All my fellow bibliophiles either gasped in shock at such a statement or they said halleluiah!
Here is my qualm. I joined three book clubs in Dubai (as one does). Over the years I juggled reading three to four books a month before eventually whittling it down to one group. I read some amazing books and met some wonderful people. Naturally, as soon as I felt comfortable, we moved.
As soon as I arrived in London, I began the process again, having learned to jump in early because the process is long.
For anyone who’s never done this, it’s a trial and error. Find a group. Read the book. Show up to the meeting. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you mesh with the group? Do they pick books you’re interested in? Are people friendly and can you have real conversations with them? Do you leave feeling refreshed and energized or drained and mopey?
It’s been eight months, and I haven’t met my group in London yet, somewhat to my dismay. On the other hand, it has been utterly freeing. Since I haven’t been reading three books a month, chosen by other people, that I don’t own (because my book nominations were never picked), I have actually found some time to read the books I do own!
What I will always remember about this book is the pain I felt as I read the final page and closed the book. I had relived the history of a people nearly annihilated. What never ceases to amaze me about life is just how much I don’t know.
Achebe does an incredible job creating a glimpse into the lives of a group of people nearly forgotten from history.
To modern readers, the pace is slow at first—the story was written in a different era when attention spans were longer and the demand for action wasn’t absolute, yet by the end the pivotal events in this book tore me apart.
Why had I heard of it but never read it? In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, the main character Ifemelu asks her lover, ‘Haven’t you read Things Fall Apart?’ That left me no excuses, so the moment I finished that book, I scrambled to the library to pick this one up.
What I want to share about this book is my favorite quote, “He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.” We don’t know what we value until it’s gone, so pay attention to what you love and treasure it.
I read a lot and I hope to help authors with the craft of writing. I share good examples of difficult aspects of writing: point of view, narration, world building and more.
Occasionally I give editing tips and share insights from the world of publishing.
Posts on editing
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