May was a slow reading month for me. I had all of my uni exams within the first two weeks, during which I read 20 pages in total. I always find that during the examination period my reading slows dramatically just because I am too exhausted at the end of the day to read more than a page.
However, I made up for my lack of reading at the end of the month reading two 5 star books. So I guess overall this was one of the best reading months I’ve ever had in terms of ratings (I don’t think I’ve ever read exclusively 5 star reads in a single month!), even if I only read two books.
This month I picked up No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett as part of my Women’s Prize for Fiction series where I read the shortlist.
No one is talking about this by Patricia Lockwood was my first read for the month. I went into it thinking that I wasn’t going to like it but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve never read a book written in this format with this prose. This book is a true meditation to the internet, and is deeply poignant at the end.
I know this book is quite decisive, but overall I really enjoyed it and thought it was very clever.
You can read my full review here.
A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet – or what she terms ‘the portal’.
Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?
Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: ‘Something has gone wrong,’ and ‘How soon can you get here?’
As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.
Irreverent and sincere, poignant and delightfully profane, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the infinite scroll and a meditation on love, language and human connection from one of the most original voices of our time.
The second (and last) book I read in May was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. This book has received a lot of praise so I wasn’t sure what I was going in for. However, this has turned out to be one of my all time favourite books, and maybe my best book of the year so far. Brit Bennett tackles so many topics: racism, complex family dynamics, love, loss, in a beautiful way. I have now joined hype and want everyone to read this book! If you’ve been debating on whether to pick this up I highly recommend it – this is your sign to just do it.
I give a much clearer idea of my love for this book in my full review, just know that this book is phenomenal.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ story lines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
We are already a week into June and I’m onto my second book Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller. As I’m now free for the summer holidays I hope to get a lot more reading done!
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