Reading List

Books are meant to be highlighted and dog-eared, their spines cracked and lying facedown on the kitchen table. They should become part of our scenery, etching new seasons into memory. This is a new, partial, and ongoing index of the novels that have tinted how I see the world. And here’s a list of everything I’m reading.

The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder

The action unfolds in hotel rooms and hallways, where the hum of the ice machine veers from reassuring to sinister.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Ghost-wise, I’m not sure where to go after Shirley Jackson. Any recommendations for novels that deal with hauntings would be much appreciated.

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing

The Fifth Child digs into the muck of living beyond the bounds of time, consensus, and normalcy. The novel’s crisis is simple; its implications are not.

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa

In Yōko Ogawa’s fable, the residents of an unnamed island suffer the ritual disappearance of objects big and small. Flowers. Lemons. Perfume. Calendars.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

After a virus collides with technological hubris, the last person on the planet wanders the ruins, seeking refuge from the unbearable heat. Oryx and Crake harmonizes with our latest heatwaves to an unsettling degree.

The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe

Published in 1962, The Woman in the Dunes is a nightmare pegged to a single image: a man trapped in a sandpit, doomed to shovel alongside a mysterious woman.