A Year in Reading: Catie Disabato

December 17, 2015 | 10 books mentioned 2 min read

covercoverWhile most of my life I’ve been interested in long narratives that I could really live inside, something about the overall vibes of 2015 got me into a mood to dip in and out of multiple stories, and/or to get in and out quick. After years of side-eyeing books of short stories without ever really diving in, I finally spent some real time with them. I fell in love with Amelia Gray’s Gutshot; I started many Sunday mornings trying to work my brain out of a hangover, opening to a random page and reading a very short story very slowly. At AWP, I stopped at the booth for the Austin-based indie press A Strange Object and picked up Nicholas Grider’s Misadventure after hearing Grider had written a piece that was a catalogue of ex-lovers. “Formers (An Index)” is my favorite story in the book.

covercovercoverMy brain was also primed for poetry this year and I finally picked up Dorothea Lasky’s Thunderbird, which contains my favorite contemporary poem “Why It Is a Black Life” (the text of which I framed and hung in my closet). I discovered the poem right next to it in Thunderbird, “The World Doesn’t Care,” excites me just as much. I read the two poems out loud to myself dozens of times this year; they always steadied me.

At a few points during 2015, strong voices pulled me in for longer periods of time. Jeremy Bushnell’s The Weirdness was the best straight-up novel I read all year and I loved Leon Neyfakh’s The Next Next Level, an examination of what looking at another person can make us learn about ourselves.

Most of the rest of the books I read this year contributed to my ongoing project of trying to figure out how to live as a difficult woman by reading about difficult women. I’m no closer to answers but I read well: Kate Zambreno’s chapbook Apoplexia, Toxic Shock, and Toilet Bowl: Some Notes On Why I Write, Amelia Morris’s memoir Bon Appétempt: A Coming-of-Age Story, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, Chelsea Hodson’s Pity the Animal, reality TV star Courtney Robertson’s I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality TV Villain, Lili Anolik’s dark teen girl mystery Dark Rooms, Eve Babitz’s Eve’s Hollywood, and Carrie Brownstein’s new memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.

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Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

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’s debut novel The Ghost Network was published by Melville House in May 2015. She’s written criticism and commentary for This Recording, Full Stop, and The Rumpus, and her short fiction was featured on Joyland. After growing up in Chicago and graduating from Oberlin College, she now lives in Los Angeles.

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