They say that the first step is the hardest and I’m not sure if I entirely agree. For example this is my 3rd attempt at blogging, I don’t find it difficult to start but it turns out I have major commitment issues. Let’s not spend all our time focusing on my flaws though. And in truth circumstance was as much to blame as I was. Life was always getting in the way. So if I can be grateful to Covid-19 for one thing, even as it continues to destroy life as we once knew it, it’s that it has offered me the time to explore more of the things I’ve neglected in the past few years. So here goes, I like odd and Prime numbers and 3 seems as good as any number of attempts before truly propelling oneself into something.
My name is Mina and a few years ago I decided to have a baby. 11 months after the first I fell pregnant with my second and once again, 11 months after the second I had my third (another pattern with 3!) The children are not part of this story, other than I blame them for my lack of free time, but after finding out I was pregnant with my third I decided to leave my job as a Librarian and become a full time mum. Fast forward two years and thanks to Covid, I now have a husband who works from home, slightly older (but still very young) children and some free time on my hands to focus more on the things I love: Books and Reading.
2020 has been an unusual year, its been scary as we’ve all had to make unexpected adjustments to our “normal” lives but it has also offered many people opportunities. The rare moment of pause in our otherwise hectic schedules to stop and assess our lives and routines. To take stock of our choices and hopefully be presented with other more exciting, more enjoyable ones. For me that has looked like more time to read in the day. When I was at home alone with three children I didn’t have the luxury of picking up a book to read, I’d have to squeeze all my reading into the hours before bed. I don’t know people who are successful at reading in bed after a long day of running around after children, but I certainly wasn’t among them. Thanks to the additional pair of hands I have at home now, you can find me lounging on the sofa at all times of the day, absorbed in the pages of my book.
My 2020 reading goals at the start of the year were very simple: read a book a month and read more nonfiction. The first book I read was “Hello World” by Hanna Fry followed by “Your Silence Will Not Protect You” by Audre Lorde and Jon Ronson’s “The Psychopath Test’. Three (that number again) excellent reads to whet anyone’s appetite for more books. I then read some fiction, starting with Bernardine Everisto ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ and Hanif Kureishi’s ‘The Buddha of Suburbia’. At this point I discovered the amazing Bookstagram community on Instagram and a fire was lit under me. I had found my tribe.
I won’t bore you with the details (yet!) of the other books I’ve read this year but if you’re curious check out my Instagram page Instead I thought I’d start by speaking about some of the books I’ve read in September, so that will probably be my next entry. I like to read a mix of fiction and nonfiction and I also love listening to audiobooks, especially since I’ve discovered I can download some excellent ones for free from my local library. This month I’m reading a selection by Black authors as here in the UK we celebrate Black History Month in October. I was recently asked to do a blog for my book recommendations which you can read here, I will repost it on my blog at some point in the coming days/weeks.
So far this month I’ve read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs. The latter I picked up a week ago on a random trip to a charity shop and I’m so pleased I did. Its a collection of short-stories, which is another format I’m in love with. The books on my to-be-read (tbr) list are: Tuff by Paul Beatty, The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and Queenie by Candice Carty- Williams. If you have any other suggestions please let me know in the comments and of course, if you’ve read any of these books I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I feel as though we’re old friends now, speaking about books can result in such intimate feelings, until the next time compadre