Or, I saw the best minds of my generation
I’m writing this from bed on a day when my body has pulled a number on me. So I’m being kept going by water, snacks, and the hope that I’ll wake up better tomorrow — today is a wash in a lot of ways. So let’s talk about what there is to look forward to:
Books, first and always. The lovely Abigail Arunga recently put a bunch of us on to 2 queer anthologies - Hopes and Dreams That Sound Like Yours: Stories of Queer Activism in Sub-Saharan Africa and Courage to Share: Queer Activism in Africa - that are free to download and available to purchase in print from her shop, Rugano Books. I am hoping to read them during the upcoming Christmas break; really sitting with their contents. If you’re interested, you can find them here. Yours truly has also been buying books this year at rates unseen in a while so they recorded a book haul video as they continue to figure out what form these videos will take.
Then, films: I hoped I’d be able to attend the last screening of films Wanjeri Gakuru (recently awarded a Special Mention Award at the 38th International Short Film Festival in Berlin for her film Transaction, based on this short story) is curating at Eastlands Library this weekend but a prior commitment might come in the way of that. If it doesn’t, that’s definitely on the agenda, especially considering what interesting conversations always happen. Before then, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo’s delightful film Joy’s Garden is showing tomorrow at Cheche Bookshop and Cafe as part of the 2022/23 Samosa Festival and one may just leave home for this, body permitting. The bookshop also has a lovely selection and isn’t too far from Prestige Bookshop’s Lavington branch (which I’ve never been to) so I might just make a post-wage work trip of it.
There’s something in the air with the panic and anxiety that’s been exhibited on Twitter about the end of an era there. I’ve been on that platform for over 13 years and it’s been quite a ride - the friends one made and lost, the things they learnt, the opportunities they gleaned. It’s also made me think a lot about my relationship with social media platforms leading to a moment this week when, instead of resurrecting my Mastodon profile (from the last such panic), I started a Storygraph account so I’d be able to divest from Goodreads. I consider these last weeks of the year a chance to reset and reimagine my relationship with book tracking going forward so hopefully this shift helps.
Speaking of reimagining — I had a poll over on Twitter about where some money I saved at $1 a day at the day’s prevailing rate “for a treat” over a year would go to earlier this month after I took out the money I’d already spent on a new phone. Shelves won but it says something about the way consumerism in the form of Black Friday and so on can assert itself that I’ve instead been thinking of getting video-related materials (tripod, ring light, for instance) and speakers. This, coupled with the fact that I struggle with spending money (small t trauma is that you???), means that November is almost out and I’m nowhere close to buying anything, discounts or not. Considering the piles of books around my home, the frequency of videos lately (thanks to the help of YB), and the insights gleaned from this video—
Life is short, treat yourself, &c
I finished 3 books last week: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan (read by the author), The Mamas: What I Learned About Kids, Class, and Race from Moms Not Like Me by Helena Andrews-Dyer (read by the author), and The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard by John Birdsall (read by Daniel Henning). I discuss them in the latest video.
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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