It will surprise some people to know that large novels intimidate me. Anything over 500 pages seems like too much of a commitment especially because I am a History student and already have a ridiculous amount to read for my courses. So, what does a woman who loves to read but sometimes can’t be bothered to read epics do? I read short novels! The merit of a novel is not in its size, it’s in its content. When I read a short novel, I want something that challenges me, satisfies me and reads beautifully. Apart from being attractively small, short novels for me are what I like to call palette cleansers. After a long novel, a difficult novel or when you want to read a novel but can’t commit to 400 pages, a short novel does a great job of providing you with the pleasure of reading and a story in a shorter period of time. Shorter novels are also a great starter if you are trying to improve your reading!
Here’s a list of a few short novels that I loved and highly recommend! Continue reading “Small Novels with a Big Impact”
I stumbled on this book while I was handing out flyers for an event in Shoreditch. I spent 15 minutes in Libreria, an independent bookshop in Shoreditch that really is a feast for the eyes. With mirrors on the ceiling and the wall as well as sitting areas built into the bookshelves, you get the illusion that the space goes on forever. I nearly walked into the mirror thinking the bookshop went on into infinity when I saw I Am Not Your Negro from the corner of my eye. I watched the documentary in a small cinema in Edinburgh a few months ago and I was in awe. I had read Baldwin but the documentary of the same name made his work come to life for me. Even though Baldwin was writing decades before now, his ideas and observations are as relevant as ever. Director Raoul Peck explains that the book and the film came as a result of his attempts to make a documentary about Baldwin’s life but when given access to Baldwin’s unpublished works by Gloria Karefa-Smart (Baldwin’s sister) as well as her support and guidance, I Am Not Your Negro was born.
After the deaths of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Baldwin was inspired to write Remember This House but never went beyond 30 pages of notes due to his death. The documentary and this book build from Baldwin’s notes. From the start of the book, Peck builds your trust by explaining the process of creating the book. Before I even started reading it, I felt that I could trust his choice of texts as well as his motives and this allowed me to immerse myself in the book without any fear or scepticism. I don’t feel that I, or anyone else for that matter, is worthy to review the James Baldwin because everyone should read Baldwin – his is 5 out of 5 stars in Goodreads speak. Instead, all I can do is give you my thoughts and highlight excerpts that made me think and I must admit, some were just so beautiful to read and I’m not sure I fully understand the complexity found within them. Continue reading “THOUGHTS: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ from texts by James Baldwin”