2018 Reading List

19 Slow Medicine by Victoria Sweet
“We doctors think we’re so important,” he told me, “but the way it works is that in any disease about a third of the patients get better, a third get worse, and a third stay the same—and all we do is change who does what.”

18.
The Pawnbroker’s Daughter by Maxine Kumin
What a horrible world this is when mass extermination comes to be spoken of so calmly and with such calculation.

17.
Learn Italian with Paul Noble (audiobook)

16.
Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, edited by John Freeman
telling my grandkids about the dust that use to rule us ~Danez Smith

15.
of form & gather by Felicia Zamora
Think mason jar; think your small hands in capture; think humidity of summer’s dark; think you, arms wide, in field of yellow glow.

14.
Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Some girls on the other side of this planet
will never know the loveliness
of walking in a crepe silk sari.

13.
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
don’t ask. don’t tell
many stories about queerness are about shame

12.
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
After years of investigating murders Chief Inspector Gamache knew one thing about hate. It bound you forever to the person you hated. Murder wasn’t committed out of hate, it was done as a terrible act of freedom. To finally rid yourself of the burden.

11.
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
I have now reigned about fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting. In this situation I have diligently number the days of pure and genuine happiness which I have fallen to my lot: they amount to fourteen. ~Abd-ar-Rahman III

10.
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
I will always be grateful to have been the Democratic Party’s nominee and to have earned 65,844,610 votes from my fellow Americans. That number—more votes than any candidate for President has ever received, other than Barack Obama—is proof that the ugliness we faced in 2016 does not define our country.

9.
A Small Story About the Sky by Alberto Rios
How easy to spend a day writing a poem,
How hard to spend a life writing a thousand.

8.
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
“Believe me, not a single murderer every thought, ‘Wow, this is stupid, but I’m going to do it anyway.’”

7.
Still Life by Louise Penny
Almost invariably people expected that if you were a good person you shouldn’t meet a bad end, that only the deserving are killed. And certainly only the deserving are murdered. However well hidden and subtle, there was a sense that a murdered person was somehow asking for it.

6.
We Are All Shipwrecks by Kelly Grey Carlisle
“That was a really nice thing your grandfather did. It meant a lot to him. He got to see a happy ending.”

5.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and justice—and does so more than any other artifact, any other medium.

4.
Have Dog, Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey by Stephen Kuusisto
We all face a choice between freedom and grief.

3.
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
“It’s what I want. It’s my programming. I can’t possibly know, and it’s a completely uninteresting question to me. I don’t even believe in consciousness. When I’ve got my autonomy, I’ll still be programmed.”

2.
100 Selected Poems by e.e. cummings
—Who wields a poem huger than the grave?

1.
Upstream by Mary Oliver
I would say that there exist a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and chances are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things, and then closing the list. The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River—we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together. We are each other’s destiny.