january reads!

in an attempt to be more on top of my reading this year … (also, lol, books and food, there’s a reason for this — i have a tendency of watching tv while i eat, but i’m trying to get into the habit of reading while i eat instead because, for one, i want to read more this year and, for another, i tend to eat fast as it is, but watching tv makes me eat even faster, while reading makes me slow down.)

january’s usually a good month for reading; the problem is keeping up this momentum through the rest of the year …

one.  the surrendered, chang-rae lee.
so so good.  how does chang-rae lee write about war and its aftermath so well?

two.  on such a full sea, chang-rae lee.
i walked out into the polar vortex to buy this book the day it came out, and never before has my face hurt so much from cold.  i can’t say i was as engrossed by it as i was the surrendered or a gesture life, but i really loved the ending.  and the type — the “g” and “Q” in particular.  unfortunately, riverhead didn’t include a “note on the text” at the end of it, though.

three.  blue is the warmest color, julie maroh.
it’s an interesting experience reading a book after you’ve seen the film adaptation of it, and it’s even more so when you loved the film.  there’s a detail (or plot point?) in the graphic novel i honestly could have done without, and i wonder if i would have felt differently about the graphic novel had i read it first?  because, to be honest, i felt pretty lukewarm about the graphic novel, maybe because i loved how the film ended, whereas i felt like the way the graphic novel was set up was a little abrupt and unnecessarily dramatic.

four.  suicide, edouard leve.
leve’s final book, delivered a few days before he took his own life — it’s impossible not to read this as a suicide note.  this was a slim volume but packed with quiet observations and thoughts and reflections, and i loved how unsensational it was, just this gentle portrait of a man who died by suicide.

five.  never let me go, kazuo ishiguro.
plowed through this after i submitted my new synopsis.  never let me go never loses its impact no matter how many times i read it.

six.  the reason i jump, naoki higashida.
part of me felt uncomfortable reading this, mainly because i felt like i was spectating, because we have a tendency to make Others of people with special needs.  i appreciated how it gave a glimpse into what it’s actually like to be autistic, though, and higashida’s voice is honest and frank and all the more compelling for it.  also, that is a fantastic cover.

in february, i hope to read more by women (currently reading frankenstein again, so we’re off to a good start) and more by authors of colour (planning on picking up i’ll be right there by shin kyung-sook after frankenstein, so we’re going in a good direction).  pretty happy with my reading in january, though, considering everything was written either by a person of colour or in a language other than english.  :3