The Week in Books #76

9/14 ✅

The week in books! It’s been a sad few days as we said goodbye to our dog Ozzy, and not much reading was had. But I did complete a trilogy from N. K. Jemisin and a quick short story collection. I’m stoked about my progress on this stack, I was looking forward to it for so long that I really zoomed through the titles haha. Just 5 left!

1. The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin. Finally, the final book in this award winning trilogy! This is an excellent conclusion. I loved this series so much! Hard to find fault with this story, if I had any complaints it was that I initially had trouble following Hoa’s backstory as a Tuner because I wasn’t sure what was happening. But I checked out some reviews online from folks that had the same initial confusion and I figured it out, and then I was super pleased to have gotten to hear the events that lead up to the loss of the moon and birth of the stone eaters in the first place. I loved that Father Earth became a real character in the final book with opinions and actions. Any confusion I had about Corestones and the Guardians from the first two stories were resolved in this one. Most excellent trilogy and very deserving of its three consecutive Hugo wins.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.


2. Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta. This is a lovely collection of interconnected and flowing short stories that tell us of Kara’s teenage years living with her Jamaican mother in Ontario. Very real and enjoyable, definitely recommend! I heard about this book from Book of Cinz, a bookstagrammer with a focus on reading Caribbean. Check out her website here and join her book club!

Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle — of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a “true” Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother’s rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too “faas” or too “quiet” or too “bold” or too “soft.” Set in “Little Jamaica,” Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood, Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these twelve interconnected stories. We see her on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig’s head in her great aunt’s freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother’s house, trying to cope with the ongoing battles between her unyielding grandparents.

A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker. In her brilliantly incisive debut, Zalika Reid-Benta artfully depicts the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation Canadians and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominately white society.

House of Anansi Press

A few new books this week. I’m a week late but Justin had his wisdom teeth out on the 21st and I took a trip to value village while I waited and scored five pretty good/recent titles (reminder that at VV if you buy four books you get a fifth for free); They Said This Would Be Fun by Eternity Martis, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson (!!! Nalo books are a rare find second hand, I’ve only found three everrrrr), Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline (to replace the copy I dropped in the bath! Haha) and Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose.

A couple pre-orders I made weeks ago that arrived: Sufferance by Thomas King and Long Division by Kiese Laymon.

And three titles I picked up from little free libraries on Gabriola this week: War on Peace by Ronan Farrow, Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax, and The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel. Side note on the LFL situation on Gabe; I’ve found a few more and added them to my post from last year check it out here!

Phew! What is everyone else reading this week?

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