My Favorite Books of 2017

I read close to 40 books in 2017.

I was living in Bogotá. In La Candelaria (downtown), there is a street with what feels like dozens of bookshops and other stands placed outside where people sell books in all kinds of languages. I would frequent this area every other week or so to shop for books and I would pass through it whenever I was in the area.

It wasn’t difficult to find the latest English books. However, the second hand shops that I would shop in mostly carried English Classics.

This wasn’t a problem for me, I knew that I needed to catch up on reading classics and I have been putting it off for some time. It was Hemingway who said that we need to first read and understand the classics, particularly Russian literature, in order to become great writers.

The books were fairly cheap, usually under $5 for a copy of A Farewell To Arms and $7-8 for a copy of Anna Karenina, a book that I had already read but couldn’t resist buying the beautiful older version that the bookstore had jammed into the shelves.

I very much enjoyed reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and I can say that it immediately influenced the way that I write. I read the Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián, a book of 300 maxims that was published some 400 years ago that I heard about in a podcast earlier last year. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo, the movie adaptation which I absolutely missed watching as a child for some reason or another, I read in late November.

I’m looking forward to the books that I will read in 2018. I’m currently reading The House of God by Samuel Shem, I started it right after I finished Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins, and by next week I’ll be back at Union Square, looking for my next book.

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