These were two of the buzziest books of 2014/2015 and I felt I had to read them and I started but months later they are still on my (ever growing) currently reading list.
I started Between the World and Me in December 2015, (this according to Goodreads although from my recollections I started reading it after my friend Andre loaned me his copy in around March or so of this year) and to be completely honest I just did not get too far into this book. Grand adjectives such as “profound,” “compelling,” “instant classic” have been attached to reviews of this book, yet I doubt I read beyond page seven. Coates tackles issues of race, power, politics of Blackness and masculinity within the USA. I am not sure why this book didn’t excite me as such I thought it would, maybe it was because it is non-fiction or because the narrative is steeped in personal reflections or because it is male centred, but I did not connect to the story Coates was sharing. With all this less than positive feeling towards it, I am not giving up on this book yet. I will revisit it later in the year. After all Between the World and Me is only 152 pages long. I should be able to finish it.
Now, I was beyond excited for A Brief History of Seven Killings. Marlon James is one of my favourite writers, even though this is his third novel. I was thrilled when I was Christmas shopping in December and saw that copies were again available in the island, there had been a rush to purchase after the award announcement. The book was one of my Christmas presents to myself and I started reading it promptly on New Years’ Day 2016. I loved John Crow’s Devil, it is one of the books few books that I tend to reread. But ABHSK and I are not working out. The Man Booker prize winner of 2015 is split into around 10 or so narrators and while I love the lyrical pleasure of reading (very slowly) Jamaican patios and the glorious expressions that perhaps only a Jamaican can fully appreciate, the storytelling is slow. It is a big book, 600+ pages. No promises on finishing this on in 2016.