29 December 2013

What I Read: December 2013

The first half of December I was completely occupied with final exam season, the second half I was kept busy with by the holiday season. However, I managed to read two books whilst on the plane to Germany. I ended up reading 35 books in 2013 - one short of my goal of 36, but 12 more than in 2012. I am quite pleased with that achievement! Here are the books I read this month:

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Publisher: Scribner (1995)
Format: Paperback, 128 pages
ISBN-13: 9780684801223
Originally published: 1952

My dad gave this to me when I discovered it on his shelves. He had started reading it in English but soon gave up. Finding his annotations with translations and explanations added a lot to my reading experience.

3 out of 5 ships! “Fish," he said softly, aloud, "I'll stay with you until I am dead.”

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Publisher: Suhrkamp (2007)
Format: Paperback, 121 pages
ISBN-13: 9783518458532
Originally published: 1922

I first became aware of this book during my high school year abroad when my English teacher mentioned it as one of the most important works of German literature. I shared my interest for this book with my parents, who brought along a copy when they visited me in Canada in 2010. I kept hearing great things about this book and started reading it at least three times, but always struggled with Hesse's style. I think I might have been to young to really appreciate it. Three years later I finally read the book and eventually understood what it was that all these adults had been praising.

4 out of 5 ships! “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

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