Reading Ruminations - June 2019
I read a lot. Duh! I can almost hear you saying it. Nothing like stating the obvious to really capture someone’s attention, right? The reason I’m stating it is because I don’t often really take the time to reflect on all those books that I read. Beyond the brief conversations I have about these books with other readerly friends (including the delightful librarians where I work, who always put aside books they’re certain I will enjoy!), talking about books I’ve read is sadly not a regular conversation I have with anyone. Naturally, I also try to encourage my students to read and often talk to them about the books that I read, even reading aloud to them from whichever book I happen to be reading when I’m with them (we have silent reading sessions at the school where I work and they’re fabulous!) It’s not the same as in depth conversation though, and beyond those moments, the thoughts I have about the many books I consume get lost. To try and catch them, I thought I might try a new monthly post where I ponder on all the books I’ve consumed in that month. I’m hoping that those of you who also read might like to respond and I might get lucky and be able to have the bookish conversations I’m longing for this way! Below are my reading ruminations for the books I read throughout June.
Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu: Having shamelessly stalked this book on Instagram since I first encountered a synopsis of it, I was so delighted to get my hands on a copy and inhaled it so quickly. A truly delightful story of believing yourself to be one way and learning to understand yourself in another! It was such a joy to read, and the kind of book I can see myself going back to again and again for the pure joy that came when reading it.
A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven: Snapped this one up purely because it was the sequel to a book I had thoroughly enjoyed (The Exact Opposite of Okay - if you haven’t read it, get on that!). Stories like this one are so relevant and need to be told! A novel about revenge porn and how people (men) get away with the most obscene things, with a timely reminder that there are people in the world who care and will work hard to stop those things from happening to others.
The Good Girl Stripped Bare by Tracey Spicer: The book I didn’t know I needed. This told a perspective of events from my childhood that I hadn’t been exposed to before, detailing what life was like for women in the media in Australia. A fascinating, if at times heartbreaking, account of what life was like, and continues to be like for so many women. A necessary reminder that being good is not always the right action to take, and sometimes keeping the peace is simply not worth it.
Distortion by Victor Dixen: Another sequel (this time to Ascension - read it!) that the librarian at work put aside for me as soon as it came in since she knew I’d been so enthralled by the first in the series. A group of young people are sent to populate Mars and the second book is about what happens when they get there! I refuse to post spoilers but just know that this one questions so many things about life and I’m so keen to read book three already. I hate not knowing how things end!
Circus Hearts - All the Little Bones; Circus Hearts - All Fall Down; and Circus Hearts - All Ages by Ellie Marney: I bought all three of these at #YAday earlier in the year (cue inner fangirl squealing about meeting Ellie Marney in person on that day and she is so delightful!) I read them all within days of each other and they were fun reads with enough suspense that I was left wondering every time how things were going to end. I love that they tell stories of different characters within the same world and it’s definitely a world I would happily return to should more appear.
Laurinda by Alice Pung: A book that has long been on my TBR list. It appeared in front of me when I was doing library supervision at my work (yes that’s a thing and I love that I get to do it!) so I knew that the time had come to read it. What an absolutely fascinating narrative, told so thoughtfully. I can’t believe it took me so long to read, and like Alice Dyson, it’s one that I know I’ll return to over and again!
The Princes Saves Herself in the End by Amanda Lovelace: I stumbled upon this collection of poetry by chance and read the lot on a train ride home from the city. There were a number of poems within that struck a chord with me, and I have found my thoughts returning to it over and again. I need Amanda Lovelace’s whole collection in my home library, STAT!
Stone Girl by Eleni Hale: I snatched this up after listening to Eleni Hale speak at the Emerging Writers’ Festival this month and had the book read within a day. A gritty, honest, raw narrative that explores the darker truths to living in our country’s foster system and what an eye-opening, confronting read it was. Everyone should read this book, but especially those who work with young people possibly in these situations!
Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories edited by Michael Earp: Another book I have stalked on Instagram for a long while and finally managed to get my hands on a copy. I love to read short stories, and this collection had so many things within it that had me laughing and crying along. To read any narrative that has queer representation within its pages makes my heart sing! I am so thankful that our #LoveOzYA community is so open and welcoming. What a space to belong!
Naturally I have so many more thoughts to share, but this is already a monster of a post so comment below if you have questions or thoughts of your own to add and let’s start a conversation!