Or, Before You Hurt Your Own Fool Self
I started writing this today morning because, for the first time in a while, I intend to be out of the house on a Sunday (pause for applause) and I didn’t want to scramble at night. That, and I hope to put this out in time for at least one more person to find out about Joseph Obel’s show; details below. I abandoned it when I realised what I needed was a balm to my spirit after I’d seen something jarring on Instagram (there’s a reason they say not to check the apps as soon as one wakes up!) and knew just the trick - a book.
So I started unpacking as I listened to We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America by Roxanna Asgarian (read by Suehyla El-Attar) which is so well-written I’m almost halfway through. As a person who thinks about adoption a lot, I seem to be inadvertently (or is it?) immersing myself in non-fiction about adoption (I’m currently reading A Living Remedy: A Memoir by Nicole Chung) and really questioning what it means to be a parent through adoption as I read the stories of people who joined families through that route. There’s probably something to be said for these narratives doing a better job for my heart rate than breathing exercises but one takes what makes one calm.
[If you’re wondering, I saw my suitcase the moment I left immigration and left the airport in record time. That baby’s not seeing the inside of one for a while, if it’s up to me 😀]
The conference that had me away from home for a week proved to be an intense experience and I found myself in need of escape more often than I care to admit. Between audiobooks and e-books, I powered through reading like my life depended on it. One of the titles I read, What's Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety by Cole Kazdin, I’d heard about via the Burnt Toast newsletter (or maybe podcast?) and it left me wondering what a book like that, written by a Black, afab, African person such as myself would look like in terms of social commentary. This was especially highlighted by the mention of the author of Anissa Gray (whose The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls I enjoyed and discussed in this video) in the section about POC girls and women with eating disorders.
I walked for 1 hour + on one (1) day and confirmed my plans of only taking carry-on luggage in the future because I barely used the gear I’d carried. Walked a lot, though - to and at the conference venue as well as up the stairs at my hotel so all was not lost. My knees are creaking though, and no audiobook could distract me from their presence.
Before I wind this show up, I want to say a special Thank You to an artist I got to spend time with this week. Meeting someone from “back home” who reminded me who I am, and challenged me to be and do more, was such a gift in a week when I felt adrift. Thinking about craft with another maker and really considering where I am and where I'm hoping to be was a joy. You know who you are x
Quick news/ things that may be of interest:
Yesterday and today only:
A comic book YB enjoyed as a child- Passages by Annette Roman, illustrated by Leonardo Ng - is in the public domain - I found it a good entry point for certain conversations when I bought it for him 12-odd years ago
The girl from last week said Yes to the Ring 🙂
Over on Twitter, a weekly library TBR thread; if you’d like to know what titles to expect in the read books section
Dracula Daily, which I mentioned in a past entry, continues apace. Jump on if you’re keen
You can send me books, postcards, letters, and assorted gifts via PO Box 102439, Jamia Posta 00101, Nairobi, Kenya
I have finished three books since I last wrote - hybrid reads of The Return of Faraz Ali by Aamina Ahmad (narrated by Homer Todiwala & Nina Wadia), What's Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety by Cole Kazdin (narrated by the author), and These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany (narrated by Shazia Nicholls) and my latest video is from 2020 (you can watch it here). To catch the videos I’m working on when they’re done, subscribe to the channel if you haven’t yet!
As ever, please write back to me and tell me what books you’re reading or looking forward to reading — 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!