sea of tranquility, by emily st. john mandel

There’s a low-level, specific pain in having to accept that putting up with you requires a certain generosity of spirit in your loved ones.

stay true, by hua hsu

“Why do you think it’s your fault?” she finally asked. It had never occurred to me that it was not.

i suffer alone, uncomplaining

Having traced my mother’s family to the Kingdom of Mercia I am in gales of laughter over the title of the most important surviving text in the Mercian language: The Old English Martyrology. Even other people who knew my mother and grandmother don’t think it’s as funny as I do. Story of my life.

tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, by gabrielle zevin

“There are no ghosts, but up here”—she gestured toward her head—”it’s a haunted house.”

some books i loved this year and why you might want to read them

America is Not the Heart and How to Read Now
Have you ever really thought about Fremont? No? Why not?

An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Learn your blood-drenched history and mourn your courageous dead

Another Day in the Colony
Know that history is in no way done with us yet

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
Comics aren’t supposed to make me cry (are they?)

Homage to Catalonia
Reread old novels now that you’re big enough to understand them

Nona the Ninth
Meet the soul of the earth

Outrageous Conduct: Art, Ego, and the Twilight Zone Case
Understand how power corrupts

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity
Consider alternatives

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred and The End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking)
Drive from San Francisco to Joshua Tree thinking about deep space and social justice

The Years
…so that when Annie Ernaux wins the Nobel Prize you can say “oh yeah Annie, I call her Annie, she’s great”

becoming story, by greg sarris

In that brief moment before the clouds shielded the sun again, I felt what it was like to be held. I was standing in the earth’s enormous hand.

claire dewitt and the bohemian highway, by sara gran

The drive over the Golden Gate Bridge never stops being beautiful. In every kind of weather on every kind of day it’s a different kind of beautiful.

inciting joy, by ross gay

Whoever saved the seed loved us before they knew us. And some of them loved us as their world was ending. Our gardens archive that love.

gold fame citrus, by claire vaye watkins

camel, horse, mammoth, saber-tooth cat, dire wolf, short-faced bear, coyote, flamingo, pelican, eagle, swan, goose, mallard duck, ruddy duck, canvasback duck, double-crested cormorant, grebe, crane, seagull, stork…

smöl bb house wolf

The club leader says “she is just a little bit ugly, which makes her cute.” Which is… not inaccurate.

adventure time: introducing eleanor

There is a dog in my house! Her name is Eleanor and she is a thirteen month old yellow lab in training to be a particular kind of service dog. Not gonna specify which kind because I don’t want to appear to be speaking on behalf of the excellent org to which she belongs.

Getting qualified to raise dogs like Eleanor is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, and have trained to do since the pandemic. I’ve had temporary dogs but I am now Eleanor’s primary handler.

It is an awesome responsibility and, being me, I’ve already had anxiety dreams about it. She’s a good girl whose worst crimes are a bit of pulling on the leash and some surprise bork-bork-borking when Charlie came home from college with Hazel the emotional support cat in tow. (Alice and Thimble have already judged Eleanor and found her wanting.)

Still I fret. The group leaders like to say “you won’t break the puppy” but what if I somehow do? What if I’m the first raiser to have her dog abducted by aliens or indoctrinated by Fox News? Charlie said, “no one’s expecting you to be perfect at this the first time,” and I said, “I am.”

She has enormous paws and hilariously expressive eyebrows. She likes licking things, meeting new people and curling up on my foot.

a half-built garden, by ruthanna emrys

corporate strength has always come from transmuting the threat of force into softer trade.

what my bones know, by stephanie woo

I wanted to be the kind of woman people didn’t leave.

we watch a bad heterosexual date on the telly

Jeremy: Why are they sitting next to a bank of candles? Why is their table in the middle and everyone else’s around the edges?

Jo: Have you never been to a restaurant where you are the main character?

husbandry, by matthew dickman

my only job now, in all the world, is to not destroy my kids, and in turn, teach them not to destroy others

whale fall, by david baker

I wish I had spoken when it mattered

in the eye of the wild, by nastassja martin

Three years ago Daria described the fall of the Soviet Union to me. She said, Nastya, one day the light went out and the spirits came back. And we returned to the forest.

nona the ninth, by tamsyn muir

She had the terrible sinking feeling that whatever was going wrong right now, it was her fault somehow: that she hadn’t been smart enough or good enough.

america is not the heart, by elaine castillo

Baggage means no matter how far you go, no matter how many times you immigrate, there are countries in you you’ll never leave.

nature poem, by tommy pico

Repeating patterns, the mistakes of yr parents, running but not getting very far. Not as far as you wanted but maybe farther than you think.