January Reviews

Thank goodness January is over. Fun February, am I right or AM I RIGHT? I better be right, goddammit. 

I read four books this month, two of which were quite dense (Smith and Russell), one was a reread for work (Achebe), and the essay collection was by a nonfiction writer who has quickly become one of my favorites (Jamison). A quick run down:

Like I said before, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, was a reread for work (I think this is my fifth time reading it). If you haven't read it before you really should; it's one of the first novels from Africa that was published and studied worldwide. It's a great look at modernity vs tradition, European colonialism, and identity. It's one of my favorite books we read senior year!

I started Karen Russell's Swamplandia! last November, but I put it on hold not because I didn't like it, but because I had to read faster books to meet my 2019 goal. I finished it up this past month and really, really enjoyed it. I gave my students a passage to analyze and write on last week and when I explained the premise they were like "WHAT?" But seriously, if "alligator wrestling theme park that dries up and leaves the main character searching for her ghost-loving sister, meanwhile her brother is working at a rival hell-centered theme park to earn money" doesn't sell you I don't know what will. It was so well-written and delightful. 

Leslie Jamison's Make it Scream Make It Burn, a collection of essays, was just so, so good. She writes about a variety of topics, including a lonely whale, reincarnation, being a stepmother, and getting pregnant. Her style is so reflective and poignant that she could probably write about dust bunnies and I'd be hooked.

I also read Zadie Smith's White Teeth, after having it on my shelf for probably a decade, but Julie and I are doing a Blogger Banter post on it next week, so I'll post my thoughts then. 

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