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May 3, 2015 | by  | in Books |
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Salient’s May reading list


Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi

From the author of bestselling Infidel and Nomad comes another polemic. Forgoing the autobiographical premise of her first two books, which shared her stories of physical abuse and faith in Islam, Ayaan Hirsi here sheds the private voice, and while critiquing the Islamic religion, promotes and suggests the changes that would stop the volatile politics of the religion. With specific references to the ISIS movement, Hirsi suggests many reformations and simplifies the argument: she is fighting for secular law and legislation to be valued above Shariah, the legislation derived from the Quran. Adamant that Islam is not a peaceful religion, she cites multiple militant passages in the Quran, and she is critical of Western cultural sensitivity surrounding many of the very real injustices. Heretic allows an intelligent and informed consideration of Islam, and is a brave critique of a vilified religion.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Random House

Filling the void of Gone Girl, this book promises another twisty thriller to grip you to the page, to satiate your appetite for an exhilarating thriller. With three different narrative perspectives being juggled, there is Rachel, whose alcoholism is mounting; Anna, Rachel’s ex Tom’s new wife; and Megan, the inhabitant of the house down the road from Anna and Tom, whom Rachel watches from afar on her daily train commute. With a gripping story of post-divorce jealousy, developing alcoholism, forgotten nights, and a missing person, this book promises to be a book that hooks you. Hawkins masters the unravelling of the narrative, one thread and one twist at a time, letting the tension build. Once you get on this ride, you won’t want to get off.


Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Thug Kitchen
Rodale Books

Released last year, this cookbook collects the best recipes of everyone’s favourite vegetable-based pseudo-aggressive website and bound as one badass mother of a cookbook. With their same philosophy at play, promoting the simplicity of vegetables, and the power of cooking them, these recipes are clear and come without any extra fuss. It’s healthy food without the waspy lady on the front who’s buying expensive rare ingredients and acting like it’s no big deal. The duo behind Thug Kitchen promotes raising your kitchen game, and upgrading to a healthier lifestyle, but with full sass and attitude. Their recipes are straightforward, and have great insights like saving pasta water for your sauce, and understandable explanations as to why. All delivered from a lil nugget of anger.


Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon

With her recognisable hair and familiar expression on the front cover, Kim Gordon presents her memoir. Gordon starts her memoir with the end of Sonic Youth. She describes the final time she took the stage with the band, her bandmate and ex-husband on with her, the atmosphere tense, and the audience knowing about their separation. Her husband had left her for another woman after several years of an affair.

Gordon’s memoir develops a sense that the past of Sonic Youth is inseparable from the heartbreak she has lived through. As she writes, it seems she is organising her thoughts, a way to leave it behind. She goes back to her childhood, her brother’s mental breakdown, and her move to New York, her interaction with the art scene in the early 1980s. Meeting her future husband, and together forming one of the most important bands of the 1990s. They toured with Neil Young and were the band that paved the way for Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. This promises wonderful insights for Sonic Youth fans, and is reminiscent of Patti Smith’s Just Kids.

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