Daryl Hall & Friends

I came upon this web show Live From Daryl’s House and have been bingeing on episodes — well, especially the one which features KT Tunstall — have replayed those clips a few times. You can watch the latest episodes for free on the official website, but have to pay for the older ones (like the one with KT Tunstall and one lovely one with John Oates). However, those are available on YouTube, thank goodness. Watch the clips because aside from Daryl Hall being one of my favourite singer/songwriters, KT Tunstall is just amazing. Her collaboration with Hall on Out of Touch, Bonnie Raitt’s Something to Talk About (see below) and her own song Black Horse and the Cherry Tree is just the BEST.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Started in 2017 and Intend to Complete in 2018

It’s been ages since I did The Broke and the Bookish’s  Top Ten Tuesday meme, so I didn’t know that, from 16th Jan, it’s going to be hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Just in time then, to say good bye to The Broke and the Bookish: Farewell! Wishing you all sorts of adventures!

This week’s Ten Five is ‘Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To’. My version is books I started, but didn’t get round to finishing, for one reason or another.

1. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar.

Did I start this last year or in 2016? In any case, I hope to pick it up again this year! A wonderfully strange story that I need to get to the bottom of.

2. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

What a sobering read. I finished the opening essay and realised what a privileged life I lead, and also how ignorant I am. I’m looking forward to continuing my education.

3. A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym

I adore Barbara Pym’s novels and this is the only one I haven’t read. It’s also the only one I didn’t like. I had to force myself through the chapters and abandoned it halfway through. I would like to give it another chance.

4. Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

I was supposed to move to Lagos in 2017, but it didn’t happen and, at the end of the year, I decided to end my relationship with someone whom I still think of as the love of my life. I bought this book in anticipation of a new beginning that wasn’t meant to be, and things got so stressful that I stopped reading after a few chapters. I did like what I read though so I am definitely going to revisit this one.

5. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor

I’ve enjoyed everything by this author so far, but I remember thinking that this book  contained early ideas that are developed fully in later short stories and in the novel Who Fears Death. I wasn’t gripped, but it might have been a mood thing and I do want to try again.

 

Book Review: Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang

shThis review was first published in The Star on 2nd Jan, 2018

SOUR HEART

By Jenny Zhang

Publisher: Lenny/Penguin-Random House, 320 pages

SOUR Heart is poet and essayist Jenny Zhang’s first collection of short stories, seven painful and often painfully funny coming of age tales, each featuring a young, female protagonist transplanted from China, navigating the strange waters of the United States and the even stranger waters of family dynamics.Read More »

WWW Wednesday

What I read recently

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

This is the first of The Dark is Rising Sequence, five books that tell the story of a group of children who join the age-old fight against the Dark. It’s a classic good versus evil fantasy, with Arthurian legend woven through it.

One of the authors whom I edit, and who has become a friend, surprised me yesterday by telling me that he had ordered the Folio Society edition of this book for me. It’s has beautiful illustrations by Laura Carlin and, like everything published by the Folio Society, looks absolutely stunning, from what I can see on the website.

What I’m Reading Now

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng and Dead Man’s Bones (Inspector McLean series) by James Oswald

Christian missionaries in fairyland and bloody ritual murders strike a nice balance.

What I Want to Read Next

I’ll know when I know. My reading list is here.

 

 

Reading List 2018

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I’ve made a list of books I want to read next year. ‘Want to’ means I may or may not end up reading them: I have no problems deciding a book is not for me mid-chapter or even mid-first paragraph. Some of the books on the list are those I stopped reading midway this year or last, not because I didn’t like them, but for some other reason, like I had to read something else for work and after that I was no longer in the mood for what I’d been reading before.

In my journal, I have a page divided in two. On the left is a list of books I want to read; I’ll enter the titles of books I do read on the right. I record most reads on Good Reads and, since 2012, I’ve had a Pinterest page for books I’ve read, but what the hell, I like lists.

Reading List 2018:

  1. Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
  2. Provenance by Ann Leckie
  3. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
  4. Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Ozuko (I can’t find my copy, which may be life’s way of stressing that that part of my life is officially over, LOL)
  5. Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan
  6. Saman by Ayu Utami
  7. Enrico’s Love Story by Ayu Utami
  8. Night Again (a collection of short stories) edited by Linh Dinh
  9. Love Like Hate by Linh Dinh
  10. Faith in Writing, essays by Goenawan Mohamad
  11. Women & Power by Mary Beard
  12. A Long Way from Verona by Jane Gardam
  13. The Book That Made Me Me, edited by Judith Ridge
  14. Real People by Alison Lurie
  15. Jasmine Nights by SP Somtow
  16. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  17. Witness to My Life, the letters of Jean Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir
  18. Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
  19. Feed by MT Anderson
  20. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
  21. My Place by Sally Morgan
  22. Sin is a Puppy That Follows You Home by Balaraba Ramat Yakubu
  23. Musings on Wine and Other Libations by MFK FIsher
  24. A Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes
  25. Image-Music-Text by Roland Barthes
  26. Power/Knowledge by M Foucault
  27. Southeast Asia: An Introductory History by Milton Osborne
  28. The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws by Margaret Drabble
  29. A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym
  30. Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar
  31. For Love and Kisses by Andrea Pasion-Flores
  32. Poor Man’s Wife by Eun Hee-Kyung
  33. Short Stories by Eun Hee-Kyung
  34. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
  35. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper (re-read)
  36. The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones (re-read)
  37. The Earthsea Chronicles by Ursula Le Guin (re-read)
  38. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  39. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  40. The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
  41. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  42. Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
  43. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  44. The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
  45. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

This list is about me wanting to catch up with all the books sitting on my shelves and bedside table, waiting to be read. The only ones I don’t already own are Akata Warrior and Provenance.

I don’t intend to work my way down the list — that would be impossible. I read what I’m in the mood for and this list seems varied enough to suit most moods. Anyway, this flat is full of books and there are many more waiting to be read for the first time. I shall add to this list as and when, and cross out the titles when I’ve read or stopped reading them.

P.S. I wonder how much re-reading I will do next year. I know I want to read Greenwitch by Susan Cooper, but I don’t know if I will read the others in the Sequence. And I also wish to finally re-read Diana Wynne Jones’s The Dalemark Quartet. I shall add them to this list. Oh and the Chronicles of Earthsea!