At Bookmans we are all about books that make us feel something good, something bad, or ones that we just plain like. Especially in JanYOUary, we encourage you to read, write, watch and listen to anything and everything that sets your little heart on fire. Looking for something new? Bookmans recommends The Vegetarian by Han Kang of South Korea. It is a baffling, mesmerizing novel that has nothing to with vegetarians or the practice thereof. It’s a small cryptic novel about abstention, how people deal with otherness, and obsession. The Vegetarian, translated by Deborah Smith, is plain in its language and fantastic in it its simplicity. There are three narrators, it was originally published as three novellas, with three different narrators who each has a different view on the namesake vegetarian’s, Yeong-Hye, decision to stop eating meat ranging from anger, fascination, to worry.

the vegetarian

 In the first section, narrated by Yeong-Hye’s husband, the decision to stop eating meat comes to Yong-Hye in a dream. Her husband grows more and more alarmed as she refuses to eat any meat at all and the section culminates in a bizarre dinner where Yeong-Hye is confronted by her entire family.

The second section is narrated by Yeong-Hye’s brother-in-law, an artist, who becomes fixated on an image in his mind of a couple having sex. He becomes convinced the woman in his vision is his sister-in-law, the vegetarian. Finally, Yeong-Hye’s sister details Yeong-Hye’s final descent into madness as she starts to believe that she is being turned into a tree. Fans of Haruki Murakami and David Lynch would take pleasure in reading The Vegetarian which won the Man/Booker prize for 2016 and I highly recommend it to lover’s of weird fiction in general. Some have gone so far to suggest that The Vegetarian should be read as analogy for social protest but I don’t necessarily feel that is accurate or necessary, to me it was about removing yourself from an equation that you don’t understand or have no desire in which to be included.

What crazy-sexy-cool books do you love? Bookmans has what you need to make this JanYOUary all about YOU. From movies to books to video games, our shelves are laden with all the things that make being individual fun. Need another recommendation? Call our stores or stop in to have one of our exert staff get you on your way to a novel or show you’re sure to fall in love with.