Das Leben Eines Anderen, Keiichiro Hirano

The City of Good Death, Priyanka Champaneri

Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin


Brooklyn Crime Novel, Jonathan Lethem

The Testament, Margaret Atwood

Enter Ghost, Isabella Hammad

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

The Guide, R.K. Narayan

Circe, Madeline Miller

The Orphanage, Serhij Schadan

Everyone Know Your Mother’s a Witch, Rivka Galchen

Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson

No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy


Matrix, Lauren Groff

Trust, Hernan Diaz

Olive, again, Elizabeth Strout

Dawn, Octavia Butler

I Hate the Internet, Jarret Kopek

Vintage Munro, Alice Munro

The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs


Another Country, James Baldwin

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout

The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen

Fledgling, Octavia Butler

2666, Roberto Bolaño

Wayward, Dana Spiotta

Krabat, Ottfried Preußler

Normal People, Sally Rooney

In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado

White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Haruki Murakami

A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford

The Divine Invasion, Philip K. Dick

Babel-17, Samuel R. Delany

Radetzkymarsch, Josef Roth (I’m determined to finally start reading more fiction in German).

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

The Castle of Crossed Destinies, Italo Calvino


(I found it so hard to read in 2020, especially novels (I generally don’t add the non-fiction stuff I’m reading to this list unless it’s something I really read cover to cover, something I tend not to do with those kinds of books, more pick and choose and read bits and pieces before moving on and going down some other rabbit hole). Terrible, since novels are something I love so, so much. 2021 is still going slow, but my concentration is better. Hope anyone who’s reading this is holding up ok, or that this damn pandemic is already over by then….)

Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart

The Arrest, Jonathan Lethem

The Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler (some of the parallels to our world these days in this book are uncanny…)

The Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

My Life With The Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician, Lon Milo DuQuette (even if you have no interest in magic, this book will still be a funny, entertaining read).

Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

Norwegian Wood, Harumi Murakami

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem

Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith

Kindred, Octavia Butler

Time Out of Joint, Philip K. Dick

The Diving Pool, Yoko Ogawa

Little Big Man, Thomas Berger

This list includes the books I read to my daughters before bed (no longer true as of 2020. They are pre-teens now and far too cool to want to have mom read to them before bed. Sigh. The cliche is true: they grow up fast!)


Friday at Enrico’s, Don Carpenter

Chelsea Girls, Eileen Myles

Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs

Magic: An Occult Primer, David Conway (even if you don’t believe in magic and/or have no interest in practising yourself, this book is still a very interesting read. Conway is a down-to-Earth writer and the book has plenty of humor not to mention fascinating historical accounts)

The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa

Revenge of the Lawn, Richard Brautigan

All the Things I Never Told You, Celeste Ng

Doxology, Nell Zink

The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens

The Fisherman, Chigozie Obioma

Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh

Confessions of a Crap Artist, Philip K. Dick

Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms, Michelle Tea, Amanda Verwey

Ariel, Sylvia Plath

Philip K. Dick: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, Philip K. Dick, David Streitfeld

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick

Just Kids, Patti Smith

In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne

Shadowbahn, Steve Erickson

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick

Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin

Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Muraka

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, Alexander Chee

In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays, Esmé Weijun Wang

A Time To Scatter StonesLawrence Block (I love the New York banter and quirky characters (TJ! Mick Ballou!) in Block’s Matthew Scudder detective novels. This novella is the first one he’s written in years and I have to say it’s kind of for fans only as I’m not sure you’d get much of what’s going on if you didn’t already know the characters. That said, I wish he would have brought the characters into the story rather than just mentioning them (TJ! Mick Ballou!) Block got his start writing lesbian erotica under a pen name and, at 80, the guy’s still got a dirty mind for sure. Hats off to you, Lawrence! Write another one soon and for crying out loud let us know what happened to TJ this time, why don’t you. 😉 )

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (just started reading the trilogy to my daughters and I’ll be at it for a while. Over a thousand pages. Yikes!).

Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link

Trout Fishing in America, Richard Brautigan


Martian Time Slip, Philip K. Dick

The Feral Detective, Jonathan Lethem

D’Aulaires Book of Norse Myths (dude, Loki is kind of an asshole 😉 )

The Innocent and Others, Dana Spiotta

Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Karen Russell

The Isle of Youth, Laura Van Den Berg

Hard Times, Charles Dickens

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

Medea, Euripides

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (a re-reading to my daughters)

Valencia, Michelle Tea

A Wind in the Door, Madeline L’Engle

A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

Valis, Philip K. Dick

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, Philip K. Dick

My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

Ubik, Philip K. Dick

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, David Sedaris

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Pachinko, Min Jin Lee

Doll Bones, Holly Black

The Bet and Other Stories, Anton Chekov

The Complete Stories, Flannery O’Connor

The Best American Short Stories, chosen by Meg Wolitzer

Ribsy, Beverly Cleary

Swamplandia!, Karen Russell

Civilwarland in Bad Decline, George Saunders

Tenth of December, George Saunders

Tschick, Wolfgang Herrendorf (German original)

Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson

Get in Trouble, Kelly Link

Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Buddenbrocks, Thomas Mann (German original, chipping away at it)

Mrs. Caliban, Rachel Ingalls

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Roald Dahl

The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg


Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

Dissident Gardens, Jonathan Lethem

H is for Hawk, Helen McDonald

Blubber, Judy Blume

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Hard Rain Falling, Don Carpenter

Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists, Jeannine Atkins

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle

And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie

We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Philip K Dick

The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories, edited by Theodore W. Goossen

The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery

The Long Winter, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Ramona and Her Father, Beverly Cleary

The Best American Short Stories, chosen by Junot Díaz

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz

The Donkey Prince, M. Jean Craig

Beezus and Ramona, Beverly Cleary

The Cricket in Times Square, George Selden

Chester Cricket’s New Home, George Selden

Patience, Daniel Clowes

Orfeo, Richard Powers