Reads from July

FFS! July is about to hang itself out to dry and I haven’t even written a single post! Of course this shouldn’t count.

So… I’ve been reading. I was slacking, especially the month of May. My average of four books per month – well, I broke the spell. I broke it. Not proud of it, but life happened, and I broke it.

I’ve read 22 books this year, which means I’m six books short.

SIX! Since I can’t quite explain the reason behind the slack, so be it.

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovich has officially made my top three list. It’s such a DAMN GOOD BOOK. Damn amazing life, damn amazing everything. I wish I had known about her sooner.

So I finished Brave by Rose McGowan in 3 days. Quite a feat for me because I can only read during certain hours in a day.

A Dark Night in Aurora by William H. Reid was a good read, I managed to resonate with something though I’d rather not talk about it in real life.

Ordeal by Linda Lovelace. Doesn’t matter whether I believe her or not. What matters is that she managed to get it out in a book. Again, I know what’s it like to be attached to a bloody abusive pig.

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich. I don’t need to explain why it should be a compulsory read for people in general. Lies, cover-ups, more lies.

So the above’s what it is.

What am I currently reading? Gosh, plenty. Bookishly speaking, I am shameless. So here goes.

I’m still reading Megan K. Stack’s Every Man in this Village is a Liar. I’m also still reading How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gill. Also, still trying to finish The Body Book by Cameron Diaz (which isn’t an easy read because it’s a rich-people-only kinda book. And there are two more books. One’s Facing the Wave by Gretel Ehrlich and I can’t remember the other.

I have few other reads waiting in my Kindle. Okay. Hundreds. I keep buying. I just don’t have enough time in a day to bloody read.

August is around the corner. Still, SIX books short. Who cares but I!

Read: Not That Bad

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay

I had a selfish thought halfway through this book. I had a hard time keeping up with certain essays not because I couldn’t identify with their culture (culture has never been a barrier for me in reading), but because I couldn’t identify with them – who were these women, what are their nationalities, where were they originally from?

Since I’m not familiar with roughly 80% of the contributors (FYI, Roxane Gay didn’t write this book), I found myself having to Google each and every one them (probably 4/5 of them didn’t have ‘Wiki’ pages, though I could be wrong – but that estimate was what my memory had presented me with), before I was able to carry on with their respective essays.

I won’t delve further. It’s just sad to know that most men won’t pick up this book. So what hope do we women have (left)? Empowerment. We empower each other with our often traumatic experiences so that other women can, hopefully, do better, know better, and have the courage to call out indecent behavior and not think twice before KICKING THOSE GROINS.

Read: Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise

Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise,(房思琪的初戀樂園), by Lin Yi-Han

Lin Yi-Han committed suicide not long after her book was published. She also did an interview, and if you understand Mandarin, you should watch that interview on YouTube before reading the book. I’m sorry there aren’t any English captions available. But if you read this article on BuzzFeed, and then watch the video, it might add mixed (anger, sympathy) emotions. I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing.

I read this book in quite a few settings (I normally take a long time to finish a book because I could only read at night when the house is dead quiet with zero activity). Cover to cover, page for page, word for word. It’s explicit, it’s painful, and it just makes you want to track that m*thaf*ck* down and castrate him, if not, kill him with your bare hands. It’s a novel, alright. Yes, it’s a novel.

In the beginning of the interview, she said, I paraphrase (weakly),

“Many people will summarize the book as though the story is about a young girl who was raped (whose innocence was violated by a rapist).”

She then continued,

“I won’t say that’s it (accurate), but here’s what I believe the story is about – It’s a story of a young girl who fell in love with a (her) rapist,”

“There’s love in there – love.”

I’m sorry as I’m not going to break the entire book down and give you a proper synopsis. You can Google further. It’s a sad story. It’s a sad society. But when brought to (real) life, this sad story and society applies to every country – adults abusing children. Teachers abusing students. Sexually, mentally, physically, everything.

I took a long time, trying to get my hands on her book. I don’t know if my country had banned it, because I queried nearly all the local bookstores and all came back and said they didn’t carry it and that I’d have to look elsewhere.

I searched, got impatient, but eventually read it on my Kindle anyway. This book – is lethal – lethally tragic.

That is all.

p.s. I’m racing to write about every book I’ve read in 2018 so please bear with my weak bad prose.