What I Read This Month: September 2016

Ha, ha... ha. Yeah, so that went well. I had such hopes, such dreams, such plans of reading all of the things... all of the things. Then I had food poisoning. And then my mother had a hip replacement on about three days notice. And suddenly it was all busy busy, stress stress, unbelievable tiredness and OMIGOD I AM SO SICK OF THIS HOSPITAL! I read absolutely nothing off of my tbr, not a sausage, sigh, let's just forget September happened. But I did at least manage to read a small handful of books, a couple of which I even liked, so let's proceed...

Nicholas & Edith by Dan Berry

I picked this one up on a whim the last time I was at my local-ish comic book shop, the colouring of the cover art catching my eye (look at it, so pretty). A quick little one shot written for a twenty four hour comic event, this really was a stunning little read, a fairytale-esque story of doomed love, told over a very short space, just twenty eight pages in total, but still packing a wallop. The eponymous Nicholas and Edith are forced by their fathers' feud to steal away in the dead of night to share their first kiss, a tender moment cut short by tragic and horrifying events.

The art in this is simple but rather gorgeous, all bold lines and blocks of muted colour, greys and blues and browns, creating a dramatic impact as the climax of the story arrives with a vivid splash of red. The story was short and quick but quite clever, the beginning blossoming romance was adorable and the terrible turn heart stopping, all hinging on a horrible cycle of events that only becomes clear at the end as the heartbreaking truth is revealed. Based on this little gem I will definitely be giving some of Dan Berry's other work a try, I notice that he has one that has something to do with cats...

A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Full review can be found here.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

Full review can be found here.

Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman

Full review can be found here.

Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber

Me and poetry, we don't really get on. My brain is just not wired to understand the majority of it, I can handle simple poetry, narrative poetry, but once you start having to read between the lines... nope, whoosh it goes, over my head. But the lovely Jen Campbell read out one of the poems from this collection, Don't Hesitate To Ask, when she received a sampler and it was such a beautifully devastating punch to the heart that it stuck in my head and upon seeing this on the new additions shelf at the library I decided to give it a try.

This collection came about when Michel Faber's wife Eva sadly passed away after a long struggle with cancer. He describes in the introduction how he felt the need to write poetry as he had never done before, it is seemingly both tribute and coping mechanism, a way of dealing with his pain, turning it into raw, devastating poetry. It deals with his wife being ill, with her deterioration, with who she was and how much he loved her, with how it felt to lose his best friend and to have to go on without her, it is a bitter, brutal, visceral outpouring of grief and anger and sadness, and the mundanity and injustice of it all. Often it felt so personal, so intimate, that it was almost like reading something private that I'd somehow illicitly uncovered, like walking in on someone sobbing, intruding on a private moment of pain.

This was heartbreaking, it was raw, it was beautiful and ugly and real, like bereavement made solid. Even if some of it no doubt went over my head and I am still far from a poetry convert, it was definitely worth a read. But ow, my heart.

Total Books: 5
Total Pages: 1,246
Average Rating: 

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