April 2017 Wrap-Up

april 2017 tbr
What I planned to read in April 2017
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April was an incredible reading month for me. I have read a total of 8 books, which is a record for me. I’ve read some books from my TBR. Two, to be more precise, so I decided that for May I’m not going to bother with a TBR list. It is something which is beyond my control and I don’t want to stress about it. The things I want to set in stone is (1) to read two of my unread books, (2) one feminist and (3) one non-fiction read.

So here is what I read in April. Three of these I highly recommend and will highlight below.

  1. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  2. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  4. The Muse by Jessie Burton
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  8. Talon by Julie Kagawa

First of all, The Vegetarian surprised me. I’ve heard so much about it and knew that it will be something different and it did blow my mind, in a way. If I had to compare it with something I would say Haruki’s Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. It was the same odd/mind bending experience. We read about Yeong-hye from the perspective of her husband, brother in law and sister. They all see our main character differently and throughout their eyes we witness Yeong-hye’s transformation. There are many references to childhood events which explain to certain degree what’s happening to Yeong-hye but for me it was still hard to decipher. I was so wrapped up by this story that I just went along with it all, taken it as it came. I might need to revisit this book and try to make more sense of it. Basically, Yeong-hye stops being this docile wife, the perfect reflection of everyone’s expectations, because of these odds dreams she starts having about meat. One day she simply empties her fridge of all the meat and declares to the astonished husband that she no longer will eat any of it. We only get snippets of what’s going on in Yeong-hye mind but throwing away the meat is the first step towards mental illness. Or what makes more sense to me, it is the first visible step for the outside world, because this was something coming for a long time.

The next book I want to mention is The Color Purple, which is about the life of women of color in rural Georgia in the 1930s. This is also one of the titles you might find on a banned books list. We read the book from the perspective of Celie, in the form of letters, written first to God and then her sister, Nettie. We discover how women of color lived in the southern states in the 1930s. Simple and hard lives full of abuse, sexual, physical and verbal. How a human being can keep its humanity in these conditions is beyond my comprehension, but these women turned out to be some of the most humane beings I’ve ever read about. They lived in deprivation, at the mercy of fathers, brothers and husbands. The writing is beautiful, a work of art and if you haven’t read it yet then I urge you to do it.

The last book I want to highlight is Americanah. It’s one of the best character driven book I’ve read and a great introduction to the Nigerian culture. This book is about immigration, love, culture, race, class and feminism. It’s about wanting a better life. It’s about the knowledge that a better life is somewhere else and wanting to get there and stay there no matter what, even at a cost you did not think you want to pay. For a more in depth review follow this link.

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