As you know I went on holiday to Tenerife recently (it was recently when I originally started drafting this post, it’s been about 6 weeks now!) so what better thing to do than to laze around in the sun all week and read books? I’m always reading at home but you can’t beat relaxing on a sun bed in a hot country with a good book in your hands. Over the week I read 3 titles and thought I’d share a little review of them with you all. I hope you enjoy .xx
Just Kids – Patti Smith
I have completely and utterly fallen in love with Patti Smith, she’s so magical I’m in awe. I’d heard of Patti through social media believe it or not (I’m disappointed I hadn’t really known of her before this as she’s such an icon) – so many of the amazing people I look up to had nothing but good things to say about this book and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The journey of living in the Chelsea hotel and meeting the greats, following your passion of art, becoming a poet, a writer, a dreamer and a lover was everything I could ever want in a book, therefore I went straight ahead and bought it and oh my, I was not disappointed. Patti Smith is a natural born storyteller, I couldn’t take my eyes off the page, the more I read the further I was pulled into her words and felt like I was stood right there next to her, watching. I felt everything she felt, I could see everything she saw, I wanted to have been there with her and to have lived this wonderful yet humbling journey she was taking through growing up and trying to become everything she wanted to be – living for the love of art, whether that was writing, sex, poetry, music, acting – she was living for them all. One thing I love about this book is that Patti is so extraordinary, yet she tells the story so naturally, like she was born for the words to fall from her lips. She tells her (and Robert’s) story because she needs to, because it was meant to be felt. People were meant to hear it, if not for any other reason than to just acknowledge its existence. It’s inspiring, wild, beautiful and emotional yet it wasn’t created for any of these purposes, it was simply created just because it could be, because the journey of two artists and lovers finding their place in this weird thing we call life, needed to happen. The story was born to be told and that’s exactly what Patti does, in the most perfectly, extraordinarily yet normal way. I won’t give anything away but when awful things happen in (fiction) books, my mind is both torn and distraught as on one hand, my heart has been ripped out of my chest but on the other, I am comforted with the knowledge that the story is not real and that these sad things hurting me didn’t actually happen. With Patti, I am saddened and emotional with the knowledge of certain things happening but am also comforted and so, so grateful that these things got to even exist or happen at all. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I mean.
The second I closed the pages of this book, the only words I could conjure up were thank you. I closed my eyes and whispered a little thank you to Patti, for taking the time to tell her story and for allowing me to be one of the incredibly lucky souls that got to read it, I will cherish it always. Patti and Robert, thank you for who you both turned out to be. You are in my mind, always.
You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
I’m sure most of you will have seen or heard of this book already as it’s been posted on Instagram more times than I can remember – it’s not a story but more of a self help guide to enable you to take control of your life and basically, kick some ass. I like Jen, the way she writes is very American (for lack of better word) and casual, it’s a good book to have for the times you need a bit of reassurance and motivation putting back into you – it’s very get up and go and makes you think, why am I sitting here doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself when there’s so many good things out there readily available to me? I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book but generally I think you have to just take it for what it is, it didn’t change my life or anything but it’s definitely one I’ll keep reading again for guidance and tips, it’s just another tool to take with me on this little journey we call life and let’s be honest, sometimes we need all the help we can get. Some people don’t like the book because they feel it doesn’t really give them any information they didn’t already know, but my argument for that is – if you knew all of this highly helpful information already, why aren’t you out there using it instead of sitting here and complaining? I think people were expecting too much, like they were going to read this book and suddenly know all of the secrets to life and all of their problems would be automatically solved. I don’t believe there’s any book out there than that can do that (if there is, please let me know) and so I think Jen should be appreciated for allowing us access to what I think is a better mindset, a better way of thinking and a better way to live life.
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
I spend a lot of time on Goodreads looking for book suggestions and trying to find books I may be interested in however, I also follow a lot of literature accounts on Tumblr who post quotes from books, poems etc. They posted the quote “She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank and had midnight swims.” but didn’t reference where it was from, so I took to Google and found out it was from The God of Small Things. Instantly, I was intrigued – I’m always trying to grow and expand with my writing and I’d been wanting to broaden my horizons with the things I’d been reading for a while now, I was a sucker for contemporary, YA and the classics but I wanted to read a wider range of genres and explore things I hadn’t necessarily read before – this for me was the perfect opportunity. When I was in college I studied English Literature and one of our exams was based on the book The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, which I’m sure some of you may have heard of. The God of Small Things reminds me of this in the sense that the whole feeling of it is very similar and some of the same topics / issues arise. It is also set in the location of Ayemenem in India and The Kite Runner is set in Kabul, which is the capital of Afghanistan – even though the two are not necessarily directly linked there are still some of the same qualities for me personally, in both novels. I enjoyed the book, I would recommend it and I thought it was told immensely well, Arundhati Roy is a very descriptive writer and therefore I was instantly transported to the places she was describing in the book, I could see, hear and feel everything like I had been there myself. Her writing was also very quirky – little bits written here and there that I read and thought wow, I really like that. It definitely gave me inspiration for my own writing. I rated the book 3 / 5 stars, simply because I don’t feel like it really made as much of an impact on me as I expected. I enjoyed reading it, but my feelings were neutral for 80% of the time and I don’t know if I will necessarily remember too much about it a year or so down the line. When I was around 3/4 of the way through the book (around 100 pages left) I found myself having to Google the plot as at this point, I was a little confused and there were hardly any pages left to read (100 sounds a lot but it’s about a 1cm width). When reading through the plot (and yes I did spoil it for myself because I don’t feel I was following the narrative very well and I wanted to at least understand the whole thing for the last set of pages so I could get the most out of it) 90% of the content that was included in the plot, I hadn’t even read about yet and the book was nearly finished, which leads me to believe that maybe it doesn’t all come together until the end. I can’t speak from my own experience with that now as obviously I ended up reading the whole plot and therefore finding out what happens, but I felt like I had to do that in order to understand what was really going on as like I mentioned, I really don’t feel I was following the narrative that well and I really wanted to, as it’s beautiful writing.
Despite this, I did really enjoy it, it was something different and the writing was beautiful. I think me not being able to necessarily follow the narrative as well as I wanted to was a reflection on me personally rather than the book itself as this style is not something I usually read and therefore I’m still getting used to it however, I can really appreciate Arundhati Roy and her amazing writing and the great piece of work she created here.
I hope you all enjoyed this little post and I’m sure I’ll be making more like it in the future!
All my love,