Friday, 3 January 2014

Books of 2013

2013 was not a great year for me with respect to books.

I took forever to finish Moby Dick, although I am very very happy that I stuck with it. After that, although I really badly wanted to start either Hemingway's A farewell to arms, or Marquez's One hundred years of solitude, I didn't think I'd be able to handle it right then. And the timely spoiler for A farewell to arms in the Silver Linings Playbook movie did NOT help. In any case, I wanted to read a number of "easier" reads before taking up either of them. The first of those was The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Earlier, I had also succumbed to peer pressure and had started reading A Song of Ice and Fire in parallel, even before I completed Moby Dick, which in retrospect was a good decision, for the spoilers came in large numbers once the TV show became more popular among my friends. I read the first 4 books, but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of A Dance with Dragons yet. I might just go ahead and buy it.

I don't remember in what order I read them, but the next 3 books were The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (which I had written about earlier), and 100 years of solitude by Marquez.

The Diary of a Young Girl was a weird experience. After all the things I had heard about the book, I was all set for the sadness, but it doesn't hit you immediately. The sadness creeps in to you slowly throughout the book. The situation gets worse in such a slow fashion that you are almost not conscious of it. And then, when the book ends the way it does, the severity of the situation hits you and well, I don't know how to finish this sentence.

100 years of solitude is probably the most beautiful book I've read, if at all you can call a book that. The whole book was a dream where more often that not, one cannot explain the sequence of events, the characters, or the setting. He moves a character in and out of the spotlight so very seamlessly. And this I absolutely have to mention, that book has the most eerily beautiful first and last lines. I wanted to write a separate post on the book, but I don't think I'll be able to.

After this came a long period where I tried reading Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence, but could never make progress as I was too busy with my graduate applications, and later with my Dual Degree Project. Then I had to read The Hobbit before the movie came to theatres.

The year ended with me having read just around 10 odd books and the sad part was I couldn't even remember all the books I read (And so I joined GoodReads, so that I will be able to actively track my reading from now on). Having said that, I read some pretty amazing books this year. I also read a lot more of poetry than I usually do. And I hope to read more in 2014.

Happy New Year!