Title: The Song of Achilles Author: Madeline Miller Genre: Mythology, revisionism, fantasy My Rating: ★★★★ Get the book!
The true brand of a good tale, I once heard, lies in a string of four words signifying the storyteller’s power over his audience: “And then what happened?” These words indicate a sliver of magic in the middle of action, wedged between this or that plot point; it is a question posed as a half-baked sterling review, an evidence that the truly gifted tale-spinners can prod readers to continue thumbing through the pages for answers.
Title: My Heart and Other Black Holes Author: Jasmine Warga Genre: Young adult, drama My Rating: ★★★★ Get the book!
Poems may get written because of it, songs may pull out their lyrics from it, and stories may be born from its dark womb, but there is irrefutably nothing beautiful about depression. It is not your garden-variety sadness; it is an ugly monster seeking shelter inside you, consuming all the happiness it can find there and eating up a bit more of you until you feel like an empty husk. It attaches itself to you like an additional vital organ, one that pumps away hollowness into your veins. It makes each day too hard to meet, and makes even the thought of smiling feel like a demanding chore. Ultimately, it can urge you to believe that dying—suicide—is a better alternative than living.
Her soul slipped into a spacesuit of patched-up hopes.
She looked into the vacuum and muttered,
“If light-years can be measured in teacups,
I’d be drinking my way up into the stars.”
But her dreams are nebulae, or even galaxies, away
and no amount of caffeine can bring her there.
Her heart nestled in a bed of sewn-together prayers.
She closed her eyes and whispered,
“If light-years can be measured in keystrokes,
I’d be writing my way up into the stars.”
But Words, no matter how strong,
may need more fuel from her to bring her there.
Her heart nestled in a bed of sewn-together prayers. She closed her eyes and whispered, “If light-years can be measured in keystrokes, I’d be writing my way up into the stars.” But Words, no matter how strong, may need more fuel from her to bring her there.
Her tears were kept nowhere; they clouded her eyes.
She blinked them away and said,
“If light-years can be measured in saltwater,
would the nights I spent crying not be enough?”
The Universe went on spinning,
trying to ignore her despair.
Perhaps light-years can be measured
in how wide you can stretch
your heart’s threshold for pain;
in how many lash beatings
your soul can take
or in how many buckets of tears
you can keep at bay.
She knows she doesn’t know. She’s more than a sightless Spacewalker but the starshine from faraway, perhaps, is enough for her to walk blindly, for a while…
Title: Station Eleven Author: Emily St. John Mandel Genre: Science Fiction My Rating: ★★★★★ Get the book!
The last wedge of chocolate you chewed on. The fading flavour of coffee on your tongue. The last note of your favourite song that hung in the air. The creased page of the last book you read. The excited shriek you let out when you caught a virtual creature in a hip game-app. The uneven but beautiful smile of a friend. The soft, persistent kiss of someone you love. The familiar dissonance of the city—the honking of cars, the prattling strangers on the sidewalk during rush hour, the tired sighs of commuters as they wait for the next jam-packed train…