Tagged with a s byatt

A year of reading

So in 2013, I ended up reading a total of 114 books. Some interesting statistics along the way: 

27.2% were written by women. Asians and Latinos each made up 2.6%. Blacks were 1.8%. I find these numbers to be rather disgraceful.

40.4% were for my MFA. 

Two were in Spanish.

Eleven were translated (from French, Hungarian, German, Ukrainian, Russian and Japanese if you must know).

Fiction made up 57.9% of the year’s reading. Poetry made up 2.6%.

And my top reads of the year, alphabetically by title:

It’s interesting to note that whenever I’ve done these end of year lists, I never have a set number that I’m aiming for. Interestingly, though, I consistently end up picking about 10% of the books that I’ve read.

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Beautiful sentences

All English stories get bogged down in whether or not the furniture is socially and aesthetically acceptable.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

My imagination failed. I got all enmeshed in what was realism and what was reality and what was true—my need not be int that place—and my imagination failed.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

Time passes differently in the solitude of hotel rooms. The mind expands, but lazily, and the body contracts in its bright box of space.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

At a nightclub in Istanbul once, Gillian had been shocked, without quite knowing why, to find one of those vacant, sweetly pink and blue church Virgins, life-sie, standing as part of the decorations, part hat-stand, part dumb-waitress, as you might find a many-handed Hindu deity or plaster Venus in an equivalent occidental club. Now suddenly, she saw a real bewildered old woman, a woman with a shrivelled womb and empty eyes, a woman whose son had been cruelly and very slowly slaughtered before her eyes, shuffling through the streets of Ephesus, waiting quietly for death until it came. And then, afterwards, this old woman, this real dead old woman had in part become the mother goddess the Syria Dea, the crowned Queen.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

She was Hamlet and his father and Shakespeare: she saw Milton’s snake and the miraculous flying horse of the Thief of Baghdad, but Saint Paul’s angels rested under suspicion of being made-up because she had been told they were special because true.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

A woman’s life runs from wedding to childbirth to nothing in a twinkling of an eye.

A. S. Byatt,The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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Beautiful sentences

Once upon a time, when men and women hurtled through the air on metal wings, when they wore webbed feet and walked on the bottom of the sea, learning the speech of whales and the songs of the dolphins, when pearly-fleshed and jewelled apparitions of Texan herdsmen and houris shimmered in the dusk on Nicaraguan hillsides, when folk in Norway and Tasmania in dead of winter could dream of fresh strawberries, dates, guavas and passion fruits and find them spread next morning on their tables, there was a woman who was largely irrelevant, and therefore happy.

A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.

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