Tagged with margaret atwood

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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Beautiful sentences

They’d have a few trial runs, and if the kids from those didn’t measure up they’d recycle them for the parts, until at last they got something that fit all their specs—perfect in every way, not only a math whiz but beautiful as the dawn. Then they’d load this hypothetical wonder kid up with their bloated expectations until the poor tyke burst under the strain.
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake.

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Beautiful sentences

Men can imagine their own deaths, they can see them coming, and the mere thought of impending death acts like an aphrodisiac. A dog or a rabbit doesn’t behave like that. Take birds—in a lean season they cut down on the eggs, or they won’t mate at all. They put their energy into staying alive themselves until times get better. But human beings hope they can stick their souls into someone else, some new version of themselves, and live on forever.
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake.

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Beautiful sentences

Not that Snowman passes judgment. He knows how these things go, or used to go. He’s a grown-up now, with much worse things on his conscience. So who is he to blame them?
(He blames them.)
Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake.

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