What I Read in 2022

December 31, 2022 § Leave a comment

[R=reread; ARC= advance reading copy]

  1. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (R)
  2. The Best American Short Stories 2022,Jesmyn Ward, ed.
  3. Bunny, Mona Awad
  4. A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipaul
  5. Niagara Falls All Over Again, Elizabeth McCracken
  6. Sirens & Muses, Antonia Angress; A debut novel about art, desire, and ambition that I wrote about here.)
  7. Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Mark Russell (R)
  8. Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
  9. The Colossus and Other Poems, Sylvia Plath
  10. Pitch Dark, Renata Adler (R) (This one gets overshadowed by Speedboat, I think. Both are good.)
  11. Craft in the Real World, Matthew Salesses
  12. Intruder in the Dust, William Faulkner
  13. A Fairly Good Time, Mavis Gallant
  14. Refuse to Be Done, Matt Bell (this one turned out to be super helpful as I worked on my own novel.)
  15. Also a Poet, Ada Calhoun (an unapologetic memoir about the author’s tense relationship with her father, the art critic Peter Schjeldahl, who died after it was published. Written about here)
  16. The Art of Cruelty, Maggie Nelson (a book that complicates the idea of freedom in ways I didn’t always agree with, written about here)
  17. Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun, Jeff Chon (an intelligent and uncanny book about the dark cells of the internet, written about here)
  18. Brainiac, Ken Jennings
  19. Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart (It deserved all the accolades. A beautiful rendered story about family that understands the struggles of the lower classes without fetishizing their plights.)
  20. The Free World, Louis Menand (I love Menand and had been waiting for this one for ages; it was a fun read even though there wasn’t much that tied it together in the end.)
  21. Go, Went, Gone, Jenny Erpenbeck (I had been wanting to try Erpenbeck and was glad I did, though the plot of this one was odd.)
  22. The Girls, Emma Cline (She has quietly become one of my favorite writers.)
  23. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (R) (I went back to this one because it plays a role in the plot of Chon’s novel.)
  24. The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner (This may have been my favorite of the year.
  25. The All-American, Joe Milan (ARC)
  26. The Hero of This Book, Elizabeth McCracken
  27. Pop Song, Larissa Pham (These kinds of essays I like–personal but informed by knowledge and a critical eye that looks both at art and in on the self.)
  28. Iceland’s Bell, Halldor Laxness
  29. The War for Gloria, Atticus Lish (Another one I had been waiting for because I liked his first book so much, and it was about a mother with ALS, a subject close to my heart. The story between Gloria and her son is rendered beautifully and realistically, but for some reason it was wrapped in this other, lesser story about dull men throwing their weight around.)
  30. Hanging Out, Sheila Liming (ARC)
  31.  The Sense of Wonder, Matthew Salesses (ARC)
  32. Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  33. The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  34. All-Night Pharmacy, Ruth Madievsky (ARC)
  35. The Trumpet of the Swan, E. B. White (R)
  36. Singer Distance, Ethan Chatagnier (ARC)
  37. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  38. The Best American Short Stories 2022, Andrew Sean Greer, ed.
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