Meeting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

unnamedThursday night was one of the best literary nights of my life. I’ve never been one to attend a multitude of author events, but when Beth over at Too Fond alerted me to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Decatur appearance, I jumped quickly on the chance to go. I roped one of my fabulous book club ladies, Emily, into going with me and things were all set.

Thursday arrived with wet skies and horrific Atlanta traffic. It took me 3x as long to get anywhere which had me majorly stressed because I was convinced I’d miss the 7 pm start time and then be banned from entering or some such nonsense. Luckily, I got to the First Baptist Church of Decatur right at 7, and we found good seats in the balcony. As with most First Baptist Churches in the South, the place was enormous, but I was so pleased to see the main sanctuary filled in its entirety with eager fans awaiting Ms. Adichie.

And we were not let down! She was amazing. Smart, clever, articulate, funny, and utterly charming. She started the evening off by reading the first few pages of Americanah (which you MUST read if you haven’t already), and I was sad to discover she doesn’t read her own audio because she’s a superb narrator. Next, she opened the event to questions from the audience. I’m terrified of public speaking so there was no way I could ask someone I admire so greatly a question in front of 200+ people, but others definitely didn’t have that problem and quickly lined up.

unnamed (2)

Questions ranged from specifically asking about characters and situations in Americanah to Ms. Adichie’s own personal experiences as a Nigerian living in and getting to know America. Others asked about her writing process, her literary heroes, or just took a moment to thank her profusely for her writing and leadership. Several mentions of her TED Talk and the Beyonce song were discussed, as well. She handled each question with depth, poise, and humor. What I liked most about her answers were how unrehearsed they felt. She wasn’t reciting something she’d said a million times before. She’d go off on tangents or tell little anecdotes that came to mind. Sometimes she’d simply say she didn’t know the answer to a particular question!

The last question came from a young boy (no older than 6 or 7) who boldly told Ms. Adichie that he, too, was a writer and wondered if she thought in great detail about what she was going to write ahead of time or whether she sat down and just kept writing. She smiled at him and said: Just keep writing.

After the talk, we queued up for the book signing. Emily and I were in the back of the line. We ended up waiting around 1.5 hours to meet her, but she graciously stayed and signed until after 10 pm. She personalized every book and spent tons of time speaking to African women’s groups, book clubs, and college classes who massed around her table with additional questions.

unnamed (3)

It’s a night I won’t forget anytime soon. So excited to read Half of a Yellow Sun with my book club and to continue reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as long as she cares to keep writing.

P.S. On a completely shallow note, I just have to briefly mention that she’s one of the most gorgeous people I’ve ever met in real life. My girl crush is definitely showing!!

Unofficial post sponsor: Georgia Center for the Book

2014: What to Expect in the New Year

I don’t make resolutions. Also known as pretty little lies. But I spend plenty of time thinking about what I’d like to work on and things I’d like to accomplish. Just thought I’d share a few with y’all.

#1 – READ LESS and BUY FEWER BOOKS. I know, I know. That seems in direct opposition to writing a book blog or even being a reader, but hear me out. I read 100 books in 2013 and it nearly killed me. My brain broke in November and never again. I gained absolutely not a single thing from reading that many extra books. I historically keep my numbers between 50-60. Time to get back to that. I did more reading last year than living. Ain’t nobody got time for that. You guys will like me more, I swear.

#2 – REDISCOVER MUSIC and ATTEND MORE CONCERTS. Before I was a dedicated bookworm, I was a music fiend. I lived to find the perfect song, the perfect album. I spent 3-4 nights a week during my first two years of college pressed against the stage barrier of small punk rock shows. Then I just stopped. I buried that passion for reasons I haven’t fully discovered yet, but I’ve can feel the craving coming back deep in my bones. Look for music recommendation posts in the coming future!!

#3 – STOP GIVING A FUCK. As my twenties come to an end, my biggest goal for my thirties is to stop being what I thought I had to be coming out of college and start being who I actually am. I tried playing the corporate game and failed awesomely. I don’t color inside the lines and I dance to the beat of my own drum. Always have. I miss all the laughing I used to do and the odd looks people used to give me. Being comfortable in my own crazy skin is the ultimate freedom.

#4 – MAKE MY HOME A SANCTUARY. This one is simple. Just make my home the ideal place for me to return to at the end of every day and curl up with whatever makes me happy at the moment. First up on my to-do list, change the paint in my living room/kitchen. It’s currently blue and I mostly hate it. I frown at it all the time. Time for a change. Second goal, finally get the sofas and chairs I’ve been wanting. See the pictures below. I want soft leather sofas and comfy, classic chairs like these, but in a more colorful hue.

img33c

img13c                    

#5 – GET OUT OF ATLANTA. Not permanently, but I haven’t been on a proper vacation in two years. We did go to LA last year for my sister-in-law’s wedding, but that was work more than anything. I’m desperate for a return trip to NYC or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. There’s also Jimmy’s cousin’s wedding to look forward to. It will be in Taiwan or Thailand. I have my fingers crossed on a beach ceremony in Thailand. Total perk to marrying into an Asian family.

#6 – GET AT LEAST ONE TATTOO. I’ve wanted tattoos since I was 18. I figure if I still want them 12 years later, I should bite the bullet and get it done. My husband has agreed as long as he gets something in return. His wish? A new motorcycle. Fair enough. In a similar vein, I just got my nose pierced and LOVE IT.

#7 – EAT LESS FAST FOOD. Self explanatory.

#8 – LEARN HOW TO HANDLE A GUN. The last time I shot a gun, I was a teenager. I’d love to learn the proper way to handle a weapon and do some sport shooting. Judge all you want, but I’m from the South and grew up with guns. It’s a skill I’d like to have.

#9 – BUY MORE CLOTHES. I hate clothes shopping and rarely do it. My work wardrobe doesn’t fit properly and almost everything in it is over 3 years old, if not significantly older. Time to focus on turning over my closet and wearing things that actually look good. If you look good, you feel good. I know I’ll always be a t-shirt and jeans girl at heart, but it doesn’t hurt to branch out every once in a while.

#10 – LAUGH MORE.

I’ll Be Back!!

Hiya, lovelies! I’m enjoying my little break from blogging/vlogging/social media more than I thought I would. I have started reading again (slowly, but surely) and hope to have my interwebbing back in full swing by the beginning of 2014. A little vacation never hurt anyone and is my guilt free Christmas present this year. I do miss y’all though, and will most certainly be back.

I still haven’t finished a book since the end of October. I think I’m at 97 on the year which is not too shabby. Book club is this weekend and we’re reading Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares to honor the holiday season. I’m halfway through so I’ll definitely be finishing that one. Another book I hope to finish before the New Year is The Walking Dead Compendium One. I’m reading a bit of it every day. Technically it’s a reread for me (well, up until halfway through The Gov’s storyline). That’s all I’m promising to finish in 2013!!

Other books that I’m hoping to dive into (or finally finish) soon are The Song of Achilles (halfway through), Night Film (halfway through), Snow Country (haven’t started), and Perfection (the new Rachel Joyce – haven’t started). Wish me heaps of luck ‘cause I’m going to need it. Can I make it too 100 books on the year?

In other news, life is moving swimmingly along. Thanksgiving was quiet and peaceful. Jimmy’s family normally eats at our house, but his parents opted for Disney World instead. So we just ended up attending an upscale buffet at a nice hotel in Midtown. We didn’t do any real Black Friday shopping. We did manage to squeeze in a viewing of Catching Fire and holy smokes it was so good! Jimmy even really enjoyed it after not liking the first one.

Anyway, that’s all for now and I’ll be seeing y’all soon. Happy Holidays!!

State of Reading Address 2013

imagesI’m not reading. I have no desire or drive to read right now whatsoever. When books glare me in the face I just stick my tongue out at them in childish revenge. My first epic reading slump of 2013 waited until November to rear its ugly head. I’m not sure when it’s going to let go.

I’m currently ‘reading’ three different books. I got halfway into Night Film and couldn’t bring myself to read any more. Then I picked up The Slynx and read two chapters this weekend before realizing my next book club discussion is in just a few days. So I picked up The Song of Achilles (our November pick) and have managed 30-40 pages this week. All three of these books were mostly entertaining in their own way, but the act of reading just isn’t doing it for me right now.

I’d like to blame being busy, traveling for work, or illness. But no. My brain is just not in a literary headspace. Instead, I’ve watched The Walking Dead from the beginning season 2 separate times. And some episodes 3-4 times. I love everything about it, even the flaws.

Confession time: I have actually been reading. When I get super obsessed with a television show (which rarely happens these days), I automatically want to READ about the show since, you know, I like to consider myself a reader. So fanfiction has entered the picture. In a very big way. Almost in a way where I’m so disgusted at how poorly it’s written that I’ve considered writing some myself (I’m a bit cocky). I have a fanfiction past so none of this is surprising. My first forays into the fandom universe occurred during the late nineties during my X-Files days. Mulder and Scully will always be my OTP.

What’s really interesting (to me, not to y’all) is that I ship no one on The Walking Dead. NO ONE. Not even Maggie and Glenn who are in a relationship. As much as I love the characters on the show, I just don’t feel any sexual chemistry between them. So…if I write something I’ll be creating an OC for Daryl (shut up, Norman Reedus pushes all my buttons) and maybe Rick as well. You know, come to think of it, I could totally ship Rick and Daryl…

This is what my days have come to. I go home and watch more episodes, read fanfiction, scour youtube for TWD videos, and then cry myself to sleep. And since I’ve developed this new obsession, I’ve also revisited an old obsession – The Boondock Saints. Have I mentioned Norman Reedus yet? He’s one of the people on my list of freebies (you know what I’m talking about). Jimmy just shakes his head at me, but I suspect he secretly has Norman on his list as well because of the motorcycle thing.

Are y’all still reading? I figure I lost everyone normal a long time ago. I do miss my reading mojo and hope it comes back soon. For those of you who don’t watch TWD, I highly suggest you start. It has its problems every now and again, but the characters and thematic explorations are some of the best on television. I mean, this show gets the highest ratings in the most important demographic week after week. One article I read had to go back like 10 years to find a show that rated higher (American Idol in an early season, I believe). I dig it.

P.S. Y’all totally want to know my other four, right? Daniel Craig, Henry Cavill, Adam Levine, and Jennifer Lawrence (shut up, you know you would too).

Bienvenidos, Noviembre!

Hola, amigos! How’s tricks?

Halloween has come and gone quicker than I can wrap my  mind around at this point. The holiday season is now in full throttle, and I suspect all things Christmas are about to really get annoying. Money is also about to fly out of my bank account.

My TBR for November is filled with mostly obligatory readers. I’m currently reading Night Film which is 100% by choice (and hype) and enjoying. Here’s what’s on tap the rest of the month:

Not sure how much posting/visiting/commenting I’m going to get around to this next week as I’ll be travelling to Florida for work. I’m hoping to, at the very least, put my review up of the newest Walking Dead episode and my review of Night Film. But don’t hold your breath!

Oh, and Ender’s Game! A huge group of us are going to see it Saturday. I’m terrified by how horrible it might be. But some reviews I’ve seen have been positive.

Have a great November!

Currently: October 6, 2013

Time // 2:28 AM – Why am I awake?

Place // Home. In bed. Not sleeping.

Eating // Nada. I had really good pizza earlier tonight from Ammazza in Old 4th Ward. Double date night!

Drinking // Water.

Reading // Just gulped down 60 pages of The Easter Parade by Richard Yates.

Watching // Homeland! Inhaled season two this past week. Totally prepared and caught up for tonight’s newest episode.

Listening // The Black Keys and that Lorde song is addicting.

Pondering // Money and financial matters – YUCK.

Blogging // Have been such a slack ass, but I haven’t been reading that much. Guest posting for Dewey’s tomorrow!

Promoting // Dewey’s!!

Hating // The stresses of OT in college football games.

Loving // Coffee. I’ve finally come to the dark side and now crave the stuff.

Anticipating // COOLER WEATHER. Please? Oh, and lunch with my Litwits ladies today!

Friday!!

Isn’t that such an inspired post title? I’m just filled with all of the creative thought today. #sarcasm

I’ve been mostly quiet on the blog this week because I haven’t been reading – or at least finishing – very many books. And that’s a terrible shame. Bad slump!

Mostly, I’ve either socialized, watched some form of television/film, or read bits and pieces of many things. Notably, I did inhale both Maus (a reread) and Persepolis for book club but won’t chat about those until next week. Still chugging along on Jane Eyre and The Silent Wife.

See, the thing is, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by ALL THE BOOKS. At the moment, I have ten or so books that I need to be reading. There’s The Round House and House of Earth for review – The Easter Parade, Freud’s Mistress, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for book club-ish activities – The Historian and Dracula for October/RIP VIII readalongs – and The Goldfinch BECAUSE. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In better news, I’ve had a pretty successful week over on BookTube. See this week’s videos below:

I’m hoping to accomplish a lot in the month of October, but feel like I need some sort of boost or motivation. Despite all the complaining, bookish problems really are the absolute best problems to have.

A to Z: A Bookish Survey

AtoZsurvey-1017x1024

This looked like so much fun when I saw it popping up on my favorite blogs. Started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner!

Author you’ve read the most books from: Laurell K. Hamiliton, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich, Ray Bradbury (Once upon a time, I loved urban fantasty.)

Best Sequel Ever: Technically, I’m not sure this is considered a sequel, but A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin was superb and proved that books later in a series can be just as compelling, if not more so, than the first book.

Currently Reading: Jane Eyre, The Silent Wife, and Maus.

Drink of Choice While Reading: Water or hot chocolate.

E-reader or Physical Book? Physical Book – I just haven’t latched on to the ebook craze yet.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: Gale from The Hunger Games – I was obsessed with best friends turning into more. Plus, brooding.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: Eleanor and Park, I really did not want to read this one.

Hidden Gem Book: All of Ray Bradbury’s work outside of Fahrenheit 451. I love his short stories. Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes are also stellar.

Important Moment in your Reading Life: Junior year English in high school. Especially The Scarlet Letter. I finally learned how important and layered literature could be.

Just Finished: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – meh.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: Self-help. Not a fan.

Longest Book You’ve Read: Not sure – some contenders: The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George, Gone With the Wind, and the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Major book hangover because of: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver…that ending, jeez.

Number of Bookcases You Own: Five, but looking for a sixth!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Pride and Prejudice – way more than any other book.

Preferred Place To Read: These days I do a whole lotta reading curled up in bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil GaimanCoraline

Reading Regret: That I’ll never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS that I want to in my lifetime.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): These techincally aren’t completed series but I am way behind: Thursday Next and Flavia de Luce.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: Jane Austen…obviously. And Donna Tartt.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: The Goldfinch!!!!!!!!

Worst Bookish Habit: Buying way more books than I can possibly read.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Your latest book purchase: Night Film, Dracula, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – read in one sitting.

The Blog of Litwits Turns Two + GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)!

we-love-blog

Source

That’s right, ladies and gents! I’ve occupied this little corner of the webs for two years now. I can’t believe how time flies. It’s been the best two years ever and that’s mostly thanks to the wonderful community of readers I’ve come to know and love these many months. I never thought I’d find another community that I loved as much as my home fries over on LiveJournal many moons ago. So thank y’all for that!

As a small gesture, I’m offering a giveaway! Any book I’ve read since August 2012 is up for grabs. One book, one winner – open internationally! You can easily see the books I’ve read by clicking the Books Read in 2012/2013 tabs at the top of old bloggy. They are even conveniently arranged by month! I’ll run the giveaway through the rest of the August so there’s plenty of time. Just fill out THIS FORM. Winners in the US – your book will come from Amazon or Powells. All others will come from The Book Depository.

Best of Luck!!

Discussion: Ender’s Game and the Film Boycott

enders_game_book_cover

If you haven’t heard by now, people are planning to boycott the film version of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game. The movie comes out in November, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been excited for this film since I first read the book some 15+ years ago. That being said, I deplore Card’s politics and how he spends his money. The interwebs are currently filled with passionate pleas and some downright virulent opinions about those who pay to watch Ender’s Game. I would hate to fund Card’s beliefs, but I’d also hate not seeing the film version of my favorite novel of ALL TIME. Plus, it would suck for the child actors in this film to be affected by a low grossing box office. My feelings are complicated. In real life, my friends all tell me to stop reading the internet and go see the movie (including all of my gay friends).

So my question this lovely Friday, what are your feelings about the controversy? Are you planning on seeing the movie? If you see the film, are you thinking about making a donation to a particular group or charity that fights against such crazies as OSC? Or perhaps you might even side with OSC and his beliefs? No matter – just let me know in the comments!