Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (Amazon Link)
Prior to the actual text of this novel (which is about 132 pages) was an equally long, densely literary introduction that had me pumped to read the actual book. It goes into depth (honestly, at times challenging depth that hinted toward my total lack of preparation in tackling this work) about the significance of Siddhartha. This intro delves through the author’s seeming reasons for writing, and the cultural and cross-cultural accomplishments of the title. I was intrigued in particular by Hesse’s back story- a son of missionaries who moved to India to spread Christianity but instead found his own purpose and truth through learning Eastern methods of spirituality. Siddhartha is in practice a fusing of what are often considered unharmonious schools of thought, Eastern and Western concepts. While Siddhartha is a readable and fine story, I definitely felt a universe’s worth of content flying over my head while reading. This book seems best read after attaining more knowledge about its subject matter, a more vested interest in its content, and maybe more lived years on this earth to grasp the fuller value. I’ll try this again in twenty years and see what happens.
I enjoyed Milk and Honey well enough despite some of the poems not hitting their intended mark. The Sun and Her Flowers seemed more enticing for its chapter on the immigrant experience, being a child of an immigrant, navigating multiple cultures, etc. There is one poem in particular (hint- it starts with ‘my god’) that is my favorite of all the poems both in this book and of anything I’ve read from Kaur so far. Unfortunately, the rest of the poems didn’t have that level of weight and seemed quite simplistic. I knew going into this that a simplistic style is pretty much the name of the game of Kaur’s approach to poetry. But aside from that aforementioned and particular poem, and a smattering of other good ones, I actually found Milk and Honey more organized and a better read overall. They’re closely related and almost equal though- and I could have just been too far removed from being in the mood for poetry while trying to read this.
The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5) by Holly Black (Amazon Link)
Now for a massive change in pace. The Lost Sisters is a little fantasy novella sandwiched between The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in The Folk of the Air series. It’s a short story from the point of view of one of the more unlikable characters in this series- Jude’s sister, Taryn. The writing quality is the same as in The Cruel Prince, no degradation there. My main frustration is in how Taryn herself doesn’t really offer info that is new, interesting, or surprising. Plus, she’s pretty much a brat. This book consists of her recounting events that were already established in the first book all while she expresses feeling very distraught or miserable. I really didn’t care. There isn’t much, if any deeper insight into those situations. Just a few amusing snippets of dialogue, like the prince’s realization that Taryn is more like the insidious fae than he realized.
Thanks for checking out this selection of three reviews! Sometimes I don’t have much to say about titles after all, or what is worth stating can be summed up in a paragraph or two. Have you read any of the titles mentioned here or want to? If you have a few mini reviews you’ve written feel free to share their links in the comments section and I’ll check them out. Thanks as always for visiting. ~ Kitty