December is the right time to reflect about the year is about to finish. Although my blog is very focused on travels, literature is also on the top of my interests.
In fact, I’m among those who advocate the idea that literature makes you travel. Thus, while next week I will highlight the best travels I made in 2016, today I will write about the books I enjoyed the most to read this year.
Back to Riga, I spent a lot of time in local libraries. Although there´s not a huge offer of books in english (and so in portuguese language), I had the chance to found some authors I always wanted to read. Such as Haruki Murakami!
In Riga I bought the pocket book version of ‘Norwegian Wood’ and had the best introduction to the japanese author. After this amazing and unexpected novel, I read another two Murakami´s works and now ‘1Q84’ rests at the bookshelf.
Osamu Dazai was one more relevant author I discovered. I read ‘No Longer Human’ and would suggest this novel to everyone who admire deep and mental plots, with a story that seems to be autobiographical narrated in the first person.
Recently I read another great novel from an asian author, ‘The Vegetarian’, by Han Kang. This book won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize and totally deserved: it´s basically impossible to feel indifferent to the destiny of the main character, in a pretty intense and bizarre fiction.
‘Purity’ by Jonathan Franzen definitely makes part of the list of the best books I read this year. This novel is an authentic journey: not only in space, taking place in USA, Germany and Bolivia, but also in time.
Furthermore, the plot is extremely current, approaching the challenges of our societies, increasingly connected but controlled by unknown individuals, who have a huge power thanks to the information we all deposit at the web.
Last but not least, Guy Delisle is another author I would like to recommend. In Nice, at the library of my french language school, I discovered two of his graphic novels, ‘Shenzhen’ and ‘Pyongyang’, some kind of hybrid books: a novel turned into comics.
This canadian author draws and writes with creativity and humour. Now I would like to complete the reading of his graphic novels. Maybe next year. 2017 is coming and I´ll have another 365 days to read.
ps: What about you? What books surprised you in 2016?