Our #SheReads Facebook book club has 168 members and counting. Our first book was Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, and overall, the responses in our Facebook group were positive, despite the open-ended finish. As we mentioned in our inaugural #SheReads post, our book time frames are intentionally long – we know you have busy schedules and are trying to balance many things, so we wanted the book club to be a source of entertainment, not stress. You can jump into the conversations at any time, whenever you finish the book.
For our second book, we’re going to have an even longer time frame – we recognize the holidays are a very busy time, so we want to make sure we give you plenty of time to finish Book 2. So this book, will take us all the way to the end of the year. Now, we recognize that some of you might think two and a half months is entirely TOO long, and for you, will have new prompts in the Facebook group with recommendations of books from our members.
Now, without much further ado, our second book is Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is not a new book – it was published in 2013, and at the time was selected as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the New York Times. The author also won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2013 for this book.
Described by NPR as “[A] knockout of a novel abut immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meaning of skin color…” Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two young people in love in military-ruled Nigeria. Ifemelu departs for the Unites States to study, while Obinze becomes an undocumented immigrant in London. Years later, Obinze returns to newly democratic Nigeria and becomes incredibly wealthy almost overnight, while Ifemelu gains success in the United States for her blog. They reconnect in Nigeria, and well, you will just have to read the book to find out how it ends.
You might be wondering why we picked this book, and the first, most honest reaction is that it was in the featured books section by the checkout at the Cleveland Public Library branch downtown, and looked interesting.
We were also incredibly drawn to the author Chimananda Ngozi Adichie, who was awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008, and is widely considered one of the most prominent authors of African literature. Earlier this year, she appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah talking about her newest book, and we were struck with her intelligence and grace and warmth.
A little research later, we found that she has not one, but TWO of the most viewed Ted Talks of all time.
And finally, Americanah is being turned into a mini-series, produced by and starring Lupita Nyong’o.
We hope you will join us in reading this book and talking about it in our Facebook group!