I love year-end lists. I read them even if I’m not interested in the subject, just for the wonder of it, like The Year in Potatoes, or Messiest Celebrity Break-Ups of 2019. So I look forward to my annual list of what I read each year. I hope you’ll find it interesting, too. As always, there is no annotation (although I do keep notes for myself after each book I read). They are listed according to when I read them, early in the year to the one just finished. There is no mention of what I liked best or what I didn’t like at all (alas, there were a couple of those this year). And also, again, poetry is not included. I suppose I just read poetry so differently that I don’t keep track of it in the same way. But there were so many wonderful collections out this year, I would like to at least give a nod to these fine poets: Colin Bell, Noel Duffy, Pascale Petit, Justin Ahren, Danez Smith, Lucia Orellana-Damacela, Myra Schneider (all of whom can be googled). And now for the list:

  1. Joyce Carol Oates, Hazards of Time Travel
  2. Colin Bell, Blue Notes Still Frames
  3. VG Lee, Mr. Oliver’s Object of Desire
  4. Andrew Sean Greer, Less
  5. Andrew Sean Greer, The Impossible Lives of Greta Welt
  6. Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar
  7. Alex Kotlowitz, An American Summer
  8. Sigrid Nunez, The Friend
  9. Leigh Forbes, Conversations with My Children
  10. Elizabeth Becker, When the War Was Over
  11. J.D.Vance, Hillbilly Elegy
  12. Mark Kurlansky, Ready for a Brand New Beat: How ‘Dancing in the Street’ Became the Anthem for a Changing America
  13. John McPhee, Draft #4
  14. Madeline Miller, Circe
  15. Richard Russo, Chances Are…
  16. Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  17. Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim
  18. Mary Norris, Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen
  19. James Ryan, Wait. What?
  20. Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered
  21. Holden Thorp/Buck Goldstein, Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and Its Colleges and Universities

Happy reading, everyone. Happy holidays, too. See you next year!!