The past month was a good one – summer holidays always bring a fresh boost of energy and a lot of reading time. I read 5 books, an interesting mix of planned and unexpected reads – a Caribbean story, a story inspired by Shakespeare’s life, a South Korean surreal book, a modern classic about a Nigerian woman in the USA, and the famous A Little Life. Quite a full month, isn’t it?
I am reading Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo, a book that was a very rare impulse choice from the bookstore. I wanted to read other books by Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other was a favourite – my review) and it was part of the same collection as the other Evaristo book I own … so why not? 😀
In a nutshell, it is a novel in which Africans enslave Europeans.
First I finished reading How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones (my review), a fascinating story set in the Caribbean.
It is a difficult and emotional read, as it illustrates how harsh life can be even in places that foreigners consider Paradise. The book raises awareness about domestic violence against women in the Caribbean.
Next I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (my review). This book deserves the award for the most consuming and heartrending book I’ve ever read.
In a nutshell, A Little Life tells the story of 4 friends, from college ’till their 60s. However, one of them, Jude, is at the forefront of the story, and he is the one you’re going to cry for. Yes, there will be crying involved if you want to read this 700+ pages story.
After that I read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (my review), a book that I was so so much looking forward reading!
Hamnet tells an imagined story of Shakespeare’s family life, focusing on what is usually written only in footnotes – his wife and children, including the death of his son Hamnet during childhood.
Then I read The Cabinet by Un-su Kim, as e-ARC from Netgalley. The book, published in South Korea in 15 years ago, is an imaginative collection of surreal people. Time skippers, memory mosaicers, people who (kind of) hibernate – they are all documented in the mysterious Cabinet 13.
I found interesting the idea of the book, but unfortunately it was not a captivating read. However, I can imagine a few situations when I would recommend this book for its originality.
The fifth book of the month was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (my review), the story of a Nigerian woman who emigrates in the USA in hope for a better life.
Americanah is such a complex and rich story! I enjoyed every part of it, it certainly deserves its title of “modern classic”.
As Autumn will soon be in full swing and I will spend more time indoors, reading and knitting, I have high expectations for the month(s) to come. But first I would like to do something I haven’t done in a long lone time – read non-fiction:
- Breath by James Nestor – a non-fiction book about breathing; I loved his book Deep about ocean life (my review)
- Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard – a book about the personal life and business life of the founder of Patagonia; of course, the book is printed on 100% postconsumer-waste recycled paper
What are your reading plans for September? Let me know if you read any of the books mentioned here!
Till next time … happy reading!