Recent Reads #7
If you missed my Where I've Been post on Wednesday, I briefly mentioned there why it's been so quiet on nnyley for the past few months and said I'd be doing two blog posts per week until the end of the year. Promises are promises, so today I have three books to share with you below! But before that, I'll just mention that I've just ordered a huge bunch of books to add to my reading list so hope you guys are excited for this and many more posts to come. Just to get more admin things out of the way, I wanted to tell you guys that I've changed the name of this series to Recent Reads instead of What I'm Reading just because that's what I kept calling it when I said it out loud. Okay so onto the actual post... If you ever read these or have read them, please share your thoughts below!
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
“While it is always possible to wake a person who's sleeping, no amount of noise will wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.”
This quote in the book is so powerful, isn't it? Deep down I think I always knew there was something wrong with the meat industry but I never really wanted to know and just ignored it. I don't really remember the reason why I picked up this book in the first place but I'm really glad I did. It's been a life-changing book for me. I don't eat meat anymore and am trying to cut down on dairy too. I'm finding it challenging to cut out fish completely from my diet, though I might sound somewhat like a hypocrite but I am doing my best. I don't think the argument that our ancestors used to eat meat so what is wrong with eating meat still stands. The amount of consumption has increased tremendously and the way that people treat animals to make them grow faster, fatter, or whatever is truly horrific. I don't mean to preach to you guys or get you all to stop eating meat but really, if you read anything about the meat industry, it'll make you think twice about it. The book is essentially a mixture of storytelling and research by Jonathan Safran Foer who tries to find out what the meat industry is really like. Of course, I don't think reading one book can essentially tell you the "whole truth" and facts need to be corroborated with other sources but just the sheer amount of shocking things in this book made me think about what I was really eating. It's a really powerful book that will make you reconsider what you put on your table, even in small ways.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
I have so many mixed emotions about this book. This is the time when I regret putting a score on books on these kinds of posts because it's pretty hard to sum up the book in numbers out of fives but I'll try my best here to explain why I've given this book a three. This book covers the lives of four friends - well mainly two out of them - through the years. I was so excited when I picked it up because I love long books that I can really get invested in and I love character studies. Plus, the reviews I had read when this book came out were mostly positive so I guess you could say I had a pretty high expectation. Yet, during the first few chapters, I just found myself getting lost and finding it really hard to engage with any of the characters. Then I began to really enjoy it as the story picked up a little, then I was disappointed with how everything was blown up to extremes. Like extreme extremes. I read a lot of people's reviews that called A Little Life "torture porn" and I kind of agree. Aspects of Jude's (one of the main character) life is shockingly and gruesomely brutal and descriptions of his past and present, I thought, at times were just too much. There's a lot of stuff in this book that deals with self-harm, physical abuse, and emotional abuse too. It's a pretty heavy book but it also wouldn't be fair to categorise it as such because the friendship between the two main characters is beautiful and parts of the book are really well written. I think I would've loved this book a lot more if the book focused on the four characters it started out with and documented their friendship through the years as a long character study. I don't think I really got to understand the individuals as individuals in the 800 pages or so when there were plenty of opportunities for Hanya Yanagihara to enable me to do so.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
I am so disappointed with this book. Particularly because I loved A Man Called Ove by the same author and would count it as one of my favourite books ever. I don't think I've ever given a book a 1/5 but really if I'm going to give A Little Life a three, then this really has to be a one. Essentially this book is about Elsa who goes on a treasure hunt like adventure after her grandmother dies. They had this special sort of bond and had a whole made up fairytale land of their own too. I just thought that the narrative didn't work. I was excited to see a different style by this author as he had tried writing in the perspective of Ove (an old man) so wondered whether he could pull off a little girl's voice too. I just thought the whole book became childish because of the child narrative. Don't get me wrong, some books do these kinds of things really well like Room but this book, I thought, was rather cringey to read at times although when the book picked up its pace a little, it became a little bit more enjoyable.
So that's it you guys for this week's post. As always, I look forward to hearing what you guys thought of these books or hearing what your recent favourite book was in the comments below. If you'd like to stay up to date with nnyley, please don't forget to follow us on Bloglovin' and I'll see you guys next week (Wednesday and Sunday) with a brand new post! Thank you for reading x