What I read in 2021

75 books in 2021

The kindest way I can describe 2021 is the cliche, One step forward, two steps back.

The year began in pandemic lockdown. I became obsessed with women artists throughout history and read as much about them as I could. I also dove deep to learn more about the history of tarot cards — which is also the history of any playing card deck.

This was THE year for historical fiction–I read “Wolf Hall,” “Song of Achilles,” AND “Hamnet” in 2021.

In the middle of the year work called me back in-person; we were vaxed and dined out (usually still outside); I did, one time, wear a mask and board an airplane and fly over state lines.

This year I also sold a chapbook to an excellent indie publisher, and I love and cherish everyone who purchased a copy. Selling books is hard when you’re on semi-lockdown all the time.

Now in-person work is suspended again. It’s been two weeks and every day is starting to feel the same. In the mornings I listen to audiobooks and stitch. In the evenings I read paper pages.

An interesting mix … that what was 2021 was, in life and work and definitely in my reading.

All told I read 75 books. Not being able to go anywhere for 3/4 of the year certainly helped!

1. Death in her Hands — Ottesa Moshfegh (fiction)
2. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson (poetry)
3. Wolf Hall — Hilary Mantel (historical fiction)
4. Sophie Taueber-Arp and the Avante-Garde: A Biography — Roswitha Mair (nonfiction/bio)
5. The Henna Artist – Alka Joshi (fiction)
6. This This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love. – Jennifer Wortman (short fiction collection)
7. We Flew Over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold (nonfiction/memoir)
8. Lion’s Paw — Kathleen Peirce (poetry)
9. The Owl House – Daniel Butler (nonfiction/memoir)
10. The Fifty-First State – Lisa Borders (fiction)
11. Ordinary Life: Stories – Elizabeth Berg (short fiction collection)
12. Milk Fed – Melissa Broder (fiction)
13. A Gate at the Stars – Lorrie Moore (fiction)
14. Luster – Raven Leilani (fiction)
15. Hungry People – Tasha Coyell (short fiction collection)
16. Maisie Dobbs – Jaqueline Winspear (fiction / mystery)
17. Detransition, Baby — Torrey Peters (fiction)
18. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid (fiction)
19. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – Grady Henrix (horror/fiction)
20. Craft in the Real World: Rethinking fiction writing and workshopping – Matthew Salesses (nonfiction / craft)
21. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century – Barbara Tuchman
22. The Women of Weird Tales: Stories by Everil Worrell, Eli Colter, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, and Greye Le Spina – Melanie Anderson, ed. (short fiction anthology)
23. Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams – Michael Allerd, Steve Horton, Laura Allerd (graphic novel)
24. The Chin Kiss King – Ana Veciana-Suarez (fiction)
25. Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson (novel-in-verse)
26. Libertie – Kaitlyn Greenige
27. Rhythm of War – Brandon Sanderson ( Fantasy / Book 4 of the Stormlight Archive)
28. Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller (historical fiction)
29. Art As Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art – Gregory Sholette, Chloë Bass, Social Practice Queens (art theory / academic)
30. You Are MIGHTY: A Guide to Changing the World – Caroline Paul (YA nonfiction)
31. This Book is Antiracist – Tiffany Jewell (YA nonfiction)
32. Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell (historical fiction)
33. Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson (YA Poetry)
34. How Music Works – David Byrne (nonfiction / music theory / memoir)
35. Mugs – Katie Haegele , Vanessa Berry (nonfiction / memoir)
36. Out and About: Joe and Katie Walk Around Philly – Joseph Carlough and Katie Haegele (nonfiction)
37. 20,: Erasure Poems of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jennifer Roche (poetry)
38. Linked By Ink: Marquette Journalism Grads Reflect on Six Decades (essay / memoir)
39. The Sprawl: Reconsidering the weird American suburbs – Jason Diamond (nonfiction)
40. The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book – Don Miguel Ruiz (self-help)
41. Silt: Ein Hard-Boiled Spiel – Chris Geier (mystery)
42. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card (Sci-Fi by a problematic writer!)
43. In the Dream House – Carmen Maria Machado (CNF / memoir)
44. The Long Weeping: Portrait Essays – Jessie Van Eerden
45. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke (fantasy)
46. In the Miso Soup – Ryu Murakami (noir / horror)
47. The Atmospherians – Alex McElroy (fiction)
48. Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld (bad)
49. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies – Resmaa Menakem
50. Heavy: An American Memoir – Kiese Laymon
51. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig (fiction)
52. Out – Natsuo Kirino (horror / noir)
53. The Sandman Omnibus Vol 2 – Neil Gaiman (graphic novels)
54. Silver Sparrow – Tayari Jones (fiction)
55. The Weddings – Alexander Chee (fiction)
56. The Book of Errors – Annie Coogan (art / history)
57. Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess through Myth, Art, and Tarot – Vicki Noble (art history)
58. Queering the Tarot – Cassandra Snow (nonfiction)
59. So Easy to Love – j.a. pak (fiction)
60. Midnight Blue – Simone van der Vlugt (historical fiction)
61. Appleseeed – Matt Bell (no genre. all genres?)
62. A Wicked Pack of Cards: The origins of the occult tarot – Decker, DePaules, Drummett (nonfiction / academic)
63. Trust Exercise – Susan Choi (fiction)
64. Sybelia Drive – Karin Cecile Davidson (fiction)
65. Wintering – Katherine May (nonfiction / memoir)
66. The Language of Vision
67. Villette – Charlotte Bronte (fiction)
68. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse – Charlie Mackesy
69. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me – Mariko Tamaki (graphic novel)
70. Folktales for the Diseased Individual – Palaces (short nonfiction collection)
71. House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed – Sara Gay Forden (nonfiction)
72. The Mindful Teen: Powerful skills to help you handle stress one moment at a time – Dzung H. Zo (nonfiction)
73. Donuts in Space – Jerica Taylor (linked flash fiction collection)
74. A Personal Devil – Roberta Gellis (historical mystery)
75. Out of Office: The big problem and bigger promise of working from home- Anne Helen Petersen and Charlies Warzel (nonfiction)

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