I've been quite the reading machine the past couple of months. I've been trying really hard to cut back on my Netflix streaming and screens in general and been spending more of my down time reading. Making the shift away from scrolling through Instagram endlessly or mindlessly watching Netflix for hours on end has massively helped with my general mental well-being, as it helps me to decompress in a much more conscious way. Rambling aside, here are the books I've read over the last season.
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair ~ This one was definitely of a light, fun read, which was much needed seeing as the books I had read prior were pretty meaty. As a lover of history and color theory this book was super interesting. The book goes through some of the most famous and interesting colors produced and tells the story of how they were made and the historical significance they have. This is a really great book if you just want something to dip in and out of on vacation. I also loved that while it is a kind of nerdy book, it would be very easy to read and understand if you weren’t very well-versed in world history or color theory.
Autumn by Ali Smith ~ I had heard a lot about Autum prior to reading this book and was thoroughly interested in the plot line. The book largely centers around the relationship between Daniel Gluck, an elderly man, and Elizabeth Demand, a 20-something woman, who have been friends and neighbors since Elizabeth was around 12 and how their lives are affected living in post-Brexit England. This is definitely a book I foresee myself re-reading in a couple of years time not only to have more perspective on Brexit itself, but also because Ali Smith writes in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way that lends itself to being re-read.
Himself by Jess Kidd ~ I love true crime but can’t say I’m as much of a fan of mystery or crime novels. However I absolutely loved reading Himself by Jess Kidd. This book was definitely a bit of a slow burner for me, especially because I was reading it during a particularly busy month, but by the last 150 pages or so I was absolutely devouring the book, reading 50-60 pages at a time. The book is about Mahoney, an orphan, who makes his way back to his small west coast Irish hometown from Dublin as an adult to find out what happened to his mother. There is a strong likelihood that his mother was murdered shortly after he was born, but he has no way of knowing for sure. The book is not only a mystery, but also explores the inner-workings of a very old, tight-knit Irish community with a lot of secrets.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado ~ I heard about this book because of the Belletrist book club pick of the month several months ago. Every couple of months I like reading a book of short stories or essays just to break things up a bit and I’m really glad I finally got into reading this book. Some of the stories are somewhat futuristic and even take a slight surrealist tone. At their core though, every story revolves around the struggles women face on a day-to-day basis, especially those struggles related to female bodies and the trauma that female bodies often endure. This definitely isn’t a light read, but is incredibly rewarding.