What I’ve been reading

On Beauty by Zadie Smith. A satire of sorts on a professor and his family, taking place at a school that resembles Harvard, in a town that resembles Cambridge. There is a horrific twist toward the end that made the book far more disturbing than it started out, but it was a good read.

Open City by Teju Cole. Fun to read someone else’s musings from walking around New York. I’m pumped for his next book on Lagos.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. I brought my parent’s Kindle to Nigeria, and found this book on it. As an occupational therapist, my mom’s genre of choice is books about how people live after a physically debilitating disaster. Over the years I have come to know this genre well. (Takeaway: Always wear a seatbelt/life jacket/helmet.) The theme is normally about people thriving, not just surviving, (definite selection effect, as you’re reading books written by people with the energy/motivation to write them, or sometimes by their super-human supremely supportive spouse) and this book was no exception. It’s a novel about a professor who was in a car accident that damaged his brain, making his memory last only 80 minutes, and his relationship with his housekeeper.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kalling. Because sometimes when you’re alone in a dark mediocre hotel room for the nteenth night and you have a headache from truck exhaust inhalation and you’ve refreshed the Fashion & Style page of the Times 10 times but Modern Love still hasn’t been posted (and then you realize it’s because it’s not yet Thursday evening in the US) you just need to read a book like this. And the previous book had been a little depressing. Mindy Kalling was delightful. Highly recommended.

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