The books that absorbed me in 2016

Child psychology made fun, an existential warning, a conservative novel, and a comic that could have been dreamt up by Borges

Quick list of the books I recommend most highly:

Other years:

This year


Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

detail of illustration by Annette Marnat for the New Yorker, used without permission

After the Revolution by Amy Herzog (theatre play)

Sins of the Fathers (Matt Scudder series), A Stab in the Dark (Matt Scudder series), Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr series) by Lawrence Block


Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

Still from Colossus: The Forbin Project. Better do what the machines say!

Influence by Robert Cialdini

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Is this yours, Saffie? Doesn’t it have a home to go to?

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss


Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School by Daniel Greenberg

Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers, edited by Eric Gutstein and Bob Peterson

The Usborne Book of Science Experiments by Jane Bingham

Animation Studio by Candlewick Press

Lauren Ipsum by Carlos Bueno

Most Likely to Succeed by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith

Children’s books

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

The BFG and The Witches by Roald Dahl

Ivy and Bean series, books 1–10, by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

Interstellar Pig, The Boy Who Reversed Himself, The Boxes, and Others See Us by William Sleator

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

Proginoskes from A Wind in the Door, by Laurel Dodge

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark and April Chu

Float by Daniel Miyares

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

A Tale of Time City by Lynne Reid Banks

All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant and Nikki McClure


The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew

Liew analyzes the historical relevance of Chan Hock Chye’s pulp comics work

Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Musick

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Book One, by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

Call me a Battletoad one more #(*&@! time, I dare you

X’ed Out Trilogy by Charles Burns

Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

Ghosts, Drama, Smile, and Sisters by Raina Telgemeier; The Babysitters’ Club graphic novels: “The Truth about Stacey” and “Claudia and Mean Janine” by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier

Zita the Spacegirl trilogy by Ben Hatke

Black Jack vol. 1 by Osamu Tezuka

Underwater Welder and Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire

Multiple Warheads by Brandon Graham

Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home by J. Michael Straczynski and John Romita Jr.

Princess Knight and Good-Bye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Amulet by Kazu Kabuishi

Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee

Ms. Marvel, Book One: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

Batman/Grendel by Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner’s mouths are best hidden behind masks or in shadows

Independent programmer, chatterbox.

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