I am still hunting for a job; it’s been a couple of months since I started my staycation — I used the word staycation because I am trying to be positive and the word unemployed dampens my spirit sometimes — I have been reading a lot. From the number of books I read in July and August, I am often asked if I do anything besides reading. I really do. 🙂 I work out everyday. I ride my bicycle or do HIIT. I doodle. I stalk folks on social media. I read every news item. I write on my journal. I pray. I watch movies with AK. I have my evening tea with mum, and we trade stories like old times. Although I slip through the crack, replay the cruel memories in my head, doubt my decision, and wallow in self-pity often, I have been making conscious efforts to make myself happy. And I think that’s okay. 🙂
My August was exciting. I read some lovely comics and graphic novels, and some terrifying and delightful fiction.
Here is the list:
1. Ink in Water: How I kicked Anorexia’s Ass and Embraced Body Positivity by Lacy J Davis and Jim Kettner (technically a non-fiction) — This feminist memoir is an honest account on how so many of us feel trapped in our bodies, how we succumb to the dark voices in our head, and how we miss the good part of our lives, lest we become someone who doesn’t meet the beauty standards established by the society.
2. Generations by Flavia Biondi — It is an unassuming, touching story of a young man moving back with his family after breaking-up with his boyfriend, after antagonising his father, and after failing to make anything for him. When everything fails, the family props him up, and the sojourn with his family helps him to re-establish the bond with his father, and helps him to unload his emotional baggage and build a bridge to himself.
3. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
4. My Wounded Island by Jacques Pasquet, Marian Arbona, and Sophie Watson — Imarvaluk — what a beautiful name — is forced to leave her island because of the terrible effects of global warming. The coast, where she made beautiful memories with her grandfather, is now being swallowed by rising water levels. So, she moves further into the land — their summer land — to rebuild their lives. My Wounded Island is an excellent book to initiate a dialogue with children on global warming and how many lives are displaced across the world. As an adult, I found the beginning poetic, especially the paragraph on the narrator’s name, and expected the story to unfold in that fashion. Although it didn’t, I am still satisfied.
5. Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman by Loryn Brantz
6. If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle-Aged Men by Matthew Inman
7. Lies We Tell Our Kids by Steve Hoover and Brett Wagner — The book is a super quick collection of hilarious lies that parents tell their children. They are so irreverent that I would love if somebody lied to me this way. These are adorable lies. Just the kind of lies which would make children-who-live-in-adult-bodies loosen up, and have a good laugh.
8. Quiet Girl in A Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung — I have been following Tung’s Facebook page for a while, and her comic strips evoke a strong feeling of deja vu. Her book is a quiet reflection on her struggles as an introvert, and her quieter ways to overcome it all. Overcoming doesn’t mean that she succumbs to societal pressures. Instead, she finds her own sacred spot where she can be herself, and stops trying to be what she is not. This is quietly inspiring, for the world presses on the phantom need to stay connected.
9. How To Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman
10. Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel
11. Breaking Up is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell — Are they not tragedies anymore if I laugh about it? They don’t feel awful. Truly. At least, while reading this book. Some of the stories are funny by themselves. Some are funny because of Hilary’s illustration. Some are funny because they are too strange to believe. But some are sad and at such junctures, Hilary’s illustrations are warm. If someone is dumped for the silliest reason, present this book. It will go well with the healing process.
12. EB White on Dogs by EB White
13. How to Meditate by Pema Chodron
14. War Journey: Diary of A Tamil Tiger by Malaravan
15. Out by Natsuo Kirino
16. The Liberation of Sita by Volga
17. Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro
18. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
19. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
20. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
21. Gypsy Masala by Preethi Nair
22. Darling, I Love You: Poems From The Hearts of Our Glorious Mutts and All Our Animal Friends by Daniel Ladinsky and Patrick McDonnell
23. Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku From A Very Serious Dog by Samm Hodges, Phinheas Hodges, and Idli Gozde — Martin is a regular dog. He hates dog-food, loathes cats, and loves his walks in the park. Martin is also an extraordinary dog. He writes haiku when he is contemplative. And most importantly, he writes serious haiku — his solemn lament on sterilisation and losing a family that could have been, his separation anxiety and how he seeks solace in stars, his delight in Netflixing and farting under his human’s duvet, his duty to protect his human from potential dates, and his silent, profound thoughts on growing old. Martin is just seven years old. But he is too wise for the number of bums he would have sniffed. If you love dogs and ‘serious haiku’ written by a dog, ‘Downward Dog: Serious Haiku From A Very Serious Dog’ is for you.
24. The Chaos of Longing by KY Robinson
How was your August? What was your favourite book? 🙂 I hope your September would be kinder. ❤