In full disclosure, I started the year fully intending to physically read one book and listen to one audiobook at a time. So the math on that is two books. Two books, max, at a time. I’m so funny. Here is a look at what I’m currently reading…
I am currently just past the halfway point in the audiobook for ‘Butter Honey Pig Bread.’ I am listening to this audiobook courtesy of Netgalley. This book, written by Francesca Ekwuyasi, follows three characters: twin sisters Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother Kambirinachi. The timeline jumps around between the present day reunion of the three, the time the twins spent estranged as young adults, and then back to their mother’s story (from birth to adulthood). The story is so full of love, guilt, pain, trauma, and personal discovery. And then there are elements of magic/mysticism/folklore that take me by surprise- Kambirinachi believes that she is an Ogbanje, a non-human spirit in the Nigerian tradition that plagues a family with misfortune. This element is introduced at the very beginning of the novel, but as the story unfolds you sort of get carried away in the reality of the characters so that you forget about it, until it is dropped back in matter of factly, and then: ohhhhh yeah! Angry spirits. It is just so well done. It should also be noted the story takes place over three continents, with the characters exploring their identities in Europe and North America, and bringing that self knowledge home with them to Africa.
I am also listening to a middle grade novel with my kids. ‘The Brave,’ by James Bird was selected as the group read for the 2021 round of Middle Grade March (hosted on YouTube by Books and Jams, Life Between Words, and The Curly Reader). I’m surprised my kids wanted to continue with me. It is middle grade, but probably on the older side than what they’ve read before. My husband was in the car with us when we started it, and he agrees that there’s nothing inappropriate or that they shouldn’t hear, but plenty that they haven’t been exposed to yet. The main character Collin is 12 years old and has a compulsion to count the letters of every word spoken to him and announce that number out loud, to the annoyance of…. well, everyone. It is such a big issue that he is asked to leave school and sent to live with his mother, who he has never even met, on an Ojibwe reservation. Enjoying it so far.
I started reading ‘A Little Life,’ by Hanya Yanagihara this week. I am two chapters in. 77 pages. A whopping 9%. I haven’t cried yet.. but I know it’s coming. Being so late to this novel has me prepared for the heartbreak. I am really liking the way each character has been introduced and the way they interact with and value each other. I am a sucker for friend groups in books and tv. I put this book aside for the past two days to try and make reading progress elsewhere, but I’m eager to get back into it.
Another read I have going for Middle Grade March is ‘Liesl and Po,’ by Lauren Oliver. It has fairy tale / ghost story elements, but honestly I don’t think I’ll read past the 50 pages I’ve gotten so far.
Lastly, I am reading ‘Five Carat Soul,’ by James McBride. I love it. He has quickly become a favorite author of mine. There is so much humor incorporated in his story telling
What are you currently reading? Do you read more than one book at a time? Let me know!