It’s WWW Wednesday, a tag hosted on Taking on a World of Words It’s easy to do, just answer the three questions below!
What are you currently reading?
It’s crunch time when it comes to Nonfiction November. My current read is Becoming by Michelle Obama. I am enjoying it much more than I was expecting, which is sad to say. I’m always wary of politicians/public figures’ books because they tend to get very “stump speech”-y and blandly political. So far though Michelle’s hasn’t been like that at all (because it’s going chronologically possibly), and it even has a bit of literary style. So far so good.
My train read that I probably won’t finish before the end of the month is The Terrible, which is a “storyteller’s memoir” by Nigerian-British poet Yrsa Daley-Ward. It’s told through an unconventional blend of prose and poetry and so far it’s great, but I’m only 40 pages in. And yes, you read that right. Pages. As in I’m actually physically reading a book for once!
My buddy read is Kings of the Wild by Nicholas Eames, which is a “getting the band back together” take on a fantasy story. Washed up mercenaries regroup to rescue one of their daughters from the treacherous Wyld wood. I only started this last night, so I have no first impressions yet.
What did you recently finish reading?
I wrapped up more books on Monday since I skipped last week’s WWW, so here’s what I’ve finished since Monday:
Gods of Risk (The Expanse #2.5) (★★★☆☆)
This book follows Bobbie Draper’s nephew, so it’s only tangentially related to the rest of the series. I can’t say much without spoilers for the series, but I’ll say I still liked being in this world, but it was just divorced enough from the rest of what was happening that I struggled to connect with the story. The snippets we got of Bobbie were entertaining. I’d say you can easily skip this novella and not miss anything for the main series.
Strange Dogs (The Expanse #6.5) (★★★★☆)
Contrastly, this novella follows completely disparate characters from the earlier books and yet it seems so vital to read. It follows Cara on one of the new worlds that were discovered. You follow along as she discovers the mysteries of this new planet while the bigger picture world-changing moves happen in the background. This would have been really interesting to read in publication/chronological order instead of after I’d read #7. Also bonus: They got the narrator from the main series (Jefferson Mays) to read this one instead of Erik Davies, who I really don’t get along with.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body: (★★★★.5☆)
I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up this collection from Roxane Gay. The ways in which Gay manages to detail her trauma and her internal and external struggles with her body are astounding (makes me wish I’d been reading the physical copy so I could take note of certain passages). I’ve never struggled with being overweight myself (the opposite actually), but there are certain things about body issues that would ring true for every one, especially women. Her account of her rape and calling herself a victim instead of a survivor were especially powerful sections.
I’d lean toward calling this an essay collection rather than a true memoir based on the structure and on how brief some of the sections were. They weren’t disjointed at all, but certain parts seemed like the essays were unnaturally truncated, like “I want to follow that train of thought longer please!” That’s the only thing that kept it from a 5 star for me.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m shooting for 15 total nonfiction books this month and Becoming is my 13th, so I’m hoping to finish that quickly so I can pick up a couple of short ones. (Wish me luck!) One I already have on loan from the library is The White Darkness, which is short and about “adventure and obsession in the Antarctic.” Then I then I’ll go with The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin because I’ve been meaning to read it forever and I want to read the source material before I get to The Fire This Time (the collection edited by Jesmyn Ward).
What I’ve borrowed from the library: I borrowed The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward on a hm after looking at the new nonfiction shelf. I also picked up two poetry books by poet laureate Tracy K. Smith (Wade in the Water and Life on Mars), which I’ll get to next week.
What I bought: I went to my local indie book store on Sunday (for Shop Small weekend) and picked up My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, which I’ve been hearing about for months so I’m excited to open it up.