QUEENIE by Candice Carty-Williams was one of the most enjoyable books I read this year. I love books that center on Black Womanhood. I love books where I see myself in the characters. I love representation and that’s that. Were there things that annoyed me about Queenie? Sure, but I focused on the things that I loved and there were too many to count. The topics this book addressed were so spot on! The character development was brilliant. This is totally a book club read so you can unpack it with others. I wanted to do this book review justice so much that I considered reshooting it but decided my first take is my realest feelings innit (British voice). Anyway, by now I’m sure most of you read Queenie so let’s talk! And if you haven’t go get it!
The book title “The Courage to be Disliked” intrigued me. I was curious if it would be a guide for how to stand in the truth that sometimes not everyone is not going to like you (people-pleasing is overrated yet so many of us struggle with it including myself) and while it did touch on that, it definitely was not what I expected. In this review, I explore some of the topics addressed in the book, which ties to the theories of Alfred Adler, including Trauma, Rejection, Comparison, and Freedom. It wasn’t my favorite book but it was a very interesting read.
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Americanah is the best book I have ever read. After 27-years of life and reading, I finally have a favorite book. I’ve been searching for it all my life and finally, it’s here! The book follows the lives of Ifemelu and Obinzie, two lovers who first meet in a secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria. The couple eventually separates. Ifemelu moves to America to go to school, while Obinze moves to London in search of work. They are smart, charismatic, and hopeful in Nigeria, but their new lives as immigrants in these sensationalized countries prove to be hard.
This book illustrates the power of first love. It’s a love story at its core, but a culturally important book that explores race, immigration, navigating adulthood, education, relationships, culture, culture clashing, assimilation, and so much. Like I said, this is the best book I’ve ever read in my life. Check out the below concept trailer for the movie:
I read The Originals by Adam Grant for a book club. At first, I was super excited to read it, because Grant uses his book to discuss extraordinary individuals and what makes them special. He addresses procrastination as a positive trait using Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example because he waited until the twelfth hour to craft his world-renowned “I Have a Dream” speech (which was actually an improvisation). He talked about the dangers of Group Think and the failures and successes of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. I was excited to learn about these movers and shakers but about halfway through the book, it all became unbearable; reading a case study after case study was great, but after a while, it lost my attention. If you’re interested in learning about creative people who changed the world this book might be for you!
I read this book, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi in about 4-days which is shocking to me because I didn’t want to read it at all. Let me just say I REALLY enjoyed this book and learning that the author was my age was a proud moment for me. Homegoing is an amazing novel about our ancestry and the significance of returning back home, wherever home might be; in the case of these characters, Ghana.
The book starts with Effia and Esi, half-sisters who were not only beautiful, but didn’t know each other existed until their familial histories were revealed to them by family members and foes. Unknowingly, their lives would cross paths through generations. The book takes place in both Ghana and America chronicling the trajectories of both Effia and Esi’s descendants as they navigate Tribal Wars, Slavery, Jim Crow, Chain Gangs, British Imperialism, Drug Wars, and Mental Health. The book navigates history through the eyes of its characters and brings us to a full circle moment in the end. This book filled me up with pride and it made me want to go to Ghana. Gyasi is such an excellent writer. Reading her work, you can only wonder how she’s able to articulate her words with such detail and eloquence. The characters she created have depth, their stories similar to my own. I can say with certainty this is one of the most captivating novels I’ve read. Although our culture and history were taken from us, we should try to understand our family history from our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and family-friends before it dies with them.