Books Read in 2015


I realize it is a bit late, but I thought I would go ahead and publish my list of books read in 2015. As in the past, this is the list of all of the books I read to completion, page-by-page. It doesn’t include another 100 or so books that I spent some period of time looking at for scholarly purposes.

In 2015, thanks to the prompting of Charles Petersen, I read Elena Ferrante’s fantastic Neapolitan novels. They are some of the best works of fiction I’ve ever read and certainly superior to anything else I read for pleasure last year. The novels both have a cosmopolitan universality and particularity to them that seems capable of speaking to a variety of experiences. Robert Bolano’s “The Savage Detectives” was also great and everyone should read, or should have read, Ralph Ellison’s “The Invisible Man” (which I was lucky enough to teach this year) and Junot Diaz. It probably is unnecessary to write this but I read Thomas Dixon, Jr.’s work for my dissertation, it was awful, and it made me more sympathetic to conservative and Augustian descriptions of the inherent wickedness of human nature. Dixon was a racist f**k, his literature did enormous harm, and you should only read him if you must.

In the realm of non-fiction I want to lift up DuBois’s “The Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880.” It is the single most important work of American history. I have read it twice now and will probably read it again this spring as I prepare a lecture on African American memories of Reconstruction. If you haven’t read it you need to. Now. Before you read anything else. It will help you understand the deep structures of American white supremacy and how and why capital is always racialized. As an equation Du Bois argues, building off Marx, that: the exploitation of black and brown bodies + the exploitation of the planet = white wealth.

The only really terrible things I read this past year were works by Dixon or other white supremacists. Some of my son’s books were questionable but they didn’t rise to the level of the truly awful.

The Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Desai
Spy Academy: Black Tie Spy, George Glass
The Metaphysical Club, Louis Menand
Saga, Vol. 4, Brian Vaughan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, Jeff Kinney
The Leopard’s Spots, Thomas Dixon, Jr.
Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination, Robert Abzug
Roman Catholicism and Political Form, Carl Schmitt
Political Theology, Carl Schmitt
Fellowship of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, Kadir Nelson
Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, Simon Critchley
The Concept of the Political, expanded edition, Carl Schmitt
Amulet: Prince of the Elves, Book Five, Kazu Kibuishi
How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, Joy Harjo
A Bear Called Paddington, Michael Bond
March: Book One, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
The Lesson of Carl Schmitt: Four Chapters on the Distinction between Political Theology and Political Philosophy, Heinrich Meier
Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology, Carl Schmitt
Asterix the Gaul, René Goscinny
Meaning in History, Karl Löwith
Labor Struggles in the Deep South & Other Writings, Covington Hall
Billy Sunday Was His Real Name, William McLoughlin, Jr.
Asterix and the Golden Sickle, René Goscinny
Asterix and the Normans, René Goscinny
Catullus, The Complete Poems, trans. Guy Lee
The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Occidental Eschatology, Jacob Taubes
To Carl Schmitt: Letters and Reflections, Jacob Taubes
Usagi Yojimbo 27: A Town Called Hell, Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo 28: Red Scorpion, Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 1, Stan Sakai
The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt, Gopal Balakrishnan
Bone: Tall Tales, Tom Sniegoski and Jeff Smith
Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume, Jeff Smith
The Clansman, Thomas Dixon, Jr.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Hegel and Modern Society, Charles Taylor
Bone: Rose, Prequel, Jeff Smith
The Traitor, Thomas Dixon, Jr.
The Klan Unmasked, William Simmons
The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Susanna Clarke
The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano
Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy, Helen Fielding
By Night in Chile, Roberto Bolano
Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wislawa Szymborska, trans. Joanna Trzeciak
This is How You Lose Her, Junot Díaz
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
Black Reconstruction in America: 1860-1880, W. E. B. Du Bois
Usagi Yojimbo Book 6: Circles, Stan Saki
Someday We’ll Be Ready, and We’ll Be Enough, Jeremy Louzao
Drown, Junot Diaz
Cane, Jean Toomer
American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism, Matthew Avery Sutton
Papers Read at the Meeting of Grand Dragons, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, Church and Labor, Pasquale Russo
Bill Haywood’s Book, Bill Haywood
Saga, Volume 5, Brian Vaughan
Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor: Book One, Jon Scieszka
The Phenomenology of the Spirit, G. W. F. Hegel (trans. A. V. Miller)
We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World, Melvyn Dubovsky
The Shooting Star, Herge
Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World, Catherine Keller
Home to Harlem, Claude McKay
Banjo, Claude McKay
All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks
Negro with A Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey, Colin Grant
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde
Modern Social Imaginaries, Charles Taylor
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
Goosebumps: The Haunted Car, R. L. Stine
Race and Reunion, David Blight
The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante

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