Lists are all too often gratuitous (as with lists of accomplishments) and of dubious value (as with many "best of" lists). But I usually don't find that either problem applies when folks keep lists of books they’ve read. Why? Because what a person has read, their reading formation, plays an important role in how and what they think. This is the place that I keep track of what I’ve read, and though it’s mostly for myself, I also offer it as a public gesture of transparency. One learns interesting things from looking back at years’ worth of lists like this, and as Pamela Nadell describes of her own endeavor to keep meticulous lists of her own reading, I’ve noticed at least one clear pattern: “Not shockingly, an awful lot of men.” Noticing the pattern is the first step toward changing it. So again, I offer this list publicly, with all of its limits and blind spots.
Books Read in 2019
Sigrid Undset. The Wreath. [Kristin Lavransdatter, Book 1]
Arturo Escobar. Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds.
Sigrid Undset. The Wife. [Kristin Lavransdatter, Book 2]
Maggie Nelson. The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning.
Neil Gaiman. Norse Mythology.
Markus Gabriel. Why the World Does Not Exist.
Mikhail Bulgakov. The Master and Margarita.
Benjamin Hoff. The Tao of Pooh.
Yasunari Kawabata. Snow Country.
Wallace Stegner. Angle of Repose.
Kazuo Ishiguro. Remains of the Day.
Marshall McLuhan + Quentin Fiore. The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. (Third reading)
Keller Easterling. Medium Design. (Second reading)
Sigrid Undset. The Cross. [Kristin Lavransdatter, Book 3]
Kazuo Ishiguro. Never Let Me Go.
Caroline Levine. Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network.
Mark Synnott. The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life.
William Shakespeare. Julius Caesar.
Deidre Shauna Lynch. The Economy of Character: Novels, Market Culture, and the Business of Inner Meaning.
Flann O’Brien. At Swim-Two-Birds.
Tom McCarthy. Satin Island.
J. M. Coetzee. Elizabeth Costello.
J. M. Coetzee. Slow Man.
Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451.
Kate Rigby. Dancing with Disaster: Environmental Histories, Narratives, and Ethics for Perilous Times.
William Cronon, ed. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. (Selections)
Annie Dillard. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Thomas Mann. Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family.
Calvin L. Warren. Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism, and Emancipation. (Selections)
Linda Weintraub. What's Next?: Eco Materialism and Contemporary Art.
Rebecca Solnit. A Field Guide to Getting Lost.
Dee Brown. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Homer. The Iliad. (Second reading; first time with the Fagles translation)
Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan. Buried in the Sky.
Willa Cather. One of Ours.
Macarena Gómez-Barris. The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. (Selections)
Karl Ove Knausgård. So Much Longing in So Little Space: The Art of Edvard Munch.
Octavia Butler. Kindred.
Roland Barthes. S/Z: An Essay.
John Steinbeck. East of Eden.
Park Honan. Shakespeare: A Life.
Stephen Greenblatt. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.
Janis P. Stout. Cather Among the Moderns.
Albert Camus. The Plague.