A pioneer of Instapoetry, writer and illustrator Rupi Kaur gained widespread popularity on the release of her 2014 debut collection milk and honey, which spent over a year on the NYT bestseller list. Dealing in themes of love, heartbreak, trauma, and the immigrant experience, her follow-up books the sun and her flowers and this year’s home body have only cemented Kaur as a vital voice for the millennial generation (pre-Covid, her poetry readings went more like pop concerts).
Reflecting on her year in books, Kaur recently shared a 2020 reading list with Amazon Book Review. Including tomes on womanhood, creativity, immigration and philosophy, find her recommendations below.
“This is an essential text for me as feminist, poet, and performer. It is three of my worlds wrapped into one book. Poetry meets theatre in these monologues about vaginas that offer different perspectives from different corners of the world. I found myself crying. I found myself grieving at the pain and what we have done historically, and presently, to bodies.” -RK
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
“I recommend this book to all creatives. When I was struggling to write after publishing my first book, this book lifted me out of a very dark place. I would say that Elizabeth is somewhat of an expert on creativity, and that’s what this book is about. How ideas are born. How they travel. How creativity works, and how we work with it.” -RK
“This was one of the very first books I read by a South Asian author. One of the very first books I read about the brown immigrant experience. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Rarely, when I was growing up, could I read a book about people who look and talk like me. This book was a gift and remains one for many of us. Jhumpa has the ability to get inside your heart with her prose, and make you feel more at home, however uncomfortable that may be.” -RK
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
“My favorite book. This is the one I pack into every suitcase. I read it all the time. This is the first book I picked up with this virus shut down our world. The Prophet is a religious text for me. I read this book when things fall apart, and when things are going well. No matter the situation I’m in, it leaves me feeling more grounded.” -RK
(via Amazon Book Review)