Nine days in and two books read. Both biographies. Worlds apart. Here are my thoughts on February so far.
The beginning of February saw me take an impromptu trip to the North Island of New Zealand, where the capital city is nestled in some hills against a port, and is apparently the singular best wind funnel in the whole country – if not the whole world. I was so busy sightseeing Wellington that I didn’t get a great deal of reading done. However, I did manage to grow my TBR monumentally, and I found some new non-bookish things to love too.
Completed So Far This Month
Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling
Blurb: In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
This was such a fun biography, even from someone who has never seen The Office or The Mindy Project before. I’ll admit, I don’t think I got as much from the biography as someone who is a Mindy fan would, but I still enjoyed it very much. More thoughts coming on my February Wrap-Up.
In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom – Yenomi Park
Blurb: Human rights activist Park, who fled North Korea with her mother in 2007 at age 13 and eventually made it to South Korea two years later after a harrowing ordeal, recognized that in order to be “completely free,” she had to confront the truth of her past. It is an ugly, shameful story of being sold with her mother into slave marriages by Chinese brokers, and although she at first tried to hide the painful details when blending into South Korean society, she realized how her survival story could inspire others. Moreover, her sister had also escaped earlier and had vanished into China for years, prompting the author to go public with her story in the hope of finding her sister.
Wow. I’m not quite sure what else to say. I’ll be doing a full review on this book very soon, but it blew me away, and I read it in two sittings. Such a fascinating, and heart breaking story.
The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
Blurb: An elderly artist and her six-year-old granddaughter while away a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. Gradually, the two learn to adjust to each other’s fears, whims and yearnings for independence, and a fierce yet understated love emerges – one that encompasses not only the summer inhabitants but the island itself, with its mossy rocks, windswept firs and unpredictable seas.
Full of brusque humour and wisdom, The Summer Book is a profoundly life-affirming story. Tove Jansson captured much of her own experience and spirit in the book, which was her favourite of the novels she wrote for adults. This new edition sees the return of a European literary gem – fresh, authentic and deeply humane.
Many lives – Kukrit Pramoj
Blurb: That night, the rain poured and wind howled, raindrops crashing like solid objects onto the ground and water. A passenger boat from Ban Phaen to Bangkok, packed with people, pressed on through the current amidst the rising clamor of the rain and storm. . . .” The boat capsizes in the torrent, and washed up on the shore the next morning are the sodden bodies of the many passengers who lost their lives. Thus begins M. R. Kukrit Pramoj’s classic novel set in the Thailand of the early 1950s and first published in 1954. The life of each passenger who perished is retraced from birth, revealing a complex web of experiences and emotions.
Non-Bookish Things I’m Currently Loving:
Listening: Tim Halperin — ‘Forever Starts Today’ | Emily Coulston — ‘Moon’
Burning: Frankenstein Candle (Green Apples) – Potions Candle Co.