Books of 2020

In 2020 I enjoyed the books listed below, an almost equal mix of fiction and non-fiction.

With four books in Dutch and two in French, 2020 is a high point for both languages, compared to other years of the last decade. I’ll try to continue reading at least one book in French every year.

Back in 2017 I read Alain Mabanckou’s ‘Black Moses’ in English, which was my introduction to this author. I’m very happy to have read this year his ‘Demain j’aurai vingt ans’ and ‘Les cigognes sont immortelles’ in their original language. Both books I heartily recommend.

The best work of fiction I’ve read in 2020 is a Dutch classic: Harry Mulisch ‘De aanslag’. A book which is very to the point and that leaves the reader impressed. In English, I was impressed by An Yu’s debut novel ‘Brased Pork‘, which has a Murakami vibe.

In the non-fiction section I found Amy Stanley’s ‘Stranger in the Shogun’s City’ a very interesting read and Kishore Mahbubani’s ‘Has China Won’ very insightful. The former a biography about a common woman’s life in 19th century Japan, the latter a different perspective on the geopolitical struggle between the USA and China.

blog_vn_wpbooklist_jre_2020

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Books of 2019

In 2019 I’ve enjoyed the below books.

I’ve completed the fifth and final book of Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢) and can lay this Chinese classic to rest, although BaoYu and DaiYu will stay with me for quite some time.

My favorite book of the year is A Gentleman in Moscow: a truly great read!

I can also recommend Marguerite Duras’s L’Amant to improve ones French.

blog_vn_wpbooklist_jre_2019

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Books of 2018

In 2018 I’ve enjoyed the below books.

After reading ‘Journey to the West’ and ‘Water Margin’ in previous years, I started on another of the great Chinese classics:  The Story of the Stone, or Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢), as it is better known. I rate it much higher then the other two, a true masterpiece. It does not feel outdated or repetitive like the others sometimes do.  However, I still have one volume to go, the final twenty chapters.

I’ve also read some interesting non-fiction about the past, present and future of solar energy and about the history of the legendary ship ‘Endeavour’.

blog_vn_wpbooklist_jre_2018

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