Friday, November 03, 2006


Books and I have been friends for a very long time--in fact, I am beginning to realize that only half of my memories come from reality...the other half from great stories I have so loved that they've become somehow fused to my identity. My latest review for Natural Family Magazine (where I am the Reviews Editor--if you have any books you'd be interested in seeing me cover there, let me know) is of a book by Kelee Katillac about cultivating sacred space for our children to live and grow in. Check it out here and feel free to comment if you'd like...this is a book well-worth your time, whether you are busy raising a child or are just a creative child-at-heart yourself.

Another book I have been completely consumed by in recent days was written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

I had intended to read Half of a Yellow Sun for a while, but it was one of those books that seemed so dark, so turbulent, so difficult I kept putting it back on the shelf at the store and telling myself, "soon". Then, I saw Patry Francis' idea about the third day book discussion guessed it--and I was sold. So, the confession I am about to make is quite shocking for this reader...I haven't yet finished this book. Three-hundred and forty pages into it, however, and I can say that it is phenomenal. Adichie's genius lies in her ability to craft characters who are flesh, blood, and bone. They are visceral, embodied entities...fully realized by their creator.

As a writer, I am always fascinated by the sub-story--the genesis of a novel and how the author came to the story they tell. Adichie was born in Nigeria well-after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war that claimed the lives of both of her grandfathers. This, her second book, was an opportunity to explore the context of her family's life and the cultural dramas of her homeland. Adichie has said, "I just write. I have to write...I sometimes feel as if my writing is something bigger than I am." Perhaps this may be the greatest gift a writer can hope for, the ability to feel as if her voice is universal and has that transcendent quality--like Adichie's. Half Of A Yellow Sun has been breaking my heart. I am right there with these characters as they struggle to navigate through their fractured society and relationships.

Though I have not yet finished all of its four-hundred and thirty glorious pages...already, I am thinking deeply about love and war--grateful for novelists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who weave narrative threads so tightly together that we quickly begin to realize how small a world we actually live in...


Blogger Patry Francis said...

I loved the characters, too--especially the sisters and Ugwu.
The last 100 pages are wonderful.

4:06 PM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

I enjoyed reading your take on the book. Unusually for me, I didn't read any other books while I was reading this one. I usually have two or three going at once.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I hadn't even heard of that book before now, but it sounds fascinating.

5:19 PM  
Blogger b/sistersshoes said...

Okay...this is a keeper, I'm writing this down and it will be my next read.

Thank you and have a fantastic weekend love,
XXX darlene

10:10 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

How cool is it that you get paid for reading books? Very. I want that job! Not that I have time or brain-cells enough to absorb the words, these days.

But I will check these out, if you like them. I trust your taste. ;)

I will also keep my eyes open for ideas for you to review. Do you do kids books at all?


1:05 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

I'm glad you're in the book group too! I wish we could all get together like a "real" book group. Blogger won't let me put up my post (it's censoring me!), but I loved the book, and it stays strong to the very last page.

1:50 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

"I just write. I have to write...I sometimes feel as if my writing is something bigger than I am." What a wonderful quote and so true to the writing experience.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Becoming Amethyst said...

'Adichie's genius lies in her ability to craft characters who are flesh, blood, and bone. They are visceral, embodied entities...fully realized by their creator.'

How's that for selling a book?

Can you be my publicist please?!!!

x x x x x

11:55 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I think it's a fantastic book - read it this summer. I will look for the book you recommended when in London next week. The pile of books waiting to be read just keeps getting higher! :)

1:29 PM  
Anonymous acumamakiki said...

How nice to have a cyber book group, it's a brilliant idea and I hope you continue to share the book's you read/discuss. One of the biggest benefits of blogging, is getting recommendations for things (books, recipes, sites, etc.) from people I admire.

2:58 PM  

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