The Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon

This will be the first time that I take on a poetry review versus any other book that I’ve read. Up to this point in my life I’ve only had to analyze poetry time and time again for class or assignments and never necessarily took pleasure in actually reading it; but the time has come and what better way to make a come back than with something new?

Some background; I’ve had my eye on reading this, what I initially thought was a book, for quite a while, maybe even since High School. It was only when I saw that my friend had bought it, read it, and did a mini review on it that I realized that it was, well, poetry. Nonetheless, it didn’t make me reluctant to read it, as by this point I was slightly more into delving in and reading works in this genre. In a blog post that went up on my other blog I roughly touched upon my feelings towards the genre and how they changed so I won’t really go into it here, but for now, everything’s on a good path. But now, onto the review.

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As said before, this was not what I expected going into reading this book. I expected a novel, and got a poetry collection instead. Whoops. Yet, though it is a poetry collection, there are a few chapters and each one covers something slightly different; a similar set up to Rupi Kaur’s milk & honey. There are elements in it that make you think of your own experiences, in some instances, poetry sometimes has the power to make you reflect on things and I feel like some of these did just that. There are four main chapters to the collection, and within those, each poem is separated by its own title, sort of like a sub-story to the main plot that is touched on in the openings of each chapter. I suppose this element makes it more coherent and story-like, versus just a collection of poems haphazardly published together. It is not quite what I expected but in a sense, the title and cover don’t set up for this to be a poetry book; in my opinion, quite the opposite really. There is a mix of longer and shorter poems, and really, it’s the final ‘chapter’ that’s got the longer poems within it that are usually addressed to someone. This is something that is seen in other moments within the book though, where some poems will be addressed to an individual, or commenting on something that has happened between the author and another individual in the past.

I’m unsure whether or not this is something that I would reach for again, or purchase for that matter, as this is a book that I borrowed, as I’m doubtful that it is something that I would often reach for. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. The book itself is about 100 pages, so can make for a quick read if that’s what you’re after, or can be savored for a longer time in order to contemplate along with the author and reflect on ones own experiences. I won’t go and say that it brought any change into my life, because it did not go that far, but it was a calming read when needed.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, mainly because I don’t see myself reaching for it again in the near, or maybe even far future and there were just elements of it that I was not really that into.

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milk & honey by Rupi Kaur

milk & honey by Rupi Kaur (@rupikaur_) seemed to hit the world by storm when it hit the shelves, but here I was sitting in my comfy room not caring or showing remotely any interest until I saw my friend do a blog post about it before summer of 2017 and I thought maybe it is worth a shot. I saw it in bookshops and had flicked through it and read the blurb enough times to plant a seed in my brain to eventually purchase it when I was on holiday in Poland – even got an edition that includes both the original English text and a translated Polish one (I’m sure there’s a name for this type of book but like, what is it? literally could not tell you at this moment).

JPEG image-29B0A911D1AB-1As said time and time again by me, poetry was something I never admired as much as other people did, it was always given to me for an analysis and never obtained, or searched for, by me. And this was a different instance. If you haven’t read milk & honey I strongly recommend you do. For me, it came at a time where I needed it. Given the title, one can’t really be certain what the actual collection will be about, but it is all a journey that you are now on and that you may have even experienced yourself. Full of shorter and longer poems, there is something there for anyone, and it doesn’t necessarily have to even be read in a coherent order; just pick a section and go. It is the type of poetry that makes you think and reflect a little, and that in a sense got me through a slightly rougher patch. I’m an advocate for lifestyle books, I’ve read a self-help book on Mood Mapping back in my first year of university to get more into what goes on and how to deal in certain situations, but, despite thinking this book is and would be helpful on any journey an individual is on, despite its helpful nature I wouldn’t put it there, even as a genre cross-over as so many books are now a days.

I’ve not written a review in over a year now and I feel like I’ve really lost my touch but I am hoping this makes some sense. Overall, this book changed my perception of how and why I read poetry and made me open up to the genre more, and if you’re someone in a similar situation, I strongly recommend this poem collection for some peace of mind or just for some reflection.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

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Mood Mapping – Dr. Liz Miller

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

– Helen Keller

IMG_1040Psychology is not something that is of great interest to me, or remotely close to anything that I am studying, however it is never a bad idea to read self-help books. After all, nothing bad comes from it.

I picked this book up in early November just as it became more noticeable that the days were getting darker and shorter. Other reasons for picking up such a book included the fact that I generally believed that this text could offer some insights on managing my life more than I already do.

Did this book help me?
Every book has something in it that will somehow change the way you move from that moment. It may not have helped me change my life drastically, but it definitely opened my eyes a little more to why people do what they do under while feeling a certain way. Am I now able to change my mood once I’ve noticed that it’s changed? Yes and no. I know how I can go from feeling down to feeling better and can indeed employ some of those tips in everyday life. Such as if stress hits, why not pick up a book, turn on some calming music, grab a cup of tea or coffee and just take some time for yourself rejuvenating?

Self help books may not exactly may be the best past time books, but they are obviously written for a reason. Either to help people, or to open readers eyes so that they help others. And in a sense, this book has been an eye opener. It made me see the world and how I react to it a little differently, and what can be done to change that. Over the past I have made not too many good choices, and looking back on them is never fun, but I have come to realize, that from these, I have grown and become the person I am today, a new me with a changed and better outlook on situations.

In life you need either inspiration or desperation.

– Anthony Robbins

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

the-catcher-in-the-ryeI believe that this book was written by someone who is undergoing a kind of therapy. The book follows a 17 year old protagonist named Holden on his three day journey home from school. It’s reasonably obvious that he’s in fact damaged for whatever reason as his actions are very bizarre and his thoughts are all over the place, going from one idea to another. From calling people up at late hours to sneaking into clubs, the journey of Holden is one that no one can really relate to. A friend of mine said this book was depressing, and I disagree with that statement. It’s not the most cheerful book, but it is exciting in a sense, for it gives the reader a taste of a different world that many are not likely to experience.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
It receives four stars as it is a reasonably smooth and quick read that I would recommend to many other readers out there. It leaves the reader feeling slightly confused but relieved for the protagonist, as he seems to have finally have worked out his issues. I wouldn’t say it’s inspirational, but it is an eye opener that can be recommended to readers in their late teens or an older audience for a recreational read.

Quotes
The more expensive a school is, the more crooks it has. (4)
Like is a game one plays according to the rules. (9)
He looked like very, very tired or very, very bored. (110)
…the sun only comes out when it feels like coming out. (168)

Go Ask Alice – Anonymous

go-ask-aliceGo Ask Alice by an anonymous author is a peculiar book n in first person by a teenage girl of 15, at the start, writing in her diary. It goes through her almost daily struggles in life with school, boys, parents and siblings, friends and foes, and drugs. It is an interesting text to read in one sitting, it is a fairly short text and it is easy to read as it is written with the first person pronoun “I” throughout all. The ending troubles me slightly, I wish it had not ended as it did for the protagonist did seem to be doing well in life with high ambitions and a loving family and (potentially) a boyfriend, this is not explained clearly in the text. Many people may not find this book appealing due to the raised issues the teen has, if one enjoys realistic books over fictional books I recommend this. However, if it is not ones cup of tea then maybe do not read it.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Interesting quotes from the book:
“infinitely small part of an aching humanity” (100)
“my room will be my whole universe” (111)
“is the school actually like a minor galaxy, with a little world for each minority group …” (119)
“jammed with humanity” (148)