What I Read in May

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May was an ok month. June was another story, but I’ll get to that on another post. I managed to read 7 books in total, some of them different from what I usually read.

A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven, originally published in 2019

A Girl Called Shameless tells the story of Izzy O’Neill, a high school senior that is also a waiter, writer and activist. The book start two months after Izzy was slut-shamed in a national scandal, and at the beginning of the creation of the Bitches Bite Back movement, which fights for the creation of legislation against revenge porn.

Right when I started reading, I found out that this was actually a sequel. I didn’t read the first book, but still could understand and enjoy the narrative. I think Laura Steven managed to approach the topic of revenge porn in an incredibly light way, which makes this book a must read for teenagers and young adults navigating through this sexist world.

Fashion: A Philosophy by Lars Svendsen, originally published in 2004

Fashion: A Philosophy (originally Mote: Et Filosofisk Essay) does exactly as the name suggests. It is, surprisingly, a very easy read and requires almost any prior knowledge about philosophy. Even though it was first published in 2004, the topics talked about are still relevant.

Fashionopolis: The Price of Fashion & The Future of Clothes by Dana Thomas originally published in 2019

 Fashionopolis: The Price of Fashion & The Future discusses what is the real toll of the current system of fashion production wise. I first heard about it through the Fashion Victims podcast, and I decided to read it since HauteLeMode’s Luke Meagher kept saying really good things. By the way, this was a very expensive book since I needed to import it. Getting back to the subject, I really liked the first chapters, they were well researched and I learned a lot. But the last chapter I consider to be a bit problematic. If you want to know why, watch the end of the video version of the wrap up (part 1), I got in depth there.

Normal People by Sally Rooney, originally published in 2018

Normal People has become a very popular novel in the past few months, so I won’t bother you with the synopsis. I personally loved this book, it was perfectly short (but not so much), fast and a very cozy read. Definitely my favorite of the month.

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton, originally published in 2013

How to Read Literature is supposed to be a beginner guide to reading in a more deep and pleasurable way. Except that I learned the content in it by high school. And this quickly became the most boring book I read this year.

Monsieur Linh and his Child Linh by Philippe Claudel, originally published in 2005

Monsieur Linh and his Child (originally La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh) tells the story of an old man who becomes a refugee in France after his native island – located somewhere in the pacific – spends years at war. I had a few problems with this book since I don’t like the way it deals with mental health (the main character’s possible PTSD is never formally addressed) and also don’t trust the narrator. But it was overall an ok book.

 The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector, originally published in 1977

The Hour of the Star (originally A Hora da Estrela) tells the story of Macabéa, a poor woman from north east Brazil that is currently living in Rio de Janeiro. The lady might not seem very clever at first, but after you detangle the first layer, you realize this is actually the story of what happens when you become silent. As everything by Clarice Lispector, this is beautifully written and deserves to be read.

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