I want to make Romeo jealous! I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
— Haruki Murakami
The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful … Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
"Within an hour, I had gone from anguish at the thought of losing him in Scotland, to a strong desire to bed him in the herbaceous borders, and from that to a pronounced urge to hit him on the head with an oar. Now I was back to tenderness.“
It also had a full-size coffeepot that could brew forty cups of coffee in less than five minutes whether the ship was in zero g or under a five-g burn. Holden said a silent prayer of thanks for bloated military budgets and pressed the brew button. He had to restrain himself from stroking the stainless steel cover while it made gentle percolating noises.
It’s like the end of the “Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The kids go through the magical kingdom, have a whole life, and then just on one random day, they get spit out of the wardrobe, and they can’t go back and it’s gone.
And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.
Nina buried her face in her coat’s woolen collar and said, “I wish you could see what I do. I can hear everybody on this ship, the blood rushing through their veins. I can hear the change in Kaz’s breathing when he looks at you.“ “Y-you can?” “It catches every time, like he’s never seen you before.”
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
There have been times this year where books felt unnecessary due to the increasingly familiar dystopian aspects of our changing societies, however, escaping into the pages of a good book is also a very good solution to this madness and I couldn’t recommend it more myself.
Although the spare time I have in my life has reduced this year due to graduating and finally entering the adult world of work (Booooooooo!!!) it does not mean that I have enjoyed reading any less. I’ve read fewer books this year but I’ve still read a lot of great books and competition for a spot on this list was tough. Every book on this list is one I would recommend you to read if you have not done so already, regardless of their position on the list each book is fantastic in their own right.
When I first read passenger this year I was convinced it would top my list, however, it’s been a long time since I’ve been blown away by a book to the degree I was by A Court of Mist and Fury. I might not have liked The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, however, if this was The Great British Bake off ACOTAF is a stunning enough showstopper to still make her star baker and my favourite author of the year.
As always the list below shows my favourite quote from each book, links to more information and hashtags denoting key themes.
10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe
“I got to thinking that poems were like people. Some people you got right off the bat. Some people you just didn’t get–and never would get.”