Anyone else feel like January was basically the whole 2018? It went on for ages. Dragged on, plodded along, just straight up sputtered out and sat down at some points. Thank God there are only 28 days in February, because otherwise, a sista would need to study the art of hibernation.
As it is, despite the length of January, I am quite pleased with myself. In December, I resolved to read a book a week for the whole year. At 11:45 PM on January 31st, I finished my fifth book of the month (and it was a good one, too!).
Here’s my Month-End Wrap Up:
- The Sympathizer – Viet Thanh Nguyen || 👍
- A beautifully constructed and written novel that deals out truisms and realism, even though the ending falls flat.
- The Emperor of Ocean Park – Stephen L. Carter || 👎
- A long-ass ode to Uncle Justice Clarence Thomas and his likes that fizzles out and suffers through the last couple hundred pages almost as much as a Thomas dissent.
- We Were Eight Years in Power – Ta-Nehisi Coates || 👍👍
- Not perfect, but perfectly Coates; enough to make you learn, wonder, rethink, nod ya head, get pissed, and maybe even change a bit.
- Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue || 👍
- Interesting characters and engaging story makes for a good, though not great, look at immigrants in New York.
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas || 👍👍
- Real, true, and necessary – this is an easy read young adult novel that contains knowledge that some grown ass individuals (like those who voted for your president) really need to acquire.
Despite my day-in and -out reading, I found time to hear Ta-Nehisi Coates speak at an event hosted by The Atlantic. He said a something that I have been repeating to myself every day since: “Do the thing,” he said. “Do the thing.” It was my mantra for 2018 before I even heard him speak the words. I told myself I would read a book a week and I told myself I would start a blog, and I have been doing the damn thing. Despite being distracted by the homebuying process (yes, please pray over my bank account, this D.C.-sized mortgage, my super triple negative net worth, and my adulthood), werk werk werk werk werk werk, the flu—get the shot—and just life in general, I stuck to my guns for at least 1/12 of the year.
When Aaliyah told us that “we need a resolution,” she was definitely talking about some n!&&a, but I like to think that she was telling me to read these damn books in 2018. She was telling me what my mama told me for most of the 90s—”ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it.” She was telling me, as Coates reminded me this past month, to “Do the thing.” Don’t delay y’all. Do the thing.
Pre-Month End Preview: I’m underway with my next book, which is really four books in one—Seed to Harvest, by Octavia Butler (The Big Mama of Sci-Fi) is truly a compilation of her novels; Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay’s Ark, and Patternmaster. I’m almost through the first book in the compilation, and it’s looking like a winner winner chicken dinner.