Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015: The Year In Review

This has been an eventful year. I started this blog on December 21st 2013 as a replacement for my old book blog. Since then my wife and I bought our first house, and in about six months, I will be a father. On top of all this I managed to read 24 books (one of them a Psychology Textbook).

  1. Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
  2. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
  3. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  4. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
  5. Ulysses by James Joyce
  6. Germinal by Emile Zola
  7. The Sixteen Satires by Juvenal
  8. Amores by Ovid
  9. Ars Amatoria by Ovid
  10. Satires by Persius
  11. The Eclogues by Virgil
  12. Georgics by Virgil
  13. Hymns and Epigrams by Callimachus
  14. Ungifted by Gordon Korman
  15. Thyestes by Seneca
  16. Phaedra by Seneca
  17. The Trojan Women by Seneca
  18. Oedipus by Seneca
  19. Hercules Furens by Seneca
  20. Octavia by Seneca
  21. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  22. Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett
  23. Endgame by Samuel Beckett
  24. Understanding Psychology by Charles G. Morris and Albert A. Maisto

Now you might be saying to yourself, wait a second! What about all those Sophocles posts? What about my most recent post on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales? Well, to be honest, those were all transfers from my old blog. I read Sophocles in 2008, Chaucer in 2009. I intend to slowly transfer everything from my old blog to the new one over in time. This is nice as it gives me stuff to post while I’m between books; it also forces me to re-read my old posts and revisit my thoughts. Not to mention even though they’re old posts, they’re still new to you! Nevertheless, for the curious, the above list are the books I actually read this year.

I began the year by tackling some novels, then ended with a lot of Roman literature. I’m not sure if others do this, but I often conceive of my reading projects as attempts to fill in embarrassing gaps in my knowledge. I will ask myself what works am I embarrassed not to have read at this point in my life and that is how I sometimes pick the next book I plan to read. The one that stood out the most this year when I asked that question was Ulysses by James Joyce. So I decided to finally read it this year. Probably the next book on that stood out was In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, which I didn’t tackle; I considered it multiple times this year, but its size continued to overwhelm me.

In the past, I tried to read books systematically by period. For example, from 2008 – 2009 I read most of the major ancient Greek works one after the other. I started to do this for the Romans in the middle of 2009, but lost interest and stopped halfway. This year I returned to that long postponed project.

So what do I plan for 2015? I am currently working my way through Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. Not really sure where I want to go from there. Along with my literary readings, I have also been trying to teach myself mathematics. Most of this time has been spent with the Khan Academy and books I have checked out from my local university library in order re-learn Algebra and Pre-calculus and statistics. This year I also spent a significant portion of my reading time working through a Psychology Textbook. Nonfiction topics have been calling to me.

I would like to continue learning more about psychology and want to try to fit in some other nonfiction subjects. I have had a yearning recently to get back into history (which was my minor in undergrad). Philosophy, too, has been calling me. Let’s throw science in there for good measure. So in 2015, along with literature, I would like to spend time studying psychology, math, history, philosophy, and science, while also somehow finding time to learn, review, and practice math. All of this with a new baby coming! 2015 will be an interesting year.

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7 thoughts on “Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015: The Year In Review

  1. I’ve said it before, but I really love your blog because I can visit my beloved Greeks, and some Roman literature too, yet I’m very interested in your plans for 2015. I’m sure you’ll pick some fascinating titles.

    Congratulations on your first house and first baby! These times are filled with wonderful memories, so enjoy them. And all the best for 2015!

  2. Sounds like an exciting year is around the corner for you!

    You mentioned wanting to read more philosophy: I just finished Meditations by Descartes, and my head was going to explode. And, yet, he is probably one of the more enjoyable philosophers to read for those who love to think a lot.

    Happy New Year!

    • Descartes was good and thought-provoking. I read Meditations in 2013; I just haven’t transferred that post over yet. Hume, which I read this year, was also interesting and readable.

      The big name in philosophy which “I’m embarrassed not to have read at this point in my life” is Immanuel Kant. That is the name that continually pops into my head whenever I think about it. I tried Critique of Pure Reason this year and then abandoned it; it was really difficult stuff.

      Happy New Year to you too!

  3. I’ll look forward to your Tom Jones post. It’s one of those books I start but am unable to finish. Don Quixote is another. I find them both funny (Tom Jones has its moments) but it’s difficult for me to maintain my interest.

    I tend to remain in my comfort zone (fantasy) when reading books but I intend to expand and diversify my selection this year.

    Congrats on your house and baby! 🙂

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