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.