As I mentioned before, this was an unambitious year for reading. My reading goals, such as they were:
- The Prairie, J. F. Cooper – This was for school, so I read it and wrote a paper on it.
- One biography – Instead of reading a biog, I randomly decided to read my sister’s library book, From the Ashes of Sobibor by Thomas Toivi Blatt. I have read Holocaust memoirs before, and they were all worth it, but this one felt additionally unique. It describes the author’s childhood in Poland, the takeover by the Nazis, and his enslavement in, and eventual escape from, the death camp Sobibor. A depressing but eye-opening book that I highly recommend.
- One political science book – For this I read America and the World by Brzezinski, Scowcroft, and Ignatius. Again, this is not one I formally reviewed here, but it was interesting (though cursory regarding details).
- One philosophy book – I read three: Meditations by Aurelius, Notes from Underground by Dostoyevsky, and The Power of the Powerless by Havel. They were all excellent; Havel’s was my favorite. You can read it online from his website. It was written during particular historic events, yet I found it still inspiring and relevant for today, whether applied in politics or one’s community or personal life.
- Anything from my reading list – I’m glad I finally read Werther and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded!
A break from routine can be an excellent thing for resetting your perspective and enthusiasm, and I think 2013 was just that. Now if I can just finish Hyperion over the next week or so, I’ll be ready to start my 2014 lists…