Reading for me is an escape from day to day life temporarily, an insight into people’s minds. So many of my passions and interests have been triggered by something I’ve read. Reading has been one of the biggest factors in how my world view has been shaped.
Here are some of my favorite books. Books that I’ve read over and over again, every single one of them inspires me in a different way.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
One of the most beautiful books ever written and that it’s twice as amazing because Nabakov wrote it in English (which is his second or third language).
The way Nabakov manipulates language is chillingly beautiful. Chilling. So what if half of those chills come from the creep factor of Lolita being a kid? You find yourself seduced by his words and his worldview…and then you remember that he’s talking about a kid, and you feel a little queasy. Hey, if it makes you feel, it’s art, right?
Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur (2014)
This book has changed me in many ways. Milk and Honey tore through my mind and burrowed deep into my ultra-sensitive soul. It slayed all my emotions, my feminist desires, and my love for vulnerable writing. She writes about love and loss, trauma, and femininity – subjects that I so happen to adore. This collection, while in many ways simple, addresses some of the darkest and most hopeful matters of the human heart. If you enjoy marinating in your feelings or if you often ponder topics like female empowerment, getting over heartbreak, or what it means to love, I would recommend you check out milk and honey asap.
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (1847)
I understand why many people hate this book. Catherine and Heathcliff are monstrous. Monstrous. You won’t like them because they are unlikable. They are irrational, self-absorbed, malicious and pretty much any negative quality you can think a person is capable of possessing without imploding. They seek and destroy and act with no thought to consequence. And I find it fascinating that Emily Bronte chose them to be her central protagonists.
Wuthering Heights is epic, in my humble opinion, because I believe that the scope of this story is monumental. Let me explain: it is a simple tale between two families that are bound in such a way that their fates are irrevocably linked. What affects one, affects the other. It’s about Catherine and Heathcliff who fall in love and how their relationship ruins the lives of those around them.
Just Kids – Patti Smith (2010)
♫Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel…♫
Just Kids makes me feel so damn left out. If only I had been able to show up at the Chelsea in the early 1970s. Patti is, indeed a poet. I love her prose, her poetry and her tribute to lost loves. I love every word. The love story between her and Robert warms my heart because, after everything that happened, they were still there for each other. And the song Chelsea Hotel #2 by Leonard Cohen will forever be one of my favorites. Just imagine living in the Chelsea Hotel in the 70s, a time when it was normal to see Janis Joplin or Bob Dylan, ugh, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
A lot of people say this book is poorly written, he repeats himself all the time and he only talks about sex, but well let me tell you, my friends, I liked the book. It was easy to read, he didn’t try to write it in a form where you get lost. The range of poetry is wide, to say the least, from cutesy to something the other side of candied vulgarity. From serious to sophomoric. Somewhere in that mix, I found what I liked.