Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wrapping up 2017

This wrapping up of a year : does it matter if I write about it 50 days after the new year has begun?  The joy of this blog is less in  the recount or the compiled list, but more in the journey. The slow, book by book listing on the Recent Reads page - every additional book a marker. And at times, although infrequently, the pondering and ramblings, which get triggered from those books, and get logged here on this page.

2017 -  One of my best reading years so far, in terms of number of books. And a good year in terms of diversity of books. An average year in terms of reading aspiration-set books.

I could read 53 books. It has been a long held, silly sort of milestone - reading 52 books in a year. Towards the end of the year, as the milestone became approachable, I might have favored 2-3 small books. But otherwise, it was the usual way of choosing the next read. Which is, open a few books, read them all in parallel for a bit until one takes over.

Here below is the list. (SS = Short Stories. NF = Non Fiction. SF = Science Fiction)
  1. Tales of Love and Loss by Knut Hamsun **** (SS)
  2. Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ***** (NF)
  3. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene **** 
  4. The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht *** 
  5. The Europeans by Henry James ** (kindle) 
  6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens *** (kindle) - finally a CD book read! Seems like I have watched countless movies/ shows 'inspired' by those themes. Entertaining, like a high drama movie. 
  7. The Red and the Black by Stendhal *** 
  8. The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola *** (Or should I call it an education in modern retail?) 
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell *** (Such unfairness, corruption, nepotism, politics! Heartbreaking. This book has long been staring at me from the bookshelf, for years now. Quick read, like a long short story. But packs a big punch, or satire showing how truth is created, recreated, and revised and created again to suit the ones in power. Good to read it as I pace myself through The Gene, and August 1814.)
  10. The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee **** (NF)
  11. The Bicentennial Man by Isaac Asimov (SF) *** Short Story like. Novella. (kindle)
  12. A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Book 2 of My Struggle). ***
  13. 1984 by George Orwell **** (kindle)
  14. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway *** (kindle)
  15. Jump and Other Stories by Nadine Gordimer **** (SS)
  16. Foundation by Isaac Asimov *** (SF)
  17. Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov ** (SF) kindle
  18. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley *** (SF) kindle
  19. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson ** (SF) kindle
  20. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis *** (NF)
  21. The Duel and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov *** (SS)
  22. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak *** 
  23. Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life by J.M. Coetzee ****
  24. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje ***
  25. QBism - The Future of Quantum Physics by Hans Christian von Baeyer *** (NF)
  26. Youth by J.M. Coetzee *** (Sort of Book 2 in Scenes from Provincial Life)
  27. Summertime by J.M. Coetzee *** 
  28. The Age of Magic by Ben Okri ***
  29. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah ** (Books that A reads and wants me to read as well). 29a. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeling L'engle. Enjoyed reading this Sci Fi. Another of Achi's term books.
  30. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver **** (NF)
  31. Incarnations - A History of India in Fifty Lives by Sunil Khilnani  **** (NF)
  32. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen ** (SS)
  33. The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing **** 
  34. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton ***
  35. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson ***
  36. Bosnian Chronicle by Ivo Andric **** 
  37. In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield **** (SS)
  38. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein ***
  39. The Faith of a Writer (Life, Craft, Art) by Joyce Carol Oates **** (NF | Essays)
  40. Other People's Trades by Primo Levi *** (NF | Essays)
  41. Daisy Miller and Other Tales by Henry James *** (SS)
  42. Babette's Feast and Other Stories by Isak Dinesen **** (SS)
  43. The Magician of Lublin by Isaac Bashevis Singer ***
  44. The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes **** (SS)
  45. Tell Tale by Jeffrey Archer ** (SS) kindle
  46. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver *** (SS)
  47. This is Not a Story and Other Stories by Denis Diderot **** (SS)
  48. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley ***
  49. A Game of Chess and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig **** (SS)
  50. Ex Libris - Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman **** (NF | Essays)
  51. South and West - From a Notebook by Joan Didion *** (NF)
  52. Pulse by Julian Barnes *** (SS)
  53. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres****




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