fifty-two. (2016)

fifty-two books I read in 2016.

1. The Life of Pi— Yann Martel

“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”

2. Gitanjali— Rabindranath Tagore

3. Beloved— Toni Morrison

4.Interpreter of Maladies— Jhumpa Lahiri

“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

5. God of Small Things— Arundhati Roy

“Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Suddenly, they become the bleached bones of a story.”

6. Bluets— Maggie Nelson

7. Poems–Emily Dickinson

8. The Lowland— Jhumpa Lahiri

9. The Bean Trees— Barbara Kingsolver

10. The Handmaid’s Tale— Margaret Atwood

11. Siddhartha— Herman Hesse

12. Shalimar the Clown— Salman Rushdie

“…the dreadful ending of that love made Pyarelal question, for the first time in his life, the idea that human beings were essentially good, that if men could be helped to strip away imperfections their ideal selves would stand revealed, shining in the light, for all to see.”

13. Dubliners— James Joyce

14. Catch-22–Joseph Heller

15. This Is How You Lose Her— Junot Diaz

16. Eat Pray Love— Elizabeth Gilbert

17.Ulysses— James Joyce

18. The Beautiful and The Damned— F. Scott Fitzgerald

“In this outdoor waiting room of winds and stars she had been sitting for a hundred years, at peace in the contemplation of herself.”

19. Naomi— Junichiro Tanizaki

20. The Alchemist— Pablo Coelho

21. Waiting for the Barbarians— J. M. Coetzee

22. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle— Haruki Murakami

23. Robinson Crusoe— Daniel DeFoe

24. The Terrorist At My Table— Imtiaz Dharker

“Halfway home or halfway gone,
we have grown accustomed now
to travelling on the faultline

of daily miracles.”

25. I Speak For the Devil— Imtiaz Dharker

26. Here, Bullet— Brian Turner

27. How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia–Mohsin Hamid

“We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees.”

28. Animal’s People— Indra Sinha

29. Pamela–Samuel Richardson

30. Castle Rackrent–Maria Edgeworth

31. The Wild Irish Girl–Lady Morgan

32. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker— Samuel Smollett

33. Leaves of Grass— Walt Whitman

Canto 58.

34. The Wind-Up Girl— Paolo Bacigalupi

35. Pride and Prejudice— Jane Austen

36. The Museum of Extraordinary Things— Alice Hoffman

37. Persuasion— Jane Austen

38. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born— Aye Kwi Armah

39. The Cartographies of Diaspora— Avtar Brah

40. Poetics of Space— Gaston Bachelard

“We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost”

41. The Pentateuch

42. Wordsworth’s Major Works

43. The Sound and the Fury— William Faulkner

44. Midnight’s Children— Salman Rushdie
“How many things people notions we bring with us into the world, how many possibilities and also restrictions of possibility!…To understand just one life, you have to swallow the world.”

45. Imaginary Maps– Mahasweta Devi

“To build it you must love beyond reason for a long time.”

46. The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
47. The White Album— Joan Didion

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

48. Ghana Must Go— Taiye Selasi

49. A Good Man is Hard to Find— Flannery O’Connor

50. Nine Stories–J.D. Salinger

51. Revelations of Divine Love— Julian of Norwich

One of the more random entries of this year– Medieval nun has sixteen visions; first recorded book written entirely by a woman in English (heck yeah) from 1353.

“He shewed me a little thing, the quantity of an hazel-nut, in the palm of my hand; and it was as round as a ball. I looked on it with eye of my understanding, and thought: What may this be? And it was answered generally thus: It is all that is made. I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasteth, and ever shall last for that God loves it. And so everything has the Being by the love of God.”

52. Birdsong— Rumi

 

 

top five (in no particular order): God of Small Things, Interpreter of Maladies, The White Album, Leaves of Grass, Poetics of Space

five worth skipping: Siddhartha, The Bean Trees, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Eat Pray Love, Nine Stories

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