It’s Wednesday & 2021 Reading Is Off to a Good Start

January 13, 2021

You know, I was beating myself because I hadn’t posted yet this week, and I realized it’s because I have been struggling with how to (and whether or not I wanted to) address current events. All I’ll say is this: Living in this country is exhausting.

My reading deprivation is officially over, so I watched some TV and read some books. More specifically, I finally finished Living Single (Hulu), which is super fun because the characters really do feel like they’re my friends. I was trying to decide on my next throwback comfort watch and remembered that when I was watching The Bernie Mac Show, I started X-Men: The Animated Series (Disney+), so I think I need to go ahead and get back to that. Not to mention, seeing the good guys win over and over again might just be what I need to feed my soul right now.

A note on the wrap-up: I’m going to try something new with my book reviews this week since WordPress has stepped up its game with these blocks. I’ll see if I have the patience for it in the coming weeks.

Last week I posted:

It’s Monday & I’m doing a reading deprivation

Last week I read:

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

the glass hotel by emily st john mandel

This is beautifully written, and I was immediately drawn into the world of the book as well as the world of the story. If, like me, you are very into character-driven narratives, then learning about all the different pieces of these characters’ lives and how they’re connected will fascinate you enough to keep you reading. I am finding that I like stories written this way (another one–besides Station Eleven, obviously–written in a similar way is The Vanishing Half), stories that loop back and forth through time and show connections between characters.

I caught most of the Station Eleven references, I think. I gasped at the first one (who doesn’t love a parallel universe) and was astonished at the bigger one that comes later in the story because I truly wasn’t expecting it.

My favorite character might be Suzanne, Jonathan’s first wife, just because she was absolutely unexpected and wholly memorable.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey by rupi kaur

So, the thing about this collection is that on a soul level I really enjoyed it. The emotionality of it does not miss, and that’s what makes it enjoyable.

However, as someone who teaches poetry, at some point I found myself thinking, “Yes, yes, these are some nice pithy bon mots, but where is the imagery?”

As a collection, this is pretty powerful, but so many of these poems–especially in the healing section–would not stand on their own. I mean, they make fine stand alone quotes and are empowering (e.g., “you must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first” [190]), but I wouldn’t call them poetry.

Also, I like that Kaur explains the formatting choice because it also helped me understand a lot of the choices Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni made in The Mistress of Spices as well.

As I said, my reading is off to a good start so far. I’m currently reading a book that I really like so there’s a good chance there could be more four-star (or more!) reads in my future. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

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  1. The Widow Badass

    I am exhausted just watching what is happening, from Canada. Living in the US must take exhaustion to a whole new level plus be traumatizing as well.

    Sending you a virtual hug,


    • Akilah

      SO TRAUMATIZING. Thanks, Deb.


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