Sixteen books for 2016

16 books for 2016

1. Radioland by Lesley Wheeler
I read Wheeler’s blog and she’s so damn smart (she’s an American academic, poet, and a previous Fulbright fellow). This is her most recent collection of poetry.

2. The Pale North by Hamish Clayton
The premise of this book about books is irresistible. It couldn’t get more meta unless a Hamish Clayton impersonator came to my house and read it to me.

3. Lost and Gone Away by Lynn Jenner
A four-part hybrid of memoir, essays, prose poems and poetry, proving that Jenner can do anything. I can’t wait to read this book.

4. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
I have a pathological attraction to McEwan’s narcissistic, middle aged, intellectual protagonists. I’ll be falling in love all over again.

16 for 2016

5. Otherwise by John Dennison
This is on everyone’s ‘best poetry collections’ list for 2015. If I don’t read it I can’t participate in book launch trash talk (Greg O’Brien used the word ‘rapture’ to describe the book so my expectations are high). Good on Dennison for also publishing in the UK.

6. The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
I listen to the podcast RadioLab who often featured Oliver Sacks. What a kind and curious man. When he died I thought the least I could do was to read one of his books and this ‘collection of clinical tales from the far borderlands of neurological and human experience’ is a classic.

7. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
My favourite novel is The Road. I’ve been afraid to read more McCarthy in case it’s not as good, but people keep on assuring me it will be.

8. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje
I remember first encountering Ondaatje in a workshop reading packet. The poem we read was about the circus and it had the most exquisite line break. I am still thinking about it six years later. I found this book in an op shop.

9. Bernadette Hall’s books, all of them, in order
This is a bit of a cheat, but I’ve spent years finding all of her poetry collections and now it’s time to read them. BH forever.

16 books for 2016

10. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Emily Perkins raved about this book on Twitter. Also: women, war, and sex.

11. Sea Change by Jorie Graham
Jorie Graham’s poetry is like a force of nature. This is her 11th collection of poems and while it’s had mixed reviews, I’m still intimidated by this book.

12. An Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
Probably one of the most loved and influential collections of contemporary poetry. The other poets will vote me off the island if I don’t read it soon.

13. Information is Beautiful by David McCandless
My mum gave me a book voucher last birthday and this is what I bought. If only all communication were conceived so beautifully.

16 books for 2016

14. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
I’ll admit the cover made me pick it off a friend’s shelf, but I’ve heard it’s astonishing.

15. The Invisible Mile by David Coventry
Shining prose, by everyone’s account. More importantly, it’s about sport in a way that’s not ironic!

16. What Light Can Do by Robert Hass
I read a few essays from this collection during my doctorate, but didn’t have time to read the whole thing. Hass will always be my favourite writer, and his essays break me to bits.


3 thoughts on “Sixteen books for 2016

  1. I reckon you should go for Blood Meridian as your next McCarthy. It’s better than the Road I think. Although more of a classic western, so maybe it depends on whether you are into that.

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