In 2018, I challenged myself to read a book every other week. And I failed miserably. Here’s the ones I did read, and the list of 52 books I read in 2017 is below. Ah, those were more ambitious times…
1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
It should be required reading among all Americans.
2. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
It's hilarious, smart, and a love story!
3. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
You won't believe it's non-fiction. Truly.
4. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottesa Moshfegh
A little messed up, but ultimately awesome.
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
The hype is so real.
TWO TO SKIP
The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
THE FULL LIST
1. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
2. The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown
3. Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman
4. Love Rules by Joanna Coles
5. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
6. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
7. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
8. When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
9. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
10. I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
11. The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
12. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Celmantine Wamariya
13. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
14. Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
15. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottesa Moshfegh
16. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
17. This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips
18. Becoming by Michelle Obama
In 2017, I challenged myself to read a book a week. That's #52BooksIn52Weeks. Yup.
Hundreds of you (no joke) asked for the full list, so I've included it here for your next trip to your local indie bookshop. Ok, fine, Amazon.
MY TOP 10
(in no particular order bc they're all gems)
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
This memoir cuuuuts, and if you've heard anything about it, there's that one scene in Mongolia. (Yep, I cried.) I recommended this one the most this year. Sidebar: If you're not feeling a whole book, at least read this terrifying/amazing piece she wrote about ayahuasca for The New Yorker in 2016.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Mind. Blown. It's historical fiction, and it tracks the black experience in America, from slavery on, through two sisters. Oh gosh, I'm just remembering that I cried reading this one, too.
Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin
This should be required reading for everyone everywhere. It's a takedown of what I call "Instagram feminism" and the commercialization of the women's movement. You'll hold the book in one hand, and fist pump with the other.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Crap, I should just call this my crying list. But you're truly soulless if a book about resilience after losing a spouse doesn't get to you. It's not ALL gloom—she backs a lot it up with current research and even adjusts some of the stuff she said in Lean In.
Exit West by Moshin Hamid
Obama loved this novel, too. (High five, Barry!) It's about refugees who flee their homes through magical doors, and you can def read it in a long afternoon or weekend. So. Good.
The Hot One by Carolyn Murnick
Murder with a side of Ashton Kutcher? I'm so in. This one is basically the book form of all your favorite true crime podcasts, and I binged on it just as hard. Actually had to put it down at parts to catch my breath.
Made For Love by Alissa Nutting
The cover looks like an airbrushed shirt you'd buy in Miami Beach, and the story is insane (aka a dude in it has sex with dolphins), but it's so crazy that it works.
Lincoln In the Bardo by George Saunders
It's written in a script format, which means lots of white space, which means you can tackle it quickly. But you won't want to, because you'll want to stay in the "bardo" (a kind of purgatory where Lincoln's deceased teenage son hangs out after he dies) for a good long while.
The Nix by Nathan Hill
It's epic (and long, just FYI) in the way The Goldfinch was for me. I loved The Goldfinch though, and I also loved The Nix. It weaves between the stories of a mother and her son: he's a struggling writer addicted to video games, she's a former radical in Chicago.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
If I'm gonna read a celeb memoir, it's got to be entertaining af. Guys, she pooped in her ex's shoes. Pooped. In. Her. Ex's. Shoes.
(as in, skip these)
Chemistry by Weike Wang
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Marlena by Julie Buntin (controversial, I know)
Unqualified by Anna Faris
BOOKS I READ THAT WERE
WRITTEN BY WOMEN
THE FULL LIST
(* = nonfiction)
1 The Nix by Nathan Hill
2 Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates*
3 Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes*
4 Loner by Teddy Wayne
5 Losing It by Emma Rathbone
6 The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher*
7 How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell*
8 Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
9 Selfish by Kim Kardashian West*
10 You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson*
11 Exit West by Moshin Hamid
12 Mortality by Christopher Hitchens*
13 The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy*
14 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
15 Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott*
16 All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
17 Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
18 When You Find Out The World is Against You by Kelly Oxford*
19 Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant*
20 Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
21 South and West by Joan Didion*
22 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
23 A Separation by Katie Kitamura
24 Startup by Doree Shafrir
25 Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
26 Hourglass by Dani Shapiro*
27 Chemistry by Weike Wang
28 The Hot One by Carolyn Murnick*
29 Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco*
30 Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
31 Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae*
32 Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
33 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson*
34 Marlena by Julie Buntin
35 We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie*
36 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
37 Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin*
38 Theft By Finding by David Sedaris*
39 Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
40 Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance*
41 Unqualified by Anna Faris*
42 Would Everybody Please Stop? by Jenny Allen*
43 Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
44 What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton*
45 Made For Love by Alissa Nutting
46 Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood*
47 Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
48 Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
49 Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden*
50 Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
51 Hunger by Roxane Gay*
52 The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish*
HAPPY READING YA'LL