Book review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐

If you pay any sort of attention to feminism these days, it’s pretty hard to escape Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. It’s all over Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Goodreads… you name it, it’s there.  Everyone I know that’s read it has rated it five stars.  I don’t think there’s another book in existence that can make that claim.  I was expecting to be blown away.

And it was good.  I listened to it as an audiobook narrated by the author.  She puts a lot of emotion into her reading, and some of her poems hit me directly in the heart. To fathers with daughters, in particular, wrenched my heart out of my chest:

every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
like you

I mean… I’m not sure I’ve ever read something that’s resonated with me more than that short passage.  There were a lot of poems in this book that made me feel things.  In general, I’m not a huge fan of poetry, and I often fail to react to it the way that I’m supposed to.  That’s not the case here, where I definitely reacted to what I was hearing.

The only thing that stopped me from giving this book a full five stars is that I just expected… more.  Seeing that row of consistent five-star ratings given by people I trust and admire made me think that I would be rendered speechless by the sheer emotion of the book.  And I was, for some pages, at least.  Others, not so much.

I think Rupi Kaur is most certainly an author to watch, and if you have an interest in feminism, you really can’t go wrong with this short book of poetry.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

#mmdreading: a book recommended by someone with great taste

Book review: His Shoes Were Far Too Tight by Edward Lear

Goodreads   Amazon

And here we have another book that I never intended to read.

My 2016 reading challenge requires me to read “a book of poetry.” I was going to read Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, but I couldn’t find a copy. Then I was going to read Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, which isn’t quite a book of poetry, but is written in verse, so I figured it would count. After weeks of waiting for my hold to come in at the library, I found that there were still three people ahead of me, so there would be no way to even receive it before the end of the year. Eventually, frustrated and nearly giving up, I filtered my library’s database by “genre: poetry” and “status: available.” There was one book. This was it.

I’m not really a poetry kind of person. I remember when we did a whole poetry unit during my sophomore year of high school. We spent every day of English class analyzing poems. “Fill the margins with your observations,” the teacher would demand. “Analyze the language. Analyze the rhyme scheme. Discuss the imagery. Why do you think the author chose to make the curtains gray? What does the fact that he references a pine tree rather than a maple tree mean?” UGH. I otherwise loved that teacher, but she absolutely killed any desire to ever read a poem again.

Can’t a poem just be a poem? Can’t we just appreciate it for the way it sounds and the feelings it evokes? So, obviously, with that said, I’m not going to be doing an in-depth analysis of these nonsense poems.

What I will say is that I can see how children would appreciate these poems. They are silly. The words don’t always make sense. They’re definitely made to be read aloud. The illustrations are cute. I probably would have enjoyed this book more as a child than I did as a twenty-six-year-old only picking it up to fulfill a checkbox on a reading challenge, but all in all, it wasn’t a bad way to spend thirty minutes on a Wednesday night.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

           Goodreads | Amazon

image

These are my cats, and I love them.  Actually, I love all cats.  I don’t think I’ve met a cat I haven’t loved.  I’ve been called a crazy cat lady by more than one person… just this week.

What I’m getting at is that I really like cats.  So, really, it should be no surprise that I’m a fan of Cat vs. Human. Or that I was a big fan of this book.

Poetry’s not really my thing, but cat poems?  That’s something I can get behind.  I found myself smiling and laughing at several of them, because they’re true, and even though some of those poems were hundreds of years old, cats haven’t changed.

Also, the artwork is amazing.  This book is worth it for the artwork alone.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.