Tagged with alberto manguel

Beautiful Sentences: Alberto Manguel

Some nights I dream of an entirely anonymous library in which books have no title and boast no author, forming a continuous narrative stream in which all genres, all styles, all stories converge, and all protagonists and all locations are unidentified, a stream into which I can dip at any point of its course.

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night.

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Beautiful Sentences: Alberto Manguel

Every reader exists to ensure for a certain book a modest immortality. Reading is, in this sense, a ritual of rebirth.

Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night.

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2014 in reading

I set out this year to make my reading a bit more diverse. I fell a tad short of my goal for women writers making only 39.6% when I was aiming for 40% but had 13.5% non-white. I ended up choosing my next book to read 10.8% of the time in pursuit of these numbers. I had 9.9% of my reading written by dead white men and 30.1% by non-US authors.

69.8% of the books I read were by authors new to me, and I’ve met 10.8% of the authors of the books I’ve read. 60.8% was fiction and 5.9% was poetry. 3.9% was in translation and 1% was in Spanish.

And now, my top books of the year:

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
Great short stories by a master of the form. 

The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim
Magical realism and brutal realism in contemporary Iraq 

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford 
I read this in college 25 years ago, coming back to it, I still love it. 

Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen
A great account of a mystical experience. 

The Instructions by Adam Levin
A work of pure genius. Once I finished, I went back to page one to read it again. 

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
A lyrical tribute to libraries of all kind. 

Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Killian Plunett, Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong
An alternate version of the Superman story done brilliantly. 

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
A great investigation of identity and deception, 

The Year of What Now: Poems by Brian Russell
A beautiful depiction of painful experience through poetry, even more impressive in that it’s fiction!

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022 MAN: The Library at Night

A series of meditations on libraries, public and private, personal and universal. Manguel’s writing meanders on occasion, but even in meandering it has a light poetic tone. As an Argentine living in France, he could reasonably be expected to write in any language but English, but as near as I can tell, this is the original language and the language of a writer for whom English is a second (or third?) language.

Manguel spends a great deal of time speaking about his own personal library (which appears alongside other better-known libraries in the illustrations that are generously scattered through the book), using it as a touchstone for his explorations into broader themes of memory, architecture, and the difficulty of containing the entirety of written literature let alone actually reading it. Overall, a great read and a delight for lovers of libraries.

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