Books Read 2023

Looking through this list, I read an incredibly good set of books this year. In each of my annual “books read” posts I try to pick the best or most impactful one, and this year is very hard. It’s the first full year of my sabbatical, so I delved deeper into non-fiction topics, many of which I haven’t finished (I have like 10 half-read books on my desk right now).

The Utopia of Rules should be read by any tabletop game designer, as it interrogates the relationship between game mechanics and fun. Steel Ball Run is Hirohiko Araki at his most deranged and least compromising and I can’t wait to see a team attempt to animate it.

I read several books that were interesting alone just for their structure: Dropped Names, The Argonauts, Possession, The Secret History, Castle Falkenstein, Phallos, Cuckoo’s Egg. The Argonauts kicked off my interest in autotheory. Dropped Names had such a casually empathizable nonlinear semi-contradictory yet overlapping multiple point-of-view format I can’t wait to reuse it. Yeah – Dropped Names is gonna have to be the one!

The Dying Earth – Jack Vance
House of X/Powers of X – Jonathan Hickman
Intercourse – Andrea Dworkin
Neon Spring – Ian Cinco
The Spear that Cuts Through Water – Simon Jimenez
Interdimensional Vol 1&2 – Schultz & Lydia Roberts
Underland: A Deep Time Journey – Robert MacFarlane
James Cameron: an Unauthorized Biography – Marc Shapiro
Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them – Frank Langella
Cloud Cuckoo Land – Anthony Doerr
Bolero – Wyatt Kennedy & Luana Vecchio
The Genius of Birds – Jennifer Ackerman
The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
They’re All Terrible – Matt Kindt
Steel Ball Run (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 7) – Hirohiko Araki
Pandora’s Star – Peter F. Hamilton
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
Stories of the Cree – Xavier Kataquapit
Firewalkers – Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Book of All Skies – Greg Egan
Laughing with the Trickster: On Sex, Death and Accordions – Tomson Highway
Money Shot Comes Again – Tim Seeley
Berserk – Kentaro Miura
The Worshippers and the Way – Hugh Cook
Abolish The Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation – Sophie Lewis
Cuckoo’s Egg – Clifford Stoll
Capital is Dead – McKenzie Wark
The Sandman – E.T.A. Hoffman
If You Don’t Like The Game Change The Rules: Alternative Modes of Videogame Production – Marie LeBlanc Flanagan
The Knowledge Machine – Michael Strevens
Echopraxia – Peter Watts
Possession – A.S. Byatt
The Broken Third (Digitesque Book 4) – Geurric Haché
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Castle Falkenstein – Mike Pondsmith
Get The Truth: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Persuade Anyone To Tell All – Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero
Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss, Tahl Raz
The Mushroom at the End of the World – Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Phallos – Samuel R. Delany
Looking Backwards – Edward Bellamy
The Utopia of Rules – David Graeber

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