The Year in Books — 2019

Another year of reading in the… ah, books. As ever, it’s fun looking back and remembering what words, stories, and images I was spending time with throughout each season. As usual, I pretty much recommend all of these books, but you can skip to the end if you want to see my top favorites in each category. 

2019 reading list in chronological order:

The Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin (F)
The Mothers, by Brit Bennet (F)
Y: The Last Man, volumes 1-4 by Brian Vaughn and Pia Guerra (GN)
Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane (NF)
Less, by Andrew Sean Greer (F)
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (F)
Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula Le Guin (F)
Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick (NF)
Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell (F)
Heavy, by Kiese Laymon (M)
Go Ahead in the Rain, by Hanif Abdurraqib (E)
The Fifth Season, by NK Jemisin (F)
The Obelisk Gate, by NK Jemisin (F)
The Stone Sky, by NK Jemisin (F)
Sula, by Toni Morrison (F)
Black Nature, edited by Camille Dungy (P)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman (F)
Educated, by Tara Westover (M)
A Normal Heart, by Larry Kramer (F/Play)
Crazy Brave, by Joy Harjo (M)
Everything is Trash, by Phoebe Robinson (E)
The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden (F)
Soft Science, by Franny Choi (P)
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes (P)
The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay (E)
Bringing Down the Shovel, by Ross Gay (P)
Nature Poem, by Tommy Pico (P)
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, by Ross Gay (P)
The Carrying, by Ada Limon (P)
Trophic Cascade, by Camille Dungy (P)
Zeus, by George O’Connor (GN)
Athena, by George O’Connor (GN)
Hera, by George O’Connor (GN)
Hades, by George O’Connor (GN)
Poseidon, by George O’Connor (GN)
Apollo, by George O’Connor (GN)
Incarnadine, by Mary Szybist (P)
Deaf Republic, by Iyla Kaminsky (P)
Rocket Fantastic, by Gabrielle Calvocoressi (P)
Wade in the Water, by Tracy K Smith (P)
The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (P)
Some Say the Lark, by Jennifer Chang (P)
H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald (M)
Desert Cabal, by Amy Irvine (E)
Ares, by George O’Connor (GN)
Hermes, by George O’Connor (GN)
Hephestos, by George O’Connor (GN)
Aphrodite, by George O’Connor (GN)
The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, by Hanif Abdurraqib (P)
The Leavers, by Lisa Ko (F)
The Tiger, by John Vaillant (NF)
Survival in Auschwitz, by Levi Primo (M)
Fall Back Down When I Die, by Joe Wilkins (F)
The Road to Valhalla, by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (GN)
Night Sky with Exit Wounds, by Ocean Vuong (P)
Who Killed My Father?, by Edouard Louis (M)
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong (F)
Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart (F)
Good Talk, by Mira Jacob (M)
Voices from Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexivich (NF)
How To Write an Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee (M)
Electric Arches, by Eve Ewing (P)
King Me, by Rogers Reeves (P)
Bluets, by Maggie Nelson (E)
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (F)
There Are Things More Beautiful Than Beyonce, by Morgan Parker (P)
The Friend, by Sigurd Nunez (F)
A Fortune for Your Disaster, by Hanif Abdurraqib (P)
Deep Creek, by Pam Houston (M)
The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkinson (NF)
One Long River of Song, by Brian Doyle (E)
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (F)
I’m Here, by Hieu Nguyen (P)
Tracing the Desire Line, by Melissa Matthewson (M)
The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez (F)
Fear Icons, by Kisha Lewellyn Schlegel (E)
My Brother Was an Aztec, by Natalie Diaz (P)
A Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood and Renee Nault (GN)
Nimona, by Noelle Stephenson (GN)
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood (N)
The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui (GN/M)
The Secret Commonwealth, by Philip Pullman (F)
Wild Hundreds, by Nate Marshall (P)
Heating and Cooling, by Beth Ann Fennelly (E)
Eat Joy, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett (E)
Washington Black, by Ebi Edugyan (F)
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett (F)
Bright Dead Things, by Ada Limon (P)
Thick, by Tressie McMillian Cottom (E)

Top 5 Fiction
The Broken Earth Trilogy, by NK Jemisin
Fall Back Down When I Die, by Joe Wilkins
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong
Washington Black, by Ebi Edugyan
Less, by Andrew Sean Greer 

Nonfiction and Essays
Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick
The Tiger, by John Vaillant
The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkinson
Voices from Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexivich
The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay
One Long River of Song, by Brian Doyle
Thick, by Tressie McMillian Cottom
Go Ahead in the Rain, by Hanif Abdurraqib
Bluets, by Maggie Nelson 

Memoirs
How To Write an Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee
Good Talk, by Mira Jacob
The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui
Heavy, by Kiese Laymon
Educated, by Tara Westover

Poetry
My Brother Was an Aztec, by Natalie Diaz
Incarnadine, by Mary Szybist
Deaf Republic, by Iyla Kaminsky
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, by Ross Gay
Soft Science, by Franny Choi
The Carrying, by Ada Limon 

You can read more about some of these titles here