The Best of What I Read in 2015

Roughly in order of when I read them. Essays published in previous years listed last. Super-favorites in bold.


Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame by Ty Burr

Metamorphoses, Ovid 

The Trial, by Franz Kafka

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Le nœud de vipères by François Mauriac

A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

Articles & Essays

Bombast: Subterranean Hot Take Blues” by Nick Pinkerton, in Film Comment

Pop Artist. Provacateur. Catholic. Who Was Andy Warhol?” by Adelaide Mena, for Catholic News Agency

Taylor Swift: A Socratic Dialogue” by Jared Smith, in McSweeney's

In Praise of the Amateur” by Alissa Wilkinson, in Image

Through African Eyes” by John A. Azumah, in First Things

The Year We Obsessed Over Identity” by Wesley Morris, in the New York Times (N.B. – Morris also definitely had some great things in Grantland (R.I.P.) earlier this year, but I…can't find them.)

For Whom the Phone Rings: The Genius Cult” by Thomas Frank, in The Baffler

The Distributor as Auteur” by David Ehrlich, in Slate

How I Made My Peace with ‘Ethnic’ Orthodoxy” by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, in Roads from Emmaus

Pop for Misfits” by Kelefa Sanneh, in The New Yorker

Watching Shakespeare” by Kate Havard, in The New Criterion

The Oldest City Divide” by Victor Davis Hanson, in City Journal

When a House Becomes a ‘Home’” by Gracy Olmstead, in The American Conservative

Points of Sale” by Dan Piepenbring, in The Paris Review

Always Winter, Never Christmas” by B.D. McClay, in Fare Forward

Preaching As Though We Had Enemies” by Stanley Hauerwas, in First Things (1995)

“Authority and American Usage” by David Foster Wallace, in Consider the Lobster (1999)

A Reader's Manifesto” by B.R. Myers, in The Atlantic (2001)

White Messiah Complex” by John Allen Gay, in The American Conservative (2014)

“To Scratch, Claw, or Grope Clumsily or Frantically” by Roxane Gay, in Bad Feminist (2014)


Tongue Is the Pen” by Brett Foster

Second Odyssey” by C.P. Cavafy, translated by George Economou

Technically I should have put the Ovid here, but that thing sure didn't feel like a poem when I was translating it.

A Book I Read in French This Fall and Planned to Blog about but I Never Got Around to Finishing the Post, Although If You Ask Nicely *Maybe* I'll Have Something for You by Christmas

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert