Well, I did it. I said I was going to keep track of the books I read month-to-month and then promptly forgot about the whole thing for the entirety of August.
So, here we are: here are the books I have read, and am reading, for August and also, now, for September.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
I had no idea what to expect from Han Kang’s Man Booker prize winner and now, as I’m halfway through it, I still can’t describe it. It’s lyrical and beautiful and sparse and violent and surprising and, so far, completely gripping.
Someone Else’s Wedding Vows by Bianca Stone and You Are the Map by Michelle Tudor
It’s been at least two years since I last read any large body of poetry but a late-night stalking of Goodreads saw me snatch up Bianca Stone and Michelle Tudor’s collections in a spontaneous attempt to kickstart my love again. While Tudor’s collection fell somewhat flat with me (there’s nothing wrong with it, it just didn’t grab me like I wanted it to), Stone’s was quietly touching.
Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti
Valenti’s memoir is, hands down, the most moving and poignant account of femininity I have ever read. This book is incredible. I came out horrified, saddened but ultimately feeling powerful. Don’t get me wrong, Valenti’s writing is so inviting and her humour so slight and perfectly timed but Sex Object is often a difficult and confronting read; however, it’s also the kind of book that might just make you a better person.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
As I said in my last book post, I read a lot of memoirs and by memoirs I mean specifically memoirs of women involved in the New York comedy scene. I don’t know why but I do and we should both come to steady terms with it. Schumer’s work fits nicely into the expectations of this category, it’s biting, witty and, especially in the case of her chapter dedicated to the victims of gun violence, touching.
Fever of Animals by Miles Allinson
I chose Allinson’s debut novel from a small selection offered for a university assignment and, honestly, I expected to diligently complete my duty of reading and toss it aside. But there is something gripping about Allinson’s gently personal prose that brushes away the soul-searching middle-class cliche that constantly threatens to dominate his narrative. His prose is intimate but insistent, funny but heart-broken, and I loved every page.
Purity by Johnathan Franzen
The joke is on me now because I am beginning to strongly suspect I will never finish this book.