Archive for January, 2018

2017 Book List

I stole most of the format of this book list to Marc’s fantastic yearly book list.

It was a good year of reading for me. It was hard to pick just a few favorites. But, here you are.

Favorites of the Year:

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

I feel that this book is the culmination of all writing and storytelling. The prose is so rich and delicious. So completely original and unpredictable, although Oyeyemi also uses a familiar and cozy fairy tale vocabulary that helps me to settle right into the stories. This book convinced me to binge on two more of her books last year.

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

I loved the beautiful language and the magical element and the epic, four-generation storytelling. The well done big family, with the daily low-key drama and unintended humor and weirdness of it all. Nothing gets solved, but wrongs are sometimes set aside and forgotten about or lived with. But really it comes back to the beautiful language.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The story could easily be a five-volume series, but Gyasi fits the epic into one novel. Each chapter functions as a short story. Each story follows one descendant of two sisters, separated by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Sensory details ground me in the scenes, which are often brutal.

Five-Karat Soul by James McBride

Always unexpected, the characters are so well fleshed out. They’re strange in the ways that I expect anyone to be, once you really get to know them. Funny and tragic in good proportions.

White Tears by Hari Kunzru

I read this book in 24 hours, staying up way past my bedtime to finish it. Kunzru’s beautiful prose is always a treat. The characters are well crafted, rounded. And the story, which is the story of white people in America, is completely captivating. The story of white people stealing everything, including life, from Black people, and then stealing Black identities and culture as well.

Incredible Doom #1 by Matthew Bogart

This captures so well the cruelty of adolescence. And the wonder and escape of the early internet.


Zines, Single Issues of Comics, & Shorter Works:

Incredible Doom #1 by Matthew Bogart

KittyBooger Twenty-Twelve, edited by Tom DeBeauchamp

After the Gold Rush #1-3 by Miles Greb & Isaac La Russa

Scio #1 by Zachary Martzke & S.J. Choe

Niger #1 by Leila Marzocchi

Outfoxed by Dylan Meconis

Torrey Pines: You Weren’t There, so I’ll Tell You All about It. by Clyde Petersen

The Casebook of Rabbit Black Vol. 1 by Kate Sherron



The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz

Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit by Marlon M. Bailey

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

New Orleans by Amy Balfour

Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara

Unity (unpublished draft) by E. L. Bangs

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois & Jeff Schonberg


Dawn by Octavia Butler

The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington by Leonora Carrington

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Made to Kill by Adam Christopher

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Black Panther: Nation beneath Our Feet, Trade #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Dhalgren by Samuel Delany

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol.s 1-2  by Ming Doyle & James Tynion IV

The One Marvelous Thing by Rikki Ducornet

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett

Ordinary Cruelty by Amber Flame

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman

Murder Cases by Neil Gaiman & Craig Russell

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

The Maestro, the Magistrate & the Mathematician by Tendai Huchu

Dr. King’s Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories by Charles Johnson

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

White Tears by Hari Kunzru

Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott

Up South by Robert Lashley

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

The Devil Within: Possession & Exorcism in the Christian West by Brian P. Levack

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

Five-Karat Soul by James McBride

My Ugly and Other Love Snarls by Wryly McCutchen

Miss Elizabeth Bennet by A. A. Milne

The Pocket Knife Bible by Anis Mojgani

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Adventure Time Comics Vol. 2 & 3 by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor


The Hellblazer Vol. 1: The Poison Truth (DC Universe Rebirth) by Simon Oliver & Moritat


The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi


A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The Prep Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir by Evan J. Peterson

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, From Lewis to Barra by Mark Rowe

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Saga Vols. 5-7 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Legends of North Wales by Showell Styles

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

An Oath of Dogs by Wendy N. Wagner

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

If You Are Unable to Help Just Say So by Jennifer Williams

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X




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