A Look Back at 2014 (Part 1): Books

2014 has been the longest,hardest and most important year of my life.
Best Books of 2014.
I don’t know where to begin.In terms of books I read,2014 has been superb.Lord of the Flies stunned and left me with goosebumps.The moral of the story is something that regularly comes to my mind.It is hard not to think about it in regards to present events,such as the rise of ISIS or the carnage in schools.And then,Of Human Bondage.It provided me with insights I will never find elsewhere and taught me what a young man is to expect from life.

After Of Human Bondage,I delved into an even bigger book.A masterpiece.Anna Karenina.Reading this book in Folio edition is one of the greatest experiences of my life.Maya Angelou said we never forget how one makes us feel.Well,as years will go by and as I will read even more novels,I will certainly forget some names and scenes in that book,but I surely will forever remember how I felt whilst reading it.It was a masterpiece.Every word,every page was a delight to read.I had a massive hangover when I came to the end of its 754 pages.It was grand.It was sublime.

Luckily for me,I embarked onto a reading streak of 3 marvelous books.The fate awaiting Tommy,Ruth and Kathy broke my heart;Jay Gatsby infected me with his obstinacy with the green light; a glimpse at the dystopian society of the World State was enough to grasp that our world is sloping downwards.

The revelation of 2014 for me was Jorge Luis Borges’ Labyrinths.I thought he was an archaic writer whose writing I had to explore if I were to grow up spiritually.But Borges is beyond that.His literature is different,for he thought of things never imagined before.His short stories were detailed,complex and twisted in a way that will leave you mindblown.He was one of the world’s greatest minds.How I’d like to meet him one day – heaven,maybe?

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,a non-fiction book,gave me a different outlook on mentally ill persons.It is one of those books that make us more empathetic than ever.Some stories were intriguing and insightful,while others plainly sad and devastatingly heartbreaking.I made the right choice to buy it at a Folio sale.My intuition proved right.

I ended the year with Alice Munro’s Too Much Happiness.She is honest,delicate and detailed in her narrative,lending her stories an air of verisimilitude that leaves our hearts in tatters at the end of each.Munro lived up to her reputation and I sure will look forward to reading more of her in 2015.

Buying Books
I wonder if there is a name for people who can’t refrain from buying books.I’d like to know my clinical name,just as people addicted to their phones are called ‘nomophobics’.

After ordering about 8 Folio books in late December,I curbed my spending on new Folio books,buying 4 from special offers and 3 from the Summer Sale.Since then I haven’t bought anything from the Folio site,excluding the Fahrenheit 451 which I was the prize of my giveaway.

I also regularly bought three paperbacks with my one-thousand-rupee notes.It was in so doing that I got my first ever Batman comic! 🙂

When I went to the UK,I just couldn’t cast a blind eye over the shipping price.I could get fine Folios for less than £20!! So I bought 5 books even before I reached UK and got them back to Mauritius with my father who was accompanying me.Over the 3 months I spent there,despite trying as hard as I could to avoid doing so,I bought 6-7 books,including a Franklin edition of Don Quixote.I got Labyrinths and Waiting for Godot in Folio,something I could only dream of some months ago.I also bought 5 books from Gabriel Garcia Marquez at relatively cheap prices on Amazon.But the best bargain I made was when buying a brand new,still sealed,Things Fall Apart for only £15!

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “A Look Back at 2014 (Part 1): Books”

  1. Ah yes, book buying addictions! You must be well glad to have bagged yourself a copy of Things Fall Apart! I love how books help us document the years, and I’m glad that your journey through reading the classics has garnered so much wisdom – one of the best things about reading literature is the lessons they have to offer (not to mention how inspiring they are!). 😀
    Here’s to hoping that 2015 will bring with it some more excellent reads!

    1. Oh,yeah,I bought it as soon as I saw it!
      It was an absolute bargain and I have no idea how the seller let it go away like this.Other members of the Folio Society have told me I did great buying it at that price!

      And yeah,classics have turned me into who I am today.And you’re right in saying how books help us document our lives.I think that’s why I’ll never understand people who don’t read; how empty their lives must be.And I bet they haven’t changed much over the year thanks to having little exposure to life-changing things,like books,for instance. (I’m writing this with my flatmates in mind!)

  2. I love The Great Gatsby, it’s one of my favourite books. It sounds as if you’ve read some wonderful books this year and I hope 2015 continues in the same vein.

    1. Yep! I read some great classics,like Lord of the Flies,Things Fall Apart,The Great Gatsby,Brave New World and of course Anna Karenina.

      Labyrinths from Borges was just extraordinary!

      I hope I’ll have time in 2015 to read even more wonderful books! Midnight’s Children is a certitude though!

  3. Ah, so many books I’ve yet to experience! It seems that you read some wonderful books this year, and your description of Anna Karenina definitely makes me want to bump it up on my TBR list. Borges and Munro are definitely going on my list of short stories for 2015.
    All the best for 2015!

    1. Munro,Borges and Tolstoy.
      I think you might end up loving all three,like me.But even if you don’t,I guarantee you’ll love at least one!! I mean,these authors are so good that you won’t only like them,but they might end up becoming one of your favourite authors!

      In fact I’m very curious as to what you’ll think of Borges! He belonged to another world……

      Happy New Year 2015!! 🙂
      Thanks for the support and keeping me,through your posts,in love with literature and reading.

  4. Somehow I knew what book would have first place there on that list 😀
    Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges is something I obviously need to read
    Funnily enough, I almost never buy books (unless I see them in some ridiculously discounted price then I feel like I’m adopting them…not buying, adopting.) I buy them only after I have re-read them at least twenty times, though then I sometimes buy them at whatever cost o.O

    1. Sure,Labyrinths needs to be read!! It is sooo good…

      And,if I may ask,what book(s) do you like so much as to be ready to splash the cash on a lovely but costly edition?

      1. 😀 Good. I already kind of promised myself I will read
        more this year.

        Haha, oh not necessarily even lovely editions. I have bought some classics in Russian, then hmm books that are basically unknown like Loup Durands Daddy.

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