“underneath infrequent bursts of glaring headlights”: Books Read in 2023

It’s kind of a thrill to say this: on this last day of 2023, the final book I finished reading this year was a … draft of The Cost of Convenience, my forthcoming co-authored book with Alix Dick!

It’s totally cool to be 10,000+ words over, right?

It’s been a push, but I am excited by what we’ve put together. We have a substantial revising and production journey ahead of us, but I am looking forward to sharing this work with you all in the coming months.

And so, here’s my annual wrap-up of my reading and listening. (As always here are my posts on books read in 2022, 202120202019201820172016201520142013201220112010, and 2009):

Books read in 2023: 164 (exactly one more book than in 2022)
Comics and graphic novels included in reading total: 7
Books of poetry included in reading total:
Books reread included in reading total: 9
Academic & Education related books included in reading total: 29
Cost of Convenience & La Cuenta related books included in total: 34

My favorite novels of the year was Catherine Lacey’s Biography of X – a speculative reimagining of U.S. history through exploring the life of the titular feminist artist X. Kinda?

Biography of X

James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store was also incredible. Go read it!

Patrick DeWitt’s newest novel, The Librarianist, was wonderful. Signature DeWitt, it was equal parts funny, absurd, and touching. It also wasn’t all that much about libraries. Yes, I read the trendier library-related book… that’s all I have to say about it.

My two favorite non-fiction books of the year were Malcolm Harris’ Palo Alto (a book I picked up based on the animosity in the NYT review of it!) and Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger. There’s a longer note I want to make about my own parallel experiences with dopplegangers in academia, but that will have to wait for another day.

I liked both Elliot Page’s and Britney Spears’ memoirs and I’m kind of surprised that Page’s didn’t get the same kind of tell-all attention as the Spears’. Not enough “fo-shiz fo-shiz what’s up homie!” moments, I guess.

Pageboy by Elliot Page - Penguin Books Australia

I also really liked reading through new books from Jose Olivarez, Anna Lekas Miller, Rafael Agustin, and Silvia Rodriguez Vega. Even if we didn’t interview all of these authors for La Cuenta, I would highly recommend their books! (Shameless plug: I spent a good portion of my academic time editing and co-writing for La Cuenta. If you haven’t looked at our growing community, check it out.)

In terms of music, Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts and Jeff Rosenstock’s HELLMODE were the big obvious pop albums I listened to the most this year. This post’s title comes from the title song on Rosenstock’s album.

Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito and particularly the Tiny Desk version of “GUCCI LOS PAÑOS” were on constant rotation.

I pretty much loved everything that was put out by the labels International Anthem (my go-to jazz-ish label), Perc Trax (my go-to obnoxious electronica label), and Backwoodz Studioz (go-to hip-hop). To the latter, both Billy Woods-related albums this year were amazing.

(Shouts to DJ Haram for the amazing production work here and her random Lot Radio sets I listened through.)

Weird music I loved while writing and editing included this Codex Serafina album and this Colin Stetson album.

For a few years now, my most consistent soundtrack when flying has been this 2+hour mix from Avalon Emerson. She’s been one of my favorite DJs for a while and put out an amazing, quiet electronic pop album.  She also produced my favorite track on the Romy’s solo album:

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