The best thing about working at a college is the library privileges. I can borrow books for 6 months and renew them for another 6 months. I recently had to do that for The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde. I checked out the book in February and have been savoring it. I also misplaced the book a couple of times, so that added to the delay in finishing it. I’m reading this book as well as Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón. I normally don’t read two poetry books simultaneously, but this collection was a National Book Award Finalist.
I’ve read quite a bit this summer, most likely because I had long airplanes rides when I went to New Orleans and St. Maarten. Here they are in order of when I finished them:
- Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis. This book is particularly special to me because it is the debut collection of a poet I know through Cave Canem, I got it signed by her in March, and it won the National Book Award this year.
- Fuchsia by Mahtem Shiferraw. Another author I know personally through VCFA and her indy press, Black Lioness Press.
- Rose by Li Young Lee: A book I picked up when browsing the library stacks looking for the book club selection. A lovely collection by a poet I’ve wanted to read, but never got around to it until this summer.
- Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: The MetroWest Social Book Club selection for July. I missed the meeting when I was on vacation, but most of the group didn’t like it. Science fantasy fiction is not my genre, but I enjoyed the book as a *thought experiment.*
- Underground Airlines by Ben Winters. I heard about this book on NPR where the story takes place in an alternate universe America where the Civil War never happened and slavery existed in four states. I think the hype related more to the fact that the author is White and has a Black main character.
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Her debut novel that tells the story of the descendants of two half-sisters from Ghana through history in Ghana and in the United States. Each chapter tells a different person’s story and moves the book ahead in time.
- We the Animals by Justin Torres: The MetroWest Social Book Club selection for August. I read this novel on my Kindle a few years back and recommended it to the group. This time, I read the book using the Kindle app on my laptop.