Archive for December, 2019


Hunger

by Roxane Gay

This is my second title for #Popsugar prompts 47 and 48 – two books with the same title.
And tbh – I picked the other one so I could reread this amazing book.

I love every single thing Gay writes – I think she an astounding voice.
Whether you can relate to what she is saying personally, or not, I do not believe that any single reader with even a marginally open mind will not be swept up by Gay. She talks about her own life, experiences, body and existence in the world with such vulnerability and honesty it is impossible not to have the breath stolen from you.

This is a beautiful, moving, sad and empowering book all at the same time.
Once again, it has knocked me on my ass and left me reeling.

Hunger

by Elise Blackwell

This will be the first book for #Popsugar prompts 47 and 48
This story tells parallel stories – one is Leningrad starving to death from the autumn of 1941. The other is the collection of rare seeds from around the world by the Institute of Plant Industry.
The comparison between the life in Leningrad during those terrible days with no food and none coming, and the rich luxurious life travelling the world, collecting seeds to protect fruit and vegetable species is striking and uncomfortable.

This little book is tight and sparse. The very words used create the sense of the cold desperation of Leningrad at the time, with these little pockets of warmth and lushness; like a slightly too warm room after being out in the snow. Probably exactly what the rooms the seeds were being stored in may have felt like; with the addition of the the potential food held in those seeds that simply cannot be realised in the circumstances.

Imagine starving to death while not eating the seeds in front of you so as to save the species of plant for future generations!

I liked this book and felt a bit scraped out after reading it

  1. A Book by an Author from the Caribbean or India
  2. Book Translated from an Asian Language
  3. A Book about the Environment – Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  4. A Picture Book Written/Illustrated by a BIPOC Author
  5. A Winner of the Stella Prize or the Women’s Prize for Fiction – The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose
  6. A Nonfiction Title by a Woman Historian – She Came to Slay by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
  7. A Book Featuring Afrofuturism or Africanfuturism – Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. An Anthology by Multiple Authors
  9. A Book Inspired by Folklore – The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
  10. A Book about a Woman Artist – Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
  11. Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  12. A Book about a Woman Who Inspires You – Camgirl by Isa Mazzei 
  13. A Book by an Arab Woman – Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy
  14. A Book Set in Japan or by a Japanese Author – Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki
  15. A Biography – Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise
    by Lucinda Hawksley
  16. A Book Featuring a Woman with a Disability – The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  17. A Book Over 500 Pages – A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  18. A Book Under 100 Pages
  19. A Book That’s Frequently Recommended to You
  20. A Feel-Good or Happy Book
  21. A Book about Food
  22. A Book by Either a Favorite or a New-to-You Publisher – The Mandible by Lionel Shriver
  23. A Book by an LGBTQ+ Author – The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
  24. A Book from the 2019 Reading Women Award Shortlists or Honorable Mentions

BONUS

A Book by Toni Morrison

A Book by Isabel Allende

by Marie Lu

This is my surprise book of 2019 – I was so not interested in the #Popsugar prompt 45 – LitRPG I was actually going to give myself a pass on it. But then I decided I really wanted to finish the challenge so I downloaded the audiobook of this title.
I really enjoyed it – much to my surprise. I had tried a few titles in the genre and either hated them or realised I did not care for a second what happened. Not this story by Lu. I listened to it in two days – often when I really should have been doing other things.

I got sucked into the story, wanted to know what was happening, understood the gaming stuff enough for it to not be alienating for a non-gamer – and now probably need to get the next one so I can find out what happens with Zero.

It is about so much more than just gaming – i found the social commentary and possible future very interesting – it was sci-fi as much as gaming.

very cool book – who woulda thunk!

by Sheryl Sandberg,

#Popsugar prompt 49: Inspired a common phrase is why I read this book
Other than this one I could not find a single suitable book not by a white man – probably dead.
That limited mu choice to this book only – which is the only reason I finished it.

In how many ways can we say unaware of privileged? Cos Sandbrg uses them all.
Also – don’t talk about women supporting women when working for the misogynistic organisation that is FB. Sandberg is high up enough to make changes to how the company is run and how it interacts with its customers. As long as rape jokes are considered okay and women are jailed for saying #menaretrash, FB and every single employee can not claim any desire to lift women up, however hard they lean in.

I thought throughout that Sandberg’s implication was that if we, women, just tried harder, we’d be in power and smash the patriarchy.
What a load of self righteous, blinkered bs – you have to wonder when last Sandberg had any idea of how non-billionaires live.

by Toni Morrison

This is my book for #Popsugar prompt 14: Seen in a movie/TV show. Barack Obama is reading it in Southside with You. It is also my first Morrison although how that is true I just don’t understand – have I been living, and reading, under a rock?

I loved the way Morrison says things – she creates beautiful sentences that paint pictures that made me gasp or smile or laugh or cringe a little.
I was drawn into the story and despite the time jumps always knew exactly where we were and with whom. This is testament to Morrison’s extraordinary skill as an author.

I must admit the end left me a bit ‘whaaaat?’ – I was not sure if I felt lifted or crushed by the end. And I am not sure that’s a bad thing.

Wonderful and my first but certainly not last, Morrison

by Sue Monk Kidd

This is my book for #Popsugar prompt 5: over one million ratings
I probably would not have read this book were it not for the prompt – and I am so glad I dd.
What a beautiful, well-crafted story this is – I was completely absorbed and felt like I was there with the women of the tale. When I put the book down I missed them and was glad to visit again at every opportunity.

I found the characters to be believable and well constructed. The circumstances they found themselves in wove around me, carrying me to that period of time. I cringed and winced at the treatment meted out, and mourned and celebrated the events they experienced.

I miss the women in this book as though they are real people – and I want to know what happened to them after the last page.

This book gave me the best and worst book hangover.

The Royal Rabbits Of London

by Santa Montefiore,

This is my book for #ReadHarder prompt 12: Inanimate or animal character
And what a delight it was.
Life is an adventure.Anything in the world is possible – by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage!
I am going to make a cross stitch of this sentiment – I just love it.
A simple, wonderful, inspiring story of a brave little bunny who thwarts the (papa)Ratzies – what’s not to love!

Lovely

by Tikva Wolf

For #ReadHarder prompt 21: a comic by an LGBTQAI+ author I chose to read the entire offerings of Tikva Wolf in their online comic strip Kimchi Cuddles.

I love this comic strip that deals with poly relationships and other non monogamous, non hetero relationship options.

I don’t know if an actual book exists but it should

https://kimchicuddles.com/

 

by Ingri d’Aulaire, Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

This is my book for #ReadHarder prompt 15: Mythology or folklore.

It is a kid’s book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It told the myths simply and so managed to connect all of the characters. I have always known some of the stories but this book managed to place them all in context. And I loved that. I know who is related to whom and how.

Thoroughly enjoyable and accessible