I’ll admit it. I can be a boring date.
When Saturday night rolls around, I’m generally, if not always, up for dinner and a few hours reading away at a local bookstore.
While Dunreith and I very much enjoy frequenting The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square, last night we were carless and decided to go in the afternoon to Border’s, and, after a tasty meal at Dixie Kitchen, to Barnes & Noble in downtown Evanston.
At Border’s, I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s exquisite Half of a Yellow Sun. I wrote about this book earlier in the week and don’t want to give away the plot, but will say that it provides an unflinching look at the war in Biafra from 1967 to 1970.
In the book’s afterword, Adichie explains that her parents and other family members lived through the devastating conflict, which saw an estimated 1 million people die from death, disease and starvation.
“May we always remember,” she writes in the afterword’s final words before supplying a list of books she consulted for the writing of Half of a Yellow Sun.
Thanks to her magnificent work, that permanent memory is more likely.
For those who want to see and hear the 2008 MacArthur ‘genius grant’ winner, here is her Ted talk in which she draws on her childhood reading experience to discusses the danger of a single story.
I didn’t want to launch right away into another novel, so instead picked through the new arrivals and ended up reading the following books, each of which I may write more about later, at Barnes & Noble:
-Hal and Judy Runkel’s The Scream Free Marriage. In this book the authors argue against the idea of tending exclusively on your partner’s needs, but rather focusing on one’s own feelings and representing them authentically in a calm and connected way.
-Edward Hallowell’s Shine. Harvard psychiatrist Hallowell, whose previous work Driven to Distraction was a national bestseller, identifies a five-stage process for leaders to get the best out of the people they supervise.