Year 2021 in books

Closing the year always comes with the reflection on the books I read. Starting the year with the most crazy ambition of 60 books to be read, I quickly realized that this is not an easy task with a full time job and demanding travel schedule. But with all these, it makes me proud of the uncompleted reading challenge of 2021 of only 40 books and more motivated for the year to come.

Looking back at the blog post ‘Books – my healthy obsession’ it reminds me once again why I love reading so much. Knowledge about different cultures, and the relaxation that a book brings is by far the reasons I invest all my free time in a new book. This year I noticed how much can a book influence the way we think and the vastness of the ideas in books. For myself I discovered that I really like books based on a true story or some event that happened in history, and that I read less those romantic dramas. I look now for more deep meanings, and writings that test your critical analytical thinking.

Some of the highlights I would like to mention this year are:

Bastovoi with The Devil is Politically Correct. Savatie Bastovoi is poet, prose writer, publicist and publisher from Republic of Moldova, I mean from my home. My good Austrian friend, Felix, that learns Romanian for a while now, asked me to bring him this book from home, and I realized I never read it. The books was perfect for this time period of pandemic, and it explores some sick societal rules. It is translated into German and English languages.

Golden with Memoirs of a Geisha. This one was on my to read list for some years. A very beautifully written story about the world of geisha. After reading it, one of my many dreams is a trip to Japan, as at times the story was superficial because the life of geisha is more complex than the author managed to describe.

Michaelides with The silent patient and The maidens, both brilliant and devious written. I have to say that in The silent patient I did not see it coming. Best thriller ever!

Yakhina with Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes, one of the best revelation of the Russian literature of 2015. A roman about a peasant Zuleikha sent in a wagon train to Siberia and the survival of her first child. I enjoyed the story, the character of Zuleikha, the language and the description of nature.

I managed to read many authors from different countries, namely Paul Kalanithi, Stieg Larsson, Cixin Liu, Sebastian Fitzek, John Ironmonger, Parinoush Saniee, Farida Khalaf, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Cho Nam-Joo, Ismael Beah, Angie Cruz, Ngozi Adichie, Alex Michaelides, Lucian Boia, Guzel Iahina, Silvia Moreno Garcia, Suad, Bastovoi, Djuvara, Alka Joshi. As I count them there are more than 18 cultures from Indian to Chinese to Romanian and Moldavian. Being able to read authors from different cultures helps us gather perspective. To know how people think and in this way to form your own ideas, arguments.

Maybe this year was supposed to end with the uncompleted challenge, but nothing motivates me more to try again in 2022. Reading so much also makes me more decisive in what I want to read and which style is my favorite, I think the little reader is starting to grow bigger eyes.

I am closing the year with Neagu Djuvara, Romanian author, and Fredrik Backman, a Swedish author of which I never understood why so much praising until I started the Beartown. As about Neagu Djuvara, I am so happy to have like 10 of his books on my bookshelf and cannot wait to discover each word. At the moment reading about civilizations and patterns in history that can help us predict the future, isn’t this enough to pick up Djuvara from the shelf?

Reading challenge 2022 officially started!

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