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What I read in March


reviews andrew mcmillan physical toni morrison beloved zadie smith the embassy of cambodia choke chuck palahnuik wuthering heights emily bronte jellyfish janice galloway how to live well with chronic pain and illness toni bernhard

Here's what I read in March!
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë ★½
I preferred the song. But to be fair, it is a bloody brilliant song. Good old Kate Bush. Anyhow, I don't tend to read classics but wanted to give this a go. At first I really enjoyed, but less so as it went on. I felt like I stopped caring about half way through.

Jellyfish - Janice Galloway ★½
These short stories were insightful and interesting, but I felt either a lack of connection with what I was reading, or perhaps that the energy felt a little flat overall. I'm struggling to recall more than two of the stories, which probably isn't a good sign.

Choke - Chuck Palahnuik ★★★
Somehow this managed to be dark & intense but also so much fun. Playfully written but also really thoughtful, Choke tells the story of a man struggling with sex addiction who makes his way in life through a restaurant choking based scam, while trying to support his ailling mother and piece together his past.

The Embassy of Cambodia - Zadie Smith ★★★
This really short little novella is subtle but packs a punch. We follow some time in the life of a live-in maid, from the Ivory Coast and working (for free) in North West London. Not a huge amount happens but the writing is evocative and leaves you with a lot to think about. I borrowed this from the library but you can read for free online here.

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain & Illness - Toni Bernhard ★★★
Obviously this won't be for everyone, but if you do have chronic illness or pain, I really recommend this. Toni gives personal, practical advice that compassionately looks at the physical illness itself but also the mental toll this takes.

Beloved - Toni Morrison ★★★★
This is some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read in a novel. I struggled with Beloved at first - the writing feels dense and flits through time and perspectives, but once you settle into it - it is so worth it. Set in 1873 Ohio, this is a powerful and painful story of a woman living a life free from her previous life of slavery, but struggling with her past - both her own actions and what happened to her. There's elements of magical realism that I didn't anticipate here, and I also didn't expect the playfulness of form. This is a wonderful book, and I need to read more Toni Morrison.

Andrew McMillan - Physical ★★★★
Whether you read poetry or not, read Physical. It's stunning and completely blew me away. Masculinity and the male body are discussed, but also universal themes of love and loss. I know I'll be reading again.


Find me on Goodreads, and let me know any recommendations you have here or on Twitter. Also let me know in comments if you've read any of these :)

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