The books I read + loved in 2020.

Note: Books are not stack ranked within their categories.

Top 6

  • Real Life…Brandon Taylor

Books I Am Still Thinking About (They Are Very Powerful)

  • Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls…Nina Renata Aron

I Keep Recommending These Books

  • Luster…Raven Leilani

The books I read + loved in 2019.

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

Top five!

  • The Folded Clock…Heidi Julavits

Honorable Mentions

  • White Fragility…Robin DiAngelo

Books You Could Gift to Almost Anyone! They Are So Good and Versatile!

  • How to Change Your Mind…Michael Pollan

In 2019 I Remembered That I Fucking Love Novels!

  • There There…Tommy Orange

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 must have been upset, despite her outwardly understated reaction. I hadn’t asked permission, or told her what I’d done, and it was the first school photo where I was wearing noticeable makeup. I don’t remember if she told me outright that it looked ugly (this seems out of character) or…

The books I read + loved in 2018.

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

Top five!

  • Pachinko…Min Jin Lee

Loved these ones IMMENSELY also

  • 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write…Sarah Ruhl

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. Vodka, beer, boxed wine, gin, rum, tequila — the smell of alcohol was everywhere; sometimes, later in the night, so was the smell of vomit. Men stood on balconies drinking from red cups and heckling passersby. Women walked and laughed together in small groups, aware of being watched; we wandered…

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 yet spending endless time on the internet; I didn’t have a laptop or a smartphone. I had very few friends in town. I read books that I loved and others that I didn’t very much enjoy. But even if I hated the book, I forced myself to finish it. I…

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. More important than goal achievement though, hanging out with all those words and characters was wonderfully fulfilling.

I talk to a lot of people who say they want to read more but struggle with how to make that happen, especially while working full-time and not becoming a total hermit. …

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

Loved these ones IMMENSELY also

  • The Principles of Uncertainty…Maira Kalman

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

I loved these ones mega-town

  • There Is No Right Way to Meditate by Yumi Sakugawa

I learned something(s) important from these

  • Communion by bell hooks

Janet Frishberg

Trying to write true things and eat lots of vegetables.

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