Kiese Laymon: Long Division

Well, that took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Have you ever read a book that seems to be getting a lot of praise and talk about how good it is and then, once you’ve finished the book and are unimpressed, feel like you’re missing out on some secret everyone else is in on but you? That’s how I feel about Long Division. I really wanted to like this book, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. The second half was much more interesting than the first, I must say, and maybe I need to reread the first half to connect the two stories, but I don’t really want to. It just didn’t do it for me.

The second half of the book, which is technically a separate story, kept my attention. The time travel, finding out how Baize Shephard went missing, and the dialogue was much more entertaining than whatever happened in the first half of the book. Even 1985 City was more interesting than 2013 City, though I still wasn’t able to connect them to each other between the stories. Maybe I need someone to explain it better and make it make sense. Also, because I wasn’t entirely engaged and it took me so long to read through it, I likely lost the connection because I couldn’t remember much about the first half besides City and Lavander hating and loving each other.

I really wanted to have fascinating things to say about this book. I wanted to enjoy it. It took me three months to get through it, though, and that is incredibly obnoxious to me. Maybe one day I will read it over again and it’ll all make sense. In the meantime, I’m looking for my next read. There are a couple of books on my shelf that I need to finish, but they don’t fit my current reading mood. I can’t quite describe my current reading mood except that it is feminine and adventurous. If you have suggestions to fit that description, I’d be happy to look into them. Bonus points if I can access them on Overdrive as I’m not purchasing any more books until I have the shelf space for them (that’s the plan anyway).

What book(s) have you started this year? What are you looking forward to reading next? let me know!

Happy reading!

My Summer Reading List

I have come to accept I will never be one of those people who reads ten books per month… or five books per month. Some months I read one book—two if they are both really good—and sometimes I go two months without reading a single book. While it would make sense for me to shut everything off and turn to a book when I’m stressed, I usually turn on the TV instead because it is a more passive distraction than reading.

We are halfway through the year (insane!) and I’ve managed to start five books and finished two. To be fair, I’ve also been working on writing one of my own, but I have spent a lot of time letting Netflix watch me instead of picking up one of my in-progress books. In an effort to stretch my reading muscles, I have selected a few books for my summer reading list, and have given myself permission to buy physical copies of the books (yay!).

My first pick was a novel that felt like the ultimate summer read—I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan. All I know right now is that it’s about ex-boyfriends and, seeing as the only type of boyfriends I have currently are those of the ex variety, it felt like a good choice to kick off the summer (which also means I won’t start it until next week).

My second pick for the summer is Roxane Gay’s memoir, Hunger. I’ve been really into Gay’s work since reading Difficult Women, and this has been on my list for some time. As a person who has my own body-related struggles, I’m interested in the relationships other people have with their bodies and how much deeper those relationships go beyond just hating oneself.

Lastly, I purchased Long Division, a novel by Kiese Laymon. Long Division is a bit outside what I’ve been reading lately since I’ve been focused mainly on Black women authors, but I’m looking forward to whatever fun, drama, and challenges this novel presents. I think it’ll be a great way to wrap up the summer.

I have a fairly broad timeline for reading these books. Summer lasts three months, but that doesn’t mean it will take the entire three months to finish my reading list. On the other hand, maybe it will… there are a lot of other things happening on this side of the internet.

I’m interested in what titles are on your summer reading lists. Tell me what you’re going to be reading this summer and where you’re going to be reading all these interesting books. I don’t get a real vacation until November, so I’ll have to live vicariously through other people’s summer vacay photos.

Until next time… Happy Reading!