Readers,

Happy New Year everyone! 2022 is now a done deal; we have completed a journal of 365 pages but as they say, every ending is a new beginning. We have been given a fresh set of 365 blank pages which we can fill with good and lasting memories. While the previous years have been shrouded in uncertainties due to the pandemic, 2023 is shaping up to be a year of good tidings. I sure hope so – despite the ominous forecasts vis-a-vis the global economy – because hope is the only thing that springs eternal.

As has been the tradition in the past couple of years, I am kicking off the new year by looking back to the previous year, its hits, and of course, its mishits. It is also an opportunity to take a glimpse of how the coming year is going to shape up. This book wrap-up is a part of a mini-series that will feature the following:

  1. 2022 Top Ten Favorite Books
  2. 2022 Book Wrap Up
  3. 2022 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part I)
  4. 2022 Most Memorable Book Quotes (Part II)
  5. 2022 New Favorite Authors
  6. 2023 Books I Look Forward To List
  7. 2023 Top 23 Reading List

2022 has been my most productive reading year to date. I have achieved a goal that I have been hoping to achieve for the longest time: completing 100 books in a year; I capped 2022 with 103 completed books. This means that since the pandemic started, I read 288 books. While there were books that failed to live up to my expectations, the 103 books I read in 2022 provided me with a deep and rich well of memorable and impressionable quotes, and passages. I have noted several quotes and it has been a challenge choosing the best ones. For the third year in a row, I decided to share more than the normal number I choose for this annual post. I am choosing 100 quotes that caught my attention during the year; there were just too many memorable books and quotes that I had a difficult time which ones I should feature in this update. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of my favorite quotes from my 202 reads.


“Your message wasn’t easy to understand. I guess I’m too used to thinking of words as a means to an end. Words create a mood, but they aren’t the mood itself. I definitely agree that some moods can’t be conveyed by clear and logical language, or by essays. Essays can be such a pain! Basically, the reader isn’t on your side, so you can’t leave out any of the logical steps. And sometimes when a connection is delicate, the steps take too long to spell out – it just isn’t possible, by the time you get to the end of the steps, the mood is lost.”
~ Elif Batuman, The Idiot


“The growth of intimacy is like that First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and a third – before long the best lines cancel out – and the secret is exposed at last; the planes of the picture have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint, we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping that such fatuous accounts of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true.” 
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned


“And so I realized. This society hasn’t changed one bit. People who won’t fit into the village are expelled: men who don’t hunt, women who don’t give birth to children. For all we talk about modern society and individualism, anyone who doesn’t try to fit in can expect to be meddled with, coerced, and ultimately banished from the village.”
~ Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman



“Odd, how our view of human destiny changes over the course of a lifetime. In youth, we believe what the young believe, that life is all choice. We stand before a hundred doors, choose to enter one where we’re faced with a hundred more and then choose again. we choose not just what we’ll do, but who we’ll be. Perhaps the sound of all those doors swinging shut behind us each time we select this one or that one should trouble us, but it doesn’t. Nor does the fact that the doors are identical and even lead in some cases to the exact same place.”
~ Richard Russo, Bridge of Sighs


“There is a ruthlessness to life. It seems to lack balance – and in its particulars it does. None of us is able to stand far back enough from life to see the balance that somehow exists. The child is never who the parent wants them to be, and they must not be. Even if a daughter accepts the lessons of her father, she will turn into a creature he didn’t expect. But that is entirely necessary. That is how the world changes, how values and criticisms evolve and change. A child must follow the rules of her own being. A parent can never truly understand and what those values or rules are. A child is an alien to the parent, which hurts the parent a little. The child’s whole life can feel like a betrayal. But life is not a betrayal of life.”
~ Sheila Heti, Pure Colour


“I do not want to think that the fate that awaits this planet will necessarily determine the fate of mankind. The other animals do not know that fate will befall our planet. Only man knows and only man fights against it. And behind his instinctive, insatiable ambition is this blind will to resist his fate. the conscious part of man acknowledges the inevitability of his end. But this blind will in him completely refuses to do so.”
~ Naoya Shiga, A Dark Night’s Passing


Being a corpse struck her as an unbearable disgrace. One minute you are a human being protected by modesty – the sanctity of nudity and privacy – and the next you die, and your body is suddenly up for grabs. Anyone can tear your clothes off, rip you open, inspect your insides, and – holding his nose to keep the stink away – stick you into the deep freeze or the flames.”
~ Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting


“He said there are four types of readers. There is the reading sponge, the reading, funnel, the reading colander, and the reading sieve. The sponge absorbs everything it comes into contact with; and it is evident he remembers much of it later, too. But he is not able to filter out what is most important. The funnel takes in what he reads at one end, while at the other, everything he’s read pours out of him. The strainer lets through the wine and keeps the sediment; he ought not to read at all – it would be infinitely better if he simply dedicated himself to some manual trade. The sieve, on the other hand, separates out the chaff, to give a result of only the finest grains.”
~ Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob


“There is something wonderful in being a stranger, in being foreign, something to be relished, something as alluring as sweets. It is good not to be able to understand a language, not to know the customs, to glide like a spirit among others who are distant and unrecognizable. Then a particular kind of wisdom awakens – an ability to surmise, to grasp the things that aren’t obvious. Cleverness and acumen come about. A person who is a stranger gains a new point of view, becomes, whether he likes it or not, a particular type of sage. Who was it who convinced us that being comfortable and familiar was so great? Only foreigners can truly understand the way things work.”
~ Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob


“Resignation meant submitting to greater power, and abandoning any idea of resistance. Power was built and maintained with violence. A population accustomed to peace had no task for either meting out or being subjected to brutality and couldn’t even imagine what it would involve. People unable to imagine violence are incapable of using it.”
~ Ryu Murakami, From the Fatherland, With Love


“Some writers are great, but not successful. Then you get other writers who are successful, but not so great. I’m sure there’s some sort of special principle behind it. Then again, I guess there are things like that everywhere We get this all the time as women, right? Like, if you make plenty of money but don’t have any kids, you might get called successful. But unless you have kids, no one will ever call you a great woman.”
~ Mieko Kawakami, All the Lovers in the Night


“As I recalled the various things the books had to say, ruminating over their choice of language, they almost seemed to harmonize into a secret message that would lead me somewhere, anywhere but here. I stood alone before a thick gage made of stacks of colorful book covers, no way of knowing what was on the other side, or where it led, or what exactly I could expect to find there, and of course, there was no one there to guide me. All I knew for certain was this place had nothing to do with me.”
Mieko Kawakami, All the Lovers in the Night


“Soon, I’ll froget about the baby, a life that appeared out of infinite darkness, hovered for nine months in a fetal state, tasted a few hours of cruel discomfort, and descended once again into darkness, final and infinite. I wouldn’t be surprised if I forgot about the baby right away. And when it’s time for me to die I may remember, and remembering, if the aging and the fear of death increase for me, I will have fulfilled a small part of my obligation as a father.”
~ Kenzaburō Ōe, A Personal Matter


“I have become a collapsing star, pulling everything around it, even the light, into an ever-expanding void. Once I lose all ability to communicate with the world outside myself, nothing will be left but what I remember. My memories will be like a sandbar, cut off from the shore by the incoming tide. In time they will become submerged, inaccessible to me. The prospect terrified me. For what is a person without memories? A ghost, trapped between worlds, without an identity, with no future, no past.”
~ Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists


“The garden has to reach inside you. It should change your heart, sadden it, uplift it. It has to make you appreciate the impermanence of everything in life. That point in time just as the last leaf is about to drop as the remaining petal is about to fall; that moment captures everything beautiful and sorrowful about life. ‘Mono no aware’ the Japanese call it.”
~ Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists


“Laughter is a gift that humans have learned and taught. There must have been some time in the past when humans didn’t know how to laugh. Nor did they feel joy at the birth of a child, nor sobs of sorrow at the passing of a loved one. Then the two had to be strained apart so they got joy from joy as well as a method for removing sorrow. Then humans became happy even after they weep, and when they laugh, they’re just plain happy.”
~ Geetanjali Shree, Tomb of Sand


“A tale tells itself. It can be complete, but also incomplete, the way all tales are. This particular tale has a border and women who come and go as they please. Once you’ve got women and a border, a story can write itself. Even women on their own are enough. Women are stories in themselves, full of stirrings and whisperings that float on the wind, that bend with each blade of grass. The setting sun gathers fragments of tales and fashions them into glowing lanterns that hang suspended from the clouds.”
~ Geetanjali Shree, Tomb of Sand


“One can speak of love at any time because it is lovely. It is natural. Also tempestuous. When love is boundless it breaks out into cosmos. Its essence reaches a pinnacle and the drive to overpower one another flames out. The difference between thrum and flame is erased and neither stops for anyone, nor hesitates at any boundary. Its gleam spreads in every direction, casting the world in magic. So magical that the air shimmers. A palace of mirrors. A mirage.”
~ Geetanjali Shree, Tomb of Sand


“You’re just consoling yourself, don’t you see that your thoughts about what historians do as themselves but another story? In someone else’s telling, historians could be said to do something completely different. They may accuse us of harboring ideologies and filling the heads of our contemporaries with more or less false notions about themselves and their world, but I’ve no doubt that the true appeal of history is the pleasure of the story, the power to divert us. ”
~ Orhan Pamuk, Silent House


“You regret not fixing a time to see her again, you regret not chasing after her, you regret your lack of courage, not getting her to stay, not chatting her up, not being more forward, and that there will not be a wonderful liaison. To sum it up, you regret losing the opportunity. You don’t suffer from insomnia but you sleep loudly the whole night. You’re up early, think it’s all ridiculous and luckily you hadn’t been rash. That sort of rash behavior damages one’s self-esteem. But then you detest yourself for being too rational.”
~ Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain


“Fiction is different from philosophy because it is the product of sensory perceptions. If a futile self-made signifier is saturated in a solution of lust and at a particular time transforms into a living cell capable of multiplying and growing, it is much more interesting than games of the intellect. Furthermore, it is the same as life and does not have an ultimate goal.”
~ Gao Xingjian, Soul Mountain


“Each moment is a leap forward from the brink of an invisible cliff, where time’s keen edges are constantly renewed. We lift our foot from the solid ground of all our life lived thus far, and take that perilous step out into the empty air. Not because we can claim any particular courage, but because there is no other way. Now, in this moment I feel that vertiginous thrill course through me. As I step recklessly into time I have not yet lived, into this book I have not yet written.”
~ Han Kang, The White Book


“There is none of us whom life regards with any partiality. Sleet falls as she walks these streets, holding this knowledge inside her. Sleet that leaves cheeks and eyebrows heavy with moisture. Everything passes. She bears this remembrance – the knowledge that everything she has clung to will fall away from her and vanish – through the streets where the sleet is falling, that is neither rain nor snow, neither ice nor water, that dampens her eyebrows and streams from her forehead whether she stands still or hurries on, closes her eyes or opens them.”
~ Han Kang, The White Book


“At times my body feels like a prison, a solid, shifting island threading through the crowd. A sealed chamber carrying all the memories of the life I have lived and the mother tongue from which they are inseparable. The more stubborn the isolation, the more vivid these unlooked-for fragments, the more oppressive their weight. So that is seems the place I flee to is not so much a city on the other side of the world as further into my own interior.”
~ Han Kang, The White Book


“At sea a man feels different, not like he does on dry land, even if all is calm around and no storm is threatening. However freely, however delightful the reflections of sunsets or sunrises on the smooth water, you still have to return to shore eventually – your own or another, but still to shore. You can never be at sea forever. And ashore quite a different life awaits you. The sea is temporary, the dry land is permanent. If it frightens you to go ashore, then you must find an island, a place of your own, and there you must always remain”
~ Chingiz Aitmatov, The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years


“He too was in search of a quietus, of peace. So, his old self must somehow be cancelled, put away for good. It must not rise up like a spectre from the tomb to claim him at some future point, dragging him down into the sepulchre of the past. And if he failed then he failed, but one did not contemplate what lay beyond failure while one was still trying to succeed. After all, Jay Gatsby, the highest bouncer of them all, failed, too, in the end, but lived out, before he crashed, that brilliant, brittle, sold, hatted, exemplary American Life.“
~ Salman Rushdie, Fury


“Intimacy can be an unbearable burden for those who, first experiencing it after a lifetime of proud self-sufficiency, suddenly realize it makes their world complete. Finding bliss becomes one with the fear of losing it. They doubt their right to hold someone else accountable for their happiness; they worry that their loved one may find their reverence tedious. They fear their yearning may have distorted their features in ways they cannot see. Thus, as the weight of all these questions and concerns bends them inward, their newfound joy in companionship turns into a deeper expression of the solitude they thought they had left behind.”
~ Hernan Diaz, Trust


“My point is, there’s always something. I think, as a species, we have a desire to believe that we’re living at the climax of the story. It’s a kind of narcissism. We want to believe that we’re uniquely important, that we’re living at the end of history, that now, after all these millennia of false alarms, now is finally the worst that it’s ever been, that finally we have reached the end of the world.”
~ Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility


“I think, as a species, we have a desire to believe that we’re living at the climax of the story. It’s a kind of narcissism. We want to believe that we’re uniquely important, that we’re living at the end of history, that now, after all these millennia of false alarms, now is finally the worst that it’s ever been, that finally we have reached the end of the world.”
~ Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility


“Maybe that was the trick to life: to notice all the tiny moments in the day when everything else fell away and, for a split second, or maybe even a few seconds, you had no worries, only pleasure, only appreciation of what was right in front of you. Transcendental meditation, maybe, but with hot dogs and the knowledge that everything would change, the good and the bad, and so you might as well appreciate the good.”
~ Emma Straub, This Time Tomorrow


“He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that too. The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”
~ Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry


“At that time, he was satisfying a sensual curiosity by experiencing the pleasures of people who live for love. He had believed he could stop there, that he would not be obliged to learn their sorrows; how small a thing her charm was for him now compared with the astounding terror that extended out from it like a murky halo, the immense anguish of not knowing at every moment what she had been doing, of not possessing her everywhere and always!”
~ Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way


“In nature—out yonder where the crawdads sing—these ruthless-seeming behaviors actually increase the mother’s number of young over her lifetime, and thus her genes for abandoning offspring in times of stress are passed on to the next generation. And on and on. It happens in humans, too. Some behaviors that seem harsh to us now ensured the survival of early man in whatever swamp he was in at the time. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. We still store those instincts in our genes, and they express themselves when certain circumstances prevail. Some parts of us will always be what we were, what we had to be to survive—way back yonder.”
~ Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing


“What lies beyond us is not, I think, a choice of one or the other. Rather, it’s been arranged for us to choose of three. Heaven and purgatory can be lumped together as one. Then you have hell. And the third choice is absolute nothingness. Now, should you go to the third place – absolute nothingness – over heaven or hell, which fortunately already exists – well, then, you end up at a place that’s tantamount to your not being born.”
~ Kenzaburō Ōe, A Quiet Life


“An artist is driven to make art by the spirit inside them, making an artwork like a signal or flare calling out, beckoning its kin to come near. This is why an artist never tires of their task. A bird finds it hard to attend to one person, and this is the reason why: because they have a desperate need – to create an aesthetic surface to put between themselves and the world, to make the spirits whole.”
~ Sheila Heti, Pure Colour


“I don’t think that every last bit of the programming has to be original. You have this purity thing, but seriously, no one will care. There is no purity in art. The process of how you arrive at something doesn’t matter at all. The game is going to be completely original because we made it. If you have access to a tool that will help, there is no reason not to use that tool.”
~ Gabrielle Zevin, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow


“She always said that Time himself, the father of transfigurations, was the greatest of artists, and his invisible hand must be respected at all costs, since it was in anonymous complicity with that of every human painter, so I always saw, as though a glass, darkly, what might have been my own primal scene, my own conception, the heavenly bird in a majesty of feathers ascending with imperious desire upon the half-stunned and yet herself impassioned girl.”
~ Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus


“Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.”
~ Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus


“Again and again, day after day, I found fresh opportunities for indulging, trying out, this passion that had suddenly possessed me. And I said to myself: from now on, help anyone and everyone so far as in you live. Cease to be apathetic, indifferent. Exalt yourself by devoting yourself to others, enrich yourself by making everyone’s destiny your own, by enduring and understanding every facet of human suffering through your pity. And my heart, astonished at its own workings, quivered with gratitude towards the sick girl whom I had unwittingly hurt and who, through her suffering had taught me the creative magic of pity.”
Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity


“You realise in your own life that some things are as irreversible as a story already seen or read, already told; things that lead us down a path from which we cannot stray or on which we can, at best, allow ourselves to improvise, perhaps a gesture or a wink that goes unnoticed; a plan we must follow even if we intend to escape, because although we may not have chosen it, we are on that path and it conditions our every move, our every prisoned step, regardless of whether we follow it faithfully or run away from it.”
~ Javier Marías, Berta Isla 


“Nothing has any weight if it lacks mystery, a surrounding mist, and we are heading towards a reality bereft of shadows, bereft almost of light and shade. Everything and anything known is destined to become rapidly swallowed up and trivialised, and so to lack any real influence. Anything that is visible, a spectacle in the public domain, can never create change.”
~ Javier Marías, Berta Isla


“The stories we tell on earth are mere fragments, crumbs of the great narrative of the dead. For thousands of years, in hundreds of languages, the dead have been weaving their story. But it will remain in the grave forever and ever. For all eternity never heard by a living soul. Your final confidence, between you and the grave Between the grave and you. Think of yourself there, with no advocate, no witness, afraid of nothing, because you yourself are nothing.”
~ Ismail Kadare, The Accident


 “In this space of which they are so afraid, human beings learn how to live and to die, in their own mental space, separation, distance and suffering are born. There is little to add to this. The lover hears his lover’s voice over mountains and oceans; over mountains and oceans a mother hears the cry of her child. Love birds, and it binds for ever. Good binds while evil unravels. Separation is another word for deceit. All that exists is magnificent, interweaving, vast and reciprocal.”
~ Michel Houellebecq, Atomised


“Last, he saw the mental aggregate of space and its opposite. He saw the mental conflict through which space was structured, and saw it disappear. He saw space as a thin line separating two spheres. In the first sphere, there was being, then space, and in the second was non-being and the destruction of the individual. Calmly, without a moment’s hesitation, he turned and walked towards the second sphere.”
~ Michel Houellebecq, Atomised


“You’re right about this being limited to me, it’s entirely a personal matter. But with some personal experiences that lead you way into a cave all by yourself, you must eventually come to a side tunnel or something that opens on a truth that concerns not just yourself but everyone. And with that kind of experience at least the individual is rewarded for his suffering.”
~ Kenzaburō Ōe, A Personal Matter


“When something was strange, everyone thought they had the right to come stomping in all over your life to figure out why. I found that arrogant and infuriating, not to mention a pain in the neck. Sometimes I even wanted to hit them with a shovel to shut them up, like I did that time in elementary school. But I recalled how upset my sister had been when I’d casually mentioned this to her before and kept my mouth shut.”
~ Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman


“I wanted to know how it was going to turn out, like flipping ahead in a book. I didn’t even know what kind of story it was, or what kind of role I was supposed to be playing. Which of us was taking it more seriously? Didn’t that have to be me, because I was younger, and also because I was the girl? One the other hand, I thought that there was a way in which I was lighter than he was – that there was a serious heaviness about him that was foreign to me, and that I rejected.”
~ Elif Batuman, The idiot


“I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn’t made that decision. I suppose I would have sunk. I suppose I would have found some kind of hole and tried to hide or pass. After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities. I would have hidden in my hole and been crippled by my sentimentality, doing what I was doing, and doing it well, but always looking for the wailing wall. And I would never have seen the world as the rich place that it is. You wouldn’t have seen me here in Africa, doing what I do.”
~ V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River


“Words, words, word. Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups of clay. Love that overthrows empire. Love that binds two hearts together, come hellfire and brimstone. For sixpence a line, I could cause a riot in a nunnery. But now – I have lost my gift. It’s as if my quill is broken, as if the organ of my imagination has dried up, as if the proud -illegible word- of my genius has collapsed.”
~ Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides 


“We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.”
~ Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides