Literary Adventures: August Reads

What I Read In August

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This month has been an intuitive reading month for me. What I mean by that is I read whatever I felt like reading in the moment I felt like reading it. As per usual, it means I read a lot of fiction and imagination expanding books.

It also means I read, A LOT. Aka best month ever.

Here are my 3 favourite reads this month: All written by badass literary females.

1. Home by Toni morrison

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
— Toni Morrison
Home by Toni Morrison

Home by Toni Morrison

Home by Toni Morrison has been on my bookshelf for years. One of those books that just patiently waits for you to be moved to read it.

After Toni Morrison’s passing on August 5th, I wanted badly to reconnect with her work and Home is the only one left on my bookshelf. And, that is where it will stay.

I finished this book the day I picked it up. I could not put it down. It completely moved me and entranced me. Toni Morrison’s ability to paint a picture and to put you into the space of her characters makes reading her books an incredibly special experience. Her words and her characters leave an imprint on your heart. They stay with you and give you a perspective on the world you may never have considered otherwise.

Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again. (Synopsis as found of Goodreads)

If you are in search of a moving novel about overcoming and the meaning of home, you can get Home by Toni Morrison here.

2. Do not say we have nothing by Madeleine Thien

The only life that matters is in your mind. The only truth is the one that lives invisibly, that waits even after you close the book. Silence, too, is a kind of music. Silence will last.
— Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Madeleine Thien is a Canadian short story writer and novelist. Do Not Say we Have Nothing is the first work of hers that I have read and Wow. Just wow. I loved this book from the very first word, to the very last. In all honesty, it kind of haunted me. That is just a sign of how absolutely powerful it is.

Bringing you through generations of a countries troubling political history, this novel educates you, while almost putting you there, in the shoes of each character. I felt so deeply for every single one of them. I even cried for them. This truly conveys how amazingly well Madeleine Thien puts you inside the story and brings to life every one of her characters.

I cannot accurately express how much I loved this book and how much I truly believe it is a story and a history that every should read.

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations—those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences. (Synopsis as found of Goodreads)

With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of life inside China yet transcendent in its universality.

Find Do Not Say We Have Nothing here to get lost in an amazing tale of political turmoil, family, sacrifice, love and loss. I cannot recommend it enough.

3. gifts (annals of the western shore #1) by ursula k. Le guin

The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
— Ursula K. Le Guin
Gifts by Ursula Le Guin

Gifts by Ursula Le Guin

For anyone that is a fan of science fiction or fantasy, Ursula K. Le Guin will most certainly need no introduction. But, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of getting lost in one of her magical realms, Ursula K. Le Guin is the ultimate literary badass. She was a road paver for female authors and readers in the science fiction genre, and changed the game, as we know it.

Every so often I like to read a Young Adult fiction book, so when I came across Gifts in a bookstore in Brooklyn, New York I was over the moon pumped. I had no idea Ursula K. Le Guin had written YA books, let alone a trilogy of them!

It did not disappoint.

Ursula K. Le Guin draws you in with a story about magic and people with the power over life and death, just as much as she draws you in with a relatable telling of a young boys plight to make his father proud, pave his way in the world, and find happiness as himself there.

I can’t wait to read the next one!

Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability—with a glance, a gesture, a word—to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness. The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill. (Synopsis as found of Goodreads)

If you are looking to get lost in a coming of age story filled with magic, love, and puppies find Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin here.

August Must Reads

August Must Reads