2023 is looking good so far, reading-wise. I’ve somehow managed to read 7 books in January, which feels like my normal reading rate from three years ago. Without any furth ado, here are the books I read in January.
1. Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis – 2003
In this well-researched and well-structured book, Angela Y. Davis offers the reader detailed contextual backgrounds and historical aspects of the modern prison industrial complex. In its title, Davis poses the question “Are prisons obsolete?” And then begins to dismantle all your preconceived notions of “crime & punishment” that you have taken for granted all your life.
This dark little book is compiled by Darth Sidious (AKA Emperor Palpatine) of dark side accounts, lore, and secrets from archives he inherited from Darth Plagueis. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this one is for you, especially for those of us who take interest in the dark side.
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – 1859
This is a classic tale of redemption set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. This is my fifth Dickens, and his masterful and witty writing style is ever so present in the Tale of Two Cities. I must admit that although I enjoyed reading this novel, it had some major issues for me.
4. Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie – 1924
Always love a good Agatha Christie book, and Poirot is just THE best! I’ve read a few of her most famous novels and decided to read a bit more of the Poirot mysteries. However, this book is not a novel, but rather a collection of short stories, and they were still marvelous.
5. التيه لـ عبد الرحمن منيف – 1984
التيه أول جزء من خماسية مدن الملح لـ عبد الرحمن منيف. تدور أحداثها في منطقتين ”وادي العيون“ و ”حران“ والتغييرات التي يمر بها أهل هذه المناطق أثر اكتشاف البترول.
في نظري الرواية كان لها فرصة لتكون أفضل بكثير مما هي عليه، خاصة وأن أعمال منيف الأخرى كانت مميزة أدبيا وفكريا. الفكرة العامة للرواية مثيرة ومشوقة، لكن الأسلوب السردي الممل، وكثرة الشخصيات، والمبالغة في إرسال رسالته للقارئ أضعفت الرواية بشكل عام. ففي هذه الرواية نرى تأثير أيديولوجيات الحزب البعثي على منيف، أكثر من رواياته الأخرى.
6. King Lear by William Shakespeare – 1605
Where to begin? Well, King Lear is one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever read in Shakespeare, so stupid and unlikeable that you kind of want him to meet his end!
7. Now We are Six by A.A. Milne – 1927
A lovely collection of poems for children mostly about Christopher Robin and a whole bunch of fantastical characters. Winnie-the-pooh is only there for a couple of them, but it was still lovely.