Monday, December 31, 2012

a year in reading: 2012 - cities, voices, zen, poetry, history & the joy of books 2013

inspired by #BestReads2012 at BathroomMonologues: “If you've got a list of your own on a blog or tumblr, give us a link in the comments and I'll add you to this post.”


2012 in books. 
where to start? maybe with this overview page of my reads as visual mosaic, which began as a reading challenge list, and now includes all book entries, and moves back in time.
below, a snapshot of the larger page, and here's the link: World Books 2012

i browsed the page several times, trying to pick favourites, or "top" books, but that is impossible.. and so instead, i looked for the books that kept my company for several weeks, which i read and reread, and blogged about more than once, more about the reads, below, they include:
  • a city in 32 voices
  • an introduction to Zen
  • an extended trip through time & a poetry online class
  • a book about books

A city in 32 voices: 

Paris Was Ours 
Thirty-Two Writers reflect on the city of light
the first of the global reads, and the first book of the year. a collection of 32 essays on living in Paris. it's a book of many layers and voices, and a wonderful read. the friend who recommended it summed it up with: "life in the city. so much happens around us, unseen, unspoken, unknown."


An introduction to zen:

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” – the classic zen book by Shunryu Suzuki, i picked it especially for the island time. it was up at Amazon on a special offer of “buy 4 english paperbacks for 15$”. and the Zen book, it’s wonderful. here’s the wiki description:


an extended trip through time & a poetry online class:

A History of the World in 100 Objects 
... September: "The reason i ordered "A History of the World in 100 Objects" was partly the same one as registering with the poetry class: a curiousity for format and concept. How could anyone tell the history of the world in 100 objects? It seems impossible. Even when the one who takes on the task is the British Museum." ... November:  "I am still reading "A History of the World in 100 Objects", i started it in September and read it at the pace of 1 object per day. It's a most fascinating read."

ModPo: 70 Days of Poetry with 30.000 Others
In September, the literary online course "Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo)" started, a "fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present." the course didn't come with 1 single book, but with a long list of links to poems and audio files and additional reads, and turned into one of the major literary highlights of my year, for sure.


a book about books:

Ex Libris, or: when books become chapters of our own life story
 "Ex Libris recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story."


Reading 2013: Global reads & book joys
now i look forward to a year of gloabl reads in 2013, with the 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - Reading Challenge 2013, which will start in India for me... and with some other books ordered and on the way already. such a joy, to line up books :)

here's more if you are interested:

7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - Reading Challenge 2013
The idea of this reading challenge is to explore the world by books from different continents and countries, and by visiting various world lists while planning the reads, to encounter the one or other unknown angle and fact about our world.


Happy 2013!
May the new year bring the right books in the right moments, and the joy of reading in each season. Have a lovely reading year :) 


John Wiswell said...

What appealed so much about Zen Mind's approach to zen for you?

Dorothee said...

Good question. I think it's partly due that i first read it on an island, and marked several passages there. So when returing to the book, there is this island touch to it. Also, it is structured in about 35 chapters, each 4-6 pages. so you can easily pick a theme that fits the day, and read the complete chapter.