What I Read in 2017, the Short List

It is not quite correct to say that “I read”; better that “I am a reader,” sub-category, “reader-avid.” A few months ago I crossed the line, and have logged over 2000 books, at least the ones that I can remember reading. And once again this year, I accepted the Goodreads.com Reaching Challenge 2017, in which I read 125 books. That’s 26,000+ pages, an average of about 75 pages a day. It’s fun!

Some special projects from this year were: reading ancient Greek plays; reading Reformation literature, to honor its 500th anniversary; and readings about the biblical books of Ruth and Esther, for a new course that I started from scratch for Seminario ESEPA. This all apart from Bible reading.

FICTION

Literary Fiction: my blue ribbon for 2017 goes to Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; it is the tale of an Edinburgh school teacher from the 1930s, and also a parable of how an independent thinker might fall into weirdness and eccentricity. I would have given the blue ribbon to Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1847), a must-read, which was also a pretty good movie with Reese Witherspoon as the conniving Becky Sharp. Excellent description of human behavior, although at nearly a thousand pages, “the covers of this book are too far apart” (attributed to Ambrose Bierce, see below). Other great titles were John Cheever, Falconer; Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind (first book of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books trilogy); four books by contemporary novelist Ian McEwan, in this order: The Child in Time, Enduring Love, Solar, and Sweet Tooth; Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop; Graham Greene, The Honorary Counsel. Grace Metalius, Peyton Place, which I read because it is based partly on life in small-town Canterbury, New Hampshire, a few miles from where I once lived; Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables; Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Susan Howatch, The Wonder Worker; John O’Hara, Appointment in Samarra; Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust.

Spy and Detective Novels: This is a genre (more…)

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Published in: on January 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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