Hello my sweets!
Today’s post is the second part of my London Book Haul. The last part encompassed all of the books that fit into my Reading the World challenge. These ones were one that I picked up to read for Femmuary (which is where I read as many books as possible by female authors or about women) and one was just a last minute pick up relating to my job. I am really looking forward to reading these books and by the time that this post is published I will have already finished two of them!
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.
Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Essays and Poems by Audre Lorde
Lorde seems prophetic, perhaps alive right now, writing in and about the US of 2017 in which a misogynist with white supremacist followers is president. But she was born in 1934, published her first book of poetry in 1968, and died in 1992. Black, lesbian and feminist; the child of immigrant parents; poet and essayist, writer and activist, Lorde knew about harbouring multitudes. Political antagonists tried, for instance, to discredit her among black students by announcing her sexuality, and she decided: “The only way you can head people off from using who you are against you is to be honest and open first, to talk about yourself before they talk about you.” Over and over again, in the essays, speeches and poems collected in Your Silence Will Not Protect You, Lorde emphasises how important it is to speak up. To give witness: “What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?”
Criminal : The Truth about why people do Bad Things by Tom Gash
How our views of crime and its causes are wrong — and how we can begin to understand and tackle it properly. The way we see and understand crime falls into two types of story that, in essence, have been told and retold many times throughout human history — in fiction, as in fact. Criminality is either a selfish choice, an aberration; or a forced choice, the product of social factors. These two stories continue to dominate both our views of and responses to crime. And, says Tom Gash, they are completely wrong. In seeking to dispel the myths that surround and inform our views of crime, Crime Fictions argues that our obsession with ‘big arguments’ about crime’s causes can lead us to mistake individual cases as proof of universal rules. How, he asks, can we suspend our knee-jerk reactions, and begin to understand crime for what it is: as a risk that can be managed and reduced.
The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson
In 1969, Jane Mixer, a first-year law student at the University of Michigan, posted a note on a student noticeboard to share a lift back to her hometown of Muskegon for spring break. She never made it: she was brutally murdered, her body found a few miles from campus the following day. The Red Parts is Maggie Nelson’s singular account of her aunt Jane’s death, and the trial that took place some 35 years afterward. Officially unsolved for decades, the case was reopened in 2004 after a DNA match identified a new suspect, who would soon be arrested and tried. In 2005, Nelson found herself attending the trial, and reflecting with fresh urgency on our relentless obsession with violence, particularly against women. Resurrecting her interior world during the trial – in all its horror, grief, obsession, recklessness, scepticism and downright confusion – Maggie Nelson has produced a work of profound integrity and, in its subtle indeterminacy, deadly moral precision.
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell
‘These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button. That’s why I bought her heart online.’ Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows. A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island. A boy is worried his sister has two souls. A couple are rewriting the history of the world. And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium. The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.
And there we have it my loves! Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? I would love to hear your thoughts on them!
Peace and pages