What’s On Your Nightstand?

I’m tackling two questions in the What’s on Your Nightstand book meme.
What's On Your Nightstand
3.Tell about what you are reading and why. I love to read the backstory on books. Did someone give it to you? Are you trying out a new genre at the recommendation of a friend (or website)? Did you stumble across a new author in a used bookstore?

I recently cut my active reading pile down to four…by putting the other books back on the shelf. The four left standing are, in order of my closeness to the finish line (i.e. the end of the book) The Black Rose by Tananarive Due, Singles Holiday by Elaine Spires, Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal, Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman…and back-issues of comics featuring Marvel’s Storm (also a digital copy of Beneath the Lion’s Wings by Marie Ohanesian Nardin). Why am I reading them…a friend gave me The Black Rose – it’s a biography and like biographies, and for this and just the quality of the writing, it’s my favourite of the books I’m currently reading (at this moment); I bought Singles Holiday at another friend’s book reading; I received Without a Summer and all other books in the Glamourist series (I’ve read three others) from the author after doing some editing work for her; I bought Faye Kellerman’s book from the used book shelf because I couldn’t find her husband Jonathan Kellerman’s latest…sss at the local bookstore and needed a fix (I’d liked some of her  Peter Decker books as well but am in particular a fan of his Alex Delaware series) plus, though this wasn’t Decker or Delaware, it was WWll era detective fiction, I figured I couldn’t go wrong; Wings was sent to me by the author for review. The Storm books are a gift from someone who knows she’s one of my favourite superheroes. I just started on these today.

4.Fill us in on your reading habits. When are you reading these books? Is one reserved for bedtime reading? Does one stay in your car to be read while you are waiting? Do you read just one book at a time?

These days I’m reading on the bus and in lines; it’s rare for me to have a day or a night to just kick back and read…so it’s usually to pass the time when I’m out and about. Which sucks. I travelled recently and the plane ride allowed me to finish Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and make significant progress on The Black Rose but alas reading’s slowed again now that I’m back home. I read several books at a time, sometimes at random, sometimes depending on the move, sometimes depending on what’s convenient and within reach. ETA: Case in point, since drafting this last night, I’ve started another book Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhuri because the walk to the shop feels shorter, especially in this heat, if I have something to read or listen to and my active reading pile was further away than my bookshelf (there’s layers to laziness, folks…in my defense I’m operating in energy sapping heat on about two or so hours of sleep today) so I picked this …as to how it got on the shelf, pretty sure it was given to me by someone since it doesn’t seem like something I’d buy, but I don’t hate it so far.

So, what’s on your nightstand? and how’re YOU reading?

Since we’re talking books allow me to thank Kimberly and Tammi for recent reviews of two of mine – my picture books With Grace, which Tammi described on goodreads as “a delightful read”, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, which blogger Kimberly called “a charming, honest narrative”.


Tata and the Big Bad Bull by Juleus Ghunta (Monday Meme-ing)


I just uploaded my review of new children’s picture book Tata and the Big Bad Bull:

“…if lower primary school teachers and parents with young readers are looking for a culturally-relatable read-aloud or read-a-long with humorous cues– bunny, duck, and dog lined up with the children to catch the bus among the first of these; colourful detail -the bee at the entrance to bee hive tunnel and the crocodile with sharp teeth on full display at the foot of the bridge over crocodile pool- among them; and rhyming couplets and repetition of a certain key phrase, this could be a good pick.”


Read the full review.

I’m linking this with Book Date’s It’s Monday, what are you reading? (the kid lit edition)


What am I reading? I’ve got several books in progress – dipping in to them as my schedule and attention allows. This week I dipped in to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (I’m about 455 pages in and still about 1/3 to go; man this book is long…and dense) and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: the Story of Success (only about 48 pages in). I’m enjoying both tbh but time to read is just scarce, man. I need to ride the bus more; that’s when I seem to get most of my reading done.


I haven’t blogged much here this week but, if you’re interested, here are some posts from my other blog: A post on a local art showa post about a Caribbean writer being tapped for a PEN lifetime achievement award, and a post on new film Skate Kitchen whose cinematographer is from Antigua. As for the blogosphere, I’m most looking forward to seeing the film Black Panther, but after reading Eva Langston’s What can a Wrinkle in Time Teach us about Writing? I’m keen to see that one too (though I haven’t read the book).

Sunday Post – just another Sunday in July

It’s been a quiet Sunday here in Antigua (quiet and hot!), the quiet before the storm that is Carnival – the Carnival bacchanal is already brewing (but that’s a story for another time).  Though, if you’re up for it, you can read my fictional Carnival Hangover story (mind the triggers though). This is my Sunday Post  (hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer), also my Sunday Salon and I’ll probably link to some other bookish memes before I’m done (Stacking the Shelves, Mailbox Monday , and It’s Monday, what are you reading –  for example).

I have a few books on my mind this week including Musical Youth musical_youth_nov1-e1415925946338(which I’m pushing  as a great summer read for the teen in your life). Here’s an extract posted recently to the publisher website.

As to other people’s books… I finished reading Shakirah Bourne’s In Time of Need Time*throws confetti* and I posted my review. It’s a short story collection and I talk about each individual story. Here’s an excerpt (of my review, not the book):

‘I really loved ‘Crossing Over’ – I’ve read it before, in St. Somewhere, and was happy to see it here. It’s easily one of my favourites in this collection. The opening “When I was younger, I used to love going to funerals because I could sneak away from my crying mother and run outside in the graveyard with my friends, where the real fun began”, had a cracky, darkly humorous distinctly Caribbean, uncensored childlike askew view of the world that tickled me and yet the story navigates the tonal shift to darker themes with ease.’

Shakirah is a Barbadian writer, playwright, and filmmaker, a young Caribbean creative with seeming boundless energy given the sheer number of projects she’s rolled out in the past few years…but then she’s not as active in the blogging community as she used to be (the answer to her productivity may lie in that *hint hint* to self*). Read the entire review here  (well, until it moves to ‘older reads’ in which case the link can still be found here ).

So I’m actively reading See now thenSee Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid and GloriousGlorious by Bernice McFadden, and less actively (through no fault of the book’s, just time) Sargasso Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, and then there are some dormant ones on my current reads list (which I’ll get back to as soon as I can) – including (freshly plucked from my book shelf) Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandayanectar. Yes, I am the kind of reader that has several books going at once. What can I say, I like to mix it up –this is true of how I work and how I play.

Anyway, hope you’re enjoying life wherever you are and you’ve got a good book in your bag for those long bus rides.