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…
✓ The Master of the World (Verne)
On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington #1, Weber)
✓ The First Men in the Moon (Wells)
– The Sea Wolf (London)
– Frankenstein (Shelley)
– Dracula’s Guest (Stoker)
– The Jewel of Seven Stars (Stoker)
– The Night Land (Hodgson)
– The Purple Cloud (M. P. Shiel)
– Arthur Mervyn (Ch. Brockden Brown)
– The Doings of Raffles Haw (Doyle)
✓ The Stark Munro Letters (Doyle)
– The Maracot Deep (Doyle)
– The Tragedy of the Korosko (Doyle)
– The Man Who Was Thursday (Chesterton, re-read)
I have never been good at sticking to book challenges – not to mention, my reading list grows at an outrageous pace! However, there are a few (very simple) reading goals I’d like to accomplish this year.
For sure, I will be reading James Fenimore Cooper’s The Prairie, required for my upcoming Early American Art/Music/Lit course. I love Hawthorne and Melville, and I’ve heard good things about Cooper. His style intimidates me, but so did that of those other two authors . . . there seems to be a trend of 19th c. American lit being hard to read (though well worth it!). If I like Prairie, I might read the whole Leatherstocking series.
From my reading list, I would like to read at least one biography (most likely Eva Perón or Bonhoeffer), one political science book, and one philosophy book. The sheer length of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, vol. 1 gave me a hilarious idea – what if I were to read them side-by-side? A nice thought, if unlikely to be fulfilled . . . certainly, it would have to be scheduled.
Basically, if I read anything currently on my reading list, that will be an accomplishment. Especially taking into consideration school and other plans/responsibilities. I’m excited to read others’ book reviews and posts for this year!