Annual reading roundup (2018):

I notice that I tend to get caught up in a theme or topic. For instance, around 2015 my favorite reads were all about grief. Helen Macdonald’s “H is for Hawk”, Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Buried Giant,” and Paul Kingsnorth’s “The Wake” were standouts (and still linger).


Lately, I have taken up with Asian American stories, especially Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” and Lisa Ko’s “The Leavers” which both center on the adoption of Chinese children by white families.


Although I didn’t finish it until I got back, my field season book this year was Willa Cather’s “My √Āntonia,” and also falls under the “I can’t believe it took me so long to read this.”


And finally, as an experiment, I tried to listen to audiobooks again and have come to the conclusion that while they are great for non-fiction (driving between Sacramento and San Francisco, listening to “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick was definitely transportive), there is an aspect to certain fiction stories that don’t translate well into audio – for instance, I totally missed that the villain in “A Wrinkle in Time” was capital-i It.


P.S. I joined Goodreads this year and try to keep it updated.