New authors: So many! This year was the first time I read Robert Heinlein. I met a bunch of Eastern European authors I didn't know: Karel Capek, Bruno Schulz, Bohumil Hrabal. I read my first Wallace Stegner novel! I finally read the excellent historian, Anne Applebaum. I met several others, including Miles Franklin and Thomas Mofolo. Lots of people, really.
I failed at some things this year, too. I discovered that Henry James' The Wings of the Dove is well-nigh unreadable for me, and that Marxist interpretations of the slave-owning South in Roll, Jordan, Roll are not my cup of tea. It also turns out that I can't read Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. (Funny: I happened upon a Classics Club survey from the end of last year, asking what I was determined to read no matter what in 2015. My answer was Roll, Jordan, Roll and Gravity's Rainbow. Oh, what hubris!)
I read a bunch of fascinating history, which may have been the best part of the year. From Leftist Berkeley to crushed Eastern Europe, with Easter Island, the Inklings, a crumbling Soviet empire and even wishful thinking about ley lines and recent bouts of hysteria about Satanism, I got some wild history reading done.
The Monkalong was a very fun October group read, and the Beowulf readalong helped me to get deep into that. I'm hoping for two readalongs in 2016.
Here are my chosen best
- The Tyranny of Silence, by Flemming Rose. My favorite topic always wins. :)
- Vineland, by Thomas Pynchon.
- The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenistyn.
- The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge.
- Between the Woods and Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
- An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie.
- The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories by Bruno Schulz.
- The Last Chronicle of Barset, by Anthony Trollope.
- Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner.
- Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte.
- Iron Curtain, by Anne Applebaum.