Tuesday 2 August 2022

Short Reads I Read During Reading Slump

After finally (hopefully) killing my reading slump with Diana Wynne Jones's Witch Week, I decided that I was going to slowly ease myself back into read. I'm not going to throw self into the deep end. I wanted to take my time and, hell, maybe even read some short stories or novella. A gentle getting back to normal with my reading (not my life. Still trying to figure how to get back to normal on that one!). And, at the same time, I wanted to try something new. But ease of reading. 

So, while snooping on my Amazon's Prime Reading, I discovered some short stories as part of their Short Stories collections and, after having a quick snoop, I downloaded a few (as I have Prime, the stories were free under their Prime Reading). I downloaded a few under the Forward collection (sci-fi about the future), Trepass collection (unsettling stories about nature) and Black Stars (sci-fi stories written by black authors), I dipped my toe in. 

My first was The Visit by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the first short story in the Black Stars collection. In this, gender roles have been flipped and it shows how easy we are conditioned to see the world. Plus, this kinda hits close to current events as the law banning men from masturbating in US and in Lagos are in force with no plans to remove or change, dangerously similar to recent Roe vs Wade events in the US and certain states planning to ban abortions (which won't work. They're banning safe abortions). And while I did like this short as I found the ideas interesting, creepy and frighteningly real, I didn't warm to this. It felt like a cross over between Mrs Dalloway and The Handmaid's Tale. This could have so easily been longer. 

My second was The Tiger Came To The Mountain by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the first short in the Trepass collection. Set in Mexico 1917, at the height of the revolution, two children hide in a cave to stay safe. But a threat is close to them, prowling, waiting... Now, I have tried to read one of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's novel, Mexican Gothic, and I didn't like it. But this shirt fitted my mood wonderfully. I just clicked with this story and it felt delicious to read in almost one sitting. I might need to try this author again in future...

I audiobooked a short audiobook from may local library - Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Now, I'm not going to write a review about this as it feels wrong to that, but this is a short collection of essays about Chimamanda processing her grief over the death of her father in the high of the COVID pandemic. Now, grief is a complex creature and no two people's grief is the same. But oh, there were moments in this collection that hurt. The last essay/chapter is short and kicks you in the feels (I think every person who has lost someone will get what I mean when you read/hear it!) 

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