I read a very diverse range this week! Four little black classics – one a play from Ancient Greece, one an extract from the first autobiography, a collection of haikus from seventeenth-century Japan, and some philosophical quotes from one of Germany’s greatest thinkers. Then there was a children’s book, a non-fiction book, and two empowering feminist poetry collections. And then, two autobiographies on audiobook! Rather different from my usual reading habits, but what an interesting week! Buy any of them from Booktopia!
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur (5 stars)
Just wow. This book is inspiring and empowering. It made me laugh, it made me tear up, it made me point my finger at the page enthusiastically screaming: YES, THIS IS HOW I FEEL! Total perfection, and I will be reviewing this in greater detail shortly, alongside The Princess Saves Herself in This One.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One – Amanda Lovelace (5 stars)
The words made pictures on the page which just enhanced their meaning. The title was what made me NEED this book, and the content made me love it. Like Milk and Honey, it was empowering and just totally and utterly stunning. Slay your dragons!
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer (4 stars)
This was incredibly funny, and also my first experience with an audiobook. I found Amy Schumer’s story to be very honest, though it did take me a while to get over how often she swore – apparently I’m a massive prude; and I would never have noticed had I not been listening to it! Amy’s diary entries from her teens with additions from 2016 were my favourite part, and I almost cried listening to her recount her feelings surrounding the shooting of Mayci Breaux and Jillian Johnson at a screening of Trainwreck. It reminded me how lucky I am to live in Australia, with our strict gun laws.
Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame – Mara Wilson (5 stars)
Matilda was and still is my fictional spirit animal. Mara Wilson did such an amazing job portraying her in the 1996 film version, and when she reappeared in my life recently, through her hilarious Twitter moments, I knew I needed to know more of her story. Listening to her tell it (in my second audiobook ever – I think I’m already addicted) was such a profound experience. Listening to her speak about her mother’s death shortly after Matilda was released was absolutely heartbreaking. I wanted to listen to it all over again as soon as I finished it.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari (5 stars)
I have wanted to read this book for so long, and I am so glad that I finally did. It is incredible, and really makes you think about society as a whole. There were so many fascinating pieces of history about humankind. My strongest takeaway: money is a delusion held by the masses. My favourite fact: the first recorded name in history is that of an accountant, Kurshim. (My Dad is an accountant and I think I inflated his ego when I told him this tidbit!) It was totally fantastic and I can’t wait to get stuck into Homo Deus, Harari’s newest book.
The Unforgettable What’s His Name – Paul Jennings (Australian author) (4 stars)
Any Australian 90s kid has been scarred by episodes of Round the Twist, a TV show based on some of Paul Jennings’ stories. This book won’t scar you. It’s a very funny story about a young boy who doesn’t quite fit anywhere – he just kind of blends in. And then he discovers a power which isn’t all that awesome – he really can blend in; he can become a tree, a postbox, a chameleon – but how can he control it? Craig Smith’s illustrations are also fantastic: it’s a really beautifully presented book, as well as being funny and sweet.
The Frogs – Aristophanes (5 stars)
This was actually very useful for an Ancient History test I was taking! It’s a comedic play from ancient Greece which centres around a competition in the Underworld between two great playwrights – Euripides and Aeschylus. It was very, very entertaining, and I loved that I knew these characters from my studies!
How to Be a Medieval Woman – Margery Kempe (2 stars)
While I can appreciate the historical significance of this book, which is considered the first autobiography, it bored me greatly. Margery was a medieval pilgrim with a strong connection to God – she occasionally recounts her conversations with him. Not being a religious person myself, I struggled through this moments, and found myself bored regularly – it took me far too long to read the 115 pages!
Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Musings – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (3 stars)
Some very useful pieces of advice. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I not read the truly wonderful Only Dull People Are Brilliant At Breakfast by Oscar Wilde so recently! Goethe was definitely more serious than Wilde, but the comparison just made this Little Black Classic much less fun! Some of Goethe’s philosophical musings were in Latin, which I quite liked – I love when my Latin studies prove useful!
Lips Too Chilled – Matsuo Basho (3 stars)
A really lovely collection of haikus. They were so beautiful in their translated version, I lamented that I could not read them in Japanese, where I am sure they are even more divine.
What have you been reading this week?