From Raymond Carver, this collection of short stories explore love in all its forms and how love manifests itself in humans in different ways. It’s a haunting and moving collection and I think I’d struggle to find a reader who can’t find at least one of the stories that resonates with them.
The Tao of Pooh
Set in a utopian world where all monsters have been killed, the protagonist Jam discovers they might not really be gone. For such a short book, Pet does an incredible job of making a meaningful comment on our world and the rules we live by. There’s no doubt in my mind that this book should be taught in schools, not only for its beautiful inclusivity, but for its brazen and yet somehow also subtle commentary on society.
This book is quite short, but for such a quick read, it’s extremely thought-provoking. Set in South Korea, it tells the story of Kim Jiyoung from her birth, childhood through her adolescence, and adulthood, we follow her as she grows up and watch slowly as the misogyny seeps into every aspect of her life, career, and family. The ending of this book is quite something – I’m not going to spoil it, but it perfectly sums up the outlandish gall of men to toss women aside like they do as if women aren’t a part of their lives, of society, and of the very world they so desperately want to thrive in. Trust me when I say this book is worth the read!
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
A fascinating exploration of the history of punctuation and the semicolon, this was a quick but interesting read and one that made me more interested in how punctuation is used in so many aspects of live; from the criminal justice system and law making, to literature and how it is used in storytelling, it’ll make you view this humble punctuation mark in a completely different way!
A really cute look at A.A. Milne’s characters and the dynamic of their personalities and how they interact with the world. If you like Winnie the Pooh or are interested in the psychology of human behaviour then this is the book for you! It’ll make you see these characters (and what they represent) in a completely new light. A unique and thought-provoking read, The Tao of Pooh will not disappoint.
The End We Start From
One of the best ways to get our of a reading slump is to read something short and sweet! I love picking up something that I could potentially read in one sitting and often these books are written brilliantly because they don’t mess around given the limited words they have set out for themselves. So without further ado, here are 12 fantastic books under 200 pages for you to add to you TBRs!
At just under 200 pages, this book is a short and sweet journey through the lives of 3 pretty ordinary people. Ellis and Michael have been friends forever, and as they turn into men, it becomes complicated and yet, uncomplicated. And then they meet Annie, and she changes things. This book is a powerful look on how two people’s lives can intertwine and the true beauty, and kindness, we can find in those around us.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
All in all I did enjoy this book, and I think, as it’s a quick read, it’s nice to read something which doesn’t conform to the normal or average style of a novel. The End We Start From is definitely memorable, not least for it’s unique style, but also for the sense of dark foreboding it tries to convey. While I do think some empathy was lost in the lack of details given, I can also understand why the author chose to do this, so if it’s a style you enjoy, then this book will be very enjoyable for you!
It’s an essay-cum-memoir from Vivek Shraya about her experiences with men as a trans woman. From the clothes she wears to the precautions she takes, this raw book challenges gender as it is in our society now and makes the reader reflect on the binary ideals we impose on everyone from birth and the implications that has on the rest of their lives. Shraya uses this to show the trauma she’s experienced, but also how she has triumphed and embraced her identity in a world so adamant to ignore it.
How Should One Read a Book
This essay delves into the impact and power reading can have as well as the importance of books too! It’s as relevant now as it was when Virginia Woolf first delivered it almost 100 years ago… My favourite passage is actually taken from the first few lines: “The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.”
I’m Afraid of Men
Moonstone is a short book set in 1918 Iceland; translated from the Icelandic, it’s an evocative story of a boy navigating the world while seeing his town destroyed by the Spanish Flu. With short, snappy chapters, despite its heavy subject matter, you will fly through this in no time. A moving and emotional story that I’d highly recommend!
The Bloody Chamber