Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Readings, 2019 Goals

Welcome to 2019, and welcome to my annual reading recap.

Here's what I wrote last year:

"For 2018, I want to double down on small press support, especially with so many eagerly anticipated titles forthcoming. I'm not going to make any grand, specific goals, because I'll undoubtedly fail, so I'll shoot for 60-70 books.

I have a Goodreads account, but I only use it to update my readings, not to rate or review titles, I'm going to do that more this year, but I feel uneasy with the horribly unscientific nature of the site, but I do know that ratings are helpful for small press writers. In lieu of ratings or playing favorites, the books that I've highlighted in bold spoke to me in various ways. You can call these my favorites, or merely strong highlights."

While I didn't make any "grand, specific goals," I did fall short of my 60-70 book goal, ending 2018 with 43 books read. And I said I'd use Goodreads more, but I went in the exact opposite direction: over the summer, I took a social media break, and in the process, I deleted my Goodreads account. There were a couple factors in this decision. One, Amazon. Two, Amazon. The company has owned Goodreads for a couple years now, and while its sometimes (sadly) the only option for some small presses, I just couldn't take the layout, the star ratings, the lists with no substance, the marketing gimmicks. What this means for me is I'll simply have to do better myself about supporting small presses, writers, and journals in ways outside Goodreads. I'm almost never on Facebook anymore, but I might have to take a "lesser of two evils" approach and use my Facebook more to highlight new books and writers I discover in 2019. I believe I do that well enough on Twitter, but I'll double down and make sure I do across multiple platforms, but breaks and gaps will happen.

2019 reading goals: the usual, right ones. Read more, support indie presses, and read diversely.

Happy New Year, y'all.


1.) A Childhood: The Biography of a Place by Harry Crews

2.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

3.) Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash

4.) Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

5.) How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon

6.) Bad Anatomy by Hannah Cohen

7.) The Border of Paradise by Esmé Weijun Wang

8.) The Science of Unvanishing Objects by Chloe N. Clark

9.) Eats of Eden by Tabitha Blankenbiller

10.) White Girls by Hilton Als

11.) Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang

12.) Cult of Loretta by Kevin Maloney

13.) Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

14.) Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu

15.) Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

16.) We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

17.) So Sad Today by Melissa Broder

18.) This Will be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

19.) Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

20.) How to Be Safe by Tom McAllister

21.) Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin

22.) Nobody Knows My Name by James Baldwin

23.) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

24.) No Name in the Street by James Baldwin

25.) The Thibodaux Massacre by John DeSantis

26.) The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin

27.) Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

28.) Redeployment by Phil Klay

29.) Tell Me If You're Lying by Sarah Sweeney

30.) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

31.) Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide to Beasts of the Southern Wild by Allie Marini

32.) The Girl & the Fox Pirate by Kate Gehan

33.) Hungry People by Tasha Coryell

34.) Feel Free by Zadie Smith

35.) The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg

36.) Destroy All Monsters by Jeff Jackson

37.) Florida by Lauren Groff

38.) How to Sit by Tyrese Coleman

39.) Pretend We Live Here by Genevieve Hudson

40.) The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

41.) The Wrong Way to Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra

42.) Person by Sam Pink

43.) The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

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