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My Year In Books

2023 was a decent year for me, reading-wise….

That works out to around 65 pages per day on average which seems like a lot to me but when you are reading on a tablet instead of a book, and I didn’t read a single physical book last year, it is harder to gauge how much you have read.

Every year I tell myself I am going to read more non-fiction and I rarely do. Fiction is just easier to read before bed when I do most of my reading, non-fiction really demands you set aside some dedicated reading time. At least that is the case for me. When I sit, I am usually at my computer and I can always blog or read other people’s blogs, maybe in 2024 I can carve out some time to sit away from my computer to read.

This year I am committing to doing something I have meant to do for a very long time: read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. I have owned a copy since the 1970s but never managed to read it, it is generally regarded as a difficult read, but as someone who read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings when I was maybe 8-9, and a huge fan of the world Tolkien created, I feel like I should finally put the effort in to read The Silmarillion.

Reading exercises the mind and provides me with a little escape to a place where things are not so crappy and it has always been a source of solace and shelter for me. Heck, I can’t really sleep until I read at least a few pages and that has been true since I was a little kid so I am glad to have thousands of books downloaded where Bezos can’t delete them.


  1. Hickocks Ghost

    it has been my experience that people who can’t read, won’t read, or don’t read, proudly steep themselves in ignorance. At the same time, they feel they know more about everything than everybody else.
    Four of my favorites are: the Gulag Archipelago,
    The art of war , The Prince and Kafka’s The Trial.
    for fiction I like John Ross’s Unintended Consequences. as far as fiction, I get more than enough of that from the newspapers and TV news.

    • pyrrhus

      Some very good writing, if you have any interest in naval warfare and British culture during the Napoleanic Wars, is the Captain Aubrey, Dr.Maturin series by Patrick O’Brien…They range the world in his ships..O’Brien having been a prominent historian of the British Naval files, and excellent writer..Another interesting and rollicking series is the Flashman books by George McDonald Fraser, set in the 19th century…

  2. Greg

    When I realized that reading on the ‘puter was eroding my attention span down to mere seconds, I resolved to get back to reading books–real dead tree physical books again. I think it’s helped.

    • Filthie

      Yeah me too, now that you mention it. On the computer there is so much content, and so much of it is dreck, that if I’m not hooked right away…off I go.

      I’m just starving these days too. I used to read as much or more than our esteemed blog host does…but almost quit reading fiction entirely. Everything I read became about faggotry, feminism, Marxism and the books were about indoctrination rather than entertainment. What kind of story can you tell where the Vikings are all pajeets and mystery meats and blacks, ordered about be girl bosses and she-boons? GAH!

      As some wank on Blab said – those destroying your history are intending to repeat it…

  3. Xzebek

    I agree that reading physical books is more enjoyable than on kindle etc.
    Silmarillion is a more difficult read than either Hobbit or LOTR trilogy ( and I’m a big Tolkien fan). If you have an edition with all of the maps, sketches and drawings, it is even better to read a paper copy. Your edition from the 70s probably has those. You will be happy to have read it even though I found it didn’t give the same visceral thrill as LOTR.

  4. Reader

    Highly recommend “Fire in the Jungle” by Larry S. Schmidt. All about the Phillipine resistance to the Japs with US forces that were on land during the Jap invasion. Trying to coalesce all the factions to be single-minded in resisting the Japs proved not impossible but very difficult. Medicine was scant, (one American self-performed an appendectomy via a mirror and lived thru it) money was harder to “pay” with, and the internal politics of being resistors was challenging.

      • La Sagna

        I am not trolling mr. person of pallor. I am hitting that pipe hard as today is number 3 on my card and today is the Jan 3, payday.

        Dr. LaSagna

      • Xzebek

        Arthur, you need to see the chimp out in Las Vegas with a chimp attacking a female judge as she’s sentencing him to prison. It’s a classic.

  5. Man on The Moon

    O/T, Art,

    Have you seen the moon cricket who attacked the District Judge in NV for denying it probation? Holy shit! It’s on Infowars. Couldn’t find your email…sorry.

  6. JerseyJeffersonian

    Arthur and other commentators,

    I just concluded my reading of a book I found recommended over at the Unz Review by Gregory Hood that I found quite stimulating. The work in question is by the French philologist and scholar of Germanic literatures, Armand Berger, and is entitled in its translation into English, Tolkien, Europe, and Tradition: From Civilization to the Dawn of Imagination. It is published by Arktos, ISBN 978-1-914208-97-3 in paperback (also available in Ebook format). My wife got it for me through her favorite independent bookseller, Parnassus Books of Nashville, TN.

    Berger is quite the scholar, and his translator, Jason Rogers, is likewise, sometimes supplying his own translations from works quoted in the text. It was very illuminating regarding the mythological and literary sources influential for the formation of Tolkien’s opus (often with relevance to your latest literary aspiration, The Silmarillion). Useful for its revelations on development of Tolkien’s oeuvre, it also argues for its cultural relevance to the significant juncture at which Western Man finds himself.

    Here is a quote from Berger:

    “It is up to European man to know his modern mythology and the heroes related to it. Tolkien, like an ‘Anglo-Saxon bard’, is one of those noble heralds who have brought our civilizational wealth to its pinnacle. May his work, as a new founding text for our identity, allow us to maintain the sacred fire.”

    I have on my lap my copy of The Silmarillion copyright originally by Georg Allen & Unwin in 1977 in its First American Edition from Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-25730-1 (hardback) with its inscription from my late parents in that year. It contains the maps mentioned by another poster.

  7. Mike Hendrix

    The Silmarillion can be tough sledding at first; it’s a VERY different kettle of fish from LOTR, as XZEBEC says. But it definitely has its moments, the tale of Luthien and Beren One-Hand being one of them. My parents, seeing how voraciously I had devoured LOTR, got me the Silmarillion for Christmas when I was a teenager, and it took me years before I finally got through the whole thing; it was pick it up, read a chapter or two, get bored, put it back down, over and over again until at last it hooked me enough to finish it. When I did, I was happy to have read it, even going back and re-reading it three or four times over the years.

  8. Mike_C

    Speaking of Tolkien, I’m reminded of some illustrations I found somewhere on the inter webs, wherein the coronation of King Elessar was depicted in a sort of Art Deco stained-glass style. (Not in glass, but in designs that would be create-able in glass. It looks better than I’m making it sound.) Anyway, I was admiring the art when I noticed that the White Tree of Gondor was depicted as a menorah(!) and that Aragorn and Arwen, and the folk of the West were depicted as kneeling before said menorah.

    Unbelievable. Or, rather, all too believable.
    G-d damn it.

  9. Bean Dip Tray

    Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer is an all-timer.
    An in depth Battle of Kursk was about the only read for 2023.
    Books are constructs of the white male patriarchy and have white pages therefore extra most worstest.
    Two plus two equals five and a rainbow poop emoji are all you need to know in the glorious egalitarian workers utopia FUSA.
    Forward, yes we can!

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