So I’ve been watching Booktube wrap ups for years. I find a lot of new books that way. And whilst I’ve always wanted to translate the idea to my blog, I have never been able to. Why? Cos I usually finish like one book a month. Or none. Or sporadically like five. But there’s no consistency. Anyway, somehow – and I have zero idea how – I managed to read eight books in January. So I’m jumping on my chance now cos this may never happen again in our lifetimes. I’d like it to but we can just never know. I had a pretty good reading month and I learnt a lot from each book. Which is always nice. Spoiler-free, I’m not a bastard.
The Sun And Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
If you’ve not read ‘Milk and Honey’ yet then what are you doing with your life? This is Kaur’s second collection and it’s just as delicious as the first. It is raw and honest; it doesn’t shy from the hard topics. It’s a book of self-love and strength and I think all people (but especially women) should read this. And treat yourself a little more kindly.
The Beautifull Cassandra – Jane Austen
Before I read this I saw a lot of hate for this collection. People moaning that it’s not representative of Austen’s later work. Well you’ve got to give some slack to the poor kid cos she was a teenager when she wrote this. Did she ever want it shared with the world? Probably bloody not. I’d be mortified if the world saw the rubbish I wrote when I was a kid. But I think these stories were funny and charming and a little mad. I’d read it again.
Girl meets boy – Ali Smith
This was my first Smith. It’s worth a read but I’m not sure it’s everything I hoped it to be. There are some interesting passages where the main character kind of sinks into her own subconscious and considers the big questions. And I liked the discussion on sexuality. But I found it lacked much plot. Maybe this was the point and I just missed it.
Wonder – R. J. Palacio
I read this in preparation for the movie and it was everything I wanted it to be. It’s a lovely coming of age story. It deals with problems and injustices all kids face as well as many more. It’s endearing and will choke you up in places, fair warning.
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
This is Kaling’s second memoir and I think I liked it even more than the first one (though I would recommend that also). Mindy Kaling doesn’t fuck around. She’s real and honest. I found her last essay, actually titled ‘Why Not Me’, to be super inspiring. It makes you back your dreams and think, yeah, they could actually come true.
Love And Misadventure – Lang Leav
I’ve read a lot of poetry this month which is why I know this isn’t my favourite. Which sounds harsh. But I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s a good collection and it would be perfect if you’re looking for some love poetry. I just found it got a little repetitive and I couldn’t imagine that this guy she was talking about was that great. But maybe I’m just cynical!
The Princess Saves Herself In This One – Amanda Lovelace
I’d maybe throw it out there and say this was my favourite read of January. It’s difficult to pick a favourite poem because the whole collection was perfect. It touches on a lot of topics but I found her words on grief particularly poignant. She gets it, man. When I finished reading this I felt close to Lovelace, almost as if we were old friends. Go and read this right now.
Before I Die – Jenny Downham
I lent this off a friend years ago and it’s just been sat staring at me on my shelf. I think if I would have read it then I would have liked it more. It’s a good YA, and it’s an important but often overlooked topic, the themes of teenage cancer and how life is fleeting. It will definitely make you cry but I just wasn’t always a hundred percent in love with the characters.
Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure