It has become an annual tradition of sorts on this blog to post a list of books I have read in the last twelve months. This might perhaps provide some inspirational reading ideas for you, dear readers.
Besides, I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me to take a moment, stand back, and admire the books I have consumed (not literally).
The total number is no great feat in itself, considering some readers I know would devour this amount in under two months. Still, I’m extremely pleased with both the number and the kind of books tackled (not least the fact that three or four of these were tomes in excess of 800 pages each).
So onto the books themselves …
- The Once and Future King – T. H. White
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
- S.P.Q.R. A History of Ancient Rome – Mary Beard
- The Nature of Things – Lucretius
- The Second World War – Antony Beevor
- The Odyssey – Homer
- The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Chapel of the Thorn – Charles Williams
- The Fall of Arthur – J.R.R. Tolkien
- Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle – Juliet Barker
- Origin – Dan Brown
- The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
- Taliessin Through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars – Charles Williams
- Eirik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas – translated by Gwyn Jones
- Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold – Stephen Fry
- The Fall of Gondolin – J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Divine Comedy: Inferno – Dante Alighieri
- The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
- Tales from the Perilous Realm – J.R.R. Tolkien
- Beowulf – anonymous (tran. Michael Alexander)
- The Ice Dragon – George R. R. Martin
- The Norman Conquest – Marc Morris
Unsurprisingly, I feel like a lot of Tolkien has been read this year. With the recently released The Fall of Gondolin, and re-reads of both The Fall of Arthur and Tales from the Perilous Realm, these have made this year’s reading list somewhat biased in favour of the said author — naturally.
A nice surprise was undoubtedly T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. I had no idea of the content of this book (other than it being based on Arthurian legends), but decided to read it purely on several readers’ positive reviews. And what a great choice it was! Besides the stories, I just fell in love with the writing itself — so eloquent and simple and accessible, yet insightful and deep at the same time.
I also finally checked my “Bucket List of Books” and read The Odyssey. It was one of those works that, for many years, I always wanted to read (and knew I would enjoy) but was daunted by the prospect of the archaic style of writing. Thankfully, this translation was the perfect opportunity to dive into the ancient Greek world and take on Odysseus’ journey.
In the meantime, I’m tempted to offer a favourite read from the list above. I won’t make light of the fact that it is a difficult task, as I rarely find myself not enjoying a book. The ones I read this year were all top-notch but, excluding anything by Tolkien, I’d have to say that Juliet Barker’s book on the Agincourt campaign earns the top spot. The historical backdrop, complemented by the author’s excellent writing skills, together with the subject matter itself, made this read a fantastic experience in its own right.
Well, and I guess that’s all for today (and probably 2018). My, my! What a year!
So as I write this post on Christmas Eve, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you all (be you blog followers or just occasional visitors) for your continued support, and wish you a very pleasant Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Till next time …