2020 has really been an adventure, which is interesting considering most of us have stayed at home for the majority of it. There’s been so much that has taken place this year and it’s only June. In some regard, the year is flying by. Sometimes I forget that we’re half way through, but other times, it just feels exhausting. What next 2020? What. Next.
I’m calling it the year of the sickness.
Coronavirus is still a thing… I guess? Some people are acting like it is, while others are turning a cheek to it. Some people are saying it’s a scam or blown out of proportion and other’s say that is not the case. As for me, I’ll continue limiting my exposure to large crowds and attempt to follow CDC guidelines to the best of my ability. I’m a homebody anyways, so it hasn’t been that difficult so far.
The Black Lives Matter movement is, of course, the most relevant event at the moment, with more protests not just nationally, but globally than ever before, or at least it feels that way. I’m hopeful that these protests can remain peaceful and that others do not take away from the true meaning of these protests. I’m hopeful that there can be an answer to this sickness as well. One day when we look back on 2020, I hope we all can see that racism, was just as much a sickness as coronavirus. Key word “was,” because again, I’m hopeful for a future where equality is the norm.
Did you all hear about the new cases of Ebola in Africa? The swarm of locusts? Murder hornets? I mean really, this year keeps having more and more to worry about. Definitely the year of the sickness.
When all else fails, we can always turn to the comfort of a good book. A story to take us away or to help us learn. It’s been comforting for me to see that so many books on racism and the black experience are sold out on Amazon! That’s truly amazing! Books do change us for the better. I will always believe that. So without further adieu, let’s look at what I’ve been reading the past two weeks J
If you’re looking for a good memoir, I highly suggest From Scratch by Tembi Locke. Tembi may look familiar to you. She is an actress and has been in quite a bit! That actually put me off from reading it, if I’m being completely honest. Unless you’re well known and funny or someone I genuinely like, I’d rather read a memoir from a regular person who has a compelling story to tell. Well, Ms. Locke has a compelling story and I’m so glad she told it. From Scratch centers around Locke’s relationship with Saro, an Italian chef she met while studying abroad in Italy, before her fame. This is not a spoiler as it’s on the back cover, but Saro dies young from cancer. This book showcases their love, while exploring grief, but it also deals with how families deal with intercultural and interracial marriage. It even touches on adoption. Locke writes with authenticity. She is real and vulnerable and it comes off the pages beautifully. 5/5!
The next book I read is perfect for PRIDE month, but also just a good story in general. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne is intimidating, not just because of its length. This book tells a man’s whole life story from just before birth to the very end. You will laugh and cry with Cyril as he navigates who he is and the different things that play out at different times and locations of his life. He is a very likable character who grapples with his homosexuality at a time when it was deemed a mental disorder and therefor, wasn’t acceptable. You will grow old with him and see how the aids epidemic impacts him and those he loves. You will see relationships formed, broken, and mended. It is a beautiful story. Most books tend to tell you one story, but this one tells all of the stories of a life and does it well. There were some aspects of the books earlier on that fell flat for me. This book really picks up at it’s midway point. 4/5.
The next book, I actually listened to. The Bear by Andrew Krivek, is a novella based on a post apocalyptic world where a man and his daughter are the only humans left. This book is actually a grand fable that contemplates grief. Never had I been moved to tears with only one line before, until The Bear. Though this is a short book, it is one to savor. If you are not a fan of fables or sometimes lyrically moving books, this one probably won’t do it for you, but it really did it for me. The audiobook is pretty decent too. The reader is very level, but once the story picks up a bit, his tone is perfect. 5/5!
Next I read Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. This was actually my book club’s book for May. I had previously read Watching You by her, which was decent, but predictable, so I wasn’t that excited to read this one. However, this one became a pleasant surprise! It had very strong Gone Girl vibes, a book I absolutely loved. I will say the that the first half of the book was not great, but once the middle part and shift of perspective happened, I was all in. Then She Was Gone turned out to be a unique thriller. It also read incredibly fast. I was very impressed by this book and would recommend to anyone looking for a fast and interesting thriller. 4/5.
My final read was Hemingway in Love. This nonfiction book was supposed to be a first hand account of Hemingway’s love life. As a huge Hemingway fan, I was all in, but the book ended up losing it’s focus and was more about snippets of Hemingway’s life with random aspects of his love life dispersed. I wanted this one to be more focused as the title suggested. Having said that, it was still an interesting read, but nothing worth going on and on about. 3/5.
In closing, I really do hope we can find not only solace in reading, but answers as well. I also want to add that we will be having ANOTHER book giveaway on July 1st of How to Walk Away, so if you have yet to subscribe to my blog, be sure to do that so that you will be entered to win!
Happy reading y’all!