Today was my first day back at work and I want to talk to management (Mike from yesterday, who didn’t sleep at a school night-friendly time) already. Which is to say, I’m looking forward to Mashujaa Day. The fact that one was up reading might be the highlight - I was having a good time reading The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela. Originally started it because it was due at the library and I didn’t want to wait for ages but I got so immersed I had to remind myself to put my device away before I missed my stop (not for the first time). I feel a kinship with Andrés that’s almost scary - his tendency to not look on the bright side, for one. But the writing (clearly debut, with all that means) and the polyphonic style will stay with me.
I’m currently reading a novel featuring 3 generations of a family. The grandmother splits her daughter’s books, a source of low-level conflict between them. The last time I experienced this was high school and I’d forgotten about this until a recent gathering where folks who’d shared books in this way were outraged. How does one just…read the middle part of the book? By making do, one would say. I can’t wait to finish Fight Night by Miriam Toews because there’s nothing like a child narrator with a strong voice.
I attended the Big Bad Wolf sale at Sarit Centre on Saturday and, well, it was mid. I asked around and there might be new stock this week so I might just pop in on Thursday (message me if you’d like to come along). As some of you know, I have a 500 KES per title “psychological barrier” to my book spending. Even accounting for throwing those limits out the window, there still wasn’t much to the offering. Part of it is that I recently bought a stack of children’s books (maybe the widest selection) and the other part is that I can’t remember when last I bought books in the public domain so here we are. I didn’t check out the sale at Half Priced Books, though, so that’s on the agenda still. Maybe the real treasure was the friends we made along the way. Which is to say, huge thanks to the folks who looked at books, had drinks and spent time with me at the sale. I hope I get to do more with them - or with you, like Wanjeri’s screening next week. Here’s the poster!
New section! The library loans update. Sunday was the first time I implemented my new rule (send books back/ renew to ease pressure towards the goal of a maximum 10 books/ format at a time) and I have good news. My audiobook count is at 16 (down from 20, and it would be 15 if it wasn’t for the highly-anticipated Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree) and my e-book count is at 34 (down from 39). I still have 7 parallel reads (audio+print) because I haven’t gotten round to those titles yet so reading them will improve my numbers significantly. And now I realise this is a Maktaba Manenos video I’m typing out. Let’s call it Shantay so it can stay.
Not bookish but a cool thing Twitter introduced me to recently: archive dot ph, which helped me hop over a paywall. I don’t imagine I’ll be camping there but it’s good to know one has somewhere to go when they want to read certain articles.
Lastly: books. Other than The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela, I’ve also finished Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat (narrated by Chloe Cannon), Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Séamas O'Reilly (narrated by the author), Crying in the Bathroom by Erika L. Sánchez, What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon (narrated by Samara Naeymi) and Love Poems and A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni (narrated by the author). I’m truly in my non-fiction era and I’ll call it growth that I’ve finished a book of poetry (Nikki Giovanni is such a wonderful reader!).
As ever, please write back to me and tell me what books you’re reading or looking forward to reading this week — it’s always a great time talking about books.
Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!
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