Five Books I Rated Five Stars
I love reading fiction. More specifically, romantic fiction and chick-lit. I know, I know it's not the most exciting to read and can be very mundane and cliche. That's why this summer I decided to widen my literature range. I discovered new and exciting authors and I definitely won't be going back to chick-lit for the time being (even if it is easy-reading and heartwarming).
DISCLAIMER: This blog post includes spoilers!
Below, are five books (not chick-lit, you shall be pleased to know) that I thought were truly remarkable. They have all been published fairly recently, maybe one day I will give myself the challenge of branching out to classical novels!
1) The Beekeeper of Aleppo - Christy Lefteri
Powerful. Poignant. Perceptive. Follow the journey of Nuri and Afra, a Syrian husband and wife duo who travel across many borders, oceans and lands on their journey to the UK as migrants. From witnessing the death of their son, Sami in Syria, to deliveries for drug lords in Athens, Lefteri's evocative account of this adventure is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It is the perfect escapade to understanding the struggles of migration and navigating relationships through life's most challenging situations. Instinctively, you can't help but feel sorrow and pain and anger on behalf of Nuri and Afra.
2) Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo
I read this, after hearing the most amazing review from my English teacher. I read it over (the very few) hot summer days we had in the UK. In this novel, Evaristo follows twelve entirely different stories of young black women, and their personal (and relatable) struggles through, education, jobs, family and love. Evaristo cleverly brings them together at the end, which makes it entirely unpredictable. The novel is unstructured, which makes it even more exciting! It's a book you need on your bookshelf, regardless of whether or not you call yourself a 'Feminist'. Although I must add, for it to be an honest review, that the lack of punctuation marks is initially a tad frustrating!
3) The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris
Ok, so to be fair, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is regarded as 'romantic fiction' despite its seriousness. What I love the most though, is that it is actually based on a real-life story of Lale Sokolov, an Auschwitz (A Nazi Concentration Camp in Southern Poland) survivor and his love for Gita, a young woman he meets there. Lale (a Jewish man) befriends the (German) SS and is therefore promoted to one of the camp's top roles in order to make his life slightly more bearable, this comes at the risk of being unable to see Gita daily. It's the story of love like no other. This had me in tears, at several points throughout the novel. Morris skillfully depicts what life was like during the Second World War, it's a book that makes you appreciate everything you have and more. Morris describes Auschwitz as a 'living Hell'. This influenced me to research even more about Auschwitz survivors, what life was like and their individual experiences.
4) The Comfort book - Matt Haig
Those of you who follow @sixth&me and if you're not, then you really should be(!), will know just HOW MUCH Emma and I absolutely adore the works of Matt Haig. Honestly, I don't know how I have spent so long, not even knowing who he is! The Comfort Book is basically a best friend who churns out special life and happiness quotes, that you didn't know you needed. I read The Comfort Book with a highlighter in hand. And reader, let me tell you, I may have gone a bit CRAZY on the highlighting! I usually dislike highlighting books, but I simply couldn't resist. This is the kind of book you would want to gift a friend, a teacher, a special person in your life. The chapters are tiny, offering small doses of hope, happiness and positivity. You can pick it up in your darkest hour and it will console you. Yes. Trust me on that one.
5) Everything You Really Need to Know about Politics - Jess Phillips MP
I love this book. It's as simple as that. Phillips' recount of 21st-century politics needs to be read by anyone and everyone. It is far more interesting than your average book about election processes, House of Commons procedures and constituency dramas. It's all that and more! It's compelling and insightful, not just to those who are fascinated by politics, like me. It feels as if rather than reading, a dear friend is educating you very informally on everything you really need to know. I admire Phillips' honesty, which is exactly what we need more of in the political sphere these days. Jess, (I feel like I know her personally!) is a true leader in the Labour Party, regardless of her role as a backbencher. Jess and everything she has achieved is incredibly inspiring, she is a #rolemodel to all women, political differences aside,