Well, maybe horrible is a stretch too far. But, it has definitely not been one of the best years in my life. I spent most of January to April off work due to an illness that was only getting worse until my doctor had a vague diagnosis and gave me some pills that worked wonders. It turned out that I have hypothyroidism which really fucks up your body, but is easy to manage. And because of that, I slept through most of the autumn. My grandma got really sick just before Easter, and I decided to spend the summer taking care of her. It was really tough, but luckily she recovered and is in her 86th year doing better than she has in years. It hasn’t been easy to live a good life the last year (a proof of this is all the things I ended up not going doing – concert, parties, travel plans).
So, here’s to 2016! The year of getting out there and doing things. I’m going to quit my job and sell my apartment. It may result in travelling the globe, or just moving to a different city. Perhaps I even take a swing at writing out the two ideas that have been stuck in my head for years.
Fortunately we who read have the chance to escape to other worlds when things are lousy. My reading has been influenced by the year I have had. I read very little before April, and I read a lot through the summer and then less as the autumn progressed. And as 2014, I barely managed to read 50 books. Looking back, my reading goals seem very hairy. So, how did I do?
- Read more than 50 books: Yes, just in time!
- Read the alphabet (author’s surname of course): I think I gave it an attempt, then gave up.
- Read at least 5 non-fiction books: 3 of 5, fail.
- Read A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. That’s 12 books in all: Didn’t even think about it. A great idea, though.
- Continue working my way around the globe in books (47 countries so far): I counted, and I have just read books from 8 different countries this year. But, two of them were new (Slovenia and Bulgaria).
- Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (11, 9%) and Nobel Prize winners (27/111): Up to 12,6% and 29/112 (Lagerlöf and Kawabata + another Steinbeck) so that’s at least something. Need to focus on 1001 books again.
- If I want to buy a book, I’ll have to read one off my shelf first: I haven’t counted, but I did a pretty good job of restricting my bookbuying. But I bet I bought more than 50 books.
- Read in a book every day, even if it’s just a page: This has been fairly successful and a good goal.
Well, there it is. Not too happy, and especially about how little varied my reading has been. Too many Norwegian books (18!) and books published in 2015. I also hardly participated in any reading circles, and I feel like I have been missing out. I’m most pleased by finally getting to read Moby Dick, even though it wasn’t the best book.
- Read more than 50 books
- Read Ulysses by James Joyce
- Read at least 5 non-fiction books
- Continue working my way around the globe in books (49 countries so far)
- Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (12,6%) and Nobel Prize winners (29/112)
- Read in a book every day, even if it’s just a page
- Write more
Nothing too difficult, except perhaps Ulysses.
And finally, the list of books I read in 2015 which you should read in 2015
- Persuasion by Jane Austen (1818)
- Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
- Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle (2003)
- the Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (2015)
- the Hobbit and LOTR by J.R.R Tolkien
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)
- the Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
- Morvern Callar by Alan Warner (1995)
- the Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahata (2015)
- All the Rage by Courtney Summers (2015)
- Career of Evil by Robert Gailbraith (or J.K Rowling, 2015)
- Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata (1952)
I don’t ever think the list of books I recommend has been so small as this year. I blame it on annus horribilis. Bring it on, annus mirabilis!
Midnight at Grense Jakobselv, Norway. A fine summer’s day in July 2015.