I’ve always loved to read, and recently I’ve gotten myself back into reading regularly. I love reading fiction the most, where I follow the stories sentence after sentence, page after page, letting my imagination run free and keeps me glued to my seat. Sometimes I read a bit of non-fiction, read about people’s lives, and learn about new things from different perspectives. I read almost everywhere, anytime I can- on trains, in school in between classes, in between practice times, at night when I’ve got no homework…it’s such a good brief escape from reality.
In the month of October, I have finished reading three books. They are really great and I would like to share a little bit about them with you as well as my thoughts on them.
- Roxane Gay- Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay sees herself as a feminist, but she admits she cannot always be the strong, man-hating, anti-bra-wearing kind of feminist. She also challenges what the typical definition of a “feminist” really means, in particular the American society, and states that it doesn’t really apply to everyone, especially someone with colour. She believes that she should exercise some rights as a woman, yet does not conform to the typical characteristics of a feminist in the feminist movement, hence calling herself a “Bad Feminist”. Bad Feminist is a book compiled with several short essays divided into different categories. In this book, Gay discusses issues about race, gender, politics and the media, et cetera, throwing in some anecdotes of hers here and there. You don’t have to agree with everything she says, but I feel that she gives really fresh new perspectives of what are the real issues women face in today’s society, especially coming from someone of colour. Her words are so compelling and convincing, you cannot help but be deep in thought after each essay.
She also recently wrote her first novel, “An Untamed State”. That’s going to be next on my reading list, can’t wait to start reading it.
More info here.
2. Han Kang- The Vegetarian
The Vegetarian is a novella by South Korean author Han Kang, originally written in Korean and translated into English.
A man has an extremely ordinary life, an ordinary job and an ordinary wife, and that was all he was asking for. Until one day, his wife had a dream about animal cruelty that resulted in her throwing out all the meat in the house and starting to go on a plant-based diet, refusing to eat anything that came from animals. Her vegetarian diet drove her into madness, eventually wanting to seek a more plant-like lifestyle, causing pain to the people around her.
It has been weeks since I read this book, yet I can still remember the whole story. The first chapter is really intense, and it made me keep wanting to read on. The more I read, the more I empathise with the characters, I feel their pain, their pleasures; I wish things can turn out better for them. I start to wonder, if whatever that has happened in the book can happen in real life, and what if it happens to the people I love? I don’t wish to reveal too many things about the plot, go read to find out more!
There was previously some criticism regarding the translation of the book, that a lot of the nuances were lost in translation and that the translator did not have enough experience with Korean to be able to translate the book accurately. I cannot comment on that, but I would say that the writing is very beautiful, and we gotta give props to that.
More info here.
3. Kevin Kwan- China Rich Girlfriend
Kevin Kwan, the Singapore-born author who is probably most well known for the book Crazy Rich Asians, has a sequel to it, titled China Rich Girlfriend. In fact, the book is so popular that it has even been adapted into a Hollywood film.
Rachel Chu, newly engaged to her History professor boyfriend Nicholas Young, has found her biological father, leading her to the world of crazy-rich, newly-rich Chinese. The characters in the “Crazy Rich Asians” world are so rich that they can seem to afford anything– every single latest fashion piece from all the high-end fashion brands, wearing ancient artefacts as jewellery, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on art pieces to hang on their walls at home, having a private plane bigger than the Air Force One, complete with bedrooms and a Koi pond (yes, with real fish). They don’t seem to worry about money at all, their only concern was how to make themselves well-liked and maintain their class and reputation among all the other rich people. Rich people with rich people problems.
It’s a book packed full of humour, very witty and entertaining, so not for anyone looking for a serious read. This was a very fast read for me, I finished it in less than three days in between practices and on train rides, because it is such an easy, light-hearted read. It is totally a satire.
More info here.
For the month of November, I am still currently reading, and I have three books on my reading list now. Hopefully I can finish all of them by the end of the month so I can share with everyone.
Till next time, take care everyone.