Book Haul

Sunday, 8 October 2017

I was promised a book if I got out of bed. It was 2 pm on a sunny Saturday so I really shouldn’t have been in bed that late anyway but regardless if being horizontal for prolonged periods of time means I get a book then I will happily snooze away. I did say I was promised a book, didn’t I? As in, a single book but you’ve probably already figured out based on the fact this post is entitled “book haul” that I walked away with more than one.

Book Haul

Let’s do the book I’m most excited to read first. I saw the latest film adaption of IT in the cinema last week and ended up with more questions than answers so I decided I had to read the book. IT, in case you’ve somehow managed to avoid the clown hysteria, is written by horror extraordinaire Stephen King. He tells the tale of Pennywise, a clown that awakens every 27 years to terrorize a small town in Maine, USA, and prey on children. Pennywise becomes the thing you fear the most and haunts a group of children before they decide to take him down. The latest film adaption is incredible (Bill Skarsgard anyone!) and I’m hoping I’m going to love the book just as much as I love the film.

Books To Read

Home Going by Yaa Gyasi was another book I picked up. I have recently finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and wanted to delve a little deeper into slavery in America. Home Going is about 2 women; one who is sold into slavery and the other a wife of a slave trader. Each chapter focuses on a different descendent of the two women so we learn about their lives through the eyes of a relation. I’ve heard good things about Home Going so I have high expectations.

You may remember this book from such awful films starring Brad Pitt. World War Z the film adaption was dreadful but the book is supposed to be spectacular. World War Z by Max Brooks is, of course, about the zombie apocalypse and is written from the perspective of the survivors in an interview style. It follows the people who were there at the beginning of the outbreak and their take on events. Personally, I’m not into zombie things but World War Z doesn’t sound like the usual cliché zombie apocalypse book so I’m very intrigued by it.

Books To Read

A recent addition to my book wishlist is I Am Not Your Negro by James Baldwin and I already get to remove it as I now own it. I Am Not Your Negro is an accompaniment to the documentary directed by Raoul Peck. Civil rights activist James Baldwin started a project to tell the story of America through Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers; all of which are murdered black civil rights activists. James Baldwin died before his project was complete so Raoul Peck finished the project using James Baldwin’s voice and notes through the documentary. I haven’t watched I Am Not Your Negro (it’s currently on my watchlist ) but I’m in two minds as to whether I should read the book or watch the documentary first. Either way, this subject matter is right up my street!

With the recent shooting in America, it seems a little morbid to read a book on the subject but I’m doing it regardless. Every day, there are seven children and teenagers killed by guns in America and Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge tells the story of 10 deaths on November 23rd, 2013. These stories are of children and teenagers you probably never heard about, they flew under the radar because it’s such a common thing to happen; media outlets will not waste their time reporting on the deaths. Gary Younge chose these deaths at random and researched their family and their lives up until the day they died. Another Day in the Death of America is going to be an emotionally difficult and an incredibly frustrating read but it’s disturbingly interesting.

Books To Read

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Amazon TV show The Man in the High Castle but I didn’t realize it was originally a book until my other half picked it up. In Philip K. Dick’s novel World War II went a bit wrong for the rest of the world and now the Nazis run New York (sorry New York-born rappers), the Japanese control California and the entire continent of African no longer exists. Hitler is incapacitated throughout the story so his hideous power is overshadowed by the men trying to take his place. The Man in the High Castle is a sci-fi novel which isn’t usually my cup of tea but I think I may make an exception this time around. I’ve also just discovered – through writing this post – that Philip K. Dick is the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the novel that inspired Blade Runner so there’s that random fact to run with. I didn’t like Blade Runner so this doesn’t bode well for me.

Finally, we have The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain De Botton. This was actually chosen by my other half as I’ve introduced him to the wonder of podcasts and he’s really getting into philosophical ones. The Consolations of Philosophy jumps into things such as lack of money, the pain of love, inadequacy, anxiety, the fear of failure and pressure to conform (just to completely quote the synopsis). I believe the book is designed to help us live our lives and as I’m forever bothered by 5 out of 6 of the above things, I should probably get stuck into The Consolations of Philosophy sooner than later.

I’m really excited about the variety of books I’ve chosen this time around. I’ve been researching present racism in America and historic slavery a lot recently so having physical material to further my personal studies is extremely appealing right now. My to be read pile is getting far too big but I need more books. If I stay in bed until 2 pm again next Saturday will I get more?

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