Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.
Here’s what I read on the bus in April:
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. This book is so hard to put into words with its madness and dark tales of a person consumed by multiple identities. Born in Nigeria to parents who desperately wanted her, yet ultimately fail her, The Ada goes through life without the support system one usually has. As she travels to America for college, those selves evolve even more after she experiences a trauma. Her “identities” take her, guide her, and force her through her life – she at times fights against them, at times succumbs to their whims. Eventually as an adult it all comes to a breaking point. Such a beautiful and tragic read…I couldn’t put it down. The author does an amazing job of making the identities full-blown characters, and with the description of their world within The Ada and beyond.
Elmet by Fiona Mozley. Daniel is searching for someone and on his travels he recalls his childhood with his sister, Cathy, and daddy. They lived a simple life in the woods, trapping and living off the land. But anger rumbles deep in this small town and it bubbles over to violence. This was a lot harder to read than I was expecting. It was still a great book, just probably wasn’t the right time. There was one passage spoken by Cathy that killed me: “It is my life and my body and I can’t stand the thought of going out into the world and being terrified by it all, all of the time because I am Danny. I am. And I don’t want to be. I don’t want to feel afraid. All I kept thinking about was Jessica Harmon thrown into that canal and all those other women on the tv, in newspapers found naked covered in mud, covered in blood – blue – twisted -found in the woods, found in ditches, never found. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about them. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about how I’m turning into one of them. I’m older now and soon my body will be like theirs. I didn’t want to end up in a ditch.” And that’s the truth of it right there.
Bus Reads guest blogger:
Currently reading Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey and listening to Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent when my eyes get tired.
-submitted via Twitter by patron Harvey
I often read a few books at a time, usually one on my phone and one on my nightstand. The Essex Serpent is on my ever-growing to-read list!
What are you reading on your commute? Tag your reads on social media #splbusreads
~posted by Kara P.