Resolution To Read?

I had a good year for books last year.  I'm so thankful for my speed reading abilities and introvert tendencies, without which reading would not be nearly as enjoyable.

I know I'm late to the end-of-the-year roundups, but I did want to share some of the more fascinating books I managed to read this last year.  I was fortunate enough to have E's influence on guiding me towards books I would usually pass by, and my renewed vigor in keeping up with newer fiction allowed a different flavor of novel than my traditional classics route.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami
I've tried a million times to try and describe this book accurately, to no avail.  What it really comes down to is that Murakami has created an entire universe in which this book exists.  You truly enter another layer of reality and can easily get lost.  I didn't want this book to ever end, not only because of the riveting plot but because I felt like I wanted to know so many more details about the existence that Murakami created.  It's a long read but I was completely enraptured by the text that I immediately wanted to start it all over again.

Bill Graham Presents:  My Life Inside Rock and Out
By Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield
This is one of E's favorite books, and I read it because of that fact.  But it quickly became a novel that I found myself incredibly invested in.  I don't know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I greatly identified with Graham's exuberance for the arts in a more supporting and business manner than creating things on his own.  But even if you don't feel a personal need to work in the arts or music industry, it's a novel chock full of amazing anecdotes about some of the greatest superstars rock and roll has ever seen.  Talk about a window into an era.

Black Hole
By Charles Burns
I will fully admit that I need to reread this novel.  I'm 99.99% sure I missed the overarching allegory entirely.  But that being said it's one of the most visually interesting and stimulating graphic novels I have ever encountered.  Since I need to reread it, I can't honestly say much more about this book, but if you like a creepy sexualized 70's vibe...this is a perfect work of art.

The Secret History
By Donna Tartt
Now, I'm a total hipster and decided to read The Secret History rather than Tartt's more popular The Gold Finch.  Plus I also had a ton of trusted readers recommend her earlier novel to me over the trendy one.  I've got to say, as a mystery and horror fan it really played to my interests.  Not to mention that I finally felt like all the Greek philosophy and literature Columbia has shoved down my throat finally came in handy in deciphering the allusions (though you're not missing anything if you don't know all of the cited stories).  The book starts of with one page describing a murder and quickly jumps back two years to before the group of friends had even met.  It's certainly a format that entices you to the plot and leaves no stone unturned in uncovering the secrets of the plot.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
By Frederick Douglass
Now this was a book I didn't expect to enjoy.  I had read this twice before in college and hadn't hated it.  So when it came time to read it again for my Foundations of American Literature class I decided I'd give it another go.  And then I read it again in order to write a paper on it.  So in the last 2.5 years I've read this book four times.  And honestly, it's an amazing story to put a lot of things in perspective.  Douglass uncovers a lot of institutions in the US that unconsciously promoted or allowed for the promotion of slavery.  And scarily enough, a lot of the institutions he named are still entwined with racial oppression today.  Douglass does an amazing job of calling different revered institutions out, without making it feel like an attack.  Douglass's own view on religion have really helped me understand my own--especially when it comes to the way religion serves as a justification for incredibly heinous acts.  It's a short read and is probably one of the best books I have ever found on understanding what it is like to live and have opinions in the United States.


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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