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I don’t read enough books. Which is a travesty, because I quite like a good book and I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty good at reading. Even better at it than I am at writing (OMG I KNOW). I read take-out menus, blogs, really bad clickbait articles about the Kardashians and week old newspapers I find on my parents’ dining table when I visit, but I suck at treating myself to a good book.
I only seem to think about books just before I travel somewhere. I find I get my best reading done on a camping trip or a (child free) plane ride. After everyone climbs into bed, I get stuck into a good read. It’s a quiet, non disruptive, not-too-much-data-used way to wind down (as much as I love a hard copy of a book I find my phone is handy because it’s small and has its own light – provided I have some way to keep it charged). It’s also a fantastic way to kill time when I inevitably wake before everyone else.
I’m headed away for a little bit soon, so I thought I’d make myself a list. Sure, I’ll never get to every title here on one trip, but I find that once I get the ball rolling, it motivates me further.
Here we go!
Me Before You & After You by Jojo Moyes
I am always wary of books that were made into movies. I can never decide whether to watch the movie first or read the book first. Because, we all know the movie can never capture every detail that a book can. I remember the agony of deciding to read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult before seeing the movie. I felt like I’d made the right choice in the end.
This time I watched Me Before You before reading. I am hoping the book will fill in all the extra details in the relationship between the characters Lou and Will that I was craving while viewing the movie. I love that there’s a sequel and can’t wait to see what comes next.
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
I love Amy Schumer. Not only is she really hilarious, but she has this knack of using her comedy to skewer the sexism that exists in both real life and in showbiz. She highlights the ridiculousness in the most fucking funny way and she’s not afraid to be rude and brutally honest! Inside Amy Schumer is my favourite sketch comedy show. In fact, it might be the only one I like! I’m not usually a fan of that format (sorry).
Anyhow, I’m expecting her book to be all that and more. I want to read about all the things that have made her who she is today.
The Wrong Girl by Zoë Foster
I admit that I do not read anywhere near as much fiction as I do biographies and other non fiction works, but this book has got my interest, simply because of the author! I have crushed on Zoë via social media and her relationship with Hamish Blake (I really hope they’re the hilarious and cute couple I picture them as) for aaaaages. I have heard great things about her writing and it might be nice to lose myself in a fictional story for the first time in a while.
Without You, There is No Us by Suki Kim
I have always been fascinated/horrified by stories of North Korea. As I was born in South Korea, I guess it also seems weirdly close to home (even though I haven’t actually lived there since I was 5 months old). In 2014, we actually visited a site where the North had tried to infiltrate the South in Gangneung. To this day, they have machine gun wielding guards in a tower ready to shoot at anyone who gets too close…we might have almost found out the hard way when my rather laid-back dad wanted to take a ‘short cut’ to the top of a hill – OMG! They aren’t kidding around! It’s terrifying! I was way too scared to visit the border between North and South (even though people safely visit all the time).
Anyway, I heard about this amazingly brave author on Triple J radio. She was a guest on Matt Okine and Alex Dyson’s breakfast slot. I was glued to the interview all the way to the Little Mister’s school drop off. Suki Kim is a journo who went into North Korea as an English teacher. She risked her life to write her book about what she learned while deep undercover for 6 months. Amazing.
Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford
I consider myself a feminist and I must say that the older I get and the more I think about my son being out in this world, I get more and more passionate about equality. Someone who has really opened my eyes to some of the inequalities that we often miss and walk past, has been Clementine Ford. She maintains the rage like nobody else and is not afraid to call out sexism as she sees it (or receives it on social media). She always makes me think. I expect her book to be no different. I take no responsibility for how feisty I might be once I’ve finished it haha.
Have you read any of these books? Got anything else to recommend?