Thursday, January 24, 2019

Books I read in 2018

Just like in 2017, I didn’t read much in 2018, mainly because I don’t go to the local library very often anymore. Since it was rebuilt last year been, it just isn’t a pleasant experience to go there. I never thought that I, who have frequented libraries at the very least once a month since I got my first library card when I was eight years old, would ever avoid going to the library, but now I do if at all possible. Instead I get my books at the local launderette, were people leave their old books that they don’t want anymore. The only annoying thing about that is that most of the books are in Danish and let’s face it: with a few exceptions such as Hans Christian Andersen, Soren Kierkegaard, Herman Bang and their likes, Danish literature isn’t particularly interesting.

Apart from that, my reading year has been characterised by my daughter’s high school exam last summer in Classical Studies. It was a welcome opportunity for me to brush up on Plato, Seneca, Sophocles, Virgil and the rest of the gang.

All in all, I managed to read twenty-two books, both fiction and non-fiction (no mangas) but in only three languages: Danish, Swedish and English. The best “new” thing I read (I won’t count the Greek and Roman classics as that would be unfair and besides; I have read them all before) was Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1973 short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”. Le Guin is one of my favourite authors for sure.

The worst book was without a doubt John Gray’s “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” from 1992. Gray’s points are good and very precise in this self-help book about the problems caused by gender differences in heterosexual couples, but he’s an awful writing addressing his readers as if he is talking to five-year-olds. In the end I gave up, so I didn’t read the last couple of chapters. I hardly ever give up on books, but I just couldn’t stand it and hey, although I’m straight, I’m also single, so who needs it?

In any case, here is my list of books I read in 2018:

Alexander, Catherine M. S.: “The Shakespeare Treasury”
Andreasen, Brian & Jens Refslund Poulsen: “Paideia”
Auster, Paul: “Moon Palace”
Christensen, Bent og Chr. Gorm Tortzen: “Romerske antologi“
Engström, Lars Einar: “En mandschauvenists bekendelser”
Gray John: “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”
Hansen, Mogens Herman: “Kilder til Demokratiet i Athen”
Krefeld, Michael Katz: “Pans hemmelighed”
“Kulturen bakom kulisserna” 2016 edition, ed. Karin Hindfelt
Le Guin, Ursula K.: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (short story)
Lindskog, John: “Faders vilje”
Mejer, Jorgen & Chr. Gorm Tortzen: “Kend dig selv – Et Platon-udvalg”
Polyb: “Historier”
Seneca: “Thyestes”
Sheers, Owen: “I Saw a Man”
Sophocles: “Antigone”
“The I Ching or Book of Changes: A Guide to Life's Turning Points”
Thiedecke, Johnny: “Antikkens Skulptur og dens efterliv”
Toews, Miriam: “The Flying Troutmans”
Valeur, Erik: “Det syvende barn”
Virgil: “The Aeneid”
Wells, H. G.: “The Magic Shop” (short story)

I hope my list will inspire some of you to pick up a book or two in 2019. Happy Reading!


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