Booklist 2014

It’s time again, gang, for my annual reading list. This year’s been quite light, actually — I felt like I’d read quite a bit, but turns out I managed just under 60 books. Does it count that I reread my own novel something like seven times in revisions before it came out in August? My summer months were slowest, which would normally be surprising but I was teaching an intensive summer course, entertaining visitors, as well as going through a few revisions of Hagridden and gearing up for the book tour — and then going on said book tour. So, I forgive myself the lighter load this year, and maybe I can make it up next year.

But this year is done, so here’s my whole list, followed by a sort of break-down:

  • A.M. O’Malley, What to Expect When You’re Expecting Something Else
  • Akira Kurosawa, Seven Samurai and Other Screenplays
  • Albert E. Castel and Thomas Goodrich, Bloody Bill Anderson: The Short, Savage Life of a Civil War Guerrilla
  • Bartee Haile, Murder Most Texan
  • Bret Anthony Johnston, Corpus Christi
  • Charles Portis, True Grit
  • Cheryl Strayed and Robert Atwan, Best American Essays 2013
  • Christian Anton Gerard, Wilmot Here, Collect for Stella
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • Daniel M. Shapiro, How the Potato Chip Was Invented
  • David S. Atkinson, Bones Buried in Dirt
  • Elizabeth Strout and Heidi Pitlor, Best American Short Stories 2013
  • Garland A. Perry, Historic Images Of Boerne And Kendall County, Texas: A Sesquicentennial Project 1849 – 1999
  • Gayle Towell, Blood Gravity
  • Hannah Stephenson, In the Kettle, the Shriek
  • Hosho McCreesh, A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst
  • Ian V. Hogg, Weapons of the Civil War
  • James A. Crutchfield, It Happened in Oregon
  • James Claffey, Blood a Cold Blue
  • James M. Smallwood, Barry A. Crouch, and Larry Peacock, Murder and Mayhem: The War of Reconstruction in Texas
  • Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
  • Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, Thor (issues 1-3)
  • Jefferson Morgenthaler, Boerne, Settlement on the Cibolo
  • Jesse Lee Kercheval, Building Fiction
  • Jo Baker, Longbourn
  • John Carr Walker, Repairable Men
  • JP Reese, Dead Letters
  • Leesa Cross-Smith, Every Kiss a War
  • Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., Wolverine: Enemy of the State
  • Marley Brant, The Outlaw Youngers: A Confederate Brotherhood
  • Matty Byloos, Rope
  • Meg Tuite, Bound By Blue
  • Molly Gaudry, We Take Me Apart
  • Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop, Atlas of the Civil War: A Comprehensive Guide to the Tactics and Terrain of Battle
  • O.S. Barton and John McCorkle, Three Years With Quantrell: A True Story, Told by His Scout John McCorkle
  • Randy Stradley, et al, Aliens Vs. Predators Omnibus, Vol. 1
  • Randy Stradley, et al, Aliens Vs. Predators: Three World War
  • Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead Vol. 16 – 20
  • Robert Lashley, The Homeboy Songs
  • Robert Vaughan, Addicts & Basements
  • Rusty Barnes, Breaking It Down
  • Rusty Barnes, Reckoning
  • Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
  • Stevan Allred, A Simplified Map of the Real World
  • Steven E. Woodworth and Kenneth J. Winkle, Atlas of the Civil War
  • Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, The Tilted World
  • Tom Franklin, Hell at the Breech
  • Traylor Russell and Robert T. Russell, Some Die Twice
  • Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs
  • William C. Davis and Ray Bonds, Illustrated Directory of the Civil War

Of these nearly 60 books, thirteen were nonfiction research and two were fiction inspiration while working on my new novel.

Twenty of these books were fiction, including novels (8), story collections (7), story cycles (2), and novellas (2). Another eight were poetry collections, and five more (or eleven more, depending on how you count issues/volumes) were comics or graphic novels. One was book of screenplays!

Just for fun, I’ll also tell you that I have at least two dozen books by friends or colleagues on my to-read shelf, including a couple I plan to review and one I’m going to blurb(!). So I’ll be starting my year already behind, but what else is new?

Oh, and, as usual, I’ve also read hundred and hundreds of pages of student writing, almost all of it essays, and folks, this year was an impressive year for essays! I read some stupendous student work, and I’m looking forward to more of it when I return to classes in a week.

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