2023 in Books


“I still walk into a bookstore or a library convinced that I might be on the threshold that will open up onto what I most need or desire, and sometimes that doorway appears. When it does, there are epiphanies and raptures in seeing the world in new ways, in finding patterns previously unsuspected, in being handed unimagined equipment to address what arises, in the beauty and power of words.”  — Rebecca Solnit, Recollections of My Nonexistence

Portraits of May

43. Street of Thieves – Mathias Énard

42. Recollections of My Nonexistence – Rebecca Solnit

41. Orphic Paris – Henri Cole

40. The Distance Between Us –Renato Cisneros

39. Shah of Shahs – Ryszard Kapuściński

38. Skylark – Dezső Kosztoláni

37. Disquiet – Zülfü Livaneli


“You see, every story is like a small stream that eventually spills into the broad sea of thousands of other tales. And if a storyteller dies along the way, another must replace him and carry on the story from one river to the next and on out to sea.” — Bachtyar Ali, The Last Pomegranate Tree


“Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the ‘real’ everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are so much more. They are a way of being fully human.” — Susan Sontag, A Letter to Borges – Where the Stress Falls


“And so the role of literature on this earth: It is that thing seeking beauty.” — Sait Faik Abasıyanık, A Useless Man


“Our literature teacher at school used to say that everyone had their own language, and that you could understand some with flowers and others with books.” Burhan Sönmez, Istanbul Istanbul