The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. This is a wonderful book about four siblings that see a fortune teller and learn the dates of their death. Each kept the date secret from the rest of the family. The story takes you through each sibling’s life as they think about the date and wonder if it will be correct: Simon becomes a dancer in 1980’s San Francisco, Klara becomes a magician in Las Vegas, Daniel works as a military doctor, and Varya researches longevity by testing a group of monkeys. The character building was great, each sibling has a unique personality and the way they connect with each other feels very realistic. I really enjoyed the concept of this book and even though it is essentially a story about death, the characters all appear to be very much alive.
How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh. I found a copy of this at VV and grabbed it because it was super popular on goodreads last year and it looks interesting. This is the first book I’ve seen that is all colour printed on the inside! Fancy. As for the advice within… some parts were good and others not so helpful. The section on stress was pretty weak… in what universe is having chapped lips considered a stressful event?? I think it was after this point that she lost me. As I made my way through the chapters it became apparent that I could just read the chapter headline and get a good sense of her message, the rest of the text felt like filler. I am not familiar with her YouTube videos, but apparently she has a huge following, but this book felt like a YouTube channel translated into book format (magazine format, really). There isn’t much content and most of the pages are photos of Lilly and enlarged quotes that you could read and skip the rest. This sounds harsh but I expected a lot more! Too much talk about YouTube and too many not subtle photos of Lilly with other celebrities. Kinda hard to relate to that.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I was recommended this book by a friend when I put my feelers out to the Facebook Oracle in search of fiction by POC. I got a bunch of recs for books I had already read but also for some new ones, including An American Marriage which was actually already in my amazon shopping cart. I liked this a lot more than I thought I might based on the title (also the title of Stewie’s play in an episode of family guy haha), and found it very readable. Jones tells the story of a young couple’s relationship as it falls apart following the husband’s wrongful incarceration. I can’t imagine trying to make a marriage work while one partner is serving a long sentence, though this is reality for a lot of couples in America. This was a strong but not heavy-handed book that I would definitely recommend.
What is everyone else reading this week? I’ve been really wanting to get back into more conversations about books… I need people to get nerdy with 🖤