I read a lot of books in 2019

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I kept a list of all the books and pamphlets I read throughout 2019, starting on a whim. It’s the first year I’ve done that, and reading it back has been a lovely way to remember the ideas and stories I’ve lived with throughout the year. I read for an hour or two every morning as the first thing I do when I wake up: I find it hard to imagine living otherwise. And books are always my companions on buses, in lonely moments. I have to pick handbags by whether or not they’ll fit a standard paperback, and any day I leave the house without a book is the day I’m guaranteed to need it: even if I don’t read it, it’s good to know the book is there.

I haven’t counted up how many books this is! That’s because it’s a joy, not a task. To that end, I’ve also slowed down my reading by making sure I read each poetry book at least twice: a resolution for 2020 might be to read a few fewer books but read them more, because sometimes I could feel the pressure of the list speeding me up.

Similarly, I haven’t done a diversity tally on this, but I do know that well over half of what I’ve read has been written by trans people. I’ve now read the majority of novels about trans characters by trans authors ever published, and almost all of the trans poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Happily, trans writers keep writing, so I won’t stop. This has been a very healing reading project for me, something I’ve found myself and a world through. I can’t recommend it enough to other trans folk (or anyone). If you want to borrow any of these books, send me a message. Rachel Pollack in particular has been my companion throughout the year: a hugely influential but criminally underread author. Read her!

The other vital companion in my year has been Jamie Berrout’s editing at the Booklet Series. This is regularly publishing trans women of colour in a radical and decentralised way, creating work that needs to be in the world, getting people paid, and persistently critiquing publishing and literary hierarchies. Berrout’s “Against Publishing” writing has been necessary to me, and the vitality of all this work is making me think much harder about how I want to write, and read, in the coming years.

I wrote very short reflections on my reading as I went, with pictures. You can find that on Twitter; I might take it to Instagram and Facebook next year too. Here’s to a couple hundred more books next year! And at least one of my own.

Fiction

  • Clay AD, Metabolise, If Able
  • Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night
  • George Mackay Brown, Greenvoe
  • Graeme MacRae Burnet, His Bloody Project
  • Octavia Butler, Seed to Harvest
  • Austin Chant, Peter Darling
  • Zen Cho, Sorceror to the Crown
  • Zen Cho, The True Queen
  • Amber Dawn, Sodom Road Exit
  • Esi Edugyan, Washington Black
  • Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone, This is how you lose the time war
  • Akwaeke Emezi, PET
  • Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues
  • Leslie Feinberg, Drag King Dreams
  • Liana Finck, Passing for Human
  • Joseph Fink, Alice Isn’t Dead
  • Nicola Griffith, So Lucky
  • Alicia E. Goranson, Supervillainz
  • Jane Eaton Hamilton, Weekend
  • Nalo Hopkinson, Sister Mine
  • Witi Ihimaera with Hemi Kelly, Sleeps Standing / Moetu
  • Rita Indiana, Tentacle
  • Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
  • Renee James, Transition to Murder
  • June Jordan, His Own Where
  • Caitlín R Kiernan, Agents of Dreamland
  • Caitlín R Kiernan, Black Helicopters
  • Margaret Killjoy, A Country of Ghosts
  • Niviaq Korneliussen, Crimson
  • Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room
  • Larissa Lai, The Tiger Flu
  • Min Jin Lee, Pachinko
  • Lisa Maas, Forward
  • Anna Mill and Luke Jones, Square Eyes
  • Madeline Miller, Circe
  • Helen Mort, Black Car Burning
  • Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman
  • Hope Nicholson (ed), Love Beyond Body Space and Time
  • D. Nandi Odhiambo, Smells Like Stars
  • Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death
  • EE Ottoman, Documenting Light
  • Helen Oyeyemi, Gingerbread
  • Intan Paramaditha, Apple & Knife
  • Jeff Parker, Meteor Men
  • Michelle Perez, The Pervert
  • Hazel Jane Plante, Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian)
  • Rachel Pollack, A Secret Woman
  • Rachel Pollack, Unquenchable Fire
  • Rachel Pollack, Godmother Night
  • Rachel Pollack, Golden Vanity
  • Rachel Pollack, The Fissure King
  • Rachel Pollack, The Child Eater
  • Rachel Pollack, The Beatrix Gates
  • Annie Proulx, Barkskins
  • Philip Pullman, The Secret Commonwealth
  • Sally Rooney, Normal People
  • Ali Smith, Girl meets boy
  • Ali Smith, Autumn
  • Ali Smith, Winter
  • Anna Maria Staiano, Transexpace
  • Linda Stupart, Virus
  • Luke Sutherland, Venus as a Boy
  • Bogi Takács (ed), Transcendent 3
  • Jeanne Thornton, The Dream of Doctor Bantam
  • Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
  • Joshua Whitehead, Jonny Appleseed
  • JY Yang, The Tensorate Series 1-4

Poetry Collections and Anthologies

  • Meg Bateman, Soirbheas
  • Billy-Ray Belcourt, NDN Coping Mechanisms
  • Gwen Benaway, Passage
  • Jay Bernard, Surge
  • Hera Lindsay Bird, Irony /Sincerity
  • Eli Clare, The Marrow’s Telling
  • Charly Cox, she must be mad
  • John Cumming (ed), the crow in the rear view mirror
  • Qwo-Li Driskill, Walking with Ghosts
  • Kari Edwards, Obedience
  • Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, There Should Be Flowers
  • Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Collected Poems
  • Emma Frankland, None of us is yet a robot
  • Jackqueline Frost, The Third Event Part 1 & 2
  • Kit Fryatt, Bodyservant
  • Callie Gardner, Naturally It Is Not
  • Caspar Heinemann, Novelty Theory
  • WN Herbert, Bad Shaman Blues
  • Jay Hulme, City Boys Should Not Feed Horses
  • Kathleen Jamie, Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead
  • Mikael Johani, we are nowhere and it’s wow
  • Roz Kaveney, Catullus
  • Myung Mi Kim (ed), Best American Experimental Writing 2018
  • Joy Ladin, The Future is Trying to Tell Us Something
  • Pàdraig MacAoidh, Gu Leòr
  • Kei Miller, in nearby bushes
  • Daniel Ortberg, The Merry Spinster
  • Norman Erikson Parasibu (trans. Tiffany Tsao), Sergius Seeks Bacchus
  • Nii Ayikwei Parkes (ed), Filigree: Contemporary Black British Poetry
  • Allison Parrish, Articulations
  • Everest Pipkin, i’ve never picked a protected flower
  • Platypus Press (eds), Islands are but Mountains
  • Rachel Plummer, Wain
  • Rachel Plummer and Russel Jones (eds), Multiverse
  • Nat Raha, Of Sirens, Body & Faultlines
  • essa may ranapiri, ransack
  • Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
  • Calum Rodger (ed), makar/unmakar
  • Linus Slug, Type Specimen
  • Verity Spott, Prayers Manifestos Bravery
  • Lawrence Schimel (ed), Correspondencias : una antología de poesiía contemporánea LGTB española
  • Tayi Tibble, Poukahangatus
  • David and Lizzie Turner (eds), Why Poetry? The Lunar Poetry Podcasts Anthology
  • Ryan Vance and Michael Lee Richardson (eds), We Were Always Here
  • Roseanne Watt, Moder Dy
  • New Writing Scotland 36, With Their Best Clothes On

Non-Fiction

  • Hamja Ahsan, Shy Radicals
  • b. binaohan, decolonizing trans/gender 101
  • adrienne marie brown, Emergent Strategy
  • Christine Burns (ed), Trans Britain
  • Colin G Calloway, White People, Indians and Highlanders
  • Eli Clare, Exile and Pride
  • Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure
  • Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse
  • Sylvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero
  • Leslie Feinberg, Trans Liberation
  • Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi, Tranny
  • Sophie Lewis, Full Surrogacy Now
  • Sarah Lippett, Stan and Nan
  • Raphael Minder, The Struggle for Catalonia
  • Naomi Mitchison, You May As Well Ask
  • Oli Mould, Against Creativity
  • Don Paterson, The Poem
  • Ruth Pearce, Understanding Trans Health
  • Warren Pleece, Freedom Bound
  • Paul B. Preciado, Countersexual Manifesto
  • Natalia Raha, Queer Capital: Marxism in Queer Theory and Post-1950 Poetics
  • Christina Richards, Walter Pierre Bouman and Meg-John Barker (eds), Genderqueer and Non-Binary Genders
  • Juno Roche, Queer Sex
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Touching Feeling
  • Roddy Slorach, A Very Capitalist Condition
  • Tuesday Smillie, Huw Lemmey, CAConrad: Seized by the Left Hand
  • SPK, Turn Illness Into A Weapon
  • Susan Stryker, Transgender History
  • Mary and Bryan Talbot, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind
  • Alex S. Vitale, The End of Policing
  • Melanie Yergeau, Authoring Autism
  • Yasemin Yildiz, Beyond the Mother Tongue

Zines, Pamphlets and Periodicals

Poetry

  • Anaphora, Untitled Poems
  • Brae Editions, Milk to Mercury
  • Travis Alabanza, Before I Step Outside (You Love Me)
  • Jay Bernard, The Red and Yellow Nothing
  • Jamie Berrout (ed), Radical Trans Poetry vol. 1
  • blem, I sneez in my sleep
  • Denise Bonetti, Probs too late 4 a snog now
  • Malcolm Bradley, Clock Tower
  • Helen Charman, Daddy Poem
  • Ian Davidson, Gateshead and Back
  • Edalia Day, Super Hamlet 64
  • Mercedes Eng, Prison Industrial Complex Explodes
  • Eros, To Freedom
  • Michelle Evans, Just Another Dead Black Girl
  • Metal Femme, Seek and Give Yourself a Self and Other Poems
  • Gyözö Ferenez (trans. Tom Hubbard), Minoritie Status
  • Cyntha Hariadi, they don’t know I’m missing since I’m always home
  • Cait Johnson, Night Book 1 & 2
  • Cait Johnson, broadsides 1-3
  • Colin Johnstone, All things seem possible in May
  • Bibi June, Begin Again
  • Sean Wai Keung, How to Cook
  • Kierra, Symphony of Symphonies
  • Natasha Lall, Scores for Sissy Bois
  • Audrey Lindemann, I have compiled 14 gay love poems
  • Francesca Lisette, sub rosa: The Book of Metaphysics
  • Dru Marland, Drawn Chorus
  • Jade Mars, Deep Lez Dirt Feelz
  • Alex Marsh, Silo Bliss
  • Hugh McMillan, Sheep Penned
  • Hugh McMillan, Five Days/Twelve Months
  • Nicky Melville, Abbodies
  • Heather O’Donnell, Falter
  • Sandeep Parmar, Nisha Ramaya and Bhanu Kapil, Threads
  • Nalini Paul, The Raven’s Song
  • Nisha Ramayya, In Me the Juncture
  • essa may ranapiri (ed), this gender is a million things more than we are: poetry from takatāpui/genderqueer/trans writers from across Aotearoa
  • Kevin Reid, Burdlife
  • Rara Rizal, Proper Language & Other Poems
  • Edie Roberts, Expotition: Where in
  • Calum Rodger, Fiat Ontology
  • Gratiagusti Chanaya Rompas, Non-Specific
  • Calum Rodger, Ports
  • wren cuidadx romero-gilhooly, when phoenix flooded
  • Alison Rumfitt, The T(y)ranny
  • Chelsea Tadeyske, Totem
  • Margaret Tait, Jean waits for the drunk man thistle-gazer
  • TC Tolbert, i :not he :not i
  • Pascal Vine, The Grand Scheme of Things
  • Yerbamala Collective, BURN IT ALL DOWN: AN ANTIFASCIST SPELLBOOK
  • Jay G Ying, Wedding Beasts
  • Bombinate 1-3
  • Modern Poetry in Translation: Spring 2018 to Autumn 2019 (5 issues)
  • Northwords Now: Spring 2019
  • Poetry London: Autumn 2018 to Autumn 2019 (4 issues)
  • Poetry Magazine: Jan to Oct (9 issues)
  • Poetry Wales 55
  • Stand 17(3): Ecopoetics
  • Sync 1-52, Sync^2 1-40
  • Tender Hammers (Writing for the UCU Strike)
  • Vetch 1-4
  • Zarf 12

Comics and Art

  • Lelia Aluwihare, Uncommon Places
  • Aappa Pappa, Butts
  • Annabelle Beans, Witch’s Hands
  • Bethlem Gallery, You are with me again
  • Debbie Press, Who will comfort and love me and ask for nothing in return
  • Romina Fretes, Untitled
  • Aoi Fukuyama, Needlepoint
  • Jo Hauge, MS Paint it Black
  • Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Blood Sugar
  • Jacob V Joyce, Fear Brown Queers
  • Junie Latte, Queereidolia
  • Maddelyn, Bossy Bottom
  • Gabri Molist, Assonance
  • Ned, Yella Haws and the Cougar
  • Nell, Go to Hell
  • Sofia Niazi, Animals in a Digital Age
  • Sofia Niazi, What Animals Think of People
  • Sarah of the North, Ah Cannae Believe This
  • Lotte Pencheon, Happy//Hungry
  • Lotte Pencheon, Self Care Bear
  • Lizzie Quirke, untitled
  • CJ Reay, Laid
  • Cicy Reay, Fucking
  • Cicy Reay, Cruising
  • Jo Ruessmann, The Bath Woman
  • Soft Hard Soft, Tip Dip
  • Sammi Stein, Crayon 2
  • Gueli Torres, Redes
  • Tempest, Verbal Abusedale
  • Trans Zines, Energising Trans Rage
  • Ren Wednesday & Ava Foxtrot, Emoji Love Dictionary
  • Leo Wight, I feel more underwater than ever
  • Yishu Wang, Island on Fire
  • Runxuan Yang, Three untitled zines

Fiction

  • Catherine Kim, Collected Stories
  • Linden Katherine McMahon, Daring the City to Fall Into It
  • Mors, Three Stories
  • Nadia Nova, Can You Say My Name Again
  • Esdras Parra, Two Stories
  • Porpentine Charity Heartscape, The Maximum Softness Capable of Being Exerted by All Machinery
  • Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Everyone I Know Wants to be Castrated and Kill Their Family
  • Cy Sevalle, Woman Is the Machine That I Am
  • Gillian Ybabez, Homeward Bound and Other Stories

Non-Fiction

  • Anon, Damn You Mercury
  • Action for Trans Health, Transitional Demands
  • Lohana Berkins (trans. Jamie Berrout), Selected Writings
  • Claire Biddles (ed), Fuck What You Love
  • Siobhan Britton, Living the No Maintenance Lifestyle
  • Graham Bruce, Riots in Durness
  • Tom Bryan, Stac Polly
  • Tom Bryan, Suilven
  • Tom Bryan, Mountains in your Pocket
  • Carbine & Jackie, Two Essays on Crime
  • Holly Casio, Taking Up Space
  • Holly Casio, Cool Schmool
  • Holly Casio, Burn Out
  • Holly Casio, Things I didn’t learn at library school
  • Andrew Coltrin, A is for Aspergers
  • Sky Cubacub, Radical Visibility: A QueerCrip Dress Reform Movement Manifesto
  • Lindsay Draws, Traditional woodworking tips for non-traditional woodworkers
  • Dysphoria Collective, Dysphoria
  • Kirsty Fife (ed), Trailblazing Stories
  • Kirsty Fife, Hard Femme 1-3
  • Steven Fraser, How to make friends as an adult
  • Steven Fraser, Delay
  • Steven Fraser, Uncomfortable sex with total strangers
  • Steven Fraser, Addicted to loneliness
  • Steven Fraser, BPD
  • Steven Fraser, Be my friend please
  • Steven Fraser, Interview ABC
  • Yori Gagarim, Why I stopped making merch for a revolution that does not happen
  • Carol Green, Biketiquette
  • Hidden Ink Child, mEN DO bleed
  • Hidden Ink Child, Gay Trans Boy Things 1-3
  • Hidden Ink Child, Poverty
  • Hidden Ink Child, My First PIP Assessment
  • Hidden Ink Child, What could go wrong with Google speech-to-text
  • Say Holt, Hard/Soft
  • Say Holt, Guest Artist
  • David Hird, Cape Wrath
  • Kathleen Jamie, Findings
  • Saffa Khan, shadow play
  • Saffa Khan, How to get through really bad days
  • Natasha Lall, Secret Diary: A baby butch bio
  • Jade Mars, Scorpio Moon 8,
  • Valerie McLaren, Anorexic Becomings
  • Txgen Meyer, The Thirst for Acceleration
  • Jem Milton, Magical Grill
  • Nell, Little Victories
  • Nell, Dear GP
  • Sofia Niazi, Intifada Milk
  • Nell Osborne & Hilary White (eds), Academics Against Networking
  • Petroleum Genderloss 4
  • PMS, Building Towards an Autonomous Trans Healthcare
  • Astrid Seme, Baroness Elsa’s em dashes
  • Connie Scum, Feelers
  • Matthew Sea & Lindsay Draws, Together
  • Matthew Sea & Lindsay Draws, Alerta
  • Emil Thornton, Allotment Problems
  • Isobel Waidner and Joanna Hedva, The Prince of Homburg
  • Winter, Legalize Crime + Against Revolution
  • Various Authors, FUCKED
  • Radical Transfeminism, Trans Reproductive Justice
  • Asylum Magazine, Winter 2018 – Autumn 2019 (3 issues)
  • The Author: Autumn 2018 – Autumn 2019, (4 Issues)

 

 

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