Time for some more mini reviews!
Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran ****
I think Caitlin Moran is excellent, and have very much enjoyed all of her other books. I was a little surprised, then, when I saw that Moranifesto had such harsh criticism from those I know who also like her, and/or her sense of humour. I read many comments about how the material was old, and not at all relevant to today. Yes, all of the newspaper articles have been previously published – surely that is the point? It would be almost impossible to publish a book like this where everything was current, and that book would then surely be out of date in six months, or a year’s time. Catch-22.
I do read books like this from time to time; David Mitchell’s Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse… is a very enjoyable case in point. I see no issue with reading ‘out of date’ articles, particularly when, like Moran’s, they are amusing, and still relevant to a lot of the things which are going on in the world at the moment. They offer new slants, and new perspectives, and therefore make ‘old news’ seem fresher.
There were a good few laugh-out-loud moments for me here, and reading Moranifesto has reestablished that Moran is incredibly talented at what she does. I wasn’t disappointed with this, and eagerly look forward to her next release.
Cities I’ve Never Lived In by Sara Majka *****
My parents very kindly found this for me in the wondrous Strand bookstore in New York, and I was so very excited to begin! This is Majka’s debut short story collection, and it is nothing short of brilliant. I was drawn in immediately. Nothing is predictable here, and elements surprise throughout. I adored the way in which each of the narrators and protagonists were so different; they each sprang to life incredibly quickly.
Cities I’ve Never Lived In is a collection about people; about displacement and disappointment. Its themes are large and well wrought – hurt, heartbreak, and loneliness prevail, but there is also a wonderful sense of hope at times too. The interconnectedness and the more mysterious touches were original, and Majka’s writing masterful. I can’t wait to get my hands on what she releases next.
Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy *****
I purchased this as part of 2016’s Oxfam Scorching Summer Reads campaign. Duffy is one of my favourite poets, and this was a collection which I hadn’t yet had the pleasure to read. And a pleasure it is. Rapture is a series of interconnected poems about a single relationship, and the themes which Duffy encompasses are wide and surprising. A rich story weaves its way through.
As ever, her turns of phrase are beautiful, and I adored her use of nature imagery, and the way in which this was woven into the couple’s story. The poems here almost sing. They are wonderful and hopeful; sometimes bleak; always buoyant, and utterly mesmerising.