It’s getting a little cold outside and I’m a big fan of curling up with a blanket and reading a book in one sitting when the weather goes south. Also, there’s only a few months left of 2016 and I thought it would be good to give you all some recommendations on what you can read quickly so you can catch up with your reading challenge!
I must say it was difficult to categorise these books, though – I love all of them and they were truly enjoyable one-sitting reads to me so it was hard to divide the into Buy or Borrow. And finding a one-sitting book I would bypass? That was even harder.
Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur – If you’ve been on Tumblr lately, it’s likely that you’ve hear of Rupi Kaur’s work. This is an incredible book of poetry about sexual trauma and while it is a painful read, it’s completely worth it. Kaur has a way of describing her pain that really hits me hard; she makes her hurt and abuse completely palpable to the reader with simple poetry schemes. I also recommend watching her TED talk on being a sexual assault survivor and how her craft helped her heal from trauma.
Zimbabwe by Tapiwa Mugabe – This book was recommended to me by a friend but, since I’m not a huge poetry reader, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The poems in this collection are extremely powerful, often challenging colonial versions of masculinity and honoring the women (and their femininity) in Mugabe’s life. Love, nostalgia, fatherhood and colonisation are also themes included in this collection. As I read this in one sitting, I often found myself sitting with Mugabe’s words for several minutes before moving onto the next poem; I want to swallow all his words.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – While this is one of my favorite books in the world, it’s also fairly old so you’ll be able to find it in your nearest library for free which is always a wonderful thing. OK, of course this looks like – and indeed, it could be said it is – a children’s book, but it can be read on two levels: a kids’ tale or an existential, philosophical look at adult life. Through telling a fantastical story that doesn’t accept adult logic, Saint-Exupéry challenges the world of adults and writes beautifully on love, loss and loneliness.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – I am putting this book under “Borrow” for the same reason as The Little Prince: it would probably be fairly easy to get from a library. This graphic novel is truly amazing: Satrapi writes about her experiences as a child and a young adult in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. It taught me a lot about Iran’s history and how it may have impacted women.
2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Berlino – I didn’t love this book enough to recommend it, but it was a quick Christmas-y read. Madeleine is a nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer who, while mourning her recently deceased mother, goes on a quest to find The Cat’s Pajamas jazz club. My mild feelings towards this book might have something to do with my hatred of jazz, so don’t take me too seriously…