Sorry that I’m tardy to the party! Let me tell you, February was short but I got a LOT done, hunty. I finished six whole books…and did I mention that I went to Bali and Singapore too? It was lit. Of course, I have been derelict in posting my February wrap-up, but I promise, it’s not my fault. Seriously. Blame two things: Moviepass and the public library. I discovered both things this month and WHEW, man! So, with Moviepass, you pay around $8 a month for your card and the card allows you to go see a movie in theaters every day. Talk about hashtag blessed. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I finally got around to getting my library card and do you know they told me I could check out 100 (yesssss one hundred) books at a time? I actually finished two books in two days after I left the library, I was that hype. #BookBawse Anywho, I will no longer be distracted by film! and other books! (and Bali!) and I will post my thoughts on what I read in February:
- Seed to Harvest anthology [Wild Seed, Mind of my Mind, Clay’s Ark, Patternmaster] by Octavia Butler || 👍
- Four-novel sci-fi anthology about two superhuman entities that start a race of psychic beings.
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones || 👍👍
- Oprah’s book club selection about a young married couple torn apart when the husband is false convicted and imprisoned.
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward || 👍
- Magic realist novel about a young boy’s connection with his family and the past when he travels with his mother to pick his newly-released father up from prison.
Overall, this was a good month for books and me. January was so-so, but I really enjoyed my reading this month. I went heavy on the Black women writers this month, but it was definitely worth it (I mean, we are magic and dope and alladat). I already wrote posts about Seed to Harvest and An American Marriage, but I haven’t (and don’t plan to) write anything individual on Sing, Unburied, Sing. So, I’ll say a few words here.
I first really got into magic realism when I started reading works by Mia Couto, a Mozambican author. Couto, who is a scientist and professor, writes some of the most beautiful and interesting magic realism novels, though they are in Portuguese. Africa is rich in magic realism, and Ward honors that tradition with her novel. Though it’s set in Mississippi, it could easily be set in Louisiana, with its renowned culture of voodoo and magic. On the other hand, almost as if to show that Louisiana isn’t that unique, the novel does a great job of easily extending the remedy and superstition culture that is ingrained in most deep-south black folks into something just a little bit more. I grew up in Savannah, GA, a city that is deeply steeped in a culture of ghosts, karma, juju, and oddities, and I recognized the characters in this book. Even today, when the vast majority of people will tell you they don’t believe in ghosts, well…Savannah is still known as the most haunted city in America. When I was younger, I scoffed at such things. Now, maybe I don’t believe, but I don’t laugh either. Ward uses magic realism as she weaves several layers of relationships, hurts, loves, and disconnects into a beautiful story of what it means to be a child, a parent, and a person too.
Looking forward to the rest of March and what it will bring!