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.
Why does the world need another book blog?
That’s a silly question, so I’ll skip it.
Why am I starting the book blog?
In 2019, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at fifty-two books. In hindsight, it was not a good idea. Amazed that I actually could read fifty-two books in a year, I didn’t bother to remember much of what I read.
What’s the plan?
My plan is to read one book from my bookshelves (physical and Kindle) every month. I intend to keep this blog as a means to capture what I hope to remember about every book I read. Mainly I hope this to be a place where I keep the one nugget from the book that if someone asks me about it, I’ll have it ready, instead of mumbling, “I read that . . . I just don’t remember it.”
Who is this blog for?
It’s for everyone who reads. I read literary fiction. Fantasy. Sci-fi. History. Historical fiction. YA. Memoir. Editing and creative writing. Theater and drama and plays. Philosophy. Cookbooks. Economics. Classics. Mysteries. Autobiography and biography. I read the US government’s IRS Tax Publications for heaven’s sake. Hmm, I need some Crime and Romance recommendations.
Also know, these will be short. Nothing longer than 500 words. I know you don’t have a lot of time!
Will these be book reviews?
No. Plenty of other fine readers and book bloggers and vloggers are doing amazing jobs reviewing books. While I promise not to give away any spoilers, I’m not going to tell you what the book is about—the focus is only what I thought worth taking away with me.
That’s pretty subjective, isn’t it?
Yes, it is! However, in my daily life as an editor, I spend ninety per cent of my time being objective and following style guides and rule books. I hope to be allowed an opinion and some feelings occasionally.
What’s your rating system?
I haven’t developed one, really. If I feel strongly about a book, I’ll let you know.
What does it mean, library?
My local library is right next to my Tube station. I go in every single time I pass, despite promising myself I won’t. Something always comes home with me, and I’m not about to deny you, my wonderful readers, the chance to hear my thoughts on a book I don’t happen to own* (*yet).
It’s also a crucial piece of information for me because the goal is to read the books I already own. My constant trips to the library (and via Kindle) have been somewhat detrimental to this goal, so I’m trying to keep track of library versus my own books to hold myself accountable.
Will add as necessary. I think this is enough to get started! Welcome to my bookshelf!
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.