2019 reading list

What a year I had with all things writing, workshopping, editing, performing, and of course, reading. My top read of 2019 goes to the groundbreaking and utterly delicious Paul takes the form of a mortal girl by Andrea Lawlor. They have created such an intersting, nostalgic, sexy and moving work of fiction that centres itself in an unapologetically queer world.


Here is the complete list of what I read in 2019:

  1. The Goldbum Variations – Helen McClory
  2. Extra Teeth Magazine – Issue #1
  3. The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner
  4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  5. A Single Man – Christopher Isherwood
  6. It’s Not About the Burqa – edited by Mariam Khan
  7. Ceremony – various authors + me
  8. The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales – Kirsty Logan
  9. Escape from Earth – Fraser MacDonald
  10. The Seafarers – Stephen Rutt
  11. A Superior Spectre – Angela Meyer
  12. Stroke – Ricky Monahan Brown
  13. Blushing Is For Sinners – Tracy Patrick
  14. All the Time We Thought We Had – Gordon Darroch
  15. Threads of Life – Clare Hunter
  16. Overlander – Alan Brown
  17. Nevertheless – Shane Strachan
  18. The Doll Factory – Elizabeth Macneal
  19. A Code for Carolyn: A Genomic Thriller – V. Anne Smith
  20. Lotería Cards and Fortune Poems: A Book of Lives – Juan Felipe Herrera
  21. The Line Becomes a River – Francisco Cantú
  22. Amphibian – Christina Neuwirth
  23. The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories
  24. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
  25. Gutter Magazine – Issue #18
  26. Trout, Belly Up – Rodrigo Fuentes
  27. Tokyo Ueno Station – Miri Yu
  28. Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz – Ely Percy
  29. We Are The End – Gonzalo C. Garcia
  30. Far Off Places (literary magazine)
  31. I Am A Pretty Circler – Iain Morrison
  32. A Star Called Henry – Roddy Doyle
  33. The Refugees – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  34. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl – Andrea Lawlor
  35. Memoirs of a Polar Bear – Yoko Tawada
  36. Let Me Tell You This – Nadine Aisha Jassat
  37. Wain – Rachel Plummer
  38. Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney
  39. Milkman – Anna Burns
  40. We Were Always Here – various authors + me

2020 reading list

This was truly a year like no other. Like many, I would never have predicted 2020 to turn out the way it did. I vividly can recall how I rang in 2020 on December 31st which was such a far cry to what today looks like. As trying as this year has been, I am grateful for the opportunities of growth in my writing career and for actively broadening my reading choices. I am thankful for these novelists, poets, and writers who helped guide me through the ups and downs of 2020. I am thankful for all the opportunities to speak, perform, and publish my own writing. Mostly, I am just thankful for writing and words and their ability to serve as a tonic and escape for me.

This year my top pick has to go to ‘Afropean’ by Johny Pitts which is not like anything I have read before. I don’t read much nonfiction but am grateful I spent time with this wonderful exploration of Black Europe. A truly eye opening read! I look forward to what Pitts does next.

Honourable mentions:

  • Dead Girls, Selva Almada (translator, Annie McDermott)
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  • Dominicana, Angie Cruz
  • Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez
  • I Won’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me, Juan Pablo Villalobos (translator, Daniel Hahn)

A hand holding a copy of a book, Afropean by Johny Pitts.

Here is everything I read in 2020:

  1. Cockfight – María Fernanda Ampuero
  2. The Edwin Morgan Twenties: Scotland – Edwin Morgan
  3. If You Kept A Record of Sins – Andrea Bajani
  4. I Won’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me – Juan Pablo Villalobos
  5. The Havoc of Choice – Wanjiru Koinange
  6. Afropean – Johnny Pitts
  7. Memorial – Bryan Washington
  8. Where The Memory Was – Hibaq Osman
  9. Poor – Caleb Femi
  10. To Be A Man – Nicole Krauss
  11. You Will Be Safe Here – Damian Barr
  12. Ramifications – Daniel Saldaña París
  13. Dominicana – Angie Cruz
  14. Mother Country – edited by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff
  15. The Distance – Ivan Vladislavic
  16. Me and White Supremacy – Layla F Saad
  17. This Mournable Body – Tsitsi Dangarembga
  18. Constitution Street – Jemma Neville
  19. Dead Girls – Selva Almada
  20. In Memory’s Dance – Murid L Keshtmand
  21. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  22. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  23. The End of Eddy – Édouard Louis
  24. The Wind That Lays Waste – Selva Almada
  25. Rainbow Milk – Paul Mendez
  26. Your Silence Will Not Protect You – Audre Lorde
  27. Sons and Lovers – D.H Lawrence
  28. The Dizziness of Freedom – Bad Betty Press
  29. Holiday Heart – Maragrita García Robayo
  30. We That Are Young – Preti Taneja
  31. The Adventures of China Iron – Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
  32. The Green Road – Anne Enright
  33. An Orphan World – Giuseppe Caputo
  34. Animals Eat Each Other – Elle Nash
  35. Falsos Odiseos – Gabriel Rodríguez Liceaga
  36. The Panopticon – Jenni Fagan
  37. The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
  38. Hinge – Alycia Pirmohamed
  39. The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
  40. Mayhem & Death – Helen McClory
  41. Tonguit – Harry Josephine Giles
  42. Jellyfish – Janice Galloway
  43. The Spell – Alan Hollinghurst
  44. Sal – Mick Kitson
  45. Broken Sleep Books 2019 Anthology
  46. The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo
  47. Collected Stories – Janice Galloway
  48. EARTH: 404 ink magazine
  49. Hijito – Carlos Andrés Gómez
  50. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong