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Where Is My Motivation? And what I have been reading lately


Looking off into the sunset. Panoramic picture of the beach.

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but I haven’t really felt like writing a lot of reviews. I don’t know how to put it, but I guess I am in a bit of a writing funk. This year has been better than 2020 in so many ways, however, it is still extremely draining. I still feel on edge, like it is hard to switch off sometimes. And even though things are a lot better in Australia this year, I think a lot of people are still trying to recover from 2020 – especially if you were living in Melbourne last year.

I have been feeling a bit down about my blog and the direction I would like to take it. I had big hopes for this year and I am not sure I will see them come to life. At least not for a while.

I got to travel this long weekend, which compared with lockdown last year, felt pretty amazing. I love the beach and being near the water so of course, that is where I went. It is my favourite place to read a book too. There is nothing I love more than having a great book and the sound of the waves in the background. When you need a break from your book, it is pretty amazing to look up and have these amazing views.

I usually deep-dive into my book reviews, but I wanted to try something different. The next few books are things that I have recently read.

Picture of Sofie Laguna’s novel Infinite Splendours. Book is being held up in front of a sandy beach.

Infinite Splendours – Sofie Laguna

Infinite Splendours by Sofie Laguna is a TOUGH read. There is sexual violence in the book, so definitely make sure you are in the right headspace for that. I found it to be extremely confronting at times, and had to give myself little breaks after some pretty harrowing passages.

The novel is set in Victoria and the writing about the scenery and beautiful mountains. The story follows two brothers, Laurie and Paul growing up in a post-WWII farmstead with their mother. After their uncle visits, Laurie’s life changes forever. After the assaults, Laurie develops a stutter and becomes a shut in.

The thing that I still don’t know how to understand about the book is the portrayal of Laurie, especially as an adult. It seems that Laurie is incapable of having healthy boundaries with himself and other boys. The boundaries of his body were violated by his uncle and therefore it seems difficult for Laurie to understand how to love himself, and others. I also wonder if his relationship with the boys in the novel, including his neighbour’s son, David, that Laurie is hoping to find his lost childhood? It is clear that Laurie never got the help he needed. I guess it was just particular of that time – rape happened often, but it was just never talked about.

Laurie is portrayed as a sexual predator and this is where I struggle with the book. When so many people are not coming forward about sexual assault, and in particular cases of incest, does Laurie’s character actually harm sexual assault survivors? By having Laurie sexually assaulted as a child and then almost turning into the the same thing as an adult, is Laguna making it worse? I know that it isn’t an author’s job to necessarily write perfect characters all the time, but this has just bugged me ever since I read it.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOKTOPIA HERE.

Home Body – Rupi Kaur

Home Body by Rupi Kaur. The book is being held up in front of a broken chicken coop.

I love Rupi Kaur’s poetry. It feels like part self-help and part art. Home Body is about feeling connected and in your own flesh. Kaur talks about the struggles we can face to feel like we are safe inside ourselves. Furthermore, Kaur beautifully describes the difficulties we face in trying to understand who we are, what our purpose is, and how we cope with pain and sorrow.

Kaur also accompanies some of her poems with beautiful drawings which adds to the experience of reading her work. Even though Kaur has a few poetry books out now, you could honestly read them in whatever order you liked. My favourite is still her first collection, Milk and Honey. You can find my review by clicking on the title.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOKTOPIA HERE.

Earthling – Sayaka Murata

Book cover of Sayaka Murata’s Earthling.

If you read Sayaka Murata’s novel Earthling, the first thing that might come to mind once you have finished is, “What did I just read?!”

The book is strange and disconcerting. There is incest, sexual assault, cannibalism, murder, and a tiny hedgehog that can talk. If you look at it from a surface level, the book is just very weird. Although, the crux of the story is based on a family completely neglecting their child Natsuki to the point where she invents worlds and aliens – including talking hedgehogs – so she can cope with the assault and neglect that she endures.

“Would I ever be able to live without constantly trying to survive?”

It is a testament to the human mind to try and find a way to cope and survive, no matter what. The relationship between Natsuki and her cousin Yuu is painful, yet there is also this longing. This book is short, but it packs a punch. If you want to have everything you have ever believed in challenged and flipped on its head, then Murata is the author for you.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOKTOPIA HERE.

BUY YOUR COPY FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE.

So here is a brief overview of some of the books I have been reading. I hope to get back into writing my normal reviews whenever my motivation decides to return. Do let me know if you like these bite-sized reviews. I would love to know what you have been reading and if you loved or even hated it. As always, share the reading love.

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