A House of Pomegranates, Oscar Wilde • The Strange Library, Haruki Murakami • Tales of Space and Time, H.G. Wells • Flower Fables, Louisa May Alcott • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman • The Infinities, John Banville • A Cidade e as Serras, Eça de Queirós • O Banquete, Patrícia Portela • The Apothecary’s House, Adrian Mathews • Húmus, Raúl Brandão • Memoirs of a Geisha, Artur Golden • Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf • Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for beginners, Sigmund Freud • A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf • The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes • The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf • The Complete Uncollected Stories, J.D. Salinger • The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks • How a Child Thinks: a Piaget Primer, Dorothy G. Singer • O Mar, A Mãe, Marie Darrieussecq • The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins • Dubliners, James Joyce • The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer • Under the Sunset, Bram Stoker • The Invisible Giant, Bram Stoker • Nobody’s Story, Bram Stoker • A Dream of Red Hands, Bram Stoker • The Dualitists, Bram Stoker • Moon-Face and Other Stories, Jack London
29 books out of a goal of 35. Not too bad, although I have to admit the Bram Stoker entries at the end of the year were one short story each, found and read in a shameful desperation to reach my goal. Despite these efforts, I came to December very behind but hopefully I can make up for it this year, as I set the bar at the 35-book mark. Again. Thumbs up for resilience! Or stubbornness. Or… both?
Some of the books read before mommahood seem to have been read a lifetime ago and, in a way, it probably is true. While looking at the titles lined up in this yearly round-up, the ones that stand out as favourites are Patrícia Portela’s O Banquete, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins was probably the longest book in terms of page count of the bunch but it read like a breeze, I couldn’t put it down, and Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking – it was a true eye-opener and gave so many lessons into trust and humility and passion, very important backbones to an artist and, quite frankly, to any human being.
Most of them have also been read in the ebook format which would come as a surprise for the reading-me of a few years ago. I don’t actually prefer it to the feel of holding a book in my hands but it came quite handy during nighttime feeds and insomnias when turning on the light wasn’t a possibility. So, yeah, that was a plus. But this year I’d like to read a few more books in the conventional format rather than a digital one.
Besides the ongoing reads that crossed over to the new year path, I have decided to begin 2016 with a collection of poems and other work by W.B. Yeats. This book was given by my sister on my 30th birthday last year – and yes, the joke in the title did not go by unnoticed – and it’s part of the Penguin’s Drop Caps series where each letter is assigned to a classic literary work. What tends to happen every time I pick it up is that I get mesmerised by its beautiful vintage cover design and don’t go beyond that.I mean, just look. at. it.
So, in 2016, I am hoping to read this too from first to last page, at least one poem or short essay or story a day. It just seems a nice way to read something daily, whenever I can’t find the time to pursue any of my other current readings. And let’s hope this year I don’t get myself back into shamefully stacking ridiculous single short stories to reach a goal. It’s a good aim and the rest is all part of the attempt.