Saturday, May 10

Mini Reads

The Fun We've Had - Michael J. Seidlinger

This is easily the most bizarre book I have ever read. After a lot of background reading and thought I'm still not entirely (read: remotely) sure what is it about. The Fun We've Had is highly surreal, telling the story of two apparently deceased lovers floating in an endless sea inside a coffin. I told you it was weird. The story is punctuated by the stages of grief, featuring psychedelic acid rain, jellyfish falling from the sky and other such oddities. It reads more like poetry than a novel and in parts is very moving and honest, discussing personal relationships, the privacy of individuality and the nature of love. By the end I resolved this is a book first and foremost about the acceptance of death, but like I said I'm not sure of much after reading this. I'm glad I read it because it is so different to anything else I've ever read before, but I'm not sure I'll be taking book recommendations from Dazed and Confused in the future.

Don't Worry, It Gets Worse - Alida Nugent 

I love Alida Nugent, of The Frenemy internet fame. She's incredibly funny and clever and I want to be her friend, which is why I was eager to get my hands on a copy of her first book, Don't Worry, It Gets Worse. At first I was disappointed that this isn't a novel (my own fault for not reading anything about it beforehand) and instead a collection of anecdotes and reflections on life in your early-twenties; first homes, terrible boyfriends and job hunting. It's a very easy read, best saved for a beach or poolside, but it's funny and heartfelt. Throughout reading it I remained a little disappointed but since finishing it I feel as though it's given me a new excitement for my age. It made me realise how young I am and how exciting that is, and on that basis alone I recommend it.

The Motorcycle Diaries - Ernesto Guevara

The Motorcycle Diaries is the memoir of a 23-year old Ernesto 'Che' Guevara during his travels across South America with his best friend Alberto Granado, on the back of their unreliable bike lovingly named La Poderosa or 'The Mighty One'. Leaving Buenos Aires in 1952, the diary follows Ernesto and Alberto as they set out as excited young men looking for adventure and mischief, which they find. I didn't expect a book about a political revolutionary to be quite so funny and cheeky, but I'm glad to say it is. Most interestingly the memoirs highlight Guevara's growing empathy for the poorest and most destitute people he witnesses during his travels, ultimately leading him to vow himself to a life of helping those most in need. 

No One Belongs Here More Than You - Miranda July 

Miranda July is a director, screenwriter, actress and writer. I sought out this book after watching the lovely and awkward The Future, which July directed, wrote and starred in. This collection of short stories are as bizarre and disturbing as they as they are sweet, thrusting normal and socially struggling people into extraordinary plot lines. The storylines range from exploits in lesbian prostitution to sewing circles. The narrative voice is exactly the same in each story, which should bother a reader but it doesn't as July's chosen voice is so authentic and readable. Each story is short enough to polish off on your morning commute; bite-size eccentricity for breakfast. 

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