Or, Free My Homie
This is so exciting I have to start with it - I only have one more BookTube Prize title to read. Little old me, recently too exhausted to read, managed to go through the e-book and audiobook versions of Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead and finished it today as I walked up and down the stairs in my building and on my way to see the doctor (now the story of my life). That’s huge.
Bodies are exhausting.
I spent time in medical settings last week and I was too caught up in YB talking about Russia and Ukraine to read. The thing that gave me joy when last I was in that setting was seeing another reader; this time it was seeing a couple that clearly liked each other. I put away my book - When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo - and spoke to the sibling and these people who, like me, had been waiting for ages but who knew they could hang in there because they had each other.
Seeing them reminded me why I love romance - the ways in which folks show up for the people they love. The way they show up again and again when they don’t have to - that they choose to show up. Me? Myself? I rate that sort of thing. To share a moment of mirth in a place so sterile, to touch each other, to have something a jaded stranger could crave? My heart might have expanded.
I went out with my cousins over the weekend and we swung by the Text Book Centre at Sarit Centre to roam after lunch. I ended up leaving with 2 titles from the 400/- stacks - The Wife's Tale: A Personal History by Aida Edemariam & It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo (translated by Elizabeth Bryer) - which we all know I’ll pick up in 2025. The only thing I’ll definitely be using in the intervening period will be colouring pencils, an old source of joy.
I finally discussed The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo with my reading buddy and I wish I could share our conversation now because it was beautifully meandering. So meandering that I even opened a Letterboxd account at their urging so we could talk about media on multiple fronts. I have a chat with MJ about We, the Survivors by Tash Aw this week so that will be at an Instagram account or blog near you before next month is done. Another thing happening next month? The first episode of a new season of Corpus (find our most recent offering here), now that I outed myself in the last instalment as a liker of art.
This week, I’ll be reading The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and using my Readerly account (let me know if you’d like a code, follow me if you’re on the platform) to track it. Strange that this is what I went with after months (years?) of thinking of The Storygraph (who knows the ways of men, you know?). I hope to be done by the 25th so I have some time to think and write about it and maybe drop a video with my thoughts. What reading tracking platforms do you like? And why?
To end this, if you feel as tired as I do (a recurring theme, Mike, seek help!), here’s a poem, and something to consider, and vibes.
I hope you have a great week and a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!