Milk and Honey is a book of poems written by Instagram-famous Rupi Kaur, you might remember her now-iconic period leak post that, when removed by the site, launched a thousand opinions and had Kaur respond with, “I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in underwear but not be okay with a small leak.” How right you are Ms. Kaur, I'm proud to call you a compatriot. Milk and Honey needs to be read by all females of our generation for it contains words that paint pictures of a society all too accustomed with turning a blind eye to the themes of violence against women, emotional and physical abuse, sexuality, yet is also an homage to the audacity of the female spirit.
Next up (top right) is the memoir Beyond the High Blue Air by Lu Spinney. The courageous Spinney tells the story of her beloved son Miles who is left in a minimally-conscious state after a snowboarding accident in Austria and in doing so, tackles some of the most difficult questions that most of us never have to face, including what makes life worth living and what we are willing to do for the people we love in the most tragic of circumstances. I fell in love a little with Miles, I couldn't stop thinking about him, his dark hair, and Spinney's final words in the book: Go for it Miles. Go for it. That should be the voice in all of our heads in front of every risk and every adventure in this life, irreverent towards fear with an insatiable appetite, devouring every last moment given to us.
Moving to the bottom left, we have Cory Taylor’s memoir Dying, completed just weeks before her death from cancer in July 2016. Taylor was a novelist and screenwriter and her love of the written word comes across in this recollection of her youth, her fears, and her hopes for the family she knew she would soon leave behind. There are musings of euthanasia, more than musings in truth, as Taylor opens the book discussing the lethal drug she has purchased “in case” from a supplier in China. She doesn’t shy away from the taboo, the book a welcome respite for those of us who always wanted to ask the questions but never had the chance. She exudes a kind of strength and tenacity that makes me know that dying took on a worthy adversary in her.
Last but certainly not least is All at Sea. I didn’t know this before, but the nautical term “all at sea” refers to a state of disorder and confusion, a state that English journalist Decca Aitkenhead was sure to have found herself navigating after the sudden death of her partner, Tony, during a family vacation in Jamaica. Tony Wilkinson drowned saving one of their sons who had wandered into the water and after handing him off to safety, was overpowered by the underlying current. Her memoir takes us through the disintegration of her first marriage and describes the immense opposition she faced when following her heart upon meeting Tony, who was at the time, involved in drug trafficking and was a user himself. She documents their unlikely rise together, hers in the world of journalism and his from the streets to college classrooms and then back to the streets where he worked with at-risk youth. Theirs is a dedication to kindred spirits everywhere.
Would love to know if any of you have read these! Let me know in the comments. You can also buy each book by clicking on the book covers above OR by scrolling down, you'll see the Amazon links below! If you do, as an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a small percentage and every little bit helps keep this blog running.
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