READING in 2020 (Books I Read in 2019 — Books I want to Read in the New Year).

Greetings to my fellow writers and readers.

I was impeccably fortunate to have read so many fascinating and entertaining books this year! I read an eclectic selection of hard-boiled pulp, horror fiction, the cross sections of science and spirituality, existential philosophy, and fantasy.

Some of the authors of these books have even responded to my fan mails (I have no shame in geeking about this fact)!

Having a bunch of extra time on my hands this year has especially enabled me to diversify my reading.

I’m wondering what books my friends have read this year? What books do you desire to read in 2020?

In my humble opinion, books are the among one of the best reasons to live. I also find that I value my public library card far more than even my driver’s license.


Here, in chronological order, is the listing of every book I read to completion in 2019, two of which I was lucky enough to get published in!

1) Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

2) Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

3) The Outside by Colin Wilson

4) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Stephen Mitchell translation)

5) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

6) Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King

7) Strange Weaterh by Joe Hill

8) Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit by Krista Tippett

9) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

10) Freedom From the Known by Krishnamurti

11) No Death, No Fear by Thch Nhat Hanh

12) Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe IDispenze

13) Mother Teresa In Theory & Practice: The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens

14) Secret Windows: Essays & Fiction On the Craft of Writing by Stephen King

15) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

16) The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

17) I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

18) Houses of the Unholy by JG Faherty

19) On Writing Horror: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association

20) How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell

21) Emerging American Horror Writers: Midwest Region (in which my story “Welcome Home” was published)

22) Hell House by Richard Matheson

23) The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

24) The Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

25) Offspring by Jack Ketchum

26) Red by Jack Ketchum

27) The Courage to Create by Rollo May

28) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

29) Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

30) A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

31) The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

32) The Essential Harlan Ellison: A Retrospective

33) Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene

34) High Cotton: Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

35) Pulp by Charles Bukowski

36) Living Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

37) Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King

38) Existentialism Is A Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre

39) Smoke & Mirrors: Short Fictions & Illusions by Neil Gaiman

40) Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

41) Stardust by Neil Gaiman

42) Ghost Story by Peter Straub

43) The Lottery & Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

44) Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton

45) Ghosts: A Haunted History by Lisa Morton

46) Turn of the Screw by Henry James

47) Catch & Release by Lawrence Block

48) Shearing Time by Sara De Luca

49) Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters & Hot Rod Horror

50) Five Novellas by Jeff Strand

51) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories by Washington Irving

52) The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

53) The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

54) The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

55) The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral values by Sam Harris

56) Bag of Bones by Stephen King

57) Thinner by Richard Bachman

58) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

59) On Writing by Charles Bukowski

60) Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

61) Locke & Key Vol. I by Joe Hill

62) The Death That Walk (edited by Stephen Jones)

63) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

64) Accursed: A Horror Anthology (in which my story, “The Typewriter” was published)

65) Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development.


Now, as for books I’d like to read in 2020 . . . Well, the list is possibly infinite!

But, I suppose I’d like to read some more classics. Perhaps Dickens, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky.

As for particular titles, I’d like to read The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud, Moby Dick by Herman Mellville, How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Questions & 20 Attempts to Answer by Sarah Bakewell.

And oh yes, my friend Jack Ontario will be releasing his debut book of poetry this upcoming January! A fine volume of poetry entitled, “Sunburst Woman”.

How about you, fellow friends and bloggers? What might you be reading? And what books have you read in 2019?


For the Love of Books (Reading in 2018).

Reading is a wonderful thing. To crack open a book and be able to read it is the veritable gateway to being an active participant in the intellectual, creative, and imaginary life of the world. There are few things sweeter.

It’s been a year of tremendous exploration for me. What does your reading list look like? Are there any books you would like to read in the upcoming year? Are your library fines paid up yet?

Here are the Books I’ve read in 2018.

  • The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Portable Henry Rollins by Henry Rollins
  • A Preferred Blur: Reflections, Inspections and Travel in All Directions by Henry Rollins.
  • Imperial America by Gore Vidal
  • Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
  • Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky
  • The Communist Manifesto by Marx & Engels
  • Dreaming War by Gore Vidal
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal
  • Inventing a Nation by Gore Vidal
  • Wisdom of the Buddha: The Unabridged Dhammapada
  • How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pugliucci
  • Tao Te Ching by Lau Tzu (RB lakney translation)
  • The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by albert Camus
  • Reel Terror by David Konow
  • Interviews with Henry Miller
  • The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Stand Still Like the Humming Bird by Henry Miller
  • The Hearth of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • A Profound Mind by Dalai Lama
  • The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra
  • Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein
  • A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • The Meaning of it All by Richard Feynman
  • Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lumley
  • A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Good Without God by Greg Epstein
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Desperation by Stephen King
  • The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Air Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
  • Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller
  • Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Existentialism is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Talking With Sartre: Debates and Interviews by Gerassi
  • The Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse
  • At the Existentialist Café by Kate Blackmore
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
  • Willow River Writers Anthology 2018
  • Baudelaire by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • In Favor of the Sensitive Man & Other Essays by Anais Nin
  • Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Diary of Anais Nin: Vol. 1: 1931-1934
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus


Then there were plenty of books which I’ve started but never finished. I have a rule: If I’m not intrigued by the first 20 pages, I put it down. Bad TV can at least be entertaining. A bad book, though, is unredeemable – especially if it is boring.

These books have nurtured me and taught me many lessons. They have been indispensable to my creative livelihood. I am very excited for all the books I may discover in the upcoming year.

I often like to tell people that I value my library card far more than my driver’s license. Driving on public roads may be a privilege, but reading (and writing) is a human right. Or, at least, it ought to be.

I like to think of it this way, sometimes:

Books are a life support system for the mind. A library is a mental hospital. The reader is the ailed patient. The authors are our doctors, our healers, our cerebral nutritionists. For maximum health, I advise one to read, read, read…