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The Honey Month

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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  190 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
A fascinating experiment in literary synesthesia in which the scents, tastes and textures of assorted honeys are transmuted into a wordsmith's cycle of fey mischief. These bewitching poems and stories unwind a fevered world of magic and longing and young women who chance the uncanny and gain wisdom beyond their years.
Paperback, 82 pages
Published August 5th 2010 by Papaveria Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nikki
May 04, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, microfiction
A lovely collection of poetry, prose-poetry and microfiction, all inspired by different types of honey. I could practically taste each honey as it was described; experience it as the stories and poems and scraps of myth unfolded. It's a very sensuous and beautiful collection, and for all that it's so slight, it's very worth reading.
Sue
Mar 14, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for those who would like something a bit different
Such an unusual book. I know I've never read anything like it and maybe never will again. Very sensuous in the telling and describing of the honey, using poetry, stories, self-made myths. It makes this reader want to taste them all, all 28 days of honey, though some definitely entice more than others.
Lashawn
Jul 11, 2011 Lashawn rated it it was amazing
I first became aware of this collection when a version of "Cranberry Honey" appeared during the Podcastle Flash Fiction contest last year. The writing blew me away, so when I saw Amal at Wiscon35, I got it. story/poem is based on a jar of honey Amal received as a gift sampler. Such a beautiful collection. The poems and stories in this need to be read slowly, aloud--but just under your breath--and preferably barefoot.
Margaret
Feb 16, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
I might be a part-time vegan, but I need some of this honey. Particularly the peach honey.

The stories and poems in this collection are short, creative, and lovely. I hope to read more by El-Mohtar.
Haralambi Markov
This is the most beautiful work of fiction I have read since I had the privilege to read Lisa L Hannett this year and I think this tiny book will stay with me for a long time. The Honey Month is inspired and inspiring. The writing is ethereal and sweet like a flake of a sugar crystal. The book is what art would translate to words and the short stories and poems in here will reform your soul.
Dan
This is a book worthy of worship, and I encourage you to enjoy its succour in small doses of devotion, one honey at a time. My full review is over at: http://art-ungulate.livejournal.com/4...
Quartzen
Feb 28, 2017 Quartzen rated it really liked it
A reread for me, and a project- a deliberate effort to read the collection slowly, one story per day for the month of February. I think it works well this way, though I don't regret having blown through it much faster in my first read either!

This is a wonderful collection of vignettes and poems, with evocative imagery and many meditations on themes of longing, beauty, missed connections and bargains with magic that get their makers perhaps more than they wanted. Each piece has a description of t
...more
Melani
Oct 23, 2016 Melani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, poetry
I so loved Amal El-Mohtar's story in The Starlit Woods that I went searching for other books by her. Sadly, it seems that most of her writing is in the form of short stories for various anthologies, however there was this collection of poems and short stories. I picked it up, and it's quite good. I enjoyed the short stories a bit more then the poetry, but I'm a bit out of practice with poetry.

El-Mohtar was given a sampling of honey and she spread the tastes out over a month. With each taste of h
...more
Carol
Jul 06, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
The Honey Month is a book to be savored, a book whose words, filled with longing and love, drip slowly from the page.

It's such a unique book that I've been having trouble writing a review. I loved it, devoured it on the beach one afternoon, but it's difficult to describe. Each honey serves as the inspiration for a bewitching poem or short story, a world full of magic, of young women just learning about life, of bees and flowers, stings and kisses. Sad, hopeful, gorgeous. Pieces unrelated to each
...more
Peter
Jul 23, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked the short stories of Catherynne M. Valente and K. J. Bishop
Shows how beautiful prose and poetry can be if you let yourself be inspired by the different senses, taste and smell specifically in this case.

Atmospheric, fantastic, whimsical, sensual, poetic.

My main gripe would be that at some points the stories and poems blend together a bit, but it's a short read, so it does not get boring.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for further work of Amal El-Mohtar. And I don't even particularly like honey.
Serena
Aug 08, 2011 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't even like honey and this book has made me want to actually try all these types of honey. Great collection of short stories and poems, but my favorite parts were the descriptions of the honeys.
T
Jun 12, 2011 T rated it really liked it
Shelves: recs-fantasy
I heard Amal El-Mohtar talk about this at WisCon, and bought it afterwards because I liked the concept. It's a lovely little book, the illustrations in color were a nice surprise, and her gorgeous writing made me very much want to taste all the different honeys.
Katie
Apr 02, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
This was beautiful and makes me wish to taste every kind of honey there is. Not to mention that the stories/poems are just little tastes, too, just like the honey the author was eating.
Elizabeth
Feb 11, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This book is pure bliss, like good honey. I love it so much.
J.T. Glover
Dec 16, 2010 J.T. Glover rated it it was amazing
Great concept for a beautiful book. This is a joyous, thoughtful exploration of the senses, and I can't think of anything like it that I've ever read.
Eileen
Mar 09, 2013 Eileen rated it it was amazing
Captivating, sweetness bringing the taste of honey to life.
Alexandra
Jul 29, 2011 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Too good to read just once.
Travis Mueller
Mar 02, 2017 Travis Mueller rated it liked it
I became aware of this book when a story from it was played on a fiction podcast I listened to. I don't really remember what I thought of the story, and having read the book I didn't really recognize any of the stories, though I must have heard at least one of them before. But either way, the idea of the book was interesting enough that I thought it would be worth checking out. Unfortunately, my library system lacked a copy, and it is only recently that I decided interlibrary loan was a perfectl ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
This is the first of the honeys to have crystallised in the vial; I drew the wand out covered in chunks. Oh, and it is dry and burnished, caramel tones, burnt-sugar tasting and thick, strong; close to buckwheat honey, that distinctive taste, brown. Makes me think of the scent of beeswax, and the darker colours of it, too.
(Day 9 - Zambian Honey)


The introduction explains how this book came about when the author decided to write a piece every day of February, inspired by samples of 28 different hon
...more
erforscherin
I don't quite remember how I stumbled onto this book - I think it was a long series of link-jumping while investigating sci-fi/fantasy short story authors. In any case, the one-chapter preview on Amazon looked promising, and I bought it hoping for another strike of lightning: something like Hogarth's The Aphorisms of Kherishdar .

Unfortunately, this one was a near-miss: I was really hoping for a series of themed short stories, not a book of mostly-poetry, and the entries seemed to get increasing
...more
Fantasy Literature
Oct 30, 2016 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
4 stars from Katie, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

Having recently re-read Chocolat I found myself with a hankering for more of that winning combination of sugar and magic. It was lucky then that I stumbled across Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month which provided just what I was after in perfect, petit-four-sized nuggets.

The Honey Month was conceived when the author received a gift of assorted hon
...more
Laura
Sep 19, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Such a surprising book.

A full month of daily short stories which are created around one of the honey samples the author was given.
Each chapter begins with a short thorough but curious description of the honey sample itself -its color often compared to a popular beverage, its smell and taste related sometimes to its ingredients but often references to all those little hints of this and that which often you notice but are so hard to actually figure out.

And then the story begins.
Some of them are po
...more
Mathew Walls
Nov 19, 2014 Mathew Walls rated it it was ok
Twee as fuck. The impression I get of the author is that she's the sort of person who likes those god-awful cafés where the furniture is old crates and the drinks are served in jars instead of glasses.

The poetry in this book is entirely forgettable, while the short stories range from forgettable to mediocre. The honey reviews are infuriatingly affected and seem completely pointless. They're apparently central to the book as a whole (just look at the title) but I can't see any value to them at al
...more
MJ Starling
What still sticks with me a month after reading:

1. Scraggle! Scraggle forever. I love magical bargain stories, and I love stories about cunningly rules-lawyering your way out of the terms of one, and this is the only one I can remember reading about a character rules-lawyering to benefit both parties, as opposed to both parties trying their best to screw each other over

2. Fog on the bay, sea-women with flower lips, and the bees who swarm to meet them

3. Apparently certain types of honey (I think
...more
Hesper
Sep 20, 2016 Hesper rated it liked it
Shelves: short-fiction, poetry
Well... the honey descriptions were mostly superb; the inspired-by poems and ficlets just good. Among the stories, days 7 (a magical bargain story inspired by thistle honey), 21 (quietly creepy riff on bamboo honey), and 18 (manuka honey sounds ominous, and its story matches) were my favorites. The poems felt less sure footed than the prose, although it'd be remiss of me not to mention day 11 (loss and blackberries).

3.5, I think. An interesting collection, memorable more for what it attempts tha
...more
Misha
Mar 12, 2016 Misha rated it it was amazing
This slender, lovely book is many things — part food memoir, part poetry collection, part flash fiction collection. It's science fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, and literary. The central conceit is honey and the smells, tastes, and ideas that each of 28 separate honey samples — tasted one each day for a month — evoke in the writer. It's a fascinating experiment and a wonderful read full of sensuality and everything that word means.
Siavahda ★
This is a treasure of a book, a beautiful jewel box of lyrical poetry and magical stories written by a true wordsmith. Day by day for one month El-Mohtar examines the color, scent and taste of different honeys and writes a small poem or story inspired by it, and the result is a gift to the world. I loved every moment of it, every perfectly-chosen, perfectly-placed word. I can't wait to read more by this author!
Daniel
Mar 18, 2015 Daniel rated it liked it
This was another from the collection of weird fiction I bought last year. Amal El-Mohtar's The Honey Month is an odd, sometimes magical little book. It's written as a series of poems and short prose pieces each inspired by a different honey. Each day for a month, the author tastes a honey and briefly describes it, then launches into a vignette of love and longing and hurt. Some of them did nothing for me, but quite a few were beautiful and haunting.
Sandra
Jul 07, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, ebooks
This was a very interesting read: a collection of poetry, prose, and very short fiction, The Honey Month offers an inspired journey through the author's imagination as prompted by 28 different types of honey. A wonderful reminder that taste can be one of the most inspiring senses.

I purchased this ebook in a Storybundle collection.
Just_ann_now
A gorgeous, and very unusual work - a collection of reviews of various kinds of honeys, and stories inspired by them. Though I'll never be able to sample those honeys (seriously, how would anyone?) but oh, I can just imagine the color and scent and taste, based on exquisite descriptions, and the stories are delicious little fairy tales as well.
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“As Amal put it, our people’s palms are too full of thorns to hold hands, even though they match. The” 0 likes
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