on the shelf: making room

I was supposed to do a month to month update of the books I have read, but those would be terribly short posts. I'm really taking my time, despite upping the challenge this year. Hopefully, I'll have another productive July and read ten books. When I think of all the books I have to read, it's a bit overwhelming. I've had to put my read books away in boxes. My room is overrun with books. Piles here and there, bookshelves two rows of books deep. I can't stop! I'm trying to get a handle on the books I have before I get anything else, although sometimes, who can resist?

Americanah: A fantastic read. It's not only about Ifemelu and Obinze's love. Ifemelu leaves for America to pursue higher education. She encounters racism she never experienced at home in Nigeria. This racism and feelings expressed by the oppressed confuse Ifemelu, frustrates her, and makes her homesick. Such an amazing book, such an incredible read. Others should read it as well, and not just because Lupita Nyong'o is going to star in & produce the movie, but because the story is incredible. That's why she's starring in and producing it. Duh.
Show Your Work!: The follow-up to Austin's Kleon's Steal Like An Artist. The process is just as important as the result, and just as important to share. There are many parts that are worth highlighting, but the entire thing is worth a read for creative folk out there.
Blue Nights: Joan Didion succeeds at pulling you into her memories once again. This memoir opens July 26, 2010, which would have been Quintana Roo's wedding anniversary. Didion goes on to vividly describe memories of Quintana's childhood. While John and Quintana are suspended in the age they were when they passed, Didion has continued to grow older, an underlying theme. One thing I loved about this book was that Didion addresses those critics that complained of her "flaunting" her privileged life. It brought a smile to my face. She's such an amazing lady.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: My very first Raymond Carver was purchased for $1. Such a steal for a masterpiece of short stories. They read as though someone is telling these stories, haunted by them, and needing to purge them from within. They were short, yet powerful in their delivery.
Sex Criminals, Volume 1 One Weird Trick: Matt was excited about purchasing this so I thought I could finish it in one afternoon. It's very interesting, funny, and quick. These two can stop time when they have sex and decide to use this ability to rob banks. It's crazy, yet imaginative.
Annihilation: This is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy. A novel about a mysterious Area X that has been cut off from the rest of the "continent." This twelfth expedition is all women and contains an anthropologist, a biologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor. They are sent to explore and bring back any data they gather. They discover a structure not mapped, and explore its depths with extreme caution. Previous groups have committed suicide, returned and died from a mysterious illness months later, and turned on one another. We quickly learn that not everything is as it seems.
Ask the Dust: Charles Bukowski worshipped Fante, and I see many similarities in their writings. Arturo Bandini comes to LA after his first story is published. He thinks he's a god. He falls for a waitress, becoming so obsessed with her, he abuses her every time he gets near. It's easy to get lost in his head with this novel.

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