The 52 Book Project

After my friend Mollie posted on facebook asking for book recommendations and mentioned a goal to read a book a week in 2018, I decided to borrow her goal for myself. I’m trying to read a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and within the nonfiction category, a mix of essays, memoir, and narrative nonfiction. I’m trying not to read too many books that will make me sad (even if they’re really good) and am focusing most on books written recently. I love the idea of reading books by authors who might be actively promoting their writing right now! I might have the chance to go hear them read!

My college roommate and I have loved talking about books since we met way back in 2001. She’s a post-doc in evolutionary biology and is trying to find time to read between work, research, applications and taking care of her a 12-week old baby girl. I told her I’d write something–more than a list less than a series of reviews?–about the books I encountered in my year of reading.

I’m going to keep a running list of books read here and am working on figuring out the best way to link to/include some brief thoughts on each one. Since I’m reading so many living authors, I’m only planning to write about those I’d recommend (though I do have a policy of abandoning any book I don’t feel like finishing (life’s too short!) so I’ll mark those in some way and (I guess?) not count them toward my total.


Sing, Unburied, Sing

Manhattan Beach

Fire Sermon

Her Body and Other Parties


The Immortalists

Neon in Daylight

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

Lincoln in the Bardo

Call Me By Your Name



An American Marriage

Felt in the Jaw

The Ensemble

Golden Hill

The Great Alone

All Grown Up

The Burning Girl

Sharp Objects

The Great Believers

The Golden State

How Should A Person Be

The Signature of All Things

Late Air



And the Heart Says Whatever

Between the World and Me

Prairie Fires

What Are We Doing Here?

Fast Girl

What Made Maddy Run

The Blue Jay’s Dance

You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

Some Bright Morning I’ll Fly Away

The Recovering

20 Hours 40 Minutes

The Fun of It

Last Flight

And Now We Have Everything



Village of the Dammed

The Highly Sensitive Child

The Misfit’s Manifesto

The Stranger in the Woods

At Home in the World

I’m Fine (And Other Lies)

How to Write An Autobiographical Novel

A Life’s Work

Small Animals


Running: A Love Story

Let Your Mind Run