Library haul

Where do I start?!

Really looking forward to finally read Atwood’s Maddaddam but Serve The People! by Yan Lianke is very tempting (especially because its banned in China), so I’ll start with that.

Mama Black Widow by Iceberg Slim will be a re-read. Iceberg Slim and Chester Himes are two favourite authors of mine, I always had a weakness for blacksploitation literature.

Really looking forward to read he 2 novellas by Cesar Aira, Silent Cry by Kenzaburo Ōe and Alain Mabanckou’s Broken Glass. I’ve been eyeing up these books for ages, having never read any of the works by these authors.

I’m not sure why I borrowed yet another George Saunders book. I read Pastoralia but didn’t particularly enjoy it. I guess I’m hoping The Brief And Frightening Reign of Phil will be better.

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Dept. of Speculation

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Title: Dept. of Speculation
Author: Jenny Offill
Published: January 2014
Format: ebook
Rating: 4/5

Keywords: Concise, marriage, motherhood, (in)fidelity.

I had this book on my TBR pile for more than a year now. I don’t actually know why I never bothered to read it, as its one of the most memorable books I’ve read in awhile.

It is a portrait of motherhood, marriage, fidelity and love. The story follows the life of a woman, simply named The Wife. It tells us how she met her husband, gave up on her writing career, how she acted and felt after becoming a mother, how she copes with fidelity and infidelity. It’s really a story about confronting, and coping with, the fact that life is full of disappointments but yet we soldier on and love.
The minute I started reading it, I felt that it’s going to be a heart-wrenching story. I had a feeling something is off. That the wife was somehow unhappy. Once I learned that she wanted to be an “art monster” before she got married and became a mother I started feeling for her. I appreciated how honest she was. When someone asked her if her baby was a good baby, she simply responded “no”. It’s not that she didn’t love her child, she did. She was just honest about how sometimes she is just fed up with mothering but still continues to do so.

So far it sounds quite depressing and like a heavy, emotional read. But the story is told in a very clear, honest and concise language. The chapters and paragraphs are quite short but to the point and each paragraph delivers a knock-out punch. It was just beautifully written.

You can read it one sitting, it’s not that long, but as the story is peppered with random facts and quotes I kept on getting distracted as I wanted to look up the quotes and facts (not a negative thing). One of the quotes that stuck by me was the Stoics one

If you are tired of everything you possess, imagine that you have lost all of these things

I mean, how beautiful and true is that? Most of factoids and quotes are quite random but all are jewels. I’m not sure if all quotes and facts were that connected to story but I didn’t really mind.

As I said, you can read this in one sitting but it will be a book that you’ll want to re-read for its honest depictions of love, marriage, motherhood and fidelity.

Hello bookish world

So this is going to be both an introduction and a bookish resolution

I decided to start this blog not because I have a lot to say about what I read. I just want to remember what I read (hence the blogtitle). Too often do I forget what I read a year or even a month ago. I remember the title but when I try to think of the story my mind draws a blank. I can understand this happening with books I didn’t like or didn’t care about. However this happens even with books I really enjoyed and loved, a shame really.

I figured out that this is mainly because I don’t write my thoughts down. What I thought of the characters, the storyline, the writing style etc. When I read I have so much going through my head and this urge to share what I think with others. I could have joined a bookclub but I don’t think sharing my thoughts about books face-to-face is something that I would like. So a blog about books would help me remembering the books I’ve read and encourage me to share my thoughts with others.

I’m an avid reader thanks to my long commute and my hermit-like lifestyle. I read almost everything but tend to gravitate towards literary fiction, dystopian and speculative fiction. East Asian and Arab fiction in general makes my heart beat faster. My TBR pile is quite large (148 books at the moment) and it keeps on growing.

I’m an equal opportunity reader, so I try to read as many books written by female authors as by male authors. And as many books written by people of colour as by white authors. It’s only fair I guess.

The reviews I’ll post here will be mainly meant to keep me remembering the book I read, good or bad. Obviously I hope that someone out there will find them useful too, sharing is caring!

I read book blogs on a daily basis, the reviews there always look so structured and well-written. I’m not sure I’ll be able to write reviews like those but I’ll give it a try anyways. I’ll try to post weekly (I read 1 or 2 books a week) but won’t make promises I can’t keep. I’ll also try to share any interesting links and other bookish bits I’ve encountered while scouring the internet looking for the next book to read.

Anyways, hope both me and you (the reader) get something out of it.