It’s that time of the year. I read 12 books or thereabouts in 2017. This year, it’s been a little more and if some books hadn’t been such slogs or so thick, it might have been even more, like 20 or so.
Slog of the year
J. Verne The Mystical Island – I did like its ending and it wasn’t a bad book, but it just wasn’t interesting at all for someone with my type of brain, so I spent about two months chewing my way through it.
Not my cup of tea
C. McCullers The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
R. Rolland Colas Breugnon
L. M. Montgomery A Tangled Web
G. Meredith Diana of the Crossways – that style of his!
What I liked
A. Lindgren Kalle Blomkvist och Rasmus
F. Dostoyevski Brothers Karamazov – with all the hype, I expected this to make it among my most favourite books, but it didn’t. I wanted more in-depth portraits of Ivan and Alyosha, I think.
L. Tolstoy War and Peace, parts II-IV
J. R. R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings
I. Turgenev Fathers and Sons
I. Turgenev Torrents of Spring
I. Turgenev First Love
What I loved
V. Hugo Les Misérables, part I
R. Rolland Jean-Christophe, part II, until the chapter that begins with an ode to friendship
Moomin comics – wonderful stuff, even funnier than the stories (I’m going to read them as slowly as I read the Jean-Christophe book above, but maybe not only in spring, like it has become a tradition with JC, but whenever I feel like I need cheering up)
A. Gailit Muinasmaa – see lihtsalt ei olnud võrreldav tema hilisemate, samalaadsete teostega, mille eelkäijaks “Muinasmaa” oli. Mõlemad mehed tundusid äravahetamiseni sarnased, nende mõttekäigud ebaloogilised, unistaja ja romantiku kuju ei olnud usutavalt kujutatud / oli ebameeldiv.
Unable to categorize
J. Milton Paradise Lost – I think I’d do Paradise Lost wrong if I categorized it based on how much I liked it, but I’d also do myself and the other books here wrong if I categorized it fully objectively, so a pass it is. It shall remind me of the uncommonly hot summer and how I read it on the balcony in the evening, when indoors became hell’s antechamber in terms of room temperature.
Overall, it’s a good year in reading when you find a new favourite. I don’t expect to find high numbers of literature I could be a fan of, particularly at my slow rate of reading, so one or two books each year is a good outcome. This year then, Hugo’s Les Miserables wins my book of the year award. I enjoyed the experience of reading it a lot. I also think that with my impressionability and empathy, I’m a suspense story writers’ dream reader.