It has been a while since we spoke about Non Fiction books here, hasn’t it? In the May’s edition of review shots I am going to talk about three different kinds of non fiction – a poetry from a new age poet that I love, a comic about us, and a world war II memoir. Did I pique your interest? So let us get started!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sharing a copy for review and it no way affected my unbiased and honest opinion.
I am sure Lang Leav is no stranger to any of us. And in her sixth book she has brought her magic back. I kept underlining her and highlighting so many of her lines, especially the ones about abuse in relationships and being a strong woman.
When my best friend told me
she was in love
my first thought was,
‘I hope he is good to her.’
And it suddenly occurred to me,
what I held in my heart for her
was hope, when it should
have been expectation.
I love that her prose/poetry has always been easy to read and relate. I have felt in her earlier works she talks a little too much about heartbreak and being in love for my taste, and there is nothing wrong about that and it is just me, not her. But she has proved herself as a matured writer in this one.
Final thought: Though monotonous at times, the author moved past from the heartbreaks to more mature subjects.
Recommended to: If you liked her previous works, this should be on your list as well
Have you ever thought about the crazy things that you been doing as a bookworm? Of course I would not blame you because I do them as well. And this book is for you. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who loves books.
Book love kept me grinning throughout the book because it was all true. And it was as if someone took a peek into my life and just drew them but in a less clumsy way.
Though it would hardly take an hour to finish this one, I would suggest to go through this book slowly and enjoy taking a laugh at yourself.
Final thought: Catch yourself smiling at the quirky bookworm habits
I read The Zookeeper’s Wife for the A-Z reading challenge last year and I have no idea why I had not reviewed it until now, other than the fact that I forgot to. And there is a well known movie as well adapted from this historical drama.
The invasion of Germany into Poland and the consequent bombing affected not only the people but also the animals that were held in the Polish zoos. The zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski save Jews by letting the stay in the empty cages. The Zookeeper’s wife follows the life of a ‘sorta’ family that socializes with ‘guests’ after the dark and caring for the animals during the day.
I love reading the Holocaust and WW II novels so I quickly jumped at the chance to read this one. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. There were more interesting parts, like where Jan tries to help the prisoners escape than the zoo life at home.
Final thought: Interesting premise even if it is slow and dragging at places
Recommended to: History buffs.
Let us talk
Have you read any of these books? Do you read poetry as much as you like to? What is your feedback ratio on Netgalley? Let us talk.
Do you ever feel so disappointed in yourself when you don’t fall in love with a book? I did as I read The Forty rules of love. When I was in a reading slump a while ago, a friend of mine nudged (read as: pushed) me towards this one as this was one of her favorite books.
I had had few others recommending this book earlier, and the time had finally come for me to pick The Forty rules of love. So let us see how that turned out for me right?
The Forty rules of love is a story within a story. Ella, a married woman is going through a mid life crisis with a loveless marriage, a husband who is cheating on her and kids who don’t need her anymore.
When her young daughter announces that she is getting married to her boyfriend, Ella finds it hard to believe that people (i.e. her daughter) wanted to marry for love.
Ella is a beta reader who receives a manuscript from an author with whom she begins email conversation. She realizes that Aziz was so different from her and his beliefs and faith shock her as much as they enthuse her.
She continues to read his manuscript about two friends, Rumi and Sham and learns about their Dervish ways of life, which a part of Islam. Does the relationship between Ella and Aziz go any further? Does Ella’s perception of life change at all? Read The Forty rules of love to know further.
Book review of The Forty rules of love
As I was telling earlier, I tried so hard to like The Forty rules of love but I was left disappointed. And for once it was not because of my high expectations or the hype. I just failed to understand the whole point of the rules of love and completely disliked the preachy tone and wonder if it had anything to do with the translation or it was just the writing itself.
I wish it had a little bit lightheartedness in it to make it more fun to read. There were too many small characters to remember but I can understand why they were needed, to educate every rule. I still wish the characters had more depth, while they were all card board cut – the non religious were all evil and the religious ones were all love and simple.
The ideology behind the rules for the love to God and one another was novel and interesting (to a point).
Reading this story has increased my interest in reading the poems of Rumi which are well known.
Things that didn’t work for me
I wish the characters were more complex and deeper.
I didn’t like the moral, preachy tones that made it difficult to like the characters.
To be fair I have never had a thing for magical realism. Maybe I don’t get it well enough to appreciate it.
I am happy for all those for whom this book worked. But it didn’t for me, I understand why didn’t work for me. I might give the author another try, in a few years and maybe it will work then. Keeping my fingers crossed.
There are a few perks of being a person (that’s me!!) who reads all the genres of books. The best thing would be being able to switch from a super cute YA romance to a feminist masterpiece without much ado. Once in a while it helps me to move away from the fictitious world to the more serious real world. And this week I will let you know what I thought about three non fiction books that were sent to me for review.
Let us quickly get on to this week’s review shots, shall we?
Tanya’s poetry on the plight of women all over the world in the form of poetry would move you to tears. Taking a leaf from her own and others’ lives she reflects on everything that drives women or oppress them. She talks about motherhood, womanhood, feminism, sexuality, Christianity and racism. I am glad that she speaks about the strong and loving men in her world as well.
My personal favorite would be “Raising Cane for its Sugar” that talks about the preference for male child, which is still a thing that happens in Indian culture as well. It would be hard to read Every Watering Word without the truth hitting hard.
Final thought: Bitter truth
Recommended to: Anyone who calls themselves feminist and lovers of poetry.
It has been a while since Chris sent me a copy of his book but it came at a right time when I was contemplating my move to a self hosted website (yes it seems a long time ago) and / or stepping up a business for myself. Internet Business Insights is a wealth of information for anyone who is thinking of or has already set up an online business.
Chris has insights from 101 successful entrepreneurs who have made it already in the internet business world. He asked them questions on what works and what doesn’t. Sure it gets repetitive over a while, because there are patterns and those patterns are the ones you need to watch out for. Internet Business Insights is not a book that you can read at a stretch, you should do what I did – take it one at a time.
Final thought: Massive number of Q & A about making it in the internet business world
Recommended to: Anyone who has or going to set up an online business.
It has been a while since I laughed this much at something I shouldn’t be. Oh, okay not so long ago because I was laughing at this same book about 3 years ago. Alli Brosh is my kind of person. By that I mean someone messed up but in a good way. Okay not so good. Whatever.
If you are a person who has ever been on the internet you should have see Allie’ website Hyperbole and a half. No? Then you should have at least seen this drawing that has been around the web for a while now. Yes that is Allie’s work.
See you know her! And you need to read her book, if you have not already.
Even if you have never heard of her or her drawings, you should read it.
Okaye seriously, I have not read any online comics that has made me giggle as much as Allie has. She talks about serious stuff lie depression, loneliness and cake and all I can think of is how awesome she is. I am giving up. I don’t think I can do a proper review of her book. Just go read it.
Final thought: You HAVE to read it or at least check her blog out.
Recommended to: Anyone and everyone
Let us chat
So what do you think of this week’s choices in the review shots? What genre you do not read at all and why? Let us talk.
I don’t read poetry as often as I would like to claim. If you are like me living within the clutches of the social media then you have nothing to worry, you can catch up. Presenting you the list of my favorite ‘new-age poets’ that rule our age! The subject matters they talk about range from feminism to erotica.
They call out attention to the problems of the LGBTQ to soldiers. Their words do not necessarily follow the traditional rules of poetry or deal with nuances of the writing, but they do strike the chord among the reader and they are here to stay for a long time.
Her poetry draws her poetry from her African culture and her English upbringing. Her poem Home talks about refugees and their plea for help.
No one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
Her poems have been translated into various languages like Italian, Danish, Estonian Spanish and Portuguese and she recites poetry countries like South Africa, Kenya and Germany. She is an active advocate for feminism and gender equality.
Sofia used pigeon blood on her wedding night.
next day, over the phone, she told me
how her husband smiled when he saw the sheets.
She voices for the feminine sexuality, especially among the Muslim women. Her work against female genital mutilation and its risks is based on her ancestors who had themselves undergone it.
Some nights I hear in her room screaming We play Surah Al-Baqarah to drown her out Anything that comes from her mouth sounds like sex Our mother has banned her from saying God’s name.
You can buy the books by clicking on the following links
The millennials do not need an introduction to Lang Leav who has attracted the world of the young and young at heart alike through her social media posts. She may not follow the traditional poetry formats and uses conversational language in her poems.
We may be just two different clocks, that do not tock in unison.
Her poetry is usually filled with melancholy and poignancy that seems to resonate with young and old lovers.
Here and now – I love you, for this moment, you have my heart. But you are not entitled to my future – you have no ownership of my past.
She published her debut novel Sad Girls this 2017 and her poetry books continue to be top sellers worldwide. You can buy the books by clicking on the following links.
And it wasn’t my choice to love you but it was mine to leave. I don’t think the moon ever meant to be a satellite, kept in loving orbit, locked in hopeless inertia, destined to repeat the same pattern over and over – to meet in eclipse with the sun – only when the numbers allowed
She lives in New Zealand with her partner and fellow poet Michael Faudet.
Her debut book Milk and Honey has made this Canadian poet of Indian origin into the best seller list with a whopping 1.4 million copies sold. This first-time poet self-published her book, despite having her friends warn against it.
The thing about having
an alcoholic parent
is an alcoholic parent
does not exist.
who could not stay sober
long enough to raise their kids
Her book is broken into four parts: hurt, pain, breaking and healing. She talks about abuse, feminism, love, loss and everything that would resonate with a young woman.
every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
– to fathers with daughters
Though she published her book in 2014, her moment of spotlight arrived when she posted a picture of her menstruating in Instagram as part of her assignment, and it was removed. She pointed out the hypocrisy and she found her following soon enough.
emptying out of my mother’s belly
was my first act of disappearance
learning to shrink for a family
who likes their daughters invisible
was the second
the art of being empty
believe them when they say
you are nothing
repeat it to yourself
like a wish
i am nothingi am nothingi am nothing
the only reason you know
you’re still alive is from the
heaving of your chest
– the art of being empty
Her second book will be published this October 2017. Click on the links to take a look at her books.
Andrea Gibson is the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam and she leads the spoken word movement.
Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
She provides a strong voice for the rights of LGBTQ and gender equality. She does not believe in identifying herself as a male or female to perform at and often uses her gender neuter name Andrew during her performances.
she’s wondering how many women are walking around this world
feeling the tingling of their amputated wings
remembering what it was to fly to sing
She also believes in using her poetry as a medium to comment on the issues of today’s world. Her works speak about varied topics like war, white privilege, Patriarchy, capitalism, etc.
How many wars will it take us to learn that only the dead return?
You can read more from here and here. Take a look at some of her books.
For a long time, Micheal Faudet was an Internet enigma. He is active and has thousands of followers in all social media network, but there has been not much of a talk about personal life. Even his face has not been published yet anywhere.
When it came to love, she enjoyed the thrill of the search, but seldom stopped to check whether happiness was keeping up.
His writing focuses on love, relationship, loss and lust. Most of his poetry has a tinge of eroticism. He and his partner Lang Leav have a similar aesthetics and language style that have made ripples all over the world.
You can buy the books by clicking on the following links
I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.
I write because you exist.
Not quite long ago, there was a discussion that Michael was just a figment of an imagination of Leav’s, considering him not being “physically” available on the internet. Fear not Faudet fans, he is real. His twitter has been officially verified with the government ID, photograph, etc.