bloggingfundamentals

Thin Book Spines and Titled Chapters

Earlier this week creativity nudged me to rearrange my book stacks, update my Did-Not-Finish reading list and take newly themed book pictures. Amidst all these I noticed a few things about my book arrangements. I arrange differently every time. Sometimes I could put thick spine books atop or beside each other in a word graffiti rainbow. Other times, book spines in gradients of colours, like beige to bright yellow books, beside mustard next to orange and coffee brown. After reading how Dr Da Silva in Like A Mule Bringing Ice cream to the Sun by Sarah Manyika, kept books with characters she felt would love to meet or settings they should visit together. I added that to my system of arrangements.

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Books with thin spines I noticed get put together at the very top of stacks or right end of my shelf just before pocket-sized novels. Thin book spines have always fascinated me. Have I assumed I could finish them in two hours? Yes and wrongly so at times. I’ve noticed thin spines are used for novellas, tiny print novels and poetry collections. A thin spined book can be a condensed or quick read. Not knowing what to get can quickly fast track a reading slump for me. The curiosity, really, does the fast tracking. I recall when I was to read Last Days At Forcados High School by A.H Mohammed, a Nigerian coming of age novella. I procrastinated it until I discovered how full but quick it was to read. Unlike, Independence by Sarah Manyika which was condensed. I began it having learnt my lesson only to have a long read ahead. Thanks to the multiverse for reading vigils!

I remember secondary school days when we’d pick positions on novel lending lists. Or during book swaps, I’d always smile when fellow bibliophiles would carry the book, turn it around to look at its spine and width. The borrowers use quick reader maths (ie. book lust × the book spine/ weight + page numbers ÷ reading speed) to estimate how long they’ll read the novel. It was always an intriguing sight. How come we rarely did that with thin spined books? Maybe because romance and thrillers came in thick spined, brown leaved, pocket-sized novels.

Then there is the aesthetics of thin spines in book photography. I had to prop up a stack of thin spined books and zoom in high-definition into the smaller lettering of their book titles. Aesthetics of words is another way I arrange my books. How can I write a mental fill in the gap story with titles on book spines, is the game this arrangement plays. The beauty of lit words made me begin to note and admire titled chapters. I can’t remember my first favourite titled chapter. But two books on my current To-Be-Read books list have many intriguing titled chapters. I feel my admiration and preference for titled chapters came from loving short-story collections.

Laughing As They Chased Us by Sarah Jackman has beautifully names chapters, ie. explain love, the love bit, etc. I can’t forget chapter 13’s title in Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. ’13. Didn’t Come to Kill Anyone. I Came Here to Die’ was so mysterious! Excitement led me through each chapter of this queer coming of age novel. That’s the thing with titled chapters, they promise intriguing insight into the plot and characters.

I don’t mind chapters named after the characters narrating them like Dimple and Rishi in When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon or in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi narrated by Zélie, Amari and Inan. Titled chapters at the upper edges of books just add so much witty beauty to book photos. For example, in my Instagram picture for The Sun is Also a Star by Nicolas Yoon which I dubbed “A Guide for falling in Love within a day: Using Science and Fate.” The book edge of ‘explain love’ in the picture was a metaphor to the theme of Nicola Yoon’s YA Romance ebook. Am I the only one that has noticed how thin spined books and titled chapters influence their book lust, book arrangements, purchases and photography? Either way I’m still a book nerd who loves titled chapters and thin spines.

Don’t forget to have a booked weekend gemstone!

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THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR BY NICOLA YOON

“People spend their whole lives looking for love. Poems and songs and entire novels are written about it. But how can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”

“All teenagers separate from their parents. To grow up is to grow apart.”

“Growing up and seeing your parents’ flaws is like losing your religion”

“Sometimes your world shakes so hard, it’s difficult to imagine that everyone else isn’t feeling it too.”

 

Its summary? A Guide To Falling In Love Within A Day: Using Science and Fate. 20% into the ebook I began falling in love with the writing. I mean science and history, optimism versus realism, fate and hope, family, love and life’s disappointments themes written in beautiful sentences.

‘He was some exotic planet and I was his favorite satellite.

But he’s no planet, just the final fading light of an already dead star.

And I’m not a satellite. I’m space junk, hurtling as far as I can away from him.’

What’s not to love?! The first person and omniscient point of views used to write this YA Romance novel makes the story robust and intriguing..just like life. How many times do you see a black teenage heroine who is a science geek, realistic about life and purses her goals relentlessly? Neither is an American Korean hopeless romantic and poet trying to choose his own path an object of denied affection. The minor characters are flawed with regrettable histories and surprising futures I get to peek into. Yet these flaws and some mistakes set in motion events that influence Natasha and Daniel love story. For a major part of the book, Natasha and I share an open secret Daniel is unaware of.

Certain chapters named Evoluntionary History discussed eerie, hair, multiverses, four minutes, etc. I enjoyed the writing style Nicola Yoon used. I got introduced to her combination styled writing in Everything Everything. Both main characters narrated their tales using lists, essays, dialogues, soliloquy. The omniscient point of view used imagery, flashback, irony to enliven the book’s themes. The novel is set in New York geographically the characters and I trekked Times Square, visited Harlem amongst other places in a day. In that same day, I got to time travel to the past Jamaica and Korea then future histories unlived. Themes of self-realization, love, loss, family, failed hope teach much. I learnt about the science of human existence, cosmic love, immigrant realities, making apple pie and how mundane romanticized coincidences are. Two days ago I animatedly told a friend how I felt it was written about my existence. I’m a tech enthusiast and hopeful romantic who always has brief cosmic love experiences.

The Sun Is Also A Star has earned four fireworks. As with Nicola Yoon’s style, the novel ends unexpectedly. In all the multiverses where I imagined various ends, it wasn’t supposed to end realistically unpredictable! Or did it, the last chapter makes me ask fate.

I’M LOVING YA ROMANCE

Young Adult Romance is a genre of Romance popularly called YA Romance by book lovers. It’s a genre I got curious about after reading book reviews, a blog tour, Something like Summer by Jay Bell, Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Last Days at Forcados High School by A.H Mohammed and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

This July I decided to add reading books from two new genres to my 2k18 reading goals. YA romance and African Horror were my picks because I had enjoyed the works I’ve read so far.  I’m a lover of erotica, chicklit, afrofuturism, queer, historical and western romance, travelogues, legal thrillers and coming-of-age books. Some days back some friends and I were lamenting about the cliché plots of many Mill and Boons novels we read as girls.

Having extraordinary narratives exploring unconventional experiences of characters of color is what I love about YA Romance. Little wonder many of these bestselling YA Romance novels are being adapted into films. I adored The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon that I read it in just one day! Everyday by David Levithan and P.I Still Love You by Jenny Han are ebooks I’m currently thoroughly enjoying.  I’d like to read Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon,  Meet Cute, a YA Romance anthology edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Most YA Romance novels and their reviews I have read narrate that we all have many types of loves, quests for life that don’t always end the way we expect. This abrupt yet robust style is one I found very fulfilling while reading some ebooks lately. The characters are so endearing! I love reflective works and many YA Romance make me travel, explore, muse, experience life and love. I really love chicklit and romance novels, poems and anthologies. why? These genres feed my hopeful romantic self with laughter, love, faith and lessons. I like it when a book teaches its reader to love and believe in themself This is a common theme with many Young Adult Romances I have read this July.

I haven’t began reading African Horror works yet. I only have Palmwine Drunkard by Amos Tutuola, a classic and books by the genre’s popular author Nuzo Onoh. After reading many African horror flash fiction on a blog a thousand midnights ago, I got fascinated with this genre. I do recall listening to Radio Lagos afternoon story time every week day. The presenter would read  Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’s Saga by D.O Fagunwa in Yoruba. I came to cherish this Nigerian Literature Classic that improved my appreciation of Yoruba language and painted African mystical adventures in my mind forever. I will soon make a African Horror book list. If you have any book recommendations for both genres do comment them below.

 

Images source: Amethyst Saw