Books I read in 2023.

In 2023, I read so many great books. Here’s a list of all the books I read in 2023 in the order I read them (not the order I enjoyed them).

When I look back at this list, four books really stand out. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (so good I read it twice—thanks Alison for the reco!), Black Cake (excellent, much better than the new Hulu series), Adrift by a great local author Lisa Brideau, and the spectacularly ambitious and immensely readable Babel by R. F. Kuang.

I also really enjoyed the Children of Time trilogy by Adrian Tchaikovsky and the two “Moon” books by Waubgeshig Rice. I’d also like to mention We Do This ’Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba because it is the source of an amazing quote my friend Parker taught me earlier this year: Hope is a Discipline. I think of that quote frequently when the problems of the world seem so much bigger than our efforts of repair.

I appreciate my book club for introducing me to books I otherwise wouldn’t have read. Every year when I publish this list I always get into great conversations about our favourite books, so what books stood out to you in 2023?

  1. Girl, Woman, Other — Bernardino Evaristo
  2. Directed by James Burrows — James Burrows
  3. The Persuaders — Anand Giridharadas
  4. We Are All Made of Scars — Christopher Morris
  5. New York 2140 — Kim Stanley Robinson
  6. A Psalm for the Wild-Built — Becky Chambers
  7. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow — Gabrielle Zevin
  8. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy — Becky Chambers
  9. Chokepoint Capitalism — Rebecca Giblin & Cory Doctorow
  10. The Long Road Home — Debra Thompson
  11. The Creative Act — Rick Rubin
  12. The Myth of Normal — Gabor Maté
  13. The Theory of Crows — David A. Robertson
  14. The Power of Story — Harold Johnson
  15. Banking on a Human Scale — George Hofheimer
  16. Greenwood — Michael Christie
  17. Between the World and Me — Ta-Nehisi Coates
  18. Urban Magnets — Bruce Haden, Mark Holland & Bruce Irvine
  19. Care Of — Ivan Coyote
  20. Children of Time — Adrian Tchaikovsky
  21. Unbroken — Angela Sterritt
  22. God Human Animal Machine — Meghan O’Gieblyn
  23. Power, for All — Julie Battilana & Tiziana Casciaro
  24. Poverty, by America — Matthew Desmond
  25. all about love — bell hooks
  26. Black Cake — Charmaine Wilkerson
  27. The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece — Tom Hanks
  28. A Visit from the Goon Squad — Jennifer Egan
  29. Truth Telling — Michelle Good
  30. How to Break Up With Your Phone — Catherine Price
  31. An American Marriage — Tayari Jones
  32. Junie — Chelene Knight
  33. Children of Ruin — Adrian Tchaikovsky
  34. We Do This ’Til We Free Us — Mariame Kaba
  35. The Book of Boundaries — Melissa Urban
  36. Children of Memory — Adrian Tchaikovsky
  37. Stamped From The Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America — Ibram X. Kendi & Joel Christian Gill
  38. The Country of the Blind — Andrew Leland
  39. Happy-Go-Lucky — David Sedaris
  40. All That She Carried — Tiya Miles
  41. Yellowface — R. F. Kuang
  42. Post Capitalist Philanthropy — Alnoor Ladha & Lynn Murphy
  43. Not Here — Rob Goodman
  44. Ducks — Kate Beaton
  45. American Prometheus — Kai Bird & Martin J. Sherwin
  46. Doppelganger — Naomi Klein
  47. Monsters — Claire Dederer
  48. The Righteous Mind — Jonathan Haidt
  49. Moon of the Crusted Snow — Waubgeshig Rice
  50. Adrift — Lisa Brideau
  51. Moon of the Turning Leaves — Waubgeshig Rice
  52. MCU: The Rise of Marvel Studios — Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, & Gavin Edwards
  53. The Candy House: A Novel — Jennifer Egan
  54. Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult — Maria Bamford
  55. The Fire Next Time — James Baldwin
  56. Babel — R. F. Kuang
  57. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow — Gabrielle Zevin
  58. Young Jane Young  — Gabrielle Zevin

Happy 2024, all!

I’m writing about the books I read…

I’m not sure what compelled me to start publishing the list of all the books I read in the year, but I’ve been doing it a couple of years in a row. Since three makes a trend, here’s my third annual list.

I gotta start with Homegoing. This is literally one of the best books I’ve read in a few years. It is super compelling, very touching, enthrallingly written and weaves a complex story in a very satisfying way.

Looking back at this list, some of the standouts were the truly excellent Half a Yellow Sun; Sea of Tranquility, which I finished and re-read almost immediately to better understand all the nuances (which I’d never done before); Finding the Mother Tree was something I’d been meaning to read for a while and it was beautifully written and an important subject; Namwayut was a book by Chief Robert Joseph, whom I’ve known a little for many years and found his telling of his story to be powerfully written and deeply moving.

VanBikes was written by my friend Colin, and I’m so proud of him for telling this story which he’s been working on for so many years—it came together beautifully. Run Towards the Danger has stayed with me and still feels very present. Invisible Boy was an amazing insight into a situation I know nothing about and is extremely compelling. Finally, I’ve been an Elvis Costello fan since I was a teenager, so I don’t know why it took me so long to read his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. As I write this I’m about half-way through and am enjoying it a lot.

Here’s my list of books I read in 2022 in the order I read them:

  1. Indigenous Relations — Bob Joseph & Cynthia F. Joseph
  2. Under a White Sky — Elizabeth Kolbert
  3. Life in the City of Dirty Water — Clayton Thomas-Müller
  4. Half of a Yellow Sun — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. Factfulness — Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund & Oka Rosling 
  6. Homegoing — Yaa Gyasi
  7. The 1619 Project — Nikole Hannah-Jones
  8. How the Word is Passed — Clint Smith
  9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time — Mark Haddon
  10. The Sixth Extinction — Elizabeth Kolbert
  11. Caste — Isabel Wilkerson
  12. State of Terror — Hillary Clinton & Louise Penny
  13. Stolen Focus — Johann Hari
  14. Heart of Darkness — Joseph Conrad
  15. How to be Perfect — Michael Schur
  16. Finding the Mother Tree — Suzanne Simard
  17. Americanah — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  18. The Comedians — Kliph Nesteroff 
  19. Sing Backwards and Weep — Mark Lanegan
  20. Underground Airlines — Ben H. Winters
  21. Transcendent Kingdom — Yaa Gyasi 
  22. Origin — Jennifer Raff
  23. Entangled Life — Merlin Sheldrake 
  24. Big Lonely Doug — Harley Rustad 
  25. Fundamentals — Frank Wilczek
  26. The Islander — Chris Blackwell
  27. Ragged Company — Richard Wagamese
  28. Paris 1919 — Margaret MacMillan
  29. Sea of Tranquility — Emily St. John Mandel 
  30. Lonely Boy — Steve Jones
  31. Sea of Tranquility — Emily St. John Mandel (I had to read it again immediately to fully appreciate it)
  32. Vanishing Half — Brit Bennett 
  33. The Glass Hotel — Emily St. John Mandel 
  34. Station Eleven — Emily St. John Mandel
  35. Quiet — Susan Cain
  36. Subdivided — Jay Pitter & John Lorinc
  37. The Netanyahus —Joshua Cohen
  38. The Midnight Library — Matt Haig
  39. How to Be Animal — Melanie Challenger
  40. Nasty, Brutish, and Short — Scott Hershovitz
  41. Namwayut — Chief Robert Joseph
  42. The Last White Man — Mohsin Hamid
  43. Humble Pi — Matt Parker 
  44. Monkey Beach — Eden Robinson
  45. Too Dumb for Democracy? — David Moscrop
  46. Vanbikes — Colin Stein
  47. Profiles in Ignorance — Andy Borowitz
  48. Run Towards the Danger — Sarah Polley
  49. True Reconciliation — Jody Wilson-Raybould
  50. Surrender — Bono
  51. Invisible Boy — Harrison Mooney
  52. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink — Elvis Costello

I’m looking forward to all the books to read in 2023!

Books I read in 2021.

As 2021 comes to a close, I wanted to share all the books I read this year. My habit of reading is one of the few things that has benefitted from all my time at home this year.

So here’s the list. This is in the order of how I read them, not how much I enjoyed them. There were so many good books, it’s hard to focus on just a few (and now that I look at them all, I must admit there’s one or two I don’t even remember reading).

As far as entertaining reads, I really enjoyed Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Project Hail Mary, The Soul of an Octopus, The Birth of Loud, and You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey.

Meaningful and powerful reads included Seven Fallen Feathers, Paying the Land, The Power, Gutter Child, Just Mercy, Five Little Indians, This One Looks Like a Boy, A Fine Balance, and Overstory.

In the end, not a bad list…

  1. Mediocre — Ijeoma Oluo
  2. How To Kill a City — PE Moskowitz
  3. Seven Fallen Feathers —  Tanya Talaga
  4. Stories of Your Life — Ted Chiang
  5. Paying the Land — Joe Sacco
  6. Evicted — Matthew Desmond 
  7. Exhalation — Ted Chiang 
  8. Happy City — Charles Montgomery
  9. Sputnik Sweetheart — Haruki Murakami
  10. Do Better — Rachel Ricketts 
  11. Good Lord Bird — James McBride
  12. 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act — Bob Joseph
  13. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory — Caitlin Doughty
  14. The Power — Naomi Alderman
  15. Indigenomics — Carol Anne Hilton
  16. Born Standing Up — Steve Martin 
  17. The Devil You Know — Charles Blow
  18. A Short History of Nearly Everything — Bill Bryson
  19. All Our Relations — Tanya Talaga
  20. Watchmen — Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  21. Peace and Good Order — Harold Johnson
  22. How To Write One Song — Jeff Tweedy
  23. Gutter Child — Jael Richardson 
  24. The Body, A Guide For Occupants — Bill Bryson
  25. The Right To Be Cold — Sheila Watt-Cloutier
  26. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls — David Sedaris 
  27. Year Book — Seth Rogen 
  28. Minor Feelings — Cathy Park Hong 
  29. A Promised Land — Barack Obama
  30. Project Hail Mary — Andy Weir
  31. The Day the World Stops Shopping — J.B. MacKinnon
  32. Power, A Users Guide — Julie Diamond
  33. Think Again — Adam Grant
  34. The Premonition — Michael Lewis
  35. DreadfulWater — Thomas King
  36. The Soul of an Octopus — Sy Montgomery
  37. Willful Blindness — Sam Cooper 
  38. Mission Economy — Mariana Mazzucato
  39. The Bomber Mafia — Malcolm Gladwell
  40. In Search of April Raintree — Beatrice Mosionier
  41. This Is Your Mind on Plants — Michael Pollan
  42. The Red Power Murders — Thomas King
  43. How to Change Your Mind — Michael Pollan
  44. Money — Jacob Goldstein 
  45. Indian In the Cupboard — Jody Wilson-Raybould 
  46. The Birth of Loud — Ian S. Port
  47. Winners Take All — Anand Giridharadas
  48. Just Mercy — Bryan Stevenson
  49. Five Little Indians — Michelle Good
  50. Bewilderment — Richard Powers
  51. Unreconciled — Jesse Wente
  52. This One Looks Like A Boy — Lorimer Shenher
  53. Dune — Frank Herbert
  54. You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey — Amber Ruffin 
  55. Amusing Ourselves To Death — Neil Postman
  56. Lost Connections — Johann Hari
  57. Slaughterhouse-Five — Kurt Vonnegut 
  58. Birds Of All Feathers — Michael Bach
  59. A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry
  60. Out of Office — Charlie Warzel & Anne Helen Petersen
  61. Overstory — Richard Powers

In the middle of all that, I happily finished my first book and released it, which was definitely one of my highlights of the year.

I haven’t decided what I’ll start 2022 with – likely Indigenous Relations by Bob Joseph & Cynthia F. Joseph.

If you read something you loved in 2021, leave a comment below and let me know.

Happy New Year, all!

PS: Here’s my list from 2020.