Drunk on truth to stupid baby power.

Top 5 Books I Didn’t Read This Year


Recently, for work (I work for a bookstore) I made a list of my top 5 books of the year. There were some really fucking amazing books on that list, most of which I have written about here. It only seemed fair that I listed books that I actually read, all the way through but I felt like this list was missing some vital information: there are a number of books that came out this year that I SHOULD HAVE READ BY NOW. Books that may very well have landed in my top 5 of the year! So, here’s a list of those, the to-be-reads that should have already been read–the hypothetical books of the year. Books that I know I will love and for some stupid reason I haven’t finished or possibly even started yet:

1. Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

This book is by my favorite musician, maybe of all time ever. Everyone who knows me who’s read it tells me I will love it. And yet I can’t get passed the second chapter and it continues to sit on my floor, it’s beautiful cover asking me, every morning, what the hell my problem is.

2. Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz

This memoir looks so good; it’s about an inappropriate student-teacher relationship for crying out loud! And it’s published by a super cool indie press! And I know I’ll love it! And yet…I keep forgetting to purchase a copy, or borrow one, or get one in any way.

3. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Honestly, there’s just no excuse for this one. I love David Mitchell and I HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN WHICH HE DREW A PICTURE OF ME DANCING. Dear Lizzy Acker: Get your shit together. Read what is potentially your new favorite book.

4. Man Alive by Thomas Page McBee

This is the most embarrassing admission on this list, since I actually know Thomase Page McBee. We went to grad school together and this memoir about gender transition is getting reviewed in The New York Times! I really want to read this fucking book! So why haven’t I? It’s not even that expensive and I get a major discount on books due to my, see above, JOB AT A BOOK STORE. I don’t know. I’m so ashamed of myself I am going to try to rectify this one within the week. Look for it in a future Read This Now column.

5. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

This book is a late edition to the list since by the time I realized it existed, I barely had time to read it by the deadline to write about books of the year. Besides it’s maybe perfect cover, this is another one that people who know books are calling the best book of the year. Here’s the other thing: I also own this book. What’s my damage? I’m not sure. I know the subject matter is pretty sad and there probably aren’t apocalyptic situations in the story. But still. I should have read this book by now.


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