My 2020 Bookshelf

*I will update this post throughout the year.*

 

book good talk

 

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

by Mira Jacob

Book n°1 of 2020

Genre: graphic memoir

Borrowed from the library

Copyright 2018, One World (an imprint of Random House)

Format: book, 349 pages

Country: USA

Synopsis: ”Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love.”

My Thoughts: This brilliantly woven graphic memoir was a great first read of the year. I was drawn into Mira Jacob’s story from the first page. Reading this book felt effortless, it was so engaging and readable. Mira Jacob is so talented. I love that the story was not in chronological order. And the art! She draws people and speech bubbles which she then juxtaposes onto actual pictures of places. The facial expressions of the people never change, which I had to remind myself as I was reading because I realised I was projecting emotions onto them. Such a smart decision on her part. I laughed, I cried, I highly recommend.

Rating: 5/5

 

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La grosse laide

par Marie-Noëlle Hébert

Book n°2 of 2020

Genre: graphic memoir

Borrowed from the library

Copyright 2019, Les Éditions XYZ, collection Quai no 5

Format: book, 100 pages

Country: Canada

Synopsis: ”J’pense que t’as assez mangé, Marie-Noëlle.”

My Thoughts: Cette bande dessinée autobiographique est travaillée au crayon de plomb et les dessins sont étonnants!  Ils transmettent tant d’émotions et le réalisme est incroyable.  Cette lecture est lourde et douloureuse, et il y a peu de répit.  Les thèmes de la grossophobie et de l’estime de soi sont si importants.  J’ai beaucoup apprécié la fin de ce livre.  It ends on such a beautiful and empowering note.  I’m pairing this graphic memoir with Lizzo’s album because you’ll need some healing self-love after this tough emotional read.

Rating: 4/5

 

chaos of longing

 

The Chaos of Longing

by K.Y. Robinson

Book n°3 of 2020

Genre: poetry

From my bookshelf

Copyright 2017, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Format: book, 149 pages

Country: USA

Synopsis: ”Organized in four sections – Inception, Longing, Chaos, and Epiphany – K.Y. Robinson’s debut poetry collection explores what it is to want in spite of trauma, shame, injustice, and mental illness. It is one survivor’s powerful testimony, and a love letter ‘to those who lie awake burning.’ ”

My Thoughts: I started dipping my toes in poetry in 2016 when I discovered and devoured milk and honey by rupi kaur.  The following year I read Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire after hearing and loving her poetry in Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album.  I picked up K.Y. Robinson’s The Chaos of Longing because of its beautiful cover and the poem excerpt on the back cover which stopped me in my tracks.  Inception and Epiphany are my favourite sections of the book.  The collection starts and ends on a powerful note while being vulnerable throughout.  I read most of this collection lying in bed with my cat, rereading and reciting poems out loud.  If you enjoy rupi’s work I think you will also like K.Y.’s debut collection.  I love that these young WOC are making poetry so accessible, opening me and plenty others to a genre we didn’t used to gravitate to.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

force of nature

Force of Nature

by Jane Harper

Book n°4 of 2020

Genre: mystery novel

Borrowed from the library

Copyright 2017, Flatiron Books

Format: book, 324 pages

Country: Australia

Synopsis: ”Five women pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone. At least that’s what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets.”

My Thoughts: Although this is book 2 in the Aaron Falk series, I skipped straight to it since I heard The Dry was a slow-burn and I wanted something fast-paced. What I liked: The pacing, suspense, setting and atmosphere are great. The chapters alternate between the present-day search for the missing woman/Aaron Falk investigation and the women’s hike, which makes this a really compelling read. What I didn’t like: I thought the storylines about the two teen girls were so badly handled, and took away from the initial mystery. Aaron and his partner Carmen were absolutely useless as authority figures when it came to be of any help to the two girls. As for the 5 colleagues who go on the hike, the twins’ backstories were clumsy, and I feel Alice was short-changed. I would have liked to see Lauren and Alice’s school year in the bushland much more. I was not expecting the disturbing Kovac storyline when I picked up this book, and I could have done without it. The ending was anticlimactic, underwhelming and frustrating. I’m disappointed since I loved the premise and reviews had me convinced it would be a really good book.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

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