Summer Reading

I’m always surprised when writers or aspiring writers don’t read. Reading was first a coping mechanism and an escape for me, but now it’s both work and joy. I love reading for review purposes but mostly for pleasure. Even if I’m not reviewing a book for a publication, in my brain, I’m doing it anyway, trying to sort out what works and what doesn’t.

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The main challenge I have these days is how to find the ideal, public, air conditioned space and time to read comfortably. I have been awkwardly handling the 560+ page Advanced Readers Copy of The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne, a delightful discovery. When I picked it up at Book Expo, one of the women in the booth nodded with vigor and said it was one of the best books she’d read in her life. Even a bookworm like me couldn’t pass on something like that.

I’ll write a proper review soon, but this book is delightfully funny — on each page is some exchange or brilliant dialogue that just cracks me up. The main character, Cyril Avery, is an adopted kid; his birth mother, Catherine Goggin is someone he’s met but doesn’t know it yet & there’s a far richer narrative unfolding now that I’m more than halfway through that I can’t even begin to sum up. The book comes out later this month, though, and I encourage you to read it.

I’m cheating on The Hate U Give with this book. I cheated on it with Aya de Leon’s The Boss, too.  I love the familiarity and humor in Angie Thomas’ debut, too, but I think the heaviness of the subject matter is keeping me from really engaging in it the way I’d like to.

I also just finished reading a review copy of Joanna Scutts’ The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led A Generation of Women To Live Alone and Like It. I always like reading about single women (I loved Rebecca Traister’s Single Ladies; In 2013, I published my first self-published e-Book based on an old blog called Single & Happy: The Party of Ones which emerged out of the — thankfully dead — media narrative that single professional black women were too successful to date their presumed mates, African American men) and how they’ve disrupted history by celebrating themselves in ways that have always just been expected for men. I wrote a review for Bitch that’s coming out in the fall.

What are you reading with what’s left of the summer?

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