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Books read II

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

 

Okay

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)

 

Disappointing

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.

Things read

I’ve read a whopping twelve books last year plus some poetry! That makes one book a month. I feel so ashamed of myself compared to the bloggers posting their reading summaries of 90 or 150 books.

 

What I loved

O. Wilde “Decay of Lying” (a re-read)

R. Rolland “Jean-Christophe”, I

F. Hodgson Burnett “Secret Garden”

W. B. Yeats “Adam’s Curse”

 

What I liked

F. Molnár “The Pál Street Boys”

E.T.A. Hoffmann “Golden Pot and Other Stories”

Other poems of W. B. Yeats

 

Funniest

Poetry of Catullus

 

Okay

L. Tolstoy “War and Peace”, I

E. Nesbit “The Railway Children”

S. Lagerlöf “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson”

 

Disappointing

T. Hardy “Under the Greenwood Tree”

M. Shelley “Mathilda”

J. Fowles “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”

 

Boring

S. Lewis “Arrowsmith”

 

The good thing is that I didn’t read a single truly bad book, because boring, disappointing and bad are not the same things.

Things I’m truly proud of

A completely unorthodox list of what I’m truly proud of. Inspired by the ramblings in the previous post.

I’m proud…

 

  • for knitting my very own lace over-knee stockings, even if it took me three years (I took a break for 2 years)
  • whenever I manage to be myself in an unfamiliar social situation or with people I don’t know well
  • for taking a shy and difficult cat, having the patience to endure her first week’s antics and somehow intuitively do things right so that after a month and a half, I had melted her heart and earned her trust. She no longer hid and hissed, but purred and wanted to be stroked more often than I could manage
  • for conquering depression and overcoming other similar challenges
  • for the things I know and understand about the workings of human nature and life
  • for sewing my own pretty 19th century inspired pyjamas
  • for having the capacity to think outside the box and trying to live my life outside the social confines I don’t agree with
  • for putting together my own bike and other jobs I’ve done for the first time and not made a complete mess of
  • for the items in my wardrobe, which are ever so pretty, by far my wardrobe is prettier than most people’s, and obviously I say so myself and don’t expect others to agree
  • whenever I manage to cook something that tastes reasonably good
  • whenever I do all the pesky tasks I set out to do that day instead of procrastinating

And as a proof of how proud I am… I made pizza some weeks ago. From scratch. It didn’t turn out horrible and I was quite proud of the sauce. The dough could do with improvements, but here goes my first self-made pizza. I don’t take photos of food unless I’m proud of it, so yeah, no joke, I truly am.

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