Finally getting my reading grove back, as per usual, in Goa. Even with the crazy days we’ve been having, I’ve managed to read more in these last ten days than I have in the past two months. Mostly catching up in the afternoons, with the puppies at my feet and the sunlight slanting just so like it does in Goa, compelling me to slow down just a little.
The first two of these updates are books I read in August and September that I’m only just catching up now. That’s how much I fell off the reading bandwagon.
Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography, Richa Kaul Padte
I really, really enjoyed this one! The book is an attempt to define what constitutes porn in a modern Indian context, specifically given digital media. But it reallly felt like a lot more. It’s an intelligent, intimate journey through all the sexy-stuff on the Internet, stopping by everything from homemade videos to nudies to camgirls and fanfic. And along the way, it deftly discusses and dissects topics like consent, violation, sexual abuse, privacy, cyber law and so much more. Thoroughly researched, peppered with the right amount of insightful and intriguing academic references, yet written in a relevant and relatable style, the entire book is meaningfully put together. Cyber Sexy brings together such a wide variety of topics and touch points in its deep-dive into the world of porn in a way that is brave, yet casual and very, very normal.
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
I picked this up on what was meant to be a ten day break by myself in Goa, which unfortunately got hijacked into a work trip to Goa. I read it never the less, but it didn’t quite have the same effect as I had imagined in my head hahaha. I thoroughly enjoyed it, all the same.
S recommended it to me at class, when I was discussing with her my growing need for space and how for the first time, I am experiencing coming into my own, separate from everything else around me and all the strings one usually finds oneself attached to. An apt, apt book for a time like this given the ideas swirling in my brain. It was all that it was cut out to be, fiercely independent, bold and so invigorating. And yet the language isn’t harsh and forceful. There is a quiet power in the subtle and polite way in which Woolf owns her space and place. It’s a quick read — about 120 pages or so — and even though I dragged it out for way longer than I needed to it left me feeling so energised and inspired.
Born a Crime, Trevor Noah
OMG Trevor Noah can write. Man can he write! And because I absolutely love memoirs this was an excellent read. And a great pick to get back to reading again. This is the incredibly moving story of Noah’s life before he became rich and famous, with it’s devastating beginning in apartheid-ridden South Africa. He was born in abject poverty and difficult beginnings, but tells an incredible story of how he was always surrounded by kind and powerful women who brought him up to be who he is today. Right from his years as a toddler, traversing his difficult teenage years, life with an alcoholic stepfather and a misguided early youth, I found out so many things about Noah’s life that I didn’t know about, but that also make his journey of triumph so much bigger. It’s fun, funny, moving, inspiring and entertaining all at once.
Two years ago: Day 309: Invitation