Hey yo! Three more books crossed off my never ending list! Technically I didn’t finish one of them until the first week of April, but, who is really counting, right?
This month’s books were as follows:
Kelle writes the blog Enjoy the Small Things about her life with her family in Florida. One of her daughters, Nella, has down syndrome and Kelle has been incredibly open about her journey with her daughter. Bloom chronicles the first year of Nella’s life and so beautifully explains how down syndrome has changed everything in their family’s life. I loved this book so much, Kelle tells beautiful and honest stories. She is especially wonderful at paying tribute to the people in her life who helped her through a difficult time. The book has beautiful pictures throughout but I read it on my Kindle so I’m sure they’re even better in a full color, real book!
All in all, as far as bloggers turned authors go, Kelle did an amazing job and I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys memoirs!
Another blogger turned author here! Natalie writes at Hey Natalie Jean (or what I still prefer to refer to as Nat the Fat Rat) and has what I think we can all agree is the cutest child in the world. Seriously. This book was a collection of essays about motherhood, style, family, city living, and beauty. The book was a true reflection of the blog, but I wouldn’t say that I was blown away by it. For some reason it just didn’t seem incredibly well done, I wasn’t impressed by the quality of both the content and the actual physical book itself. It’s designed to be a coffee table book but there are other definitely other books I would put out first. I’d give it a B- overall, but Huck (her son) still gets an A++ as the most adorable kid ever.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This was the only novel I read this month and I found it through Jacqui. I saw it on her desk when I was visiting Boston in September and immediately put it on my reading list. Here is the Amazon summary:
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
The summary is a bit misleading because while the story does begin and end with Ifemelu and Obinze’s love story, 85% of the book focuses on their lives apart. It was still really interesting and thought provoking, but wasn’t what I expected. First and foremost I would describe Americanah as thought provoking. Ifemelu’s struggle with having to deal with race for the first time in her life was explained very well. It was really interesting to see myself reacting negatively to outside views about white people in America and then to take a step back and examine why I was having that reaction. The book helped to give me another white privilege reality check, which I think we all need as often as possible.
Overall, I thought Americanah was well written, very intelligent, and that the story flowed nicely. I do wish that Ifemelu and Obinze would have reunited more than 50 pages before the end of the book as it felt like we spent a long time investing in two characters and then barely got to see the reward. It was a dense read and definitely not a poolside book, if only because delving so deeply into a completely foreign culture can be challenging and requires a large amount of focus. It took me almost all of March to read this, whereas I read the other two books this month in a two nights each.
This month I’ve already started reading Still Alice and have Design Mom, Not That Kind of Girl, and The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing on my bedside table and library wait list!
Yearlong Total: 10 books completed