Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Readings, 2016 Goals

It's time for my annual reading recap, where I list my readings for the year, compare it to my original goals, and make tentative plans for 2016.

Earlier this year, I wrote:

"So for 2015, I want my final tally to be 75-80% women writers, and with more minority and GLBT voices as well (any recommendations? I'd love to hear them). I'm not going to make a number prediction. I was happy to break 80 titles, and if I stay within the 70-80 range, I'll be happy. As I always say: quality beats quantity. With that in mind, I'm not ranking these titles under any "great/good/mediocre" categories, but merely writing out the reading list chronologically."

I ended up reading 93 titles, a nice little bump from last year. As for the gender breakdown: 68 women, 24 men, and 1 anthology (which was split down the middle, more or less). This rough estimate means I read around 73% women writers, which is below my stated goal of 75-80%. Overall, I'm pleased, but I want to keep that going in 2016.

Here's the list:


1.) The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink

2.) Promising Young Women by Suzanne Scanlon

3.) Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli

4.) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

5.) My Only Wife by Jac Jemc

6.) Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

7.) My Ántonia by Willa Cather

8.) On Immunity by Eula Biss

9.) The Hook and the Haymaker by Jared Yates Sexton

10.) Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska

11.) What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura van den Berg

12.) An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

13.) A Taxonomy of the Space Between Us by Caleb Daniel Curtiss

14.) Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid

15.) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (re-read)

16.) The Street by Ann Petry

17.) I am Barbarella by Beth Gilstrap

18.) Jillian by Halle Butler

19.) Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

20.) Don't Ask Me to Spell it Out by Robert James Russell

21.) Pushing the Bear: After the Trail of Tears by Diane Glancy

22.) The Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna

23.) Today I am a Book by xTx

24.) Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli

25.) This Boring Apocalypse by Brandi Wells

26.) Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

27.) Her 37th Year: An Index by Suzanne Scanlon

28.) Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

29.) The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic by Jessica Hopper

30.) Toughlahoma by Christian TeBordo

31.) Creature by Amina Cain

32.) Above All Men by Eric Shonkwiler

33.) This Must Be the Place by Sean H. Doyle

34.) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

35.) On the Way by Cyn Vargas

36.) Families Among Us by Blake Kimzey

37.) Other Kinds by Dylan Nice

38.) I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita

39.) Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith

40.) The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

41.) Someday This Will Be Funny by Lynne Tillman

42.) Can't and Won't by Lydia Davis

43.) Kindred by Octavia Butler

44.) Black Cloud by Juliet Escoria

45.) The Brothers by Masha Gessen

46.) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

47.) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

48.) The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

49.) Deep Violence: Military Violence, War Play, and the Social Life of Weapons by Joanna Bourke

50.) Hollywood Notebook by Wendy C. Ortiz

51.) Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy

52.) Scrapper by Matt Bell

53.) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

54.) Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont

55.) Invisible Women by Lily Hoang

56.) Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

57.) Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet

58.) Locked Away by Gabe Durham

59.) Man Bites Cloud by Bob Schofield

60.) Doll Palace by Sara Lippmann

61.) Oracle by Cate Marvin

62.) The Other Serious: Essays For the New American Generation by Christy Wampole

63.) The Black Automaton by Douglas Kearney

64.) Mesilla by Robert James Russell

65.) Hank by Abraham Smith

66.) You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

67.) To Be Human is to Be a Conversation by Andrea Rexilius

68.) A View From Above by Wilt Chamberlain

69.) Among the Wild Mulattos and Other Tales by Tom Williams

70.) The Good Thief by Marie Howe

71.) For You, for You I am Trilling These Songs by Kathleen Rooney

72.) Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

73.) The Way We Weren't by Jill Talbot

74.) Ecodeviance: (Soma)tics For the Future Wilderness by CA Conrad

75.) Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

76.) The Story of my Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

77.) Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

78.) Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

79.) The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

80.) Kinda Sorta American Dream by Steve Karas

81.) A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor

82.) Between Parentheses by Roberto Bolaño

83.) Bottom of the Ninth by Wyl Villacres

84.) The Face of Baseball by Robyn Ryle

85.) Resurrection Science by M.R. O'Connor

86.) Does Not Love by James Tadd Adcox

87.) Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

88.) Gutshot by Amelia Gray

89.) Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple

90.) Meaty by Samantha Irby

91.) Flashes of Life by Micah Ling

92.) The Best Small Fictions 2015 edited by Tara L. Masih and Robert Olen Butler

93.) The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak

I don't like to pick favorites, because with such a mix of novels, story collections, poetry, and creative nonfiction/essays, it's silly to do any kind of ranking, since all of these books were terrific in their own ways. I would like to thank Cari Luna, Porochista Khakpour, and Eric Shonkwiler for their works, since I read them at times when I struggled with my own novel/thesis. Their works are wildly different from each other and from what I was writing at the time, but their characters, pacing, and layers served as inspirations for me. Thank you.


I'm also partial to Suzanne Scanlon's books. She's one of my favorite writers and has been such a valuable teacher and mentor to me, providing tremendous help in my own work.

This total might be skewed because I read more poetry and chapbooks this year, but a book is a book. I wouldn't go up to a chapbook author on this list and say "hey, I loved your work, but I'm not counting it because it's only 80 pages." Hell no.

In 2016, I want to read more classics, more international translations, and spend more money on small press titles. My goals will fluctuate as the year goes on, but I think that's a good starting point.

As always: feedback is welcome. Recommendations are gleefully accepted, especially minority and GLBT works that I should keep on my radar.

Happy 2016, all.





















Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beth Gilstrap Interview at Split Lip Magazine


The new issue of Split Lip Magazine is up, and I'm thrilled to have a contribution: I interviewed one of my favorite writers, Beth Gilstrap.

We discussed writing, social media, and pets. You can read the interview here, and the rest of Split Lip here.

Thank you to Beth for being an inspiration (her collection I Am Barbarella is one of my favorites of 2015), and thank you to Amanda Miska (Editor in Chief of Split Lip Magazine, another favorite person).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Reviews in The Collagist

It's been awhile since I last contributed book reviews, and I'm pleased to finally contribute to one of my favorite literary journals.

I reviewed three e-books for the November issue of The Collagist: Locked Away by Gabe Durham, Invisible Women by Lily Hoang, and Man Bites Cloud by Bob Schofield (Publishing Genuis, 2015). These are stellar, diverse writers, and I was honored to spend time with their words.

You can read my review here. And if you click here, you can check out the rest of this awesome issue.

Thanks to Matthew Olzmann, Gabriel Blackwell, and Michael Jauchen for being terrific editors and putting a lot of time into one of the web's best literary resources. I'm grateful to be a small part of it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"The Cookie Sun:" Vol. 1 Brooklyn Sunday Stories

This should be a great week. I'm starting my final (!!) semester of my MFA on Tuesday, and thesis is rolling along. I always fail to meet timetables, but I hope to have a draft of my novel done by mid or late September. Exciting times. Overwhelming, exhausting, scary, but exciting.

Also, I have a new short story published! I'm thrilled to be this week's Sunday Story at Vol. 1 Brooklyn, a phenomenal literary website that has published work by some of my favorite writers. It's still weird to see my name there.

My story is called "The Cookie Sun." You can read it here.

I wrote my first draft of this back in 2009, not long after I moved back to Chicago from the suburbs of Seattle. While the first drafts sucked, it was part of my breakout, my transition from unmotivated writing to taking my work much more seriously. Last fall, I workshopped it for one of my creative writing classes, and I finally got it into the draft you can read above.

If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Tobias Carroll and Jason Diamond of Vol. 1 Brooklyn for being astounding writers and literary citizens, and for giving my work a new home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Debut of HOBART HANDBOOKS

Aaron Burch and Jensen Beach have launched a new division of Hobart: Another Literary Journal: HOBART HANDBOOKS. I can't describe it properly, so I'll copy and paste from the "About" page:

"Envisioned as a kind of mash-up of all things Hobart-related (website, print issues, book division, goofy ideas), Hobart Handbooks will publish 2-3 books/year, likely alternating themed anthologies (focused on reprinting some of the best from the Hobart archives, as well as new work and art and design) with single author books, and possibly occasional special projects. Of course, like all things Hobart, it’s still a project in motion and, while we have some exciting ideas, we’re making it up as we go. But we’re excited to see where it goes."

The first-ever Hobart Handbook is a best of the annual online Hobart baseball issue, and I'm honored that "Hands of Grace," my first ever publication, is included, therefore making this my first ever print publication. Thank you to Aaron and Jensen for including my work. I've used the word "honor" a lot in promoting this collection, but I'm not using it lightly. It's an honor to have my work in this new project, and to have my fiction sharing space with some stunning writers, including (but even close to being limited to): Jill Talbot, Justin St. Germain, Ben Lyon, Jim Ruland, and Elizabeth Ellen, to name a few.

Want to buy a copy: click here. Until July 16th (tomorrow), the book is available for a donation. The minimum is $4 to cover shipping, the maximum is up to how generous you want to be.

The Hobart Handbooks website is here. There's a bundle option, so you can receive the baseball book, a forthcoming book by Micah Ling, and the third book in the Handbook series.

Again, I'm thrilled to be included in this kickoff. Read, donate, support!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Flutterfucked: Reading Snapshots

In order to devote more time to writing my novel, I've taken an extended break from social media. I haven't posted on Twitter and Facebook in two weeks. But that's not to say I'm completely off the grid: I'll admit to scrolling from time to time, and I've been more active on Instagram (it's an outlet and a pleasant distraction, but one that, for me, doesn't lend itself to endless, mindless staring).

I'm sure I'll have the occasional post in the next couple weeks; this isn't an endless break, just a small one, because I found myself thinking of all the time I spend gazing at a screen without any engagement. Of course, I'm still wasting time online, but it's easier to blink when browsing, say, ESPN or NPR for long stretches.

Being off social media means I haven't liked or shared my reading activity. I'm writing this to showcase some of the things I read this week that stuck with me.

1.) I finally read Juliet Escoria's BLACK CLOUD, a stunning collection of stories (with a linked theme of depression, addiction, and loneliness) published last year by Civil Coping Mechanisms. I've followed Juliet online for awhile, and the book had been on my to-read list ever since it came out. I snagged a copy at AWP and finally devoured it. Some highlights:

"The train comes but it has the wrong number on the front and I move myself to the middle of the platform, because suddenly I realize how beautiful it would be to jump. If there were swords in stones with the pricks facing outwards, I would surely hurl my heart at one, just to try it, just to say that I did. To see what it feels like to have something slice me open (85)."

"I wanted to stop speaking now, but I had already treaded too far. The words tumbled out of my mouth in ribbons, bitter and curling. I watched his eyes glaze over as I spoke. I watched his pupils turn into flat disks, dull and dry as paper (103)."

2.) The spring issue of Wyvern Lit was published this week. There are so many literary magazines out there, and Wyvern Editor-in-Chief Brent Rydin has done a stellar job of making each issue kill. Click here to browse the spring issue (including their first-ever inclusion of poetry!)

I made the story "Other Gods" by Emily Carpenter the Longform Fiction Pick of the Week. It's a stunningly crafted examination of weather, religion, and combinations thereof that lead to unexpected catastrophes:

"On the tenth of April, Our Heavenly Father sent a tornado that wiped out practically the whole town of Rosewood. Every family lost their home. The Murphys, Engels, Hillyers, Rathbuns, Randalls, Wyatts. Everybody. The grocery and the hardware store were smashed to pieces. The post office, the school, and the fire station—all gone too.

The only buildings left standing were the church, the armory, and my house. My house, praise the Lord, with me in it."

3.) I'm leaning toward making July a month devoted exclusively to my stack of literary magazines, but I started Issue 22.1 of Yemassee, co-edited by the stellar writer/reader Matt Fogarty. A poem by Rachel Mindell caught my eye right away with a terrific use of what is now my favorite word: "flutterfucked:"

...There's this good spot. We could just get
in any car. The miles would part their legs
for us headscarves all flutterfucked.
As it stands, I possess a near doctorate...


4.) And finally, something I should have written about a couple months ago. I'm super excited that Steve Karas' debut story collection, Kinda Sorta American Dream, is being published this fall by Tailwinds Press. I had the fortune to read this collection awhile back, and I'm thrilled it has found a home. Steve is one of the best short story writers and literary citizens around, and I can't wait to hold the book in its physical form. I'll update once there's a set publication date.

I'll do more updates, especially when I do my literary magazine project. I'm eager to read new and old journals that I've been collecting, and I'm sure there are plenty of brilliant pieces by writers with whom I'm unfamiliar, waiting to be discovered. Can't wait. And thank you for reading.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hobart: Photo Credits

Preface: my Instagram account includes this disclaimer: apologies to actual photographers. I know people do some stellar work with cell phone cameras, but personally, I don't think clicking a few snapshots on my phone allows me to even look at the word "photographer."

Onward.

The literary magazine Hobart did its annual online baseball issue in April. I contributed stories in 2013 and 2014. Awhile back, editor Aaron Burch put out a request for baseball photos and artwork to accompany this year's fiction, poetry, and essays. When I saw this request, I realized I had several baseball-themed photos on my phone. I e-mailed them his way, and I'm really pleased with how the images paired with some stellar writing.

Frankly, I don't care if someone reads the writing and doesn't think twice about the images. The emphasis SHOULD be on the writing here, but anyway, here are my first "official" photo credits:

2015 baseball predictions by Andrew Ervin (a concourse shot from U.S. Cellular Field)

A pitching guide by Emily Nemens (a game shot from a Tigers-White Sox game in August)

Little League memories from Dylan Fisher (I took a walk by a baseball field early one morning and saw this solitary Yankees cap on a post)

A short story by Chad Schuster (my glove and a battered ball)


I'm honored that my images are paired with some terrific writers.


To close, the Hobart baseball issue also included a terrific short story by one of my favorite Chicago writers/lit citizens. Enjoy "Pop Up" by the great Wyl Villacres.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Mythos:" WhiskeyPaper Story of the Week

I've been running around like a crazy person this week--in my novel writing workshop, we're starting massive manuscript edits, and in my Women's Literature course, I had to prepare and give an in-class presentation. And there's this writing conference I'm heading to today. AW...something.

So I'm using a rare 20 minutes of downtime for a cool announcement: On Sunday, Mythos, a piece of my flash fiction, was published as the story of the week at the great journal WhiskeyPaper.

I've been reading WhiskeyPaper for years, and they've published work by a staggering lineup of my favorite writers: Wendy C. Ortiz, Ben Tanzer, Amanda Miska, Sean H. Doyle, and many others. There's no way to say this and not have it sound obvious or trite, but seeing my work in the same place as these people is a fucking honor.

WhiskeyPaper is edited and run by the wonderful wife and husband team of Leesa Cross-Smith and Loran Smith. They edit and maintain such a wonderful literary home, and Leesa is easily one of the top five nicest, kindest writers you can ever care to meet.

The link to my story is here.

WhiskeyPaper recently published their first chapbook, a stunning, beautiful collection of stories by Robert James Russell titled DON'T ASK ME TO SPELL IT OUT. It's for sale here, as well as a delightfully awesome WhiskeyPaper koozie. There's photo evidence below:



We all love to share and support independent literature. But an even better way to support is with dollars. Keep indie presses alive.

See you at AWP!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Chinatown" Now Live at Luna Luna Magazine

I'm really thrilled for my first publication of 2015. It's a short story called "Chinatown," published by the fine people at Luna Luna Magazine.

The piece is set in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood and explores cultural awareness, loneliness, and fear. I wrote a first draft about three years ago. I submitted it to a literary magazine, and while it was declined, I received my very first personalized rejection letter. After including it in my MFA applications, I sat on it, dusted it off some more, and it received a lovely response from Amanda Miska, who's now the Editor-In-Chief of Split Lip Magazine. Amanda is a wonderful friend and editor, and I'm grateful she gave this work a home. It's one of my personal favorites, and I hope you'll give it a read.

Here's the link.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Readings, 2015 Goals

Happy New Year!

As I've done the last two years, I'm recapping the books I read in the last calendar year, and sharing some goals for this next year. Last January, my goals were:

"... in 2014, I want to read 65-70 books. I'm currently halfway through Ben Tanzer's Orphans (a science fiction novel, something I didn't touch upon last year, depending on one's definition) and I'm starting NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names, which starts me off on an ongoing goal to read more minority and women writers. So yeah, I'm pleased. My focus is more on writing, but reading is essential to that balance."

I'm pleased to note that I went above that estimate and finished with 81 titles. Throughout the year, I thought I was reading more women writers than men, but after reviewing my list, the total wasn't as high as I hoped. So for 2015, I want my final tally to be 75-80% women writers, and with more minority and GLBT voices as well (any recommendations? I'd love to hear them). I'm not going to make a number prediction. I was happy to break 80 titles, and if I stay within the 70-80 range, I'll be happy. As I always say: quality beats quantity. With that in mind, I'm not ranking these titles under any "great/good/mediocre" categories, but merely writing out the reading list chronologically.

I'm writing my own novel this year, so any reading I do will be done with an eye for narrative voice, syntax, and spacing as I attempt to make sense of my own project. So, without further ado, here are the books I knocked out in 2014:

1.) Orphans by Ben Tanzer

2.) We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

3.) The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg

4.) Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus

5.) Remainder by Tom McCarthy

6.) Praying Drunk by Kyle Minor

7.) Blood and Soap by Linh Dinh

8.) The Body Artist by Don DeLillo

9.) Samedi the Deafness by Jesse Ball

10.) Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

11.) Threats by Amelia Gray

12.) AM/PM by Amelia Gray (re-read)

13.) The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again by Sven Birkerts

14.) Bluets by Maggie Nelson

15.) Fugue State by Brian Evenson

16.) One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses by Lucy Corin

17.) Steps by Jerzy Kosinski

18.) Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz

19.) China Cowboy by Kim Gek Lin Short

20.) Embassytown by China Mieville

21.) Lost in Space by Ben Tanzer

22.) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

23.) The Fun We've Had by Michael J. Seidlinger

24.) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

25.) Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

26.) You Only Get Letters From Jail by Jodi Angel

27.) The Lover by Marguerite Duras

28.) The Weirdness by Jeremy P. Bushnell

29.) Up Up and Away by Jonah Keri

30.) The Situation and the Story by Vivian Gornick

31.) Every Kiss a War by Leesa Cross-Smith

32.) Big Bad Asterisk* by Carlo Matos

33.) The Last Days of California by Mary Miller

34.) Horse, Flower, Bird by Kate Bernheimer

35.) Every Day is For the Thief by Teju Cole

36.) Sky Girl by Rosemary Griggs

37.) The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense by Tim Kinsella

38.) Motorman by David Ohle

39.) The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich

40.) The Holy Ghost People by Joshua Young

41.) Angry White Men by Michael Kimmel

42.) The Great Frustration by Seth Fried

43.) Fast Machine by Elizabeth Ellen

44.) Backswing by Aaron Burch

45.) You Feel So Mortal by Peggy Shinner

46.) The Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones

47.) The New Black, various writers, edited by Richard Thomas

48.) Neverhome by Laird Hunt

49.) Alone in America by Robert Ferguson

50.) Cutting Teeth by Julia Fierro

51.) Notable American Women by Ben Marcus

52.) If I Would Leave Myself Behind by Lauren Becker

53.) Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins

54.) Commercial Fiction by Dave Housley

55.) Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

56.) Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (re-read)

57.) Princesse de Cleves by Madame de Lafayette

58.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (re-read)

59.) Democracy by Joan Didion

60.) Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

61.) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

62.) Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (re-read)

63.) Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison

64.) Candide by Voltaire

65.) The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

66.) A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne

67.) Sprawl by Danielle Dutton

68.) Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

69.) The Poor Man's Guide to an Affordable, Painless Suicide by Schuler Benson

70.) Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

71.) Distant Star by Roberto Bolano

72.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

73.) Women by Chloe Caldwell

74.) Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz

75.) Binary Star by Sarah Gerard

76.) Forest of Fortune by Jim Ruland

77.) Once I Was Cool by Megan Stielstra

78.) A Different Bed Every Time by Jac Jemc

79.) Fat Man and Little Boy by Mike Meginnis

80.) Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

81.) Kill Manual by Cassandra Troyan

Some brief notes on these readings:

--I smiled when I typed this out and wrote the names Ben Tanzer, Megan Stielstra, and Leesa-Cross Smith. Back in July, I had the amazing honor of reading with these amazing people (including Paul Luikart and Steve Karas) in support of Leesa's debut story collection (the aforementioned Every Kiss a War). Frankly, I need to get more confident about reading my work in public. I'm really new to that part of the game, and I'm still honored that I was invited to share the stage with these lovely, talented people. I'll never forget that evening.

--I can't pick a favorite book, but one that stuck with me a lot was Binary Star, which is being published this month. Sarah Gerard writes with amazing details, forms, and emotions, and I was fascinated, repelled, and captivated by the relationship in her book. Read it when you get a chance. Yes, you.

--As I write my own novel, I'm constantly struggling with spacing, details, and how the narrative voice should take shape. I'm grateful for Jim Ruland's Forest of Fortune and Lindsay Hunter's Ugly Girls. These novels have very distinct narrative voices, and the pacing and layouts gave me ideas on how to go about my own story. This project is a challenge, but I'm happy that I can read books with an eye for narrative. For this, I also thank my professor Kyle Beachy and his "Finding Voices" workshop this fall.

--A final shout-out to Megan Stielstra. Once I Was Cool was such a wonderful collection, and I almost cried on the train when I read the essay "This is Scary and Here I Go:"

It was in that quad, on my way to my very first class, that the panic kicked in: What am I doing here? How did I get here? Am I a total fraud?

I've grown so much as a writer over these last couple years, yet, when I'm struggling with a piece of writing, or I get another form rejection letter, I sometimes wonder if I'm a fraud and will have the rug pulled out from under me. But I realize that some of my favorite writers struggle with this all the time. When I finished this book, I tweeted that it made me feel less alone. And for this, I'll always be grateful for having read it. Thank you, Megan. I needed that.

Have a productive 2015, everyone. Thank you to the writers on this long list. I'm glad I spent time with you.