Y’all! Remember how like six weeks ago I was like “I’m so close to finishing Lost! Seriously, so close!!” I literally…just finished it this weekend. As many before me, I have…feelings. Primary amongst them being: HOW DARE THEY DO THAT TO JIN AND SUN.
Anyway. It’s fine, I’m fine, I feel fine.
A Princess in Theory – Alyssa Cole
I was originally going to save this for the upcoming-ish romance edition, pt 2 but due to putting a lot of my energies into zooming through a biography so as to not accrue library fines, this was 1 of 2 I finished this week and I thought the post would run a bit short with just one. I’ll probably mention it in the next romance edition as well, because it was quite good and as you may know my formatting on those is a tad different.
Naledi Smith grew up on her own in the U.S. Shuffled from foster home to foster home as a child and adolescent, she’s used to being the only one she can truly rely on, and she’s working herself to exhaustion as an epidemiology graduate school while trying to ignore annoying emails urging her to return to Thesolo. Thabiso, Thesolo’s prince, has spent his life feeling the loss of the woman betrothed to him since childhood, whose parents brought her to the U.S. and never came back. Putting the pieces together? When they meet in the first few chapters, a misunderstanding leads to Thabiso concealing his identity as they begin to get to know each other and realize there’s more between them than the decisions their parents made.
Now! I know this is the kind of romcom why-won’t-they-just-talk-to-each-other kind of plot device that drives people up a wall! HOWEVER, Cole’s writing and storytelling is so rooted in the choices of her truly believable characters that it didn’t actually stress me out like it normally does. As much dread as I felt about the impending reveal [which is honestly grappled with and not forgiven in a page or two], the tension between the two leads wasn’t contrived, and there was a line in the first ~sexytimes~ scene that made me yelp out loud and have to put the book down for a full minute to collect myself. I’m very excited to read more of Cole’s work–even looking at some of these covers makes me need to fan myself preemptively!
Sula – Toni Morrison
I mean!! What even is there that *I* can say about literary legend Toni Morrison!? To read Morrison is to think the whole time “goddamn, how is it possible for a person to have this kind of relationship with language and skill at transmitting that relationship onto the page”?? Not only is her fiction deeply moving and poetic, but in the forward she wrote a bit about how she crafted the structure of the book and it was fascinating. I haven’t read much of Morrison’s nonfiction, but her most recent essay collection, The Source of Self-Regard, went immediately onto my to-read list.
Sula, Morrison’s second novel, focuses on the friendship between the title character and Nel within a narrative that also explores the relationships between women–specifically Black women–and small town dynamics. The sections that described how Sula and Nel felt about each other and their friendship in particular took my breath away. As I’ve already gushed here, Morrison’s imagery and word choice is exquisitely good, and the way she gets into the intimacy, heartbreak, anger, and secret-keeping of the kind of friendship the two central women have is so gorgeous and so true. This is a book to read and reread and note how its meaning changes for you in different life stages.
[tw: this book includes references to suicide]
The weather! The weather is actually pretty good now?? My poor Minnesotan heart cannot compute!! Go outside, get that Vitamin D, breathe some fresh air, read lots of books outside.