Or, Long Live The Suitcaseless
I had read the expression “jasho jembamba” growing up but I truly experienced it over the weekend as I stood at baggage claim, afraid I’d be 2 for 2. Good news - I wasn’t - but if this turns into a suitcase status update newsletter please understand. A work friend brought me a stack of language learning resources and I might have cried if I lost those books. Haha don’t worry it gets less navel-gazey.
In the time I was away, I only read while in motion. Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro (translated by Frances Riddle, available on Scribd which you can enjoy for 60 days free using Linda Barasa’s link), which I finished earlier this week, is the first book I finished after my return home and it felt like a fever breaking. It spoke to a particular moment in Argentine history but also to the latest reproductive rights development in the U.S. I love a book that features an older woman and especially one that is unflinching, on so many levels, about the body.
Some other books I finished: Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson (narrated by Edoardo Ballerini) which was…quite the experience, Vladimir by Julia May Jonas (narrated by Rebecca Lowman) and Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe (narrated by James Fouhey). 3 back to back audiobooks made me realise how much I under-utilise the sleep timer function on Libby because every time I got drowsy (or slept!) I had to scramble to find my spot. I talk about these titles and some of last week’s in this week’s Round Up so keep your eye out for that. Before then, here’s the most recent video.
Despite having a bunch of days off wage work (see: the nation-wide adult mid-term that happened across the Republic of Kenya), I made no dent on my reading list. Instead of starting on Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (narrated by Arit Okpo, Atta Otigba, Eloghosa Osunde, Ifeyinwa Unachukwu, Obongjayar, Sheila Chukwulozie) or making progress on Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park (translated by Anton Hur) which I started reading during my birthday getaway, I slept the days away. And I must have needed that rest judging by how little guilt I feel about all the books with queues that may just go back to the library without me opening them. Other than those two the other titles I hope to get to are Clash of Civilisations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous which I first heard of on BookTube and The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke - both of which have queues and are due in the next 8 days. I started New York, My Village by Uwem Akpan and look forward to seeing what comes of it, even though it might not be finished soon. I’ve also been listening to Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School by Kendra James excerpts of which I’ve found interesting.
I hope to return to the world of physical books this coming week, starting with Jackie Karuti’s monograph. I’m sometimes afraid of touching art books (and poetry!) but I find Karuti’s work intriguing and I know this work will yield some interesting conversations. The library probably misses me so I might just swing by this weekend and borrow some books or I could stay home and read the stacks of books one has purchased and not cracked open over the last few years. I definitely need a few weeks - maybe a month - to get back to the digital/ physical groove I sort of had so it’s audiobooks for a while on the digital front.
Away from this being the reading-est entry yet, I hope to get back to Monday entries soon. Hopefully, I’ll have a handle on the transition that comes with travel when next I’m out and about, if only to keep my commitment to myself. All this to say I’m grateful that you’ve stuck around over what has been a couple of strange weeks.
I hope you have a great weekend and a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!