How am I doing on my reading list?
Well, it’s not always easy to read when you are a full-time student, but I’m finding that ironically I am reading more books from my reading list this year than I have in past years.
What have I read so far?
Ladivine by Marie N’Diaye. It is a french-novel, which is set in Europe. I read the English- translated version of it. It’s a classic story of a mixed-race woman, who must come to terms with her African heritage, but she keeps running away from it. She denies part of who she is an in essence, she keeps her identity hidden from everyone, including her husband and daughter. Eventually, her double life becomes suffocating and unbearable, not only for her, but for those around her, who love her. An ongoing symbol within the novel is that of an abandoned dog and it is up to the reader to decide what that symbol represents. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely very well-done.
The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac. It’s is a story inspired by a true story. It is about a young man who rolls with the Subterranean crowd. The subterraneans are an artsy, beatnik type of group. It is sets in the 1950s. He develops a relationship with a Black woman, named Mardou Fox. She is a mysterious character and the protagonist often seems to take her for granted (not unlike how many Black women are taken for granted in the present day). Overall, I enjoyed it. Some of the writing is very erotic and enticing, if you like that.
I’ve also read Souls of Black Folk, which I wrote about in this post.
I’ve also read Citizen, which I wrote about in this post.
I’ve also read Cutting for Stone, which I wrote about in this post.
I’m halfway through From Poor Law to Welfare State and I’ll write what I took away from that book when I am finished.
Now, I am reading I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, next is Go Set a Watchmen, then Parable of the Sower, then the Jungle by Upton Sinclair, then finally Americanah (which I’ve been putting off for years), then I have to read the Bible in entirety and then Anna Karenina.
This many not seem like I’ve been reading as much as I should, but the truth is, I love to read. I always read excerpts and go on amazon to find books, but i get distracted by technology. I’ll be laying on my bed, reading a book, then suddenly my email will buzz and I’ll put the book down to check and next thing I know, it’s 2am in the morning. This is how I end up not reading.
But, I’ve tried to make a habit of reading at least 15- 30 pages every night. I’ve realized that although the internet is a gift in a lot of ways, it can stifle your learning because you are continuously looking for stuff that you already know and you don’t know how to search for what you don’t know because you don’t know what to search for!
It’s like running on a hamster wheel, but with books, I am learning so much more in the past few months than I ever thought I would. I am realizing how far behind on my reading I am, but thanks to Abagond, I am being inspired to read nightly. I still have so much more to do.
My motivations for reading more include my desire to improve my writing, my desire to indulge my reading hobby and also my desire to stand against the ignorance that has so permeated the political atmosphere. The more you read and learn from a multitude of viewpoints, the more empathy you have, the more you understand history and society and the more your mind opens. I want my mind to be open.