I know this post is a few days late, but I really wanted to publish it anyway; not because I had an overly exciting reading month – oh no! My ex-boss called me up a week into February, and even though I wasn’t excited about commuting for 2 hours every day and then sitting behind a desk for 9 hours; I helped out for three weeks. Needless to say, I had no time or energy for much else after coming home from work in the afternoons.
After the three weeks of work, the husband and I took a spontaneous break and headed off to Tsitsikamma where we got to have an adventure filled with adrenaline and so.much.FUN! We visited the Knysna Elephant Park, took a kayak + lilo tour up the Storms River, and ended off with Bungee Jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge! It was incredible! And it felt amazing ticking those activities off of our bucket lists.
But that’s not what this post is about… February also happened to be a month of excessive book buying, receiving books from publishers, and of course, the much anticipated Cape Town Bookstagram/ Book Blogger meet up! So let’s see what happened in the bookish side of my life during February:
MILK AND HONEY BY RUPI KAUR
Milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. Milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
The one and only book I read during February happened to be a book that I’ve been searching months for. I finally found a copy at The Book Lounge during the Bookstagram Meet-up when a few bookish friends browsed the shelves as if we didn’t have a sky high pile of books at home just begging to be read! I’m so happy I got myself a copy because damn this book is something special! It can be a lot to take in if you’re not used to a bit of graphically sexual poetry, but it is extremely powerful and thought provoking. I loved how the book was divided into four chapters, each taking on a different and equally important topic. One of my favourite pieces was something I saw months back but had no idea it came from this book:
“i want to apologize to all the women i have called pretty before i’ve called them intelligent or brave i am sorry i made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is the most you have to be proud of when your spirit has crushed mountains from now on i will say things like you are resilient or you are extraordinary not because i don’t think you’re pretty but because you are so much more than that”
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
The Autograph Man By Zadie Smith (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Ishq And Mushq By Priya Basil (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Legion And The Emperor’s Soul By Brandon Sanderson (Bargain Books Warehouse)
A Thousand Pieces Of You By Claudia Gray (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Wonder By R.J. Palacio (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Indian Summer By Pratima Mitchell (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Shooting Kabul By N.H. Senzai (Bargain Books Warehouse)
The Diviners By Libba Bray (Bargain Books Warehouse)
Crooked Kingdom By Leigh Bardugo (Raru.co.za)
The Forbidden Wish By Jessica Khoury (Raru.co.za)
Milk And Honey By Rupi Kaur (The Book Lounge)
RECEIVED FROM JONATHAN BALL PUBLISHERS IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
CARAVAL BY STEPHANIE GARBER (to be reviewed): Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
A TRAGIC KIND OF WONDERFUL BY ERIC LINDSTROM: For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst—that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS BY RUTH HOGAN: A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
GIFTS FROM TAMMY BOOKBELL
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
NEVERNIGHT BY JAY KRISTOFF (Uncorrected Copy): In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
CAPE TOWN BOOKSTAGRAM/ BOOK BLOGGER MEET-UP AT THE BOOK LOUNGE
Saturday, 25th February a few bookstagrammers, book bloggers, booktubers and book enthusiasts got together at the Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Cape Town for our very first meet up! We had an absolute blast chatting about all things bookish and getting to know one another after talking for so long online. It was amazing getting to talk to people that share my passion for reading, especially since I don’t know a lot of people in real life who appreciates books as much as I do. I have a feeling we are all going to be good friends for a long, long time!
After the bookshop started filling up and we all grabbed a cup of something, we pushed all the chairs together and formed a cozy little circle where we each got to introduce ourselves (my idea of an actual nightmare, since I abhor public speaking!).
I had an absolute blast meeting everyone and I am already looking forward to the next meet-up that should be happening soon! If you are a book enthusiast who lives in Cape Town then you should definitely look out for the next one and pop by!