As many of you know, I’m a voracious reader. If you see me in these streets carrying a medium-sized bag or bigger, rest assured there’s a book in there. Reading is a big part of my life, so I figure that once in a while I’ll post on my blog about the books I’ve read. Cool? Cool. So below are some of the books I read over the past few months.
The Roving Tree by Elsie Augustave
This is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. This debut novel from Elsie Augustave is beautiful and full of delicious sentences. Set in Haiti, the US and Zaire, the rich storyline is engaging and believable. Augustave really hits her stride when she describes different religious and spiritual encounters. The main character Iris is aHaitian woman who was adopted into a white family at a young age. The story follows her journey of self-discovery. If you like Edwidge Danticat, you’ll probably like this too. I’m looking forward to Augustave’s future novels. Good stuff.
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
I don’t normally pick up crime thrillers (except maybe for vacation reading), but the good folks over at Klout sent me this and so of course I had to check it out. I liked it! The opening scene definitely pulls in the reader and I found myself wanting to stay up and read “just a few more pages” before bed. The story revolves around a man who works for a super secret government agency (think Scandal‘s B6-13) and a crazy case he’s on that takes him all over the world.There are some nice twists and turns in there. Hayes doesn’t insult the reader with Scooby Doo-like storylines and he also doesn’t make the story overly complicated. He also does a great job with fleshing out the characters and making them real people instead of just villains and heroes.
Misconceptions by Blu Daniels
This is one of those fun books that you read when you’re on the brink of burn out at work or when you’re on the beach sipping on rum punch. It’s an over-the-top story that’s meant to make you laugh. The main character Alexandria is a fashionable, career driven New Yorker who winds up pregnant with quadruplets living like a virtual prisoner in Atlanta with her emotionally unavailable ex-boyfriend/father of her unborn children. That might not necessarily sound like a bucket of laughs, but the way Daniels writes it, there’s plenty of comic relief.
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
I so loved Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, so I was very much looking forward to digging into this book. Like, Let the Great World Spin, TransAtlantic follows a diverse set of characters in seemingly separate tales, but the storylines all manage to entangle one way or another. McCann is nice with words. A few descriptive phrases in this book made me go back and re-read them just to enjoy them again. The selection of characters in this book include Frederick Douglass (yep, the one and only), early 20th century airplane pilots, midwestern ice farmers, a pioneering woman journalist and a modern day politician. All of their stories have significant ties to Ireland. McCann is his usual brilliant self with most of the characters except for Douglass. His Frederick Douglass falls flat for me, which is strange because McCann has written very believable characters of various demographics that differ from his own. (He’s a white dude, by the way). His Douglass needs more soul, more believable layers.
The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad by Adam Gnade
A friend posted about this book on Instagram and I was intrigued by the title. Said friend then posted a couple excerpts from the book and I knew I had to buy it. This tiny little booklet is 59 pages of awesomeness. As the title suggests, it’s a self-help book that isn’t of the Chicken Soup for the Soul variety. Gnade gives super practical and simple advice for getting through the tough times in life that all of us endure. He drops little gems like “Everyone good is necessary” and “No mercy for the dreamkillers.” I highly recommend this book(let) to everyone.
What have you read recently?