Salut !

So this is something new for me but I’ve read so much this month that I wanted to share. I definitely don’t want to commit to doing this every month, especially considering I have been unemployed this month so it’ll be very different when I start working full time!

I am completely obsessed with Goodreads and that’s where I find a lot of recommendations, as well as try to keep up with Emma Watson’s feminist book club. For the past couple of years, I’ve made a reading challenge but never completed it because university got in the way. I only really started regularly reading permanently last June, once I was finally finished studying! So, this year I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself but upped by goal to 40 books for the year, and I’ve read 8 already this month!!

(you should add me as a friend: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/41050660-jenny-benson)!

So, here’s what I’ve read this month, and my brief thoughts on the book…

1. Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body – Sara Pascoe

4/5: My uncle recommended this to me over Christmas which was funny as it’s very clearly a feminist book. However, it was very interesting and Sara made me think a lot about things I hadn’t considered before.

2. Winter – Ali Smith

3/5: I read Autumn by Ali a few months back and didn’t really enjoy it that much, but it was a short book and it was quite a beautiful read even though I didn’t enjoy the content. So, I decided to give this one a stab and I definitely enjoyed it a bit better. It definitely does make you think about Brexit, and politics, which I believe is it’s goal.

3. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

5/5: This had been in my list and on my Kindle for a long time, and I absolutely adored it in the end. It was such a beautiful tale of womanhood and women working together to get through hardships in life. I couldn’t put the book down at all.

4. Goodbye, Vitamin – Rachel Khong

4/5: I read this book in literally a few hours, and it was a few hours well spent. It’s a bizarre read but it’s witty and lighthearted even dealing with such a rough topic. Rachel’s views and comments on random aspects of life and humans made the book for me.

5. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne

4/5: A classic this time, and what an exciting classic it is. I found this book fascinating and actually struggled to read anything else for a couple of days after because they weren’t as fast paced as this. I definitely want to read more from Jules, and maybe in French too! The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is because of the very abrupt ending.

6. The Sorrow of War – Bao Ninh

3/5: This is one of Vietnam’s most famous novels and, since I’m now living in Vietnam, I thought I’d better read this. However, I definitely started it at the wrong time; when I was on my way to a beach weekend. It’s a very harrowing and sad novel and I am very glad I read it because I learned a lot but I don’t think I was in the right headspace to fully appreciate this.

7. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

5/5: I think this book may be going into my fave books ever. It’s such an amazing book about black women in a very hard time in a very racist Mississippi. I loved all of the three main protagonists and fell in love with the friendship they created. All I could write on Goodreads after I’d finished was “I’m utterly speechless.”

8. Of Mice and Men

3/5: This is one of those books that you hear a lot about with it being a classic, but never know anything about it. I was shocked when I realised how small it was and what the plot of the story was. I actually got very into the novella at the start and I found the characters charming. What ruined the entire thing for me was the portrayal (or lack of portrayal) of women in the story, so it seemed to be another classic 20th century book by a white male.


So that’s everything I’ve read this month and I’m just finishing off another two books that I started in January too. I’m absolutely loving having all this time to read on my hands and I hope I continue to swallow books the way I have been doing in my time here in Vietnam!

À bientôt !