Friday, July 31, 2015

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black


I bought If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This from the Borders going out of business sale in 2011. I had pretty much forgotten about it until I did a search for a different book and found this one on a list of 5 Must-Read Short-Story Collections. So I got right to it.

I really enjoyed this book, not because it's so good, but because it's so spot on. I wouldn’t describe it as upbeat or exciting. And it doesn't really have cliff hangers. It feels more like an exposé. It's about people: families, friends, and their issues. It's a look inside the "perfect" families, the "perfect" friendships, and the revelation that things aren't so perfect at all.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Part 2 Recap: Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival (Bocas Lit Fest)


I gave another peek inside my Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival experience in my summation of The Star Side of Bird Hill. In addition to meeting Naomi Jackson, I had brief interactions with several other authors, including Olive Senior. 

I stayed in the same hotel as most of the authors and when I was heading to the festival the first day, I had no idea how to get there. A small group of authors was gathered, waiting for their shuttle and suggested I come with them. The driver arrived and checked them in but was hesitant to let me tag along. After sensing the hesitation, Olive politely told the driver, “I’m going. She’s going. We’re all going.” And we were on our way!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Am I Going to Top My Best Bookish Year?


You may remember that 2014 was my best bookish year yet. I didn’t plan to outdo myself in 2015 but with half the year under our belts, I’ve already made more literary memories than anticipated!

Last week I attended the book tour for Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk. Ota Benga was an African man featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House alongside an orangutan. Someone asked Newkirk how burdensome it must be to write a book like this. She responded that self-care was very necessary. Where exercise was a pretty routine outlet for her, she discovered that it wasn’t enough while writing the book, so she began meditating.