My latest book reviewed is Althea Romeo-Mark’s The Nakedness of New – ”The Nakedness of New deals heavily with the timely issue of immigration, and the title refers specifically to the vulnerability of being new/in a new place without the resources, network, and comfort that would make you feel at home. The collection covers place/displacement and moves across the Caribbean, Africa, the US/USVI, and Europe. It explores the rhythms of life, the violence we visit upon each other, the ins and outs of immigration (e.g. “we come in waves./Our boats, tiny specks/ on dark, fathomless oceans” in At The Mercy Of Gods) – particularly potent in this time when immigration is headline news (from the packed boats entering Europe with people from Africa and the Middle East, some lost at sea or to slavery, to the separation of families, some children lost forever to their parents, at the US Southern border to discourage immigrants from certain “shithole” countries). This book sits in that conversation in a deeply empathetic way.’
That’s a picture of me (right, in purple) when I met the author (centre) here in Antigua in 2015 (that’s London Rocks author Brenda Lee Browne to the left); and this is a picture of her book:
I’ll share the first line of my most active current reads – paperback books unless otherwise mentioned. (in order of how long I’ve been reading them – longest to shortest time)
“No one had seen a car like it” from The Black Rose by Tananarive Due (currently on page 270)
“Jane, Lady Vincent could never be considered a beauty, but possessed of a loving husband and admirable talent, had live thirty years in the world with only a few events to cause her any true distress or vexation” from Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal (currently on page 110)
“THEIR BMW RENTAL car sped down the Italian autostrada, and the autumn breeze chased clouds around the soft blue sky” in Marie Ohanesian Nardin’s Beneath the Lion’s Wings (reading this as an ebook, starting over as I’ve lost the thread)
“I paint because I am still able to do so” from Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman (currently on page 300)
“It was a solitary voice, saying Allah-hu-akbar and other familiar but incomprehensible syllables” from Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhuri (currently on page 34)
“That sound; that burbling, bubbling sound” from Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini (currently on page 8)
“Estate Grange is an important piece of St. Croix’s history that is not known to many Crucians, let alone Virgin Islanders” from Hidden Secrets of St. Croix by Clarice C. Clarke (this is a hard cover picture book with historical notes; currently on page 22)
“In those weeks in Barcelona in November 1975 as General Franco lay dying, you could be forgiven for believing that things were ordinary” from On the Edge by Colm Toibin in PEN America A Journal for Writers and Readers #18 In Transit (currently on page 16)
Also started listening to audio books of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr,
How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston, The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, and
Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman – I have no idea which ones of these I’ll finish when but the audio book experiment continues.
I read according to mood and usually when I’m on the move (there’s not a lot of space for dedicated reading time) so read multiple books at the same time; it works for me.
I’ve completed 11 books so far this year – 3 of which are audio books, 9 of which I’ve reviewed; and abandoned one book without being able to finish it. You can read reviews of all books read this year here.