I know it’s been forever since you last heard from me and I’ve really missed sharing with you all. I hope that today’s post finds you in good health wherever you’re reading from.
The end of the year is upon us and it’s time for my annual review of the books I read in the course of the year. I had a very ambitious reading goal entering 2022, I mean you should see my e-books library, and yet the number of books I was able to read is nothing to write home about. I started off quite well actually but along the line life had other plans for me and I had to adjust my priorities which inadvertently affected my reading schedule.
I did, however, enjoy the few books I got to read and I’m quite positive you would like them as well.
NOTES ON GRIEF (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
As expressive as I can be with my emotions and all, I can be very awkward when it comes to dealing with that of others- especially when they’re grieving. You know that unfortunate state of being when a friend/loved one is grieving and you really want to be there for them and be sensitive to their needs but you don’t really know how to go about it? Well, that was the exact feeling that drove me to read this book and oh! such an enlightening read it was for me.
Chimamanda wrote this book following the passing of her dad and she details quite thoroughly the waves of emotions she experienced as well as the stress of the societal/customary expectations of the bereaved family. Why there are so many demands of a family that’s obviously grieving is a whole other topic for another day.
Chapter ten(10) is probably my favourite chapter in this book. What stuck out to me the most was the fact that sometimes even well meaning messages of condolence from friends, if not worded properly, could trigger unpleasant emotions.
“He’s in a better place, He’s resting, It has happened so just celebrate his life, find peace in your memories, God knows best”… Looking back at these statements now, I can see how they could be triggering and not exactly comforting especially when the loss is very recent. I’ll be first to admit that I’m guilty of using these statements at one time or the other but I know better now. “What does not feel like the deliberate prodding of wounds is a simple I’m sorry because in it’s banality it presumes nothing…” she states.
There’s no manual for how to handle some of these things in life and I’m grateful to Chimamanda for this book because, aside the emotions it evoked in me, it gave me perspective. I’ll tag this book as a Must Read.
LEAP OF FAITH (Cameron Hamilton, Lauren Speed)
I’m an unapologetic Love Is Blind fan, and I immediately fell in love with the story of Cam and Lauren so when I found out they’d written a book, how could I not read it?
I initially didn’t have much expectations for this book, reason being that Cam and Lauren are reality TV stars and this book came at the peak of their stardom. I felt it was all PR and them just maximizing and monitizing their fame. I was, however, pleasantly surprised buy it’s rich content so much so that I finished it in a day.
Theirs is a story of two adults who had pretty much given up on love and yet when given this crazy and rare opportunity, they decided to take that leap of faith and commit to each other. The book covers their individual lives before the show, their story during the show and the journey of their happily ever after.
It’s easy to get lost in the aesthetics of the Instagram perfect couple picture and forget that they too are humans and go through similar struggles as every other relationship out there. In this book they talk about the challenges they’ve had to overcome in order to survive as a couple and even share some practical tips. I’m inspired by how intentional they are with each other and it only goes to prove that it takes putting in the work to get the result.
This book easily passes as a relationship guide without all the boring long paragraphs. It’s fun to read, very relatable with practical tips and also come on! it’s the Hamiltons…
If you’re a Love Is Blind fan then I’m sure you’ll love this one.
UNFOLLOWING YOU (Komal Kapoor)
This book is relatable on so many levels. It is full cycle modern day relationship from how it starts to how it inevitably ends. The excitement of meeting someone new, developing romantic feelings for each other, talking everyday and having your own bubble of fuzzy feelings, the not-knowing-what -we-are, the uncertainties and frustrations, the let’s-take-things-slow phase and eventually, the we-are-now- strangers at the end all beautifully captured in this book.
This book was very a therapeutic read for me because my relationship was going through a rough patch around the same time and reading this writer’s experiences felt like I had someone going through the madness with me… misery loves company. I decided to express my feelings through poems and that served as a great coping mechanism then. I have a collection of those poems saved and I might just share them with you one day.
I think anyone at all will enjoy reading this book because you have one point in your life been that girl or boy.
FINDING ME (Viola Davis)
Anyone who knows me knows me very well there’s s no way I’ll miss reading this book. After watching Viola’s interview with Opera discussing it’s content, my desire to read it only grew stronger.
I love to read about strong female personalities, especially black women, because I find their stories to be very inspiring and relatable. The fact they were once my age, made mistakes like I do and that they didn’t always have life figured out. That there were moments they didn’t believe in themselves and that their present achievements weren’t handed to them on a silver platter but are as a result of not giving up. It teaches me to trust in the Lord for my own journey and to try not to be unfairly hard on myself sometimes.
I have the highest form of respect for Viola Davis and to have an opportunity to peek into her life and read about her journey to where she is right now is an honor. I mean the first line of this book alone will make you know you’re in for a ride.
I’m not yet 30% into the book but I’m already excited about the journey. To know Viola in her childhood days of abject poverty, being subjected to various forms of bullying and abuse and seeing her mother go through domestic abuse in the hands of her father. Most people don’t usually come out of such situations sane, yet alone go on to be as successful as she’s become. She recounts events that to me are horrifying and yet with such a tone of understanding and forgiveness.
This is definitely going up on my list of favorite books of all time and I’m looking forward to finishing it eventually.
If loved reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming then you’d definitely love this book too.
Below is the list of other books I read this year, not much but still read worthy …
- Of a woman and her becoming (Akuvi Aguedze)
- Murder at Cape three points (Kwei Quartey)
- Wahala (Niki May)
- The hairdresser of Harare (Tendai Huchu)
I’m not setting any unrealistic reading targets for 2023 but I do hope to read a healthy lot. Which of the above listed books have you read or do you hope to read soon? Please recommend some of your favorite reads to me and I’ll be sure to check them out.
Sending you warm hugs and kisses for the festive season.
Forever your girl