August: Currently Reading/TBR

I’ve got a lot of things on my to-be-read list this month, and honestly I think that this pile of books is going to take me right through September as well because I’m busy this summer writing up my dissertation for my Master’s. Also, some of the books which I’ve chosen are going to take a while to finish as they’re heavy reads, both emotionally and physically (I’m looking at you, A Little Life)! Anyway, here’s what I’m reading at the moment and aiming to start reading soon…

Also, as a quick side-note – I’m loving the Gal-dem collaboration with The Guardian from last weekend:


What a beautiful cover! I really enjoyed the interviews and content and found it so empowering seeing a whole load of content written by and for women of colour. I loved Afua Hirsch’s article in particular, Diane Abbott’s interview and Gemma Chan’s made me chuckle. Chan was asked who would portray her in a biopic and she replied, ‘Scarlett Johansson.’ I’ve made the same joke before in response to that question so looks like Chan and I share the same sense of humour! I am really looking forward to seeing her in the new movie Crazy Rich Asians when it comes out in the UK in November (and today there was a great article by Jingan Young in The Guardian which echoed a lot of my own thoughts and questions regarding the romcom hype).

Here’s a mixture of what I’m in the middle of reading and what is on my TBR pile:

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Speak)

I love Nnedi Okorafor’s books and I’m reading this fantasy novel of hers partly for fun and partly for my dissertation. It’s the story of a young girl, Sunny, who happens to be albino and is treated as an outcast by children at school and by others in society. She also has magical powers. She befriends a magical group of friends who welcome her into their friendship circle and the world of the Leopard People. Just as Sunny is learning to harness her craft, she and her friends are called on for help to track down a criminal who’s abusing his magical skills. It promises to be an page-turning read.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Picador)

A friend has lent me a copy of A Little Life saying that it changed the way he conceptualised love, so I have very high expectations for this book, which I’ve heard is also a really important work in the ‘genre’ of LGBTQ fiction. It tells the story of four classmates from small-town Massachusetts who relocate to New York, and follows them over the next few decades as they process past trauma, relationships, addiction, success and failure. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015 and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall (Rosarium)

Mothership is a collection of stories inspired by Afrofuturism by writers such as N. K. Jemisin, Junot Diaz, Victor LaValle, Lauren Beukes, Rabih Alameddine, S. P. Somtow, and more. Again, I’m reading it for my dissertation, but also because it’s great. The cover is so bright, colourful, and awesome! I’ve read some of the stories and can’t wait to finish them all.

Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Vintage)

This is a proof of the paperback edition of Ordinary People by Diana Evans and I am very excited to have a copy. I absolutely love the cover – it is so bold and inviting. Set in South London in 2008 against the backdrop of Barack Obama’s electoral win, a highly significant moment in history, it deals with the complexities and nuances of identity, grief, friendship, and love. I have just started reading it and find the vividness of Diana Evans’ writing so immersive.

There There by Tommy Orange (Vintage)

I know that I talk about covers too often, but There There really is immediately striking just from looking at its cover. It’s a multigenerational narrative about the beauty and despair of the history of a nation and its people, focusing on twelve people who have different reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. I’ve read that Orange weaves Native American history into the narrative in an incredible and unforgettable way, and I can’t wait for what sounds like a heart-twisting emotional roller-coaster. It’s up next on my TBR pile.

West by Carys Davies (Granta)

Before I started reading this I was really attracted to West because of the themes of moving and leaving home, archaeology, and adventure and had heard great reviews. A father reads a news article about huge dinosaur bones which have been discovered in Kentucky and so he sets off to investigate, leaving his daughter behind in the care of her aunt. It’s very intriguing. I’ve almost finished it now as it’s quite slim, which is perfect for a summery read.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Let me know what you’re currently reading or what’s next on your TBR list as I’d love to hear. Happy reading!


Naomi | 直美

Author: Naomi

Twitter: @Naomified @ThinkingJaplish

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