While I’m among those happy to see 2016 fade quickly in the rear-view mirror, it was a big year for me, personally, and I want to thank many of the people who helped make the launch of my first novel, Join, a success. Releasing Join has certainly made me more aware of how varied and plentiful readers’ choices are. So, first and foremost, thanks to all the book’s readers, who devoted valuable time and attention to working the alchemy of language and story. Thanks also to the bookstores, large and small, who are dedicating shelf space to Join. And the start of a new year seems like a particularly good time to send a shout-out to the individual reviewers and bloggers who shared their thoughts about the book. It’s been a privilege to read responses from so many smart, thoughtful and articulate book lovers, and for that alone the long hours working on the novel were worthwhile. In addition to the reviews linked below, many readers have taken the time to rate and write about Join on Amazon and/or Goodreads; which is fantastic.

Big, big thank yous (in “open in the browser” order) to:

Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud
“…this is a book I very much liked and particularly want others to read.”

All Tomorrow’s Cultures
“Toutonghi explores joins as a total social fact–as a different modality of thinking and socializing, as a different politics generative of different inequalities.”

I Make Stories
“A strange and cerebral tale that is both intimate and engaging.”

Just Giblets
“…a lovely piece of speculative fiction … that explores the next phase of humanity and how the changes to the race have dire impact to the planet itself”

Easy Vegan
“Join is still a page-turner that I’m likely to be thinking about for days and weeks to come.”

Ian Robinson’s Soapbox
“Favorite books from 2016”

Reading Lark
“…a compelling debut novel that will make you question what you think you know about the nature of death and the relationship of people to the planet we live on.”

Don’t Mind the Mess
“A fantastically innovative science-fiction novel … This is a book that breaks a lot of rules and it’s pretty interesting to watch it happen.”

Brad K. Horner
“It’s an immensely readable near-future hop that gets progressively dystopian while retaining the very interesting core concept as both the center piece and the conflict”


Join was called out on a few “Picks of the Year” lists. Among the most gratifying for me, personally, was the Iowa City Public Library’s list. Public libraries were a haven for me when I most needed one, many, many years ago; and if this nation has a special genius, our system of public libraries is among its purest sources and staunchest defenders.

Several people have made note of the book’s truly remarkable cover. (E.g., https://kelseylhoffman.com/2016/05/11/can-we-talk-about-all-the-pretty-book-covers-2/) I too love the physical book that Soho Press created to embody the story. It’s one of many reasons I’ve felt so fortunate to be working with them.

In addition to the items on the front page of my website, there was a lot of other exciting, book related stuff this year, from the surreal experience of receiving book blurbs from writers whose work I love and admire, to readings, to the sale of rights for a Turkish translation, a review in The Netherlands (in the De Correspondant ), and a pick as a “Beautifully Written…Perfect Summer Read” in Bustle.

Looking forward to 2017!