Another good reading year albeit not quite as prolific as last year. 41 books read in total, and nearly all for the first time. And once again, supplemented by thousands of news articles, opinion pieces and blog posts.
Rather than set out any specific goals for 2023 in terms of how much to read and what to read, I am simply going to aim to read every day and follow wherever the literary-nose takes me.
Having only read excerpts previously, I felt I should read the poem in its entirety given that 2022 was the centenary of its publication. I ended up reading it several times to fully digest it and did so with the support of this detailed hypertext version, which complemented the copy I had bought for Kindle, perfectly.[↩]
It was another excellent reading year in which I met my goal to read more than 50 books in 2021. As the pandemic continued to plague us1, I found myself drawn toward re-reading a number of books that I had read before. There is definitely comfort to be found in the familiar. On top of the books I read this year, I was no less inveterate with the amount of news articles and blog posts that I consumed. Although, in-keeping with another of my goals, I avoided as much doom-leaden news as I could.
In 2022, I intend to continue my journey with the inimitable Inspector Maigret; immerse myself in George Smiley‘s battle with his nemesis Karla; and return to the fantastical realms of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and Tolkein’s Middle-earth.
Easily the most enjoyable, strange and challenging book I read this year.[↩]
Revisiting the world of Harry Potter during the summer holiday epitomises the pull towards comfort that I felt this year.[↩]
Having completed the Martin Beck series last year and the Inspector Morse series early this year. I needed to select the next detective, whose world I could lose myself within. I settled on Georges Simenon’s Jules Maigret and have not been disappointed. I am already 20 books in to the series of 75 currently available from Penguin.[↩]
‘Reading more’ was not one of my goals for 2020, yet it was my best year for reading in a long time. I’m sure the lockdown contributed to this but I am pleased that I maintained my momentum once I returned to a fully open school in September. On top of the 41 books listed below, I also read over 1,500 articles from The Guardian, as well as countless blog posts and articles from across the web. A good year all round, and one that at least from this point of view, I feel much richer for.
Adams, Douglas: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (r1)
Adams, Douglas: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (r)
Adams, Douglas: Life, the Universe and Everything (r)
Aurelius, Marcus: Meditations (r)
Confucius: The Analects
Dexter, Colin: Last Bus to Woodstock
Dexter, Colin: Last Seen Wearing
Dexter, Colin: The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
Dexter, Colin: Service of All the Dead
Dickens, Charles: A Christmas Carol (r)
Epictetus: Discourses and Selected Writings (r)
Gracián, Baltasar: The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence
This completed my first reading of the entire ‘Earthsea Cycle‘. I read the first three novels in 2019 and took a break but I was very happy to rejoin Ged and Tenar; not least due to the revisioning Le Guin undertook returning to Earthsea eighteen years after ’The Farthest Shore.‘ Her exploration of womanhood and female empowerment from ’Tehanu‘; through ’The Finder‘ and ’Dragonfly‘; culminating in ’The Other Wind‘ was deeply gratifying. I admire Le Guin’s bravery in returning to a world she had firmly established and to then completely redefine it.[↩]
It was very satisfying to immerse myself in such a tightly constructed sequence of crime novels; and interesting to read the series that established nordic–noir as a genre.[↩]