Ep. 6: The Better Being Episode, who read 25 in 22

The better being part is ironic. I am going to be just as good or bad depending on whom you ask next year as I was this year. 

This is episode 7 of Ink Medicine podcast, which is a ramble from me about my Christmas weekend, my upcoming New Year's weekend, about clients who have passed away this year and a list of the 25 books I read in 2022 with short commentary on each. 

You are welcome of course to reach out through micahtattoos@gmail.com to offer your own book suggestions for my 2023 reading list, to offer constructive criticism or to tell me how much you enjoy my ramblings ;) . 


The Books Mentioned:

2022 Reading List

1 The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis (queer)

Historical fiction, queer, about tango, life in Argentina in the early 1900. So well written, so sweet, so tender. Did I cry at the end yes yes I did. 

2 You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat (queer)

Though fiction, reads like a memoir, a quick read, engaging story, solid writing, about mother issues, queerness, love addiction, non-whiteness, youth, love. 

3 Milkfed by Melissa Broder (queer)

ahhh. This one was just delicious. I ate it up in 24 hours. I couldn’t put it down. Queer love story. Also about being jewish, belonging, mother issues, self acceptance. Poetic. Luscious. descriptive. The sex scenes are just so hot. Bonus: The love interest of the main character is fat. 

4 Will by Will Smith (non-fiction)

Read this one for the one page of his description of his journeying with Ayahuasca at the end. But enjoyed it overall. Easy writing. Good insight into this celebrity, whom I have always seen as a full human. It was fun to delve into his humanity further. 

5 Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaoud (non- fiction) 

Heartbreaking memoir of a cancer survivor. Detailed. Very well written. Beautiful. 

6 The Pisces by Melissa Broder

After “milked” I had to read more Melissa Broder. This one was also memorable. And similar themes. A bit less delicious to me, but still a worthy quick read. Thought provoking. Also a fun (literal) beach read. 

7 Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist by Sesali Bowen (non-fiction) (queer)

Great essays. Thoughtful writer. Really enjoyed this one. 

8 The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus (queer)

Young adult Black queer love novel about many things, but the best thing is that for the majority of the novel queerness isn’t conflated with trauma. Such sweetness here. Yes I cried at the end. 

9 What We Don’t Talk About when We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon (queer)

A must read for everyone living in our society. If you care to become the best version of yourself you can be, this should be on your list. 

10 Tender is The Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Ugh. Thinly veiled vegan propaganda. No redeeming characters. Disgusting images I can’t get out of my head. Do yourself a favor, skip this one. 

11 The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (queer)

One of the most beautiful things I read this year and what made me fall in love with Akwaeke Emezi’s work. They are a Wonder to behold. I think this is their most brilliant (thus far) piece of fiction. I loved it. Wept. 

12 Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir by Akwaeke Emezi (audio) (non-fiction) (queer)

However this is my very favorite work by Emezi. It broke my heart into pieces and then put it back together. I felt like it was written for me, when in fact I know that I am not the intended audience for it. Akwaeke writes for themselves and people like them. Namely Black folks. Still. I felt like it was a treasure I found meant just for my eyes. It’s quite the experience to find a piece of writing that speaks to you so loudly. Yes I cried throughout. 

13 Chemical Pink by Katie Arnoldi

This was disgusting. And I could absolutely not put it down. I literally read it while working out. Another 24 hour read. Be warned, it’s kink and trans phobic, body negative, includes child abandonment etc. But. Still I was fascinated. 

14 You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (bi)

Eh. I wasn’t super into this one. It’s a romance novel by the great Akwaeke Emezi, and I could have skipped it. It was pretty. It was nice. I thought it was just ok. 

15 Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

brilliant. Contemporary Japanese novel about a harmless sociopath whom people just won’t let alone. I thought about this one for a while. Also its very short. 

16 The Curious Incident of a Dog in the night time by Mark Haddon (audio)

Good classic. listened to it on a road trip with my step son. We both enjoyed it a lot. Autistic kid as the protagonist and the writer. Investigating the murder of a neighbor’s dog and in the process uncovering… everything. 

17 Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune (queer)

Such sweetness here. Kind of a magical “what happens after you die” queer fairy tale that I was completely charmed by. yes I cried. We need more of these in the world. 

18 A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (queer)

eh. I loved The Heart’s Invisible Furies so hard. It’s probably my favorite novel of the last few years. I had hopes for this read. Instead It left me feeling very meh. It felt contrived, stiff, again not a ton of redeeming characters. I’ll try John Boyne again, at some point. Gay Irish dude. 

19 Cantoras by Carolina de Robertis (queer)

My second foray into Carolina’s work. Another historical queer fiction set in Uruguay during the dictatorship, not so long ago. Beautiful. One of my new favorite authors. 

20 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (non fiction) 

Important work. The story of Henrietta Lacks, her family, and her immortal cells that have progressed medicine and science immeasurably. Another must read. 

21 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I liked this one. The first half is written in the format of letters between a wife and her wrongfully convicted imprisoned husband. The second is the aftermath of his prison sentence. I would love to read more Tayari Jones. I really liked her style. 

22 Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (queer)

Another one of my favorites of the year. It’s just so so so brilliant. And unexpected. I don’t know what I thought it was going to be like, but not this. It’s … hard to explain. But just read it. Especially if you’re queer. You’ll get so much out of it. Thank you, Torrey Peters. What’s next? 

23 The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

A lovely, not particularly challenging, but nice, and a fast easy read, the first in a trilogy (which I will keep reading, yes). Takes place in Jaipur, India. Speaks to caste and class, to femaleness and maleness. Warning: Has a bit of anti transness (anti-hijra ness), just like a sentence. Overall, if you want to journey to India inside a book, this is a good one. The main character is a plant healer, an artist, a feminist woman before there was feminism. Solid beach read. 

24 Ladyparts by Deborah Copaken 

Journalistic memoir about the state of health care and feminism in America from a white middle class perspective to basically show that if Deb can’t Make it, who is a brilliant sensitive well connected, went to college at Harvard and built a great career in journalism, who can? It was engaging, enraging and I felt like I learned a lot. Recommend! 

25 Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield (listened at 1.5 speed)

Dreamy, slow, less horror than mystery and fantasy, gay, poetic. The love descriptions are lovely, but the rest left me a bit bored, wanting more. Ehh… 

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