Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Césaire

Pages: 102
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Format: Paperback
Published by Monthly Review Press

I bought this for my research paper, sometimes I do research papers as an excuse to read non-fiction I’ve been wanting to read. But that’s sort of a lie because I did write a paper on Genghis Khan and I had to read Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World which was boring, the way he wrote it was, I don’t understand why his telling is so popular. And the font was so tiny I would need a magnifying glass, especially at that time because my glasses were way past my prescription, when I got my new glasses finally, the world was so clear and sparkly. My main point is that non-fiction is a genre of literature that I find hard to read due to the way it’s written, I usually prefer historical fiction that is well researched. How do you know if a historical fiction book is well researched and not biased? Does this historical fiction novel sound like a White supremacist wrote it? Are there gadgets and clothing being described that don’t fit the time period? That’s something you can briefly Google, but Google shouldn’t be your main historical source. This is a whole different topic altogether, but it’s also one of the reasons why I’ve been wanting to read more non-fiction, to learn in more accurate and pinned down terms.

Before I even talk about this, here is the definition of Discourse:


communication of thought by words; talk; conversation:
earnest and intelligent discourse.
a formal discussion of a subject in speech or writing, as a dissertation, treatise, sermon, etc.
Linguistics. any unit of connected speech or writing longer than a sentence.

I honestly wasn’t sure what that meant at first and it’s something that I quite commonly see for books about topics that pertain to society. And colonialism is something that affects us in ways we’re not even aware of sometimes, especially if you’re not a privileged White dude. 

I honestly feel odd reviewing this, because how do you review this? I know colonialism affects me in my life too, maybe not in a very obvious way, but more in my self-hatred as a kid that still continues on even now. As I became exposed to social justice and began learning about racism in a way you would never learn in school, I notice even amongst family members and people I go to school with, even I have perpetuated it at some point, we all do, things such as Colorism, Anti-Blackness. You notice internalized racism in yourself and everyone else. And what causes that? Some of those things are colonialism and White supremacy. But you as an individual have to learn, take it all down or deconstruct it, in order to overcome it, and it’s a lifetime’s amount of work. 

Discourse on Colonialism is a brilliant starter to learn about how it affects people and how the colonizers treat the colonized. It’s not necessarily handy for learning what colonialism is, but it’s handy for knowing how it affects people, especially Black people. 

This book is literally the first book I’ve ever read where I didn’t skip the introduction or notes written by Robin D.G. Kelley. He writes his analysis of the book and talks about Aimé Césaire’s life and his start of the Négritude movement. So that part was interesting because I know absolutely nothing about this guy. I haven’t  heard of him til I found and bought this book. And his life sounds fascinating to me.

Césaire was a poet and this was also translated from French and came around in 1950. The writing is beautiful and witty, probably because Césaire writes beautiful poetry I would like to read sometime soon. His writing is delicate yet strong and sarcastic. I’m not sure if it’s because of the time period, the French language, or because he’s brilliant, But this is what I’m talking about, this non-fiction is the type of non-fiction I like. A narrative from the author’s mind. Especially when he brings in other writer’s works and critiques them and calls out their racism, he is a powerful writer. Of course, I had to underline a lot of sentences, not only for research, but also because I liked them. And well, this is a very popular non-fiction book so what I’m saying isn’t much different. It’s brilliant and fills the mind.

Rating: 5/5

May Wrap Up

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks


Genre: Contemporary, Horror, Scottish Literature
Format: E-book

A grotesque but extremelly enjoyable read.

Rating: 5/5

Other People’s Poems by Tyler Gobble

Pages: 44
Genre: Poetry
Format: E-book

A little chapbook

Rating: 4/5

Love Alone by Paul Monette


Pages: 66
Genre: I will follow what Paul says and say no genre labels
Format: E-book (Advanced Readers Copy from Netgalley)

Very emotional poetry, heartbreaking. 

Rating: 4/5

Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai


Pages: 103
Genre: Novella, Japanese Literature
Format: Paperback

A nice, thought provoking novella, beautifully written and emotional bending.

Rating: 5/5

Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore


Pages: 276
Genre: Romance, Mystery?
Format: E-book (Advanced Reader’s Copy)

Out of my comfort zone read, I ended up enjoying it.

Rating: 4/5

The Secret of Evil by Roberto Bolaño 


Pages: 144
Genre: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Spanish Literature
Format: Hardcover

You guys should know already

Rating: 5/5

Best Behavior by Noah Cicero


Pages: 169
Genre: Existential, Transgressive Literature? (Apparently it’s in the comedy section, it is a bit funny though)
Format: E-book 

Mixed Feelings about this one.

Rating: 3/5

Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson


There will be a blog tour for this soon. I really enjoyed this, so the post about this will come in late June.

The Start of Bout of Books #1 (I proposed my own, I’m pretty sure there’s a special date for this)

Yeah this sounds really silly, but I’m making my own little one. Everyone in Booktubia is doing it. I don’t have a Youtube channel and I don’t plan on making videos of myself, so I will do it on this blog. There is probably a blog meme of this, but I’m not sure what it’s called. So basically what you do is read a batch of books and try to read as much as possible in a whole week. It’s probably too late, I should have started on Monday. Oh well. So I will tell you what I’m reading and then at night time, like at 11:00 PM or something, I will write how many pages I have read in a day. So cool right? This will give this blog some activity. 

1. The Secret of Evil by Roberto Bolaño 


Pages: 144
Genre: Literary Fiction, Spanish Literature
Format: Hardcover

I am 71 pages in, and have 73 pages left, I think. I used a calculator , I’m not sure if I calculated that right though. 

2. Best Behavior by Noah Cicero

Pages: 169
Genre: I don’t freaking know, I looked it up on Wikipedia, it’s apparently Transgressive Fiction, I think Existential fits better though.
Format: E-book 

I am 19% in and I need to read this because I borrowed it from the Kindle Library and my Kindle is an asshole and it doesn’t work very well. 

Friday Reads/ Week End Reads #24

I think I might’ve missed a Friday reads. Oh well. 

1. Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson


Pages: 128
Genre: Science Fiction, Coming of Age (YA)
Format: E-book

I really should get on this. I’m 11% in the story and I really like it so far.

2. The Secret of Evil by Roberto Bolaño 


Pages: 144
Genre: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Spanish Literature
Format: Hardcover

Well I think you guys should know by now why I’m reading this. 

Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai


Pages: 103
Genre: Novella, Japanese Literature
Format: Paperback

Novellas are an amazing thing, they’re so small and writers try their best to make the shortest but longest short story. Here is a novella, a classic from a Japanese writer named Osamu Dazai, who is well known for No Longer Human. Apparently he was more of a short story writer which would explain why his novels were always so short. Osamu seems to be a man that doesn’t want to waste too many words but yet he uses them in such a way that a single word is worth every thought. 

Schoolgirl is nothing out of this world, what I mean, is that the plot is normal. It’s literally about a schoolgirl, a young one, who is growing up. You read her thoughts in this small book. It’s a journal of some sorts, without the chapter headings or numbers or dates. 

What makes this novel so great is the writing. Starting from the minute she wakes up in the morning, the school girl thinks about everything and feels every little irritable thing.
It’s a coming of age novel but yet at the same time though, it’s also one of those novels where people question life. She’s a young girl who seems to be questioning her existence, she feels that her existence is pointless. Like an existential crisis, except she’s probably like 13. It’s like she knows that life is pointless yet so beautiful at the same time. It’s like she knows that it’s pointless and she hates it, but then she falls in love with it again. However, most of the things that she questions seems to be things that people of all ages think of. I have only lived 19 years though, so I can’t say  that adults think the same thing. 

The school girl’s moods swing from positive to negative, from happy to cynical. She is suspicious of everyone, dislikes people somewhat but then soon gains trust in them again. Osamu Dazai seems to have read a girl’s thoughts or any growing teen’s thoughts. Well, he was once a kid, so maybe this is more his journal. Schoolgirl is a very human novella, touching, and it makes my mind and brain feel relieved because books like this remind us that we all think the same questions. We’re not that crazy. 

                                                                  Rating: 5/5

Favorites of 2013

This list might break my heart, I hate lists. I don’t even remember and it’s not in any particular order.

1. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

2. Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo

3. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
4. Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui
5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
6. Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
7. The Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
8. Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer
9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

10. Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima
11. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
12. Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
13. Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
14. Four Sparks Fall by T.A. Noonan 
15. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Book Haul #3

So here is my rare book haul, these are books that have been purchased since college started. Most of them, except maybe three of them, were bought from Bookoutlet.

1. White Noise by Don DeLillo

Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Classics
Format: Paperback

My college bookstore sells tons of books and occassionaly have sales of their books so people can pick them up for classes or for their own curiosity. Don DeLillo is one of those authors that I’ve seen his books everywhere, but never read any of them.

2. Sunshine by Nikki Rae

Pages: 330
Genre: YA or NA, Paranormal, Romance
Format: Kindle

This author came to the college that I attend for an author event. I bought the book and read a few chapters and enjoyed them. The characters are more unique and more lively than most paranormal romance. I never finished it though because I’m not a frequent Kindle reader and kind of forgot about it. Although I would like to get back to it at some point.

4. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Pages: 417
Genre: Historical Fiction, Turkish Literature
Format: Paperback (Softcover)
Here is another college book store novel. Another author that I knew his name but never read his work.

4. Your Republic Is Calling You by Young-Ha Kim

Pages: 326
Genre: Mystery, Korean Literature
Format: Paperback

Here is yet another author I know about and I never got any of his books until now. I am still reading it and lately I have been reading quite slowly, so a review of this will be coming really late. It was also on sale on Amazon.

5. ‘Make Good Art’ Speech by Neil Gaiman

Pages: 40
Genre: Speech
Format: Hardcover

This is actually not for me, it’s for Christmas, it’s for a wonderful, artsy, cousin.

6. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Pages: 283
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover

I wanted to read another Neil Gaiman book and that’s all I’m going to say about this one.

7. The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw

Pages: 362
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback (Softcover)

I’m not sure how I found out about Tash Aw, but yeah, I wanted to read his stuff too.

8. Woes of the True Policeman by Roberto Bolaño 

Pages: 256
Genre: Mystery, Spanish Literature
Format: Hardcover

I’m just reading all of his books now. 

9. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Pages: 358
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback

I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book, mostly bad ones, but I really want to read this. I read a sample on my Kindle and it’s not too bad, it’s quite suspenseful and creepy. 

10. Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Pages: 310
Genre: Science Fiction, Paranormal, African American Literature
Format: Softcover

I have read Octavia E.Butler’s novel, Parable of the Sower. I liked it, but it wasn’t something I would consider the best, but it was original and thought provoking. You know something has impacted you when it’s completely burned in your mind. 

11. This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park

Pages: 310
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover

I always love to read historical fiction, I feel like most of the books I read, especially when I was younger, is either historical fiction, literary, or contemporary.

12. All Men are Liars by Alberto Manguel 

Pages: 224
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Format: Softcover

I’m interested in this more because of the title and the book cover, it has a very menacing look. 

13. Life and Death are Wearing Me Out by Mo Yan

Pages: 552
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism,Chinese Literature

I really enjoyed Mo Yan’s short stories, the cover on this one is quite a beauty.