I started out 2012 with this book, and then spent a good bit of the year reading all of these “Earth Chronicles” books:
Twelfth Planet: Book I of the Earth Chronicles (The Earth Chronicles), Zecharia Sitchin
Then I read the “Twilight Saga.”Fun reading – I, of course, had to watch the videos after reading these.
I then read a number of really good books, including (as far as I can remember):
The Night Circus, which I loved;
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, a wonderful, wonderful book;
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – which was an astonishingly good book, I just loved it;
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie – not easy reading, but a very worthwhile book to read. I wanted to read it after hearing that he has written an autobiography of sorts about the period of time when he wrote this controversial book and I decided that might be interesting to read, especially if I had read the book in question, this one. I did enjoy reading it, but it was at times challenging due to it’s “foreignness” I think.
I cannot at this time remember what else I might have read this past year; I am sure there were more! But I did then close out the year with several books by Jo Nesbø, in his “Harry Hole” series, as follows:
These were addicting and fantastic. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the one that is supposed to go in between The Devil’s Star and The Snowman; it’s called The Redeemer, and is not yet available in the U.S., nor are the earliest books in the series. But these books can be picked up and enjoyed as stand-alone, although they are much better read in order. I loved these books and look forward to reading the newest one coming out along with the ones I missed when they are finally translated and available in the U.S.
And the last thing I read this year was another really wonderful book called The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.
There were a couple of passages in this book that I marked for their profundity. The first one is by the first character, Renée, who says:
“True novelty is that which does not grow old despite the passage of time. The camellia against the moss of the temple, the violet hues of the Kyoto mountains, a blue porcelain cup – this sudden flowering of pure beauty at the heart of ephemeral passion: is this not something we all aspire to? And something that in our Western civilization we do not know how to attain? The contemplation of eternity within the very movement of life.”
And I think that is beautiful. The second quote is by the other character, Paloma, who is a 13-year-old girl, and she says:
“We never look beyond our assumptions and, what’s worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves. We don’t recognize each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realized this, if we were to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy. … As for me, I implore fate to give me the chance to see beyond myself and truly meet someone.”
I loved this book – and I finished it a few minutes prior to midnight on New Year’s Eve. Now, what to read next?