CURRENTLY LOVING…| December

A round up of all my favorite things from December

Hey there!

It feels like forever since we had a good ol’ catch up. How are you? December is usually a reflective time for most people so everyone spends time adding things up. Have you been reflecting? I have. Maybe a bit too much too. The end of the calendar year often feels heavy, like the weight of years already passed. Today, though, lets chat only about December, all I’ve loved this month and maybe some of what I’ve done?

ARTICLES AROUND THE WEB

Who gets to be the “good schizophrenic”? I’m very fascinated by mental health and psychiatry in general so this piece by Esme Wang who suffers from schizoaffective disorder went straight to my heart.

Still on schizophrenia, according to this article, when schizophrenics hear voices, they’re really hearing their own subvocal speech.

This article on avoiding burn out is exactly what I needed!

Are you a huge flaker? Here’s why canceling plans feels oh so good, and how to do better.

I watched‘Brooklyn’ after reading the book and I’m all over Saiorse Ronan’s style in the movie! Six fave looks here for all ye vintage fashion lovers.

My favorite post ever by Kate! I think every blogger should write a post like this. It’s definitely on my to-blog list!

Yes, it’s your parents’ fault: a profound reminder of how problems with childhood attachment can affect our relationships as adults. I presented ‘attachment theory’ during my psych rotation and I’ve realized that I definitely have a few issues with the way I navigate relationships. This article also links to a great assessment survey of your attachment style, which I recommend.

This tour of Jerelle Guy’s tiny loft with all her food photography props brings out all my heart eyes.

I enjoyed reading Dami Ajayi’s profile of Lola Shoneyin.

Lesley Nneka Arimah on Self Care for creatives.

This NYTimes quiz reveals your love style. Apparently I’m logical and unselfish. I quite agree.

This post on approaching NBME/USMLE step 2 questions SAVED MY LIFE during exam prep.

Sade’s post on three things you learn after university had me nodding with agreement to every word.

Interviews

Manrepeller interviewed Joanna Goddard of Cup Of Jo and there couldn’t have been a better marriage of two of my favorite sites to link to.

Okey Ndibe on Lagos.

Bookish links

Why you shouldn’t “read everything”. I agree 100%.

Debut author Naima Coster, whose book I’m currently reading (and loving!) on the importance of having a black editor. Her writing is sublime, so read this.

Most rejected manuscripts of all time, including now popular work by John Grisham and Esme Wang.

Writer Roxane Gay on how she works. You know I love this stuff.

How to remember what you read. Hint: be an active reader.

Ayobami Adebayo (who I interviewed here) on her typical writing day. I loved this.

Short fiction

Equal parts thrilled and terrified by this Yejide Kilanko story on Brittle Paper.

Edwidge Danticat’s story ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ is my favorite thing this month.

On the blog

After two months and some of posting just interviews, I think I’ve gotten lazy about blog content of my own. Although, I’m working on doing better in the coming days, I can’t help but be proud of the BOOK’D guests so far on the blog. Most recently, Brittle Paper founder and editor Ainehi Edoro, then just before, Adebola Rayo. The BOOK’D archive is still my fave!

My girl Esther released her chapbook ‘moonflower‘ and while the giveaway I hosted may have closed, you can still read this interview with her. Also, you’re still in good time to buy moonflower But if you’d like to first read a review, read this and this.

WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING

I’m hooked on The Crown. I LOVE it! It is a biographical account of Queen Elizabeth II and even though a huge part of it is drama, it does stay true to historical events enough to be a history lesson for rookies. The dialogue is so good and that dry British humor is delightful. I’m currently on Season 2 and savoring it because they’re changing the cast to middle age characters. Here’s the trailer for season one.

Ashley Ford’s talk on What it means to take a risk is sweet and important.

I’m really excited to watch this movie.

I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO…

Not a lot of podcasts besides Dear Sugar, to be honest. I fell off a lot of listening during exams and my routine is still all over the place. In addition, I find that when my priorities shift, I lose interest in some podcasts. I’ll be spending the rest of today decluttering my podcast app.

IN DECEMBER I READ…

Three Daughters of Eve – Elif Shafak 4 stars

Riveting and truly fascinating. My first Shafak read, too. It’s hard to put this one in a single box, but I can assure you that you will enjoy Shafak’s writing. Often, the main themes of the book- politics, religion- are overbearing and truly repetitive, but you’ll be fine if you skip a few pages here and there (unless of course you’re into philosophical discussions of that sort).

In summary, while I enjoyed this read immensely, I also recognize that it isn’t for everyone and parts of the novel are annoyingly preachy; more Shafak’s meditations on religion than story. Still, an unforgettable read devoured in less than ten hours.

ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Brooklyn – Colm Toibin 4 stars

Brooklyn is a story most of all about homesickness. Eilis Lacey moves from her small town in Ireland to Brooklyn in the 50’s to find a job. The book follows her initial bout of overwhelming homesickness until she meets and falls in love with an Italian-American plumber, Tony.

 

Still, when she has to return home for a while toward the end of the book, she’s pulled in again by her hometown and the ease of familiarity. This part of the plot for me was equal parts heartrending and frustrating. I empathized with Eilis because I know how appealing home can seem when you’ve been away too long and how tempting it is to just stay where things are easier and familiar.

I enjoyed this read a lot and I’m not even a fan of period dramas, but Toibin is a master at describing emotions and the small nuances in character action that really make a story come alive. Right after reading, I also watched the BEAUTIFUL movie adaptation and there could have possibly been no one better than Saoirse Ronan to play Eilis.

Moonflower – Esther Edoho 5 stars

Reviewed here.

Ghachar Ghochar – Vivek Shanbhag 4 stars (recommended from Uche Okonkwo’s BOOK’D interview)

Very interesting read about the way money changes people. At times funny, but always well written. If you need a nice, quick read that’ll make you think, this is a good pick!

The Identicals – Elin Hilderbrand 3.5 Stars.

A compulsive beach read that will transport you to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket where Tabitha and Harper Frost live. While I enjoyed reading this, I also had many eye roll moments because of the frequently overdramatic and unrealistic scenes, but hey, who knows what happens in the lives of islanders eh?

Very good escapist literature.

What We Lose – Zinzi Clemmons 4.5 stars

A slow burn of a book, and yet I couldn’t put it down. I loved the narrative style, even though at times it was hard to place the chronology of things. The grief in this book is so tender, so palpable, your heart will break for Thandi.

What We Lose is a semi-autobiographical account of Zinzi Clemmons’ life as a mixed race girl in the US and also in South Africa. Her vignettes on identity and race are thought provoking but her portrayal of love, the mistakes of youth and loss after the death of a loved ones are my favorite things about this book.

Her writing, full of imagery and strong emotion is simple and moving. Overall, a strong debut in my opinion.

Halsey Street – Naima Coster. 4 stars Full review forthcoming.

Life Updates:

I wrote and passed my final exams in med school this month! That’s probably the biggest and most exciting news of the month. More on life updates and hopes for the coming calendar year in Sunday’s post.

So… what’s up with you? What did I miss? What have you been reading and how are you spending the last few days of the year? Please share.

If you’d like to keep up with I’m reading, add me on goodreads! I like to see what everyone else is reading too!

See you tomorrow for my favorite reads of the year!

Afoma x