what happens when a well-educated, accomplished writer who is married with two children decides she wants to be happier? the happiness project is a story that describes gretchen rubin’s journey to up her happy pedometer, not because she was depressed or emotionally unstable, but because she loved her life and decided that she wanted to stop complaining and appreciate it more. rubin makes resolutions or goals to focus on each month for a year, guided by her 10 happiness commandments. as a single-black woman, i was hesitant to pick up this book because…well, what could i have in common with gretchen rubin? to my surprise it’s been a lesson in interconnectedness — the human condition makes our struggles and triumphs startlingly similar.
check out the happiness project blog with book recommendations and instructions for 21 day projects.
americanah is the newest novel by my favorite writer chimamanda ngozi adichie. it’s the story of a young couple who are separated by distance and experiences when one gets a visa to study in the us and the other is left behind in nigeria. ever the creator of uber-complex characters, the reader gets a voyeuristic view of what it’s like to experience race, racism and class in america as an african immigrant. part of adichie’s genius is that she doesn’t create clear protagonists — i disliked the main character until the very end, not because she was portrayed as a bad person, but because she was unapologetically human.
i read several books at once. admittedly, i haven’t delved deep into nw, but the first chapter definitely captured my attention. it’s a story of a group of neighbors living in northwest, london and was one of the new york times 10 best books in 2012. nw is described as, “a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself. ”
dreaming in cuban by cristina garcia was recently banned by schools in sierra vista, arizona. i’m planning to read it for no other reason than it’s clearly the anti-establishment thing to do. oh , and the plot sounds dope with themes of exile, politics and family dynamics post the 1959 cuban revolution.
what’s on your end of summer book list?