The books I read + loved in 2020.

Note: Books are not stack ranked within their categories.

Top 6

  • Real Life…Brandon Taylor
  • Women Who Run With the Wolves…Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  • Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was A Girl…Jeannie Vanasco
  • The Fifth Season…N. K. Jemisin
  • Drifts…Kate Zambreno
  • Your Silence Will Not…


The books I read + loved in 2019.

Note: Books listed are not stack-ranked within their categories.

Top five!

  • The Folded Clock…Heidi Julavits
  • Trick Mirror…Jia Tolentino
  • How to Do Nothing…Jenny Odell
  • A Place for Us…Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Trip…Tao Lin

Honorable Mentions

  • White Fragility…Robin DiAngelo
  • The Recovering…Leslie Jamison
  • Normal People…Sally Rooney
  • The Moon is Almost…

What quitting makeup taught me about femininity, people pleasing, and beauty

Photo: Altan Can/EyeEm/Getty Images

In my seventh-grade school photo, I’m wearing lipstick that’s almost brown, a la ’90s-era Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Moss. My friend Arielle, a grade above me, had shared it with me the morning before our photos were taken.

When my mother finally received the picture, she…


The books I read + loved in 2018.

Note: Books listed are not stack-ranked within their categories.

Top five!

  • Pachinko…Min Jin Lee
  • Motherhood…Sheila Heti
  • Heart Berries…Terese Marie Mailhot
  • The Idiot…Elif Batuman
  • Tonight I’m Someone Else…Chelsea Hodson

Loved these ones IMMENSELY also

  • 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write…Sarah Ruhl
  • The Book of Mutter…Kate Zambreno
  • Jell-O girls…Allie…


Power Trip

Men are capable of inflicting incredible harm—and incredible healing

Photo: László Polgár/EyeEm/Getty

A weekend night in Berkeley, in the very early 2000s: Groups of students roamed the south side of campus, wandering in and out of parties in the frat houses lining Piedmont, Bancroft, and Channing, those giant, multistory homes with their front porches and leather couches and white, oversized Greek columns…


Life’s too short to force yourself to finish books you don’t enjoy

The fall I was 17, I lived in Paris and read just over 90 books. I was working as an au pair for a newborn, which gave me plenty of hours when I had to be quiet, stay inside, and pass the afternoons alone. It was 2005, so I wasn’t…


One of my goals in 2017 was to read 52 books. By the end of the year, I’d significantly exceeded that number, as you already know from the super subtle title of this long-form listicle. …


The books I read + loved in 2017.

Note: The books listed are not stack-ranked within their categories.

I love Aardvark’s and Owen.

Top six!

  • The One Who Is Not Busy…Darlene Cohen
  • PERSON/A…Elizabeth Ellen
  • Homegoing…Yaa Gyasi
  • All the Birds in the Sky…Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Untethered Soul…Michael Singer
  • Too Much and Not the Mood…Durga Chew-Bose

Loved these ones IMMENSELY also

  • The Principles…


I wanted to share the books I read + loved in 2016.

Note: The books listed are not stack-ranked within their categories.

Top three!

  • The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  • The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
  • The Fear Book by Cheri Huber

I loved these ones mega-town

  • There Is No Right Way to Meditate by Yumi Sakugawa
  • The Small…

Janet Frishberg

Trying to write true things and eat lots of vegetables. www.janetfrishberg.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store