-staycation read.
- •"Year of Yes" by Shonda Rimes
- •"Dietland" by Sarai WalkerTBH I'm still processing this one. I'm not sure I "got it." The reviews have been so good that I expect I'll revisit this, eventually, to see if it hits me in a better place the second time around.
- •"Lucky" by Alice SeboldI read this years ago and was compelled to re-read it after finishing the Knoll novel. "Lucky" is incredibly difficult to read, but it feels important to do so, to support Sebold and the torturous events that unfolded for her at college in Syracuse.
- •"Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel" by Jessica KnollI borrowed this book from the library after reading Knoll's essay in Lenny. The essay prepared me for the rape scenes, and knowing nothing else about the story, I wasn't as prepared for the additional traumatic events depicted in the story. I found myself squeezing my eyes shut while reading through them, like I was watching a movie. It's pretty tough to read with your eyes closed and even tougher to read this book with them opened.
- •"Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art" (Vol. 17 No.1)The first literary journal I've read cover to cover. I met with a group of strangers in a basement apartment to discuss it and felt relieved that not everyone loved every piece. Some of the poetry went way over my head, but I really liked a poem called "Helium" by Billy Collins, with these standout lines: "Much will continue to occur after I die / seems to be the message here."
- •"The Power of Habit" by Charles DuhiggConfession: I only read half of this book before I forgot it on a plane. I think I got what I needed from it, though, which is summarized in this graphic representation of "the habit loop."
- •"Come to the Edge: A Love Story" by Christina HaagHaag writes about her relationship with JFK, Jr., in remarkable detail. She excels at capturing the dreamy state that comes right before the relationship, where they're not together yet, but they know they will be. (Pic is of a line I liked from a letter Kennedy wrote to Haag.) Thank you for the recommendation, @bookishclaire.
- •"Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Ed TarkingtonTarkington is local to Nashville, so I approached this book with a sense of pride, as if living in the same city as the author meant I helped create it. (I did not.) I read this book over the course of a very indulgent Saturday afternoon. Maybe I wasn't ready to get out of bed, or maybe I was entranced by the countryside and characters, but I thought the ending was a bit rushed. I wanted more! And I want more books from Tarkington, stat.
- •"M Train" by Patti SmithSmith's "Just Kids" is one of my favorite books of all time. "M Train" is not "Just Kids," and it took me a minute to realize, it doesn't have to be. After I let go of those expectations, I spent more time analyzing Smith's punctuation and content decisions than actually enjoying what I read. Buy "M Train" for your coffee shop-obsessed friend. Buy yourself a copy of "Just Kids."