I’ve kept this space on the back burner for the better part of the last decade. Given that we’re on the cusp of a new one, it seems like a fitting time for me to start using it for something. So, thanks to the inspiration of Sarah at Dogs, Coffee, & Books, here’s a look back at my reading for 2019 to kickstart me into a new decade that’ll hopefully be filled with more words – both those I write and read.
The year was above average in terms of the number of books I made it through – but perhaps not pages. I didn’t have many of the massive tomes that I tend to be drawn to this year. Still, the total is still below what I set out to read 365 days ago. The list is incomplete due to the fact that I don’t feel like typing up a list of the 69 some odd graphic novels I worked through over the course of the year. It felt like there was a lot of…meh this year. I feel good for reading a number of books, but I didn’t spend much of my time enthralled either (looking at you Dostoyevsky).
Highlights of the year are noted by a * below. Rereads with a (R).
2019 – Reading
- Urrea – House of Broken Angels*
- Wilson – Fences
- Loomis – History of America in 10 Strikes
- Ondaatje – Warlight
- Gaiman – Coraline (R)
- Obren – Six Days of War*
- Adams – The Viking Wars
- Christie – ABC Murders
- Tucker – City of Light, City of Poison
- Savage – Every Tool is a Hammer
- Gleick – The Information*
- Payne – The Broken Ladder
- Murakami – Wind up Bird Chronicle*
- Sobel – Longitude
- Ghosh – The Great Derangement*
- Odell – How to do Nothing
- Higginbotham – Midnight in Chernobyl*
- Sebald – Rings of Saturn* (R)
- Caro – Working
- Humes – Garbology
- Epic of Gilgamesh (R)
- Okorafor – Binti Trilogy*
- Pynchon – Against the Day* (R)
- Homer – The Odyssey (R)
- Euripedes – Medea (R)
- Sophocles – Oedipus Rex (R)
- Wu – The Curse of Bigness
- Dante – The Inferno (R)
- Dostoyevsky – The Brothers Karamazov
- Yamashita – Tropic of Orange (R)
- Orange – There There*
- Wedgewood – The Thirty Years War*
- Oliver – New and Selected Poems vol. 1
- Norris – Clybourne Park
- Joyce – Dubliners
- Vuong – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous*
Onward to 2020!
Just a note to say that the posting will be light to nonexistent for the next two weeks. I’ve decided to take a proper vacation. I originally thought that I’d keep up with posting while traveling, but I haven’t been satisfied with the quality of my work and instead of relaxing I was spending a bunch of time wondering why my writing was even more rubbish than usual. So it has dawned on me that I need to either drop the blogging for the duration or drop the vacation. I’d say it was a hard decision, but that’d be a particularly egregious lie.
I wanted to post a picture of the best surprise I’ve received in a long time before I sign off. A certain friend (Mike) picked this up for me last year at a concert in San Francisco where he spent the opening act standing next to Corin Tucker without realizing it. I’m not sure if it was friendship that motivated him to get the cd signed for me or if he wanted to throw me off my vow to berate him about his obliviousness for the rest of time. (If the latter, he was obviously only partially successful.) Given that we weren’t going to see each other for eight or nine months though, we both forgot about it. (If only there were services that could safely transport packages across long distances for a small fee… No, too risky. Only personal delivery will suffice!)
Mike is, of course, awesome and I’m thrilled with the gift. I thought it was a good image to sign off with. It has that summer vacation feel and the right vibe for my upcoming travels. Many thanks to Mike.
See you in a couple weeks!
Justin Davidson on the history and the future of the New York waterfront.
Two stories from Ars Technica on the struggle to avoid junk when flying in space: One of Fermi and another of the ISS.
A gallery of computing machines at io9.
Jayson Greene examines the samples on Kanye West’s Yeezus at Pitchfork.
Why Miami is doomed by Jeff Goodell from Rolling Stone.
Also from Rolling Stone: 20 songs that are 20 years old. (I am so very very old…)
Finally, because I’m old, I’m going to include the following clip from Teen Titans Go! due to its thorough explanation of VCRs, VHS tapes and Betamax.
I’ve had this song from Cold War Kids in my head lately.