To celebrate the close of this year and the beginning of the next, we’ve decided to take a look back at our reading family’s personal favorites of 2010. Enjoy!
Orhan Pamuk’s first new novel since his Nobel Prize win is a gorgeously sexy, evocative story of love, obsession, and family politics in 1970s Istanbul. Whenever I read any of Pamuk’s novels, I’m amazed at the different ways he can bring Istanbul so vividly to life — be it a character sitting at a tavern drinking raki and eating fried red mullet; or the description of the modernist façade of the Istanbul Hilton, where the infamous engagement party in The Museum of Innocence takes place.
At the heart of this novel sits a passionate, illicit love affair — and an obsession that grows out of it. Kemal, the book’s protagonist, compulsively gathers objects that document his affair with Fusun, a beautiful shopgirl and also a distant relative. As Kemal’s fascination with both his lover and the objects he amasses continues to grow, the novel becomes gloriously tactile, a landscape peppered with keys and postcards, vases and 4,213 cigarette butts stained with lipstick that stunningly come to represent the most universal, non-tangible themes. (It is worth noting that Pamuk’s obsession is real: 2010 saw the opening of an enormous exhibit in Istanbul, also called “The Museum of Innocence,” which contained objects that the author has been collecting for years.)
— Lexy B., Editorial
Was there a particular book that you or your reading group couldn’t stop discussing this year? Let us know in the comments!