As fast as the other months in this year have gone by, I shouldn’t be shocked by this at all, but somehow, someway, I’m still shooketh that Halloween has come and gone—and I still hadn’t written this bookend! How, Sway?! What happened to September?! OCTOBER?!?! Not that I need the time to come back, because it has been a clusterfuck, but damn. My year is whizzing by like a high-speed chase. It’s hard to believe that I only have a couple more months of fulfilling my bookends challenge (reading a book a week for those who don’t know or forgot). While I have been complete 🚮 at writing my blogs, I actually have been reading books and such. Here’s my September take:
- A Place for Us – Fatima Ferheen Mirza || 👍🏾👍🏾
- This beautiful novel that follows the making and unraveling and remaking of an immigrant family is sad but outstanding. I’d recommend it for those who don’t mind being devastated by the life that literature tells.
- The Housekeeper and the Professor – Yoko Ogawa || 👍🏾
- I particularly enjoyed thise short novel about a housekeeper and her son’s relationship with an aging math professor whose short-term memory loss dictates the terms of their interactions and relationship. I can’t really say that I found any great point or purpose to this story, besides a somewhat contrived peek at what it means to be human when our faculties dwindle. Still, there is something about this novel that is charming…maybe it’s the pointlessness itself.
- Cane River – Lalita Tademy || 👍🏾
- Tademy undertook this project as a study of her family, similar to what Alex Haley undertookwhen he wrote Roots. This novel is the fictionalized account of the various generations of Tademy’s multi-ethnic Creole family as it expands and flows through the Cane River area of Louisiana. I didn’t find it to be as powerful as Roots, but it certainly speaks to a different side of the Black experience.
- Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta || 🤷🏾♀️
- Okparanta’s story follows a Nigerian woman through her adolescent realization of her own sexuality and into her adulthood and marriage. The story is a brave a necessary one, particularly as Nigerian (amongst other west African countries) pushes back against the world’s tide of acceptance towards LGBTQ persons. While I liked the writing, I didn’t find the story to be extremely compelling, beyond the nature of story in general.