Book Log 2013

Have not been feeling the blogging love of late, I fear.  No resolution post (a standby, I know).  I do, however, have A List which may be of interest.  I kept a book log of my reading habits for the second year running.  In defense of the log, I do seem to read more when I’m tracking my reading.  Ninety-two books is not unrespectable, I suppose.  I was hoping to break 100, but this doesn’t count the many online magazines and critical journals I read, nor does it include the many friends with whom I trade work.  There are many words read in 2013 that are unaccounted for here.

A round-up: This year contained more fiction than nonfiction, more books written by friends and colleagues, and fewer terrible writing advice books than in years past.  A few poetry volumes, a fair number of critical works (especially re: fairytale, allegory, and capitalism…which makes sense in terms of how my interests have shifted this year), and a bizarre Stephen King phase that lasted for most of the month of June and for which I can offer zero justification other than that it was summer and King’s nothing if not compulsively readable when the temperature breaks 90 degrees.  I tend to get my recommendations from other blogs I read, and from friends on Facebook: many of the works listed were reccs from Matt Bell, Rahul Kanakia, Kij Johnson, Virginia Konchan, or Nick Mamatas (and I’m sure I’m forgetting people…oh of course, Saskatchewan Review’s unfinished book reviews!).  So for those braver than I who regularly post reviews of what they read, here’s one devoted reader who much appreciates it.  It so helps when deciding which of a million worthy works I ought devote my time to reading.

ImageWeird how much this feels like oversharing, like flashing my undergarments, when in fact it’s just my book list.  One’s tastes are private…but of course, since I don’t comment on my reads, those tastes are still mostly concealed.  They’re pretty mundane anyway.  Beige-neutral undergarments, really.

Note: I track haphazardly.  I’m probably missing some books, possibly many.  I may have duplicated some reads from last year (I reread with fair regularity) that are unmarked herein.  Without further preamble, the list:

1. The Flamethrowers

2. Stop-Time, Conroy

3. Patrick Melrose/Never Mind, Aubyn

4. Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (unfinished)

5. The Circle, Eggers

6. Zizek, Sublime Object of Ideology

7. Jennifer Silva, Coming Up Short

8. Allegory: Theory of a Symbolic Mode, Angus Fletcher

9. Little, Big (unfinished)

10. There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced…

11. In Search Of and Others, Will Ludwigsen

12. The Girl Next Door, Ketchum

13. XO Orpheus (unfinished)

14. We, A Reimagined Family History, C. Vance

15. Modern Allegory and Fantasy, Hunter (unfinished)

16. Finding a Form, William Gass

17. Shirley Jackson, Come Along with Me

18. The Tales (Les Figues Press)

19. Anna Kornbluh, Realizing Capital

20. Dani Shugart, The Sound of Secrets

21. 9.5 Theses on Art and Class

22. Thinking, Fast and Slow

23. Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

24. Krughoff, My Brother’s Name

25. ETA Hoffman, Best-of Collection

26. The Interestings

27. Warlock

28. Electricity and Other Dreams, Micah Dean Hicks

29. More Than Human, Ramez Naam

30. My Work Is Not Yet Done, Ligotti

31. In the House upon the Dirt… Matt Bell

32. Luthi, Once Upon a Time: on the Nature of Fairytales

33. Luthi, On the Form of Folktale

34. On Writer’s Block

35. 100 Apocalypses

36. Ozick, Metaphor and Memory

37. Wizard and Glass

38. Wolves of the Calla

39. Song of Susannah

40. The Dark Tower

41. Ocean at the End of the Lane

42. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

43. It

44. Millhauser, Knife Thrower

45. Gluck, Wild Iris

46. Tampa, Alissa Nutting

47. Face in the Frost

48. Jane Austen Book Club

49. The Gunslinger

50. Drawing of 3

51. The Wasteland

52. Kate Zambreno’s Heroines

53. Andy Duncan, The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories

54. Von Franz, Interpretation of Fairytales

55. Sensation, Mamatas

56. Lukacs, Theory of the Novel

57. The Repeat Year

58. Ancient, Ancient

59. Bridge of Birds

60. The Flame Alphabet

61. Financial Lives of the Poets

62. The Stars My Destination, Bester

63. The Fault in Our Stars, Greene

64. Embassytown

65. Mr. Fox, Oyeyemi

66. The Future Is Japanese

67. Patricia Hampl, Collection

68. Red Mars

69. 2312

70. Zoo City

71. Propp, Morphology of the Folktale

72. Caliban and the Witch (unfinished)

73. Tongue Lyre, Tyler Mills

74. Bettleheim, The Uses of Enchantment

75. Amy Hempel, Collected Stories

76. The Vanishers, Heidi Julavits

77. Horns

78. Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion

78. Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl

79. Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen (reread)

80. Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove

81. Alex Woloch, The One V. the Many (reread)

82. George Saunders, The 10th of December

83. NW, Zadie Smith (reread)

84. Marcia Aldrich, Companion to an Untold Story (reread)

85. David Lodge, Art of Fiction

86. The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey

87. The Magician King, Grossman

88. Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects, Valente

89. Joseph Heller, Something Happened

90. Elizabeth Moon, The Speed of Dark

91. Amazing Adult Fantasy, A.D. Jameson

92. Master and Commander, O’Brian

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5 thoughts on “Book Log 2013

  1. Hi! I like your list. I make a list via Goodreads but am actually going to copy all my longest reviews from Goodreads and put them in a blog, I dunno, just to have them all one place, kinda like circling the wagons or something. Your list is a fascinating collection of such a range of stuff, much of which I haven’t read…. You know, I do YA and Graphic Novels…. and now am asked to teach this traditional postwar novels class, which I am excited to do but feels so… conventional in a way for me, like no sci fi or fantasy (students helped me make the list, in partial defense) or anything like YA or detective fiction… but I am enjoying it, so far. I am suddenly reminded that you sent me your book online and completely forgot all break, so will start to read.. now!

    • Thanks for saying hi, Dave! Love that students helped draft the list — they’ll be way more engaged that way. And no worries re: the book. Actually, hold off so I can send you a more recent version. :-)

  2. This looks like a great year in books. I haven’t read many of them, but have many on my to-read list. This summer I’m looking to read The Fault in Our Stars and 2312. The Future is Japanese looks pretty interesting, too, so I may add that to the never-ending list!
    What did you think of The Magician King? I have a love/hate relationship with Quentin but I’m still looking forward to The Magician’s Land.

    • Agreed re: love/hate relationship with Quentin — but that’s the point, right? That if Harry Potter were real, he’d be insufferable? I like Grossman’s prose a great deal, too, and I’ll forgive a fair number of plot lurches if I’m loving the sentences. I highly recommend 2312; Fault in Our Stars I found too sentimental for my taste (although I think I’m the only living human not in love with John Green…if you follow YA, you have to read him (for the same reason I’ll probably pick up Divergent, despite the many mixed reviews). Thanks for stopping by!

      • I think it’ll be a little mushy for me, too. I read Looking for Alaska and if FiOS is anything like that, it’s good, but not great. I guess everyone can use a good sob-book every now and then, though.
        Yes, I believe Divergent is a YA must-read, even if it’s all pretty mediocre (in my humble opinion). I did end up enjoying Allegiant, the third book, however. I also give YA more leeway when it comes to the writing, because it seems more focused on action, which is a nice contrast to some literary fiction.

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