2018 Book Haul #2: I want to own all the memoirs.

I have not bought any books since I posted my last haul, so obviously I just went overboard and purchased too many. Now, to be fair to myself, I have been craving memoirs and essay collections and hardly own any anymore that I haven’t read, so I had to remedy that. Also, as I have recently talked about, I just love owning books.

And now, without further ado, here are the books I bought, first fiction, then nonfiction (but in no particular order):

When I hit you: or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

38821165Blurb: Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.

Smart, fierce and courageous When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India.

Why I bought it: This is one of the few books on this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist that I am actually interested in and don’t own already. Also, that title is just brilliant. Continue reading “2018 Book Haul #2: I want to own all the memoirs.”

Thoughts and Predictions: Man Booker Prize 2017

This year I tried to read as many books on the Man Booker Prize longlist as possible. That did not work out all that well, to nobody’s surprise. I am such a fickle reader and do really really bad with TBRs. I do, however, have some thoughts I want to share before the winner is announced.

Books I have read:

Swing Time – Zadie Smith

This is my least favourite of the books I read. It’s not a bad book by a long shot but I expected more.

You can find my review here.

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

It took me forever to read this book. It is gut-wrenchingly devastating and the matter-of-fact way the story is told made is all the more so. I could only ever take it in small doses. It’s beyond a doubt an important book that deserves all the accolades it got, but I am so very glad it’s over.To be fair, this is what a book about slavery should be like.

4 3 2 1 – Paul Auster

I enjoyed this a whole lot and was very glad to see it on the shortlist. I loved how expansively Auster tells his story – and this in a genre where I usually prefer shorter works.

You can find my review here.

Exit West – Mohsin Hamid

I would read Mohsin Hamid’s shopping list. He has a wonderful way with words and I adored how lyrical his expressions are. In a way this is the direct opposite of “The Underground Railroad” – both use a supernatural way of escaping evil (war and slavery respectively), but Hamid’s work is ultimately optimistic whereas Whitehead’s is … really not.

You can find my review here.

Solar Bones – Mike McCormack

This was definitely my favourite of the bunch and I was super disappointed to not see it on the short list. I adored a whole lot about this book. This is one that I probably would not have read if it wasn’t for the longlist and I am very grateful that I did.

You can find my review here.

Currently reading

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Autumn – Ali Smith

I am about half way through this book and while I enjoy it, I am not quite sure if I understand everything. I adore her musings on Brexit and find this to be an absolute strength of the book. I lived in Scotland for four years and in England for one and I feel close to the country. So Brexit hit me hard; I did not see it coming and I still cannot understand how it happened.

To Be Read

Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders33290527

This is the last book of the longlist that I will definitely read at some point. It might be gimmicky or it might be great, I cannot imagine there will be a middle ground.

 

 

 

Predictions

I think in the end either Ali Smith or Mohsin Hamid will take home the prize, both books are timely and well-written and mostly great. I have my fingers crossed for Hamid because I think we need more fundamentally optimistic books about immigration and refugees.