Books I read in 2023

In 2023, I managed to finish reading 18 books, a bit more than the previous year but fewer than in 2020. During the pandemic in 2020, when I was spending long hours at home, I had more time to read. Even though I read more this year, I found myself losing interest in several books and not finishing them. However, for the ones I did complete, I had a great time.

Now, I’d like to share some thoughts on a few books I’ve read this year.

If I had to pick my favorite book of the year, it would probably be “The Last Letter Home” by Moberg Vilhem. It’s the fourth book in a series that I’ve enjoyed. The series follows the journey of a Swedish family in 18th-century America, exploring the challenges and changes faced by Karl and Kristine.

Another book I really liked is “Fifth Business” by Davies Roberson. It tells the story of a man born in unusual circumstances and his equally interesting mother.

The Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky is an extraordinary adventure into human morals and ethical conflicts. This, along with “Crime and Punishment,” dives deep into profound human dilemmas.

Jorge Irbanguengoitia’s “Two Crimes” narrates the tale of a man who gets into political trouble, forcing him to escape to a rural town. There, he encounters additional conflicts within his family.

Doctor Faustus” by Thomas Mann surprised me with the unexpected joy of gaining musical knowledge. The story revolves around an ambitious man making a pact with the devil for inspiration in music. One of the best pieces of music I learned in this novel is the Grosse Fuge Op. 133 by Beethoven.

While Daniel Pink’s “The Power of Regret” is good, I’m most thankful for discovering “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt. It delves into modern approaches to understanding how people make ethical and moral decisions, especially in complex and context-dependent situations.

The Shadow of the Sun” by Richard Kapuscinski, a Polish war journalist, captivated me with his insights into Africa during civil wars, coups, and conflicts. His ability to infuse cultural and human perspectives into his stories is truly remarkable.

Joseph Henrich’s “The WEIRDest People in the World” explores the connection between culture, race, religion, and education. The title’s acronym stands for White, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.

Lastly, “Letters from Thailand” by Botan, a likely pseudonym, published in 1969 but set in the first half of the 20th century, depicts the life of a Chinese immigrant in Thailand. It illustrates how one’s outlook on life changes with age, whether living now or 80 years ago.

Beethoven’s last Piano Sonata, No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, has only two parts and I love the stormy beauty of the fist part.
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