April 2018

Yesterday my novel in progress went from being 150 pages to being 8 pages. I am more panicked than I have ever been in my literary career. I am wondering why I am doing this, if I can do this, if doing this is going to kill me in the end. I think I have to just spend the next month reading to remind me that that is the point of it all. Also, Donald Trump is president, so I would much rather live in the world of fiction than reality.

New People by Danzy Senna
Hilarious and moving and everything you would expect form a Senna novel.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is one of my favorite writers. I have lots of favorites, but she is really stupendous. Read this book if you haven’t yet.

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck
Why can’t I write novels like this? What is even the point of writing novels if one can’t write novels like this?

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
The point of writing novels is to get early galleys of incredible novels like this one. My book is kicking my ass so hard that I think one of the reasons I’m still in this business is because I get to read books like this.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
I am writing a Western television show, and this remarkable book landed on my lap. I will have to steal everything in it and pretend I’ve stolen nothing.

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst
Again, I think this might be one of my favorite writers. When I bought this book, I did what I do every time I buy a book by Hollinghurst: I holed up in bed, ignored my family, and cried when it was over.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Twisty and weird and wonderful, like all the best Kate Atkinson novels.

From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler's Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation by Steve Ross
I don’t understand how this man managed to bring so much joy and optimism to his life after experiencing what he did in the Holocaust. To say he is an inspiration is so completely trite, but so completely true.

The Recovering by Leslie Jameson
Jameson is really one of the finest essayists writing in America today.

Moving Kings by Joshua Cohen
I had a boyfriend who worked for Moishe’s Moving in New York City for years, so this book is really close to my heart.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Another Western, this one equally remarkable. Who knew there would be so many Westerns in the Zeitgeist right now.

The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
This is my favorite book. It may be the best book in the world.

Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer
It’s really peculiar and unsettling how similar parts of her life history are to my own. 




February 2018

I’m updating this the day after yet another school shooting and I’m feeling angry and disgusted but I’m trying not to let that influence these amazing books I’ve read over the past couple of months.

The One-Hour Drama Series: Producing Episodic Television by Robert Del Valle
Incredibly helpful, both for the show I’m working on now and the ones I hope to be working on soon.

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry
We spent two weeks in Japan and I fell in love with the country. This book is marvelously researched and heartbreaking.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
Rachel Kushner has done something astonishing with this novel. She has given us the life of a woman in prison in a way that is not merely accurate but true in every way. She is one of the best writers writing in America today.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
A marvel.

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
It’s short and it will remind you that time is fucking up.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
All I ever want to do is live in the worlds that Meg creates.

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
How does she do it? How does she write so quickly and so beautifully?

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki
One of my favorite books that I’ve read in the past year or so. It’s constructed differently from most novels. It’s a slice of life that’s so foreign and so delicious. I could have used another 100 pages though.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
I can’t believe how freaked out I am right now. I don't get anywhere near enough sleep and neither do you.

The Maze at Windermere by Gregory B. Smith
Beautifully constructed, beautifully written.

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
Mitchell is probably one of my favorite writers. This book is terrific.




November 2017

I've made a vow that I'm going to stop spending hours reading crap on the internet. The world is full of marvelous fiction. I want to read that, not the latest Trump calamity.

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
It's been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. The language was rich and complicated and fun. The story, too. 

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
She's a terrific writer and this is a wonderful first novel. (Of course now I'm obsessed with the question of whether she had an affair with Philip Roth. Not remotely fair, I know.)

How to Say Goodbye by Wendy MacNaughton
This book is gorgeous and beautiful and sad and ... everything. 

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
Where have I been that I haven't spent all my time gobbling up the works of Ms. Erpenbeck? Fantastic.

La Belle Sauvage The Book of Dust I by Philip Pullman
I don't usually enjoy children's literature but I had a blast reading this. 

Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth
We're going to Japan!!!

Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
Her life in letters is as enviably glitzy and glorious as on instagram. 

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
My husband is - bar none - the best writer in the English language. You might have your favorites, too, but I stand by mine. This book is astonishingly great. 

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart 
How did I, a person who hates the world of finance so much, have such an absolute blast reading this terrific novel? 

Wolf Season by Helen Benedict
The author has such a compassionate and yet clear-eyed understanding of the myriad costs of war. Blew my mind. 

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
First of all, this is terrific. Really beautiful and compelling. But I'm not sure how this is a novel and not a short story. It makes me wonder why we don't publish more short stories as little books. 

October 2017

I've been reading a ton of fiction. I wonder if the fact that I've totally sworn off Twitter except to post links has anything to do with that? If so, talk about a win, win, win, win situation. Twitter is a cesspit and I'm glad I don't read it anymore. Facebook is just as bad. What has it brought us besides Donald Trump?

Anyway, we're here to talk about books! And I read some great ones. 

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
This book is magnificent. The diving stuff? Insanely awesome. 

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Finding an excellent new novelist is a joy. 

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
Broke my heart into pieces.

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander
His best yet. Hilarious and tragic all at once. 

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin
Where's her goddamn Nobel Prize?

Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
Takes erudition to a whole new level. 

All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler
So dirty! So real! So great!

Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
Stuck with me for weeks. 

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
Another terrific novel by one our best. 

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
Scared the living shit out of me. 

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Just terrific

August 2017

Ugh. My June update somehow got lost and I can't for the life of me remember what I read. I was tempted to quit, but I still get periodic requests for updates and thank yous from readers, so I'll keep going, even though I'm demoralized at the data loss. I mean, I'm demoralized at the fucking world right now, so what else is new? 

We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled by Wendy Pearlman
These stories are devastating. A remarkable feat of research and empathy. 

Victor Tausk's Suicide by K.R. Eissler
The author is completely obsessed and his theories are nuts, but it's fascinating. And it's research. 

The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches From Syria by Janine Di Giovanni
Another remarkable collection about the most important issue of our time.

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea: The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel by Melissa Fleming
The story is astonishing though there were odd elisions.

The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria by Alia Malek 
So full of fascinating and tragic detail.

All the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan
This book is not only gorgeous, but heartbreaking. The author is unsparing with herself - a requirement of writing honesty about such fraught subjects.

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
I love a long, juicy Rushdie novel. 

White Tears by Hari Kunzru
Weird and wonderful.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko
I read this in a single day. Couldn't put it down.

Hourglass by Dani Shapiro
Too, too, too close to home.

The Incest Diary by Anonymous
Oy. I don't even know what to say about this. The writing is remarkable. Let's leave it at that. 

Real American by Julie Lythcott-Haims
The remarkable Julie Lythcott-Haims is many things: a marvelous story teller, a gifted poet, an indomitable advocate. But above all, I think, she is a teacher, who in this astounding book imparts the most compelling of lessons with a profound grace and compassion. To write with such an open heart about race and Blackness takes great courage. To do so in prose that is at once elegant and raw takes great talent. (my blurb!)  

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki
This will totally knock your socks off. 

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

May 2017

In looking back over the past few years, I notice a troubling drop off in the number of books I've been reading. The culprit is obvious. There's just too much good TV out there. But I believe that if you are novelist, you must read and you must read fiction. That is one of the most important places from which inspiration comes. (Those writers who say they don't read so that they aren't "influenced by other writers' style?" I usually find that their style is in dire need of positive influence.) I am a writer because I love to read, and I was stymied on my new novel because I'd been reading so little. 

I went off the the MacDowell Colony and for a week I did nothing but read and walk in the woods (and eat and eat and eat). Then for another week I wrote and read. If I'd had a full month there, I would likely have come home with a solid first draft.

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
I don't usually read plays, but this is my very favorite play. I've seen it twice and both times it was astonishing. I read it because I admire its structure and was hoping to steal it. 

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst
This was a reread, again in order to get tips on structure. 

The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen
His research and his arguments are compelling, but invariably the desire to find a genetic cause for criminality leads to frightening conclusions. 

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Another reread. Everything I believe about Richard III I learned from this master's pen.

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
One shouldn't read Baron-Cohen without first fortifying oneself with Gould. 

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
One of my very favorite books as a child, also read for structure. Funny how I remember the search through the files as this protracted puzzle solved by extraordinary wit and tenacity. Turns out it's like a paragraph long. 

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Another reread, because for a moment I thought I might write a dystopian novel. Changed my mind, but this is, as ever, brilliant. 

The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrére
The accent is in the wrong direction on his name, I know. But I don't think he'd mind, given the delightful games he plays with fiction and nonfiction.

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Please let Ms. Morrison keep writing for a few more years at least!

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
He was just a kid when he wrote this, and yet his depiction of an elderly woman is spot on. 

Lives Other Than My Own by Emmanuel Carrére
I just love the way he plays with the concept of memoir. 

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill
A wonderful novel by a master of the form. 

Modern Gods by Nick Laird
Too much time has passed since Laird's last book, but this was worth the wait!

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Very sweet. 

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Stunning. Visceral. Incredible.

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
I gobbled this up in a couple of hours!

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
Rich and complicated and tragic. 


I don't know about you, but it's been hard for me to focus on fiction, what with the American democracy coming to a fiery and horrible end. Anyway, this is what I've been reading. 

The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank
This is an incredibly fascinating memoir about crazy Hollywood families.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer
This is my new absolute favorite of Andy’s books. Preorder it now.

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
This book is so freakin’ good.

The Darkroom by Susan Faludi
This book will blow your fucking mind. Seriously. Buy it NOW.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
A book about art and artists. I love it.

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
Tremain is a remarkably accomplished writer and here she’s on the top of her game.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
How much do you think it sucks to publish this the same year that Colson publishes Underground Railroad? But this book is really great! Read it!

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
Good book, but I fucking hate squirrels.

Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy
This book is weird and wonderful. Like all of Gowdy's work, it will subtly change how you look at the everyday.

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Joinson
A little slow, but lovely.

Lincoln at the Bardo by George Saunders
I struggled with this because of the placement of the dialogue tags after the sections. But then I got the audiobook and now I understand that it’s a MASTERPIECE. It will win the Pulitzer for sure.


December 2016

I'm ashamed of myself. I've all but given up my primary solace, the reading of novels. I've been doing what you've been doing, I expect. Surfing wildly through the internet, panicking. I'm not going to spew any pablum about the importance of art, but...well...I have always found comfort in books. And now, more than ever, I need comfort. 

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
What does it say about me that I identified so completely with Eileen?

Nutshell by Ian McEwan
I would read McEwan's grocery list. But I didn't need to, because he wrote this incredible, weird, delicious book instead.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
It deserves all of its kudos! Terrific.

The Nix by Nathan Hill
I enjoyed this book very much, but I can't for the life of me remember anything about it now. But that's not the book's fault. It's the fault of the times.

Mischling by Affinity Konar
This book is terrifying and really good.

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
My daughter's absolute favorite book!

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Somehow Mohsin managed even before this horrific election to write exactly the book we would all need to meet.

August 2016

How is it that I read so little this summer? I feel like I am always, always reading but this is evidence to the contrary. Still, maybe a paucity of books but all of them amazing. 

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
This is the book of my summer. So gorgeous, so lush and sweet and funny. I adored this book. 

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
How did I miss Deborah Levy? She's incredible. Brilliant! 

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
I was sick today and just lay in bed reading this incredible book. It's the only thing that made me feel better. 

The Power by Naomi Alderman
I am so lucky I got an early copy of this book. Run, don't walk! It's phenomenal.

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Holy shit. This book is fabulous.

June 2016

At this point, given that nobody goes to websites anymore, and given that I'm so active on Twitter and Facebook, I should probably just shut my website down. But I've kept up this book log for so long! I can't bring myself to part with it. So here's another update! The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien She's a master and this is masterly, though the bit with the dogs seemed sort of tacked on.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby I bought this in an airport when I was about to leave for a lonely trip, and it made me feel like I had company.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett I was such a nudnik with Michael's editor at Harper Collins that she finally let me have a galley of this book. I loved it!

Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet Weird and wonderful.

Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh She's such an amazing writer. Woefully under appreciated.

Noonday by Pat Barker The Regeneration Trilogy are three of my favorite books of all time. It's not fair to Barker. The bar is just too high.

Loving Day by Mat Johnson He's brilliant and this book is marvelous.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith If I could give this 11 stars I would.

A Train in Time by Elizabeth Farnsworth Unlike anything I've ever read. Incredible.

Here I Amy by Jonathan Safran Foer Amazing first half. The Israel stuff left me cold.

The Nest by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney Fun!

The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota Fabulous. Tragic.

Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta I think my favorite of her books

The Way to the Spring by Ben Ehrenreich The best book about the horrors of the Palestinian occupation that I've read in a very very long time.

March 2016

High Dive by Jonathan LeeYesterday I spent the day ignoring my work and my family, because I couldn't look up from the pages of this book. It's that good! Poignant and funny, beautifully written. It's a marvel.

Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in that House by Meghan Daum She's a wonderful essayist, and even though I don't sympathize with the house thing (I bought my house 19 years ago and plan never to move), I was swept up in these essays.

And Again by Jessica Chiarello A good, fast, entertaining read.

Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein Prepare to have your mind blown by this amazing book.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain A reread, every bit as amazing the second time around.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters Kept putting it down, not sure why.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler I loved this.

We That Are Left by Clare Clark Not bad, though it didn't stick with me.

The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus Quick and fun.

Pages for Her by Sylvia Brownrigg Excellent sequel by my dear friend Sylvia!

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James At first I was utterly blown away. Eventually I became obsessed with some narrators and less with others, but that's to be expected.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg Fun, fast.

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont Enjoyable

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders Off the hook, and I despise young narrators as a rule!

Up the Down Volcano by Sloane Crosley Fun.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Excellent though so fucking bleak.

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson He's hilarious

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout Amazing as ever.

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari Informative.

Mislaid by Nell Zink This book is great, though I admit that I didn't rush to read it every day. It took more time than usual to get through.

Rosalie Lightening by Tom Hart Prepare to be devastated

A Sliver of Light by Shane Bauer, Joshua Fatal and Sarah Shourd Astonishing story, very well told.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue It's rare that a book is so fascinating, so emotionally compelling and so beautiful that I literally can't put it down. I picked this up one evening before bed. I turned the last page at dawn. It ruined the next day for me--I wasn't much good for anything but a nap--but it was worth every lost hour.

Lost Cat by Caroline Paul So sweet!

American Housewife by Helen Ellis Terrific stories.

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister Fascinating and beautifully constructed and written.

October 2015

I am working on a project that I'm so incredibly excited about. Can you guess what it is, based on this month's reading? Black Hearts by Jim Frederick This incredibly story of what can go desperately wrong in war riveted me.

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel Terrific and terrifically sad.

Love My Rifle More than You by Kayla Williams Insight into a women's experience in the US Army.

Band of Sisters; American Women at War in Iraq by Kirsten Holmstedt Interesting stories.

What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas Just couldn't get into this

The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida Amazing. Hilarious

The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret Sweet and sad and funny and wonderful.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen A fun, quick read.

Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont A good read.

September 2015

This month my reading has been much like my writing: scattered and unfocused. Random, even. It’s not that I haven’t read wonderful books, but that I don’t seem to know what I’m reading for. I fear this is because I can’t seem to figure out what I’m writing.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews A beautiful book, but one I found it very hard to keep reading at times. I picked it up, I put it down. Over and over again.

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante This book, like it’s predecessors, manages to capture the propulsive yet meandering nature of life itself. Things don’t happen for reasons, people don’t act in ways that make sense. It’s magical.

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr I find it disturbing that I disagreed with so much in this book.

Left of the Bang by Claire Lowdon Very British.

The March by E.L. Doctorow I still loved this novel upon rereading, but its portrayal of Black characters disturbed me slightly.

The Forever War by Dexter Filkins Holy shit. Incredible.

August 2015

This has been a strange couple of months of reading, as I try to figure out what my next project will be. Though reading is my greatest pleasure, nowadays I mostly read books that have something to do with what I'm working on. Sometimes I read to learn facts, but mostly I read to learn about structure, to be inspired by the way other, better writers do things. As I've sort of toggled back and forth between ideas, my reading has shifted, too. Alice & Oliver: A Novel by Charles Bock This one was purely for pleasure. A galley came across my desk. The book is devastatingly beautiful.

Ashley's War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon I learned a ton.

Redeployment by Phil Klay Turns out this book is every bit as good as everyone said it was.

A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore Just a quick distraction. I always enjoy a juicy gothic.

Fobbit by David Abrams Juicy and maddening in the best way.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman Rereading every bit as fabulous as the first time.

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel I want the sequel! And another after that.

The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro Glorious sentences.

July 2015

Once again I find myself reading for work (as ever). See if you can guess based on some of the books in this list what I'm working on! The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits I adore this book. It's her best.

Euphoria by Lily King This swept me away. I couldn't put it down for a minute.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf He's one of my favorite writers. I'm dying to adapt this as a film, but someone got there before me.

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta Brilliant writer. A little hard going for me.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff Run, don't walk, to read this book. It's amazing.

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff Lovely and heart-breaking.

The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer This is the best novel about California I've read in I don't know how long.

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley God, I hate books about spirituality.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe I also hate books about the counter culture.

LSD: My Problem Child by Albert Hofmann Incredibly fascinating.

Myself and I by Constance A. Newline Seriously fucking weird.

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf Why didn't I reread this a decade ago?

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman Mind-blowing.

Started Early, Took my Dog by Kate Atkinson Super fun quick read.

Husband and Wife by Zeruya Shalev Tore my heart out by the roots.

Drug Crazy: How We Got Into this Mess and How We Can Get Out by Mike Grey Best book on the drug war.

March 2015

It's been quite a while since I updated this log. I've been reading plenty, just not updating. My reading has been focused on my new novel, which has gone through various transformations. By and large I've been searching for book that have interesting, unusual structures, making use of alternative media. I've come to the conclusion that in this realm, less is more. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan This is a reread. I had no idea how fucking genius this book was the first time I read it. I was distracted by the music (I'm not so into music) but whatever. Who cares if you're into music? This book is so gorgeous and true. And deeply creative. The powerpoint knocked my socks off.

Night Film by Marishal Pessl I can only imagine how much this book cost to produce. Actors and photographers and graphic designers oh my. It didn't really work for me, but that's just personal.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple A fun reread.

The Three by Sarah Lotz Sort of a horror science fiction thing. Fun, but I wanted a little more Stephen King in the ending.

Us by David Nicholls I was deeply afraid the ending would be sappy, but it wasn't.

Paper Love by Sarah Wildman Ambitious, accomplished. Terrific.

The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis It took me a dozen starts to get into it, but when I finally did, I enjoyed it.

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger If you like to read fluff at the beach, say, this is ideal.

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson A sequel to Life After Life. A great read. I am not obsessed with it as I was with Life After Life, but how could I be?

Samaritan by Richard Price His best book, I think. The female cop is one of the best characters I've ever read. Love.

Tale of a Certain Orient by Milton Hatoum Complicated and difficult but worth persevering.

On Immunity by Eula Biss This book is remarkable. Read it.

December 2014

Up and down, up and down. Great books and a lot of shitty TV. That pretty much describes my autumn. I have been touring endlessly for Love & Treasure, meeting amazing readers in far flung places. Somehow being on a plane makes me gaga and I stare mindlessly at the TV screen rather than dip into a good book. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine A massive leap forward for Rabih. A gorgeous book.

The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis I had to read this in short bursts. It was quite nearly unbearable to live for long with these astonishing and astonishingly vile characters.

The New Confessions by William Boyd I love Boyd when he sprawls. And since my new novel is sprawling, I needed some of his.

Girl at War by Sara Novi´c The first 100 pages of this will knock your socks off.

The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard I'm so completely over the Holocaust novel featuring the innocent child. Still, Shepard managed to bring me in and blow my mind. At least there were no fucking good Germans.

Trial by Fire by Gerry Spence Read for work.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel I fucking LOVED this novel. Please go buy it immediately. And please pay full price.

Some Luck by Jane Smiley She is the master.

September 2014

This month I seemed to sink into reading, glad to be home, perhaps. Glad of the break before my various projects hit me full force. Every single thing I read was wonderful. That in and of itself is a miracle. The Hundred Year House by Rebecca Makkai This book somehow wandered into the house, and I'm so glad it did. It was an unexpected delight.

My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name and Those who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante These three novels in the Neapolitan trilogy are simply breathtaking. Remarkable. I can't bear that I have to wait a year for the final installment.

The Children Act by Ian McEwan Masterful, as ever.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay My advice? Read this with a friend so you can sob together.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay I can say only what I said in my blurb, prodigious bravery and eviscerating humor. If you aren't already a Bad Feminist, you will be by the time you finish the book.

Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner There is not doubt this is well written and charming. A lovely way to spend a day. But I have to admit to being somewhat over the "white boy goes abroad and treats a bunch of women badly" genre.

August 2014

This has been a weird and stressful summer, both personally and in terms of the various cataclysms in the world. I read, but with less focus and pleasure than normal. I wonder if there are others out there who had the same experience over the past long, unhappy months. The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig This aching and lovely memoir of a lost world by a man who went on to kill himself seems tragically appropriate to the times.

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald This distracted me for a bit

Consequences by Penelope Lively Lovely novel.

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively Harder for me to focus on.

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff I just whipped through this. The most fun reading all summer.

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom Marvelous.

June 2014

This hasn't happened once in the decade since I started keeping this log, but somehow the pile of "read" books got put back onto the bookshelves! Which leaves me trying hopelessly to recreate the past few months' reading. It's shocking how little I remember. Here goes nothing: Family Life by Akhil Sharma I'm a sucker for an immigrant tale, especially one which features people from India.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr It's not that I didn't enjoy this book. I did. I really did. I guess I just expected to be utterly blown away.

And The Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass I was so glad to reenter the lives of these characters!

The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham I think maybe it's because I read this on my Ipad. I kept losing track of the story. I so much prefer to read an actual book.

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose I swear I'm not being arrogant (I'm far too full of self-loathing for that) when I say that my World War 2 related book is simply better than this one.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel Fucking incredible.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper Meh.

And that's all I can remember. So fucking annoying. I can't believe it. I hate that I'm missing books! Never will I let this happen again.