Afoma Umesi’s monthly favorites: A collection of loved internet finds and personal updates from August 2017.
It’s the first day of September and so a great time to wrap August up in a pretty bow by sharing monthly favorites! How did August go for you? Did you achieve all you hoped you would?
August was a month of online bounty with so many excellent pieces published and shared. I read a ton! I hope I don’t overwhelm y’all. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Articles around the web
Bloggers, you’ll enjoy Deola’s post on how to make money from blogging (even in Nigeria).
This post will help any blogger to make more genuine sponsored content, instead of just saying “buy this!”.
Did you read my 21 Questions interview with Joy Ehonwa? Catch up! I love, love her piece on how motherhood changed the way she views her body.
Author of A Little Life (one of Keside’s BOOK’D recommendations) has 12,000 books in her home. You don’t want to miss this. Drool.
This Granta piece explores how “writing is just cabinet-making with language” and the myth of the creative genius. I enjoyed it a great deal.
In the top three things read this month: This interview of Jhumpa Lahiri. Devour it.
I feel exposed, vulnerable, as it should be. An artist has to experience this condition. At some point I became a successful writer, and I’m grateful, but when I write, when I try to write, I always feel uncomfortable. You need to dig where you don’t feel comfortable.
Why you shouldn’t throw old clothes in the trash. Instead, like Edwin says in this article, thrift.
Is it possible to completely know the person we marry? This NYTimes piece explores the deep mysteries of those we love the most.
Also high on the list of monthly faves is this ManRepeller article in which 24 women recount the ways growing older has changed them the most. I identify most with Leandra who says:
I used to care A LOT about whether people thought I was smart. I tried super hard to control my messaging and give people what I thought they wanted from me intellectually. In some ways, it was awesome, because it forced me out of the comfort zone and of the boundaries of my mind, but in other ways it was really exhausting and tested how concrete my sense of self and identity was. I would wonder whether the thing I was saying or thinking was my truth, or just a thing that I felt the receiving end of my conversation would want to hear. At the crux of my wanting other people to THINK I am smart was my not thinking it at all. The need for validation! That was a cool, sobering and confronting thing to learn.
I enjoyed this piece about older black women and their love for Princess Diana.
Seven writer types you should never become.
Creatives share how they deal with burnout, shock and overwhelm. Everyone should read this.
Fiction & Poetry:
Chimamanda wrote a short story for Harper’s Bazaar. Have you read it? How did you feel about it? (see what I did there? ha!) The ladies at The Book Banque shared their thoughts here as well. Speaking of The Book Banque, we want your migration stories. Submissions are now open indefinitely, so if you have a story about how home has changed or is changing for you, this is for you.
In other fiction news, Grace Oluseyi wrote a chilling story about marriage.
How not to feel alone within a love by Esther Edoho is beautiful.
Uzoamaka Doris’ ‘Vernacular’ is perfectly nostalgic.
‘How to be an acceptable wife‘ by Ola Nubi.
*Creative Non-Fiction: Read this piece of work by Amaka Nicole Okolo if you read nothing else. It will shift things inside of you.
The Lit Yard interviewed Zaynab. She reads over a hundred books a year. Every. Year. And posts bomb book photos on her Instagram.
You know how much I love Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Her interview on The Book Dealer NG is so eye opening and comforting especially for anyone who feels they’ve failed too much at life already.
August was Ayobami Adebayo’s month, from this Vogue interview to her LitHub piece and this Paris Review Interview!
Lifestyle & Career
Constantly in pursuit of a slower, simpler lifestyle. I’m considering buying a bunch of clothes that look and feel similar because picking out clothes in the morning is such a hassle.
Six food shopping mistakes most health conscious people are making today.
A guide to understanding different types of fabric. I liked this because I never know what to think about fabric when I shop online. This guide shows you what’s breathable, hand washable, machine washable etc etc.
Bored of using “Regards” at the end of your emails? Here are 69 MORE options for every kind of email.
Otegha Uwagba says it’s perfectly OKAY for real artists to have day jobs too. I agree 100%. I reviewed her book here last month.
Nicole’s post on why diet and exercise do not have a rule book is a necessary read.
Why we all need a side project.
Five keys to finding a job. ON POINT.
Did you ever read The BabySitters Club? Take this BuzzFeed quiz to see which one you are! I got Kristen! Pretty spot on, even though I was definitely a Mary Ann at some point.
If you were, like me sleeping on Words Are Work, please fix up. My FAVORITE thing right now on their site is Suyi’s 4 Step guide to stealing time for reading and writing. IT IS PERFECT. So detailed from how many hours a day he’s decided to read and write to how he makes it happen. You can customize your own plan to shorter time blocks, obviously but read it, read it, especially if you’re trying to read more.
I also enjoyed their interview with writer Amara Nicole Okolo here.
I made a playlist of songs I’ve enjoyed this month. My style is chill music. I like background music, indie, folksy stuff and the occasional EDM (although not in this playlist, the EDM), so if you’re into that, you’ll like this.
On the Tube
I’ve been hooked on Minnie Small‘s YouTube channel. I’m especially obsessed with this video.
Looking forward to this movie from ELTV.
This Ake Fest Panel about home and displacement in writing is everything.
August was really a stop and refresh month for me. I took time to just REST. I caught up on some reading. Actually read a whopping seven books this month!
What I read:
The Girl Who Lied – Uche Okonkwo****
– Oyinkan Braithwaite (Reviewed here)****
The Heirs – Susan Reiger****
Kintu – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi****
Sing, Unburied, Sing – Jesmyn Ward***
The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu***
Pieces of Happiness – Anne Ostby***
I had one photo session this month and started my ophthalmology rotation which is proving to be VERY interesting!
In September, I’m looking forward to:
-A new service year!
-Starting finals studying
-Photo sessions (!)
-The BOOK’D line up
What was your favorite thing or least favorite thing about August? Let me know! Also, let me know if you enjoy any of the songs in the playlist! My giveaway winner will be announced today, so keep an eye out!