Blog Post

Books Read in 2018

I used to read three to five books a week. I don’t anymore. I can’t say why, definitively. Possibly it’s because, as a writer, it’s hard for me to get out of the analytical stage of reading, trying to figure out what’s working in a novel, what’s not, what I can take and subsume into my own writing. Mercenary reading, I guess you could call it.

Mercenary reading is the death of reading for pleasure. So those books that lure me past the mercenary gaze, they’re great books. All of those listed here would go on that list.

I don’t have that issue with non-fiction. And consequently, I read quite a few non-fiction books. Not all are listed here, honestly because I can’t remember them all. But those I could, I confirmed their titles and authors.


  1. The Visible Filth, Nathan Ballangrud
  2. The Twilight Pariah, Jeffrey Ford
  3. Burning Sky, Weston Ochse
  4. The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling
  5. The Collected Stories, Lorrie Moore
  6. The Confession of Nat Turner, William Styron (re-read)
  7. 2666, Roberto Bolaño (incomplete re-read)
  8. The Changeling, Victor LaValle
  9. I, Lucifer, Glen Duncan
  10. By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolaño
  11. Autumn, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  12. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  13. Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Max Booth III
  14. Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1
  15. Agents of Dreamland, Caitlin Kiernan
  16. The Fermata, Nicholson Baker
  17. Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
  18. Blood Standard (An Isaiah Coleridge Novel), Laird Barron
  19. Dark Room and Other Poems. Enrique Lihn
  20. A Song for Quiet (Persons Non Grata), Cassandra Khaw
  21. Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki, Kevin Crossley-Holland
  22. Last Days Brian Evenson
  23. Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones
  24. Warlight, Michael Ondaatje
  25. By Gaslight, Stephen Price



  1. Michigan-I-O, Todd Harvey
  2. Rising Tide, John Barry (re-read)
  3. Stagolee Shot Billy, Cecil Brown
  4. Confronting Southern Poverty in the Great Depression: The Report on Economic Conditions of the South with Related Documents, Carlton, David L.
  5. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, Kelley, Robin D. G.
  6. Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, Kelley, Robin
  7. Stories of Survival: Arkansas Farmers during the Great Depression, Downs Jr., William
  8. Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934-1997. Cohen, Ronald
  9. Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, Szwed, John
  10. The Land Where the Blues Began, Lomax, Alan
  11. A Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads, and Traditions of the People, Botkin, B. A.
  12. It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, David Faris
  13. The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax: Words, Photographs, and Music, Tom Piazza
  14. Ozark Magic and Folklore, Vance Randolph
  15. Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”, Zora Neale Hurston
  16. H. L. Mencken: Prejudices Vol. 1 (LOA #206): First, Second, and Third Series (incomplete read)
  17. The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War II’s Red Ball Express, Colley, David P.
  18. Nell Kimball: Her Life As an American Madam, Nell Kimball (incomplete read)

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