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.
- The Visible Filth, Nathan Ballangrud
- The Twilight Pariah, Jeffrey Ford
- Burning Sky, Weston Ochse
- The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling
- The Collected Stories, Lorrie Moore
- The Confession of Nat Turner, William Styron (re-read)
- 2666, Roberto Bolaño (incomplete re-read)
- The Changeling, Victor LaValle
- I, Lucifer, Glen Duncan
- By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolaño
- Autumn, Karl Ove Knausgaard
- Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
- Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Max Booth III
- Tomb of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 1
- Agents of Dreamland, Caitlin Kiernan
- The Fermata, Nicholson Baker
- Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
- Blood Standard (An Isaiah Coleridge Novel), Laird Barron
- Dark Room and Other Poems. Enrique Lihn
- A Song for Quiet (Persons Non Grata), Cassandra Khaw
- Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki, Kevin Crossley-Holland
- Last Days Brian Evenson
- Mapping the Interior, Stephen Graham Jones
- Warlight, Michael Ondaatje
- By Gaslight, Stephen Price
- Michigan-I-O, Todd Harvey
- Rising Tide, John Barry (re-read)
- Stagolee Shot Billy, Cecil Brown
- Confronting Southern Poverty in the Great Depression: The Report on Economic Conditions of the South with Related Documents, Carlton, David L.
- Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, Kelley, Robin D. G.
- Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, Kelley, Robin
- Stories of Survival: Arkansas Farmers during the Great Depression, Downs Jr., William
- Alan Lomax: Selected Writings, 1934-1997. Cohen, Ronald
- Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, Szwed, John
- The Land Where the Blues Began, Lomax, Alan
- A Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads, and Traditions of the People, Botkin, B. A.
- It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, David Faris
- The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax: Words, Photographs, and Music, Tom Piazza
- Ozark Magic and Folklore, Vance Randolph
- Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”, Zora Neale Hurston
- H. L. Mencken: Prejudices Vol. 1 (LOA #206): First, Second, and Third Series (incomplete read)
- The Road to Victory: The Untold Story of World War II’s Red Ball Express, Colley, David P.
- Nell Kimball: Her Life As an American Madam, Nell Kimball (incomplete read)