2023: A(nother) Year in Books

I’m not going to be too defensive about my count this year. Twenty-five books is a perfectly acceptable number of books to read. Far more than most people read in a year or even a lifetime, no doubt. Nevertheless, I will point a few things out. One: several of the books were long, and I’ve noted the page counts of the three longest. Two: There were some graphic novels, which I’ve included separately at the end but could’ve totally counted. And three: Toronto’s library system was hit by a huge ransomware attack, throwing my whole reading plan into chaos!

Okay, that last part is a half-truth… which is to say the part about the ransomware attack is true. But all it really disrupted for me was my plan to get through all the A books on my holds list. (The decision was made because I always add new books onto the list as I take others out, and consequently, it never feels like I’m making any progress! And while I mostly accept that I will always have more books that I want to read than books I have time left in this life to read, it was nice to create some semblance of progress!) Of course, as I write this, the website has been down for something like five months (curse you, hackers, and I mean that!), so it’s possible my holds list is gone forever! But at least I got through all of the A section but ONE BOOK… which I remember, so I’ll still get to it either way.

Anyway, that did get a little defensive… so I’m also going to add in some self-criticism. Looking at the list, I’m realizing it’s a lot more homogenous in terms of authors than I would like. Something to keep an eye on again next/this year. But for now, without further ado (or as a certain someone said many times this past year to my amusement, “without further adieu”), here’s what I read in 2023:

  1. We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland, Fintan O’Toole
  2. Dune, Frank Herbert
  3. Joan, Katharine J. Chen
  4. This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me), Marisa Meltzer
  5. My Dark Vanessa, Kate Elizabeth Russell
  6. The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon
  7. Antkind, Charlie Kaufman (705 pages!)
  8. All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told, Douglas Wolk
  9. American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment, Shane Bauer
  10. King: A Life, Jonathan Eig (557 pages!)
  11. Autopsy of a Boring Wife, Marie-Renee Lavoie (translated by Arielle Aaronson)
  12. The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees, Ben Mezrich
  13. All This Could Be Yours, Jami Attenberg
  14. The Fake, Zoe Whittall
  15. Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr (626 pages!)
  16. The Marriage Portrait, Maggie O’Farrell
  17. Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America, James Poniewozik
  18. Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Melissa Maerz
  19. Who Gets In: An Immigration Story, Norman Ravvin
  20. The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet, John Green
  21. All the Knowledge in the World: The Extraordinary History of the Encyclopedia, Simon Garfield
  22. The Adversary, Michael Crummey
  23. How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, Michael Schur
  24. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America, Elizabeth Wurtzel
  25. How Basketball Can Save the World: Thirteen Guiding Principles for Reimagining What’s Possible, David Hollander

Bonus (comic) materials:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (I can’t remember offhand which ones ‘cause the library system is still down, but several!)

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, Frank Miller & John Romita Jr.

Daredevil: Born Again, Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Jody Houser & Adriana Melo

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