Well, August has been better than July for reading I think, in the past couple weeks I’ve read, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, and Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. I didn’t write last week about The Magicians because, and I’m sorry to say it, I just didn’t really care for it. It just seems really derivative of Chronicles of Narnia, but it’s trying to be an adult book, and it just didn’t really work for me. I will say, it was a pretty fast read, so heck, maybe I’ll give the second book in the series a try.

The Princess Diarist was also not my favorite book; it was a bummer, and not just because Carrie Fisher passed away. The book includes excerpts from diaries that Fisher kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie as well as Fisher’s writing about the time, but there are no real stories about the filming. Rather, the whole book is about Fisher’s affair with (then married) Harrison Ford, who was fifteen years older than her. The affair wasn’t really a happy one; Fisher was only 19, and while it doesn’t sound like Ford took advantage of her exactly, she clearly felt not in control of the relationship. All the excerpts from her diaries are about how uncertain and basically unhappy she is because of the relationship. You do get the story about the creation of Princess Leia’s hairstyle.

indexFreshwater on the other hand was an amazing book. It’s the story of a young Nigerian woman named Ada. You can either read this book as a story about a woman born with one foot on the other side, gods trapped inside her, or the story of a schizophrenic woman as more and more personalities appear. The book is variously narrated by Ada, by the “We” group of gods inside her before any distinction occurs, and by Asughara a god that separates and has the ability to control and to speak with Ada in her own mind. There’s also another personality, St. Vincent, who isn’t as powerful and thus (I guess) doesn’t get to narrate.

Asughara appears after a traumatic moment, “I had arrived, flesh from flesh, true blood from true blood. I was the wildness under the skin, the skin into a weapon, the weapon over the flesh. I was here.” Honestly, at first I was like, I wish everyone had a personality like this to take over, to protect them, but as the book progresses, I leaned more towards reading this as being about a severely mentally ill woman, and I really wanted her to get help.

This is a really beautifully written book, you should read it.

Currently reading: White Tears, and still working on A House Full of Females.