Nina writes, “I use my list to acknowledge at least a few of the great books that come out every year — some of which garner much less than the attention than they deserve and some of which are rightfully lauded by us reading hordes but deserve re-mention nonetheless.”
Given the number of books Nina reads every year, we are thrilled that The Names of Things is among her favorites. Here’s what she writes:
The Names of Things by John Colman Wood: This book tells the story of a man who journeys to Africa to find again the groups of nomads with whom he traveled years ago. As an anthropologist, he was always looking for the names of things as a way to define their meaning in the culture he studied and how such meaning connected to his own way of life. As a man now trying to deal with overwhelming sorrow, he finds that the name of a thing is only the place to start understanding the substance of experience, and that in the end, it is the substance that might sustain him, while the names twist away.