Month in Review: April 2019

Books read:  6

  • Go Ahead in the Rain, Hanif Abdurraqib
    A four-star rating
  • The Kingdom of Gods, N.K Jemisin
    A five-star rating
  • Babylon’s Ashes, James S.A. Corey
    A five-star rating
  • We Set the Dark on Fire, Tehlor Kay Mejia
    A five-star rating
  • Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
    A five-star rating
  • On the Come Up, Angie Thomas
    A five-star rating

Pages read: 2.481

Time read: 32 hrs, 58 min

Favorite book(s):

  • Go Ahead in the Rain, Hanif Abdurraqib (This book is so, so good. Oh, the beautiful writing and the nostalgia…)
  • Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
  • On the Come Up, Angie Thomas

Favorite quote(s):

Go Ahead in the Rain is quotable from beginning to end, so I’m going to share just a couple of my favorite passages here…

“But I suppose none of us truly know, Tip. Which is why the sample is a joy, isn’t it? The wind blows a memory of someone into a room through sounds, and the architect captures that memory with their bare hands and puts it on wax. Is this, too, the low end? The feeling of something familiar that sits so deep in your chest that you have to hum it out? The James Brown on ‘Show Business’ or the Sly Stone sample on ‘Jazz.’ There are cookouts and Soul Train lines on this album. There are hot rooms and hot card games. I imagine the low end to be anything you could touch once but is now just a fading dream. I imagine the low end to be a bassline that rattles your teeth, too. But I also consider the low end to be the smell of someone you once loved coming back to you. Someone who sang along to Aretha, or Minnie, or Otis. Someone who loved you once and then loved nothing.” (Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead in the Rain)

“But this makes me wonder, what did it feel like not to know what that was? To be the titans roaming the landscape, if for just a short while. Maybe you don’t give a shit about basslines or sound frequencies or how low the human ear can hear. Maybe you don’t care about the way a good bass kick can briefly stop the heart before it starts again, refreshed. The right speaker makes the body a quick ghost before kicking it back to life, and I find that fascinating, and if you don’t, that’s fine. I guess I can’t expect you do do much but show up and do what you imagine your job is. Shaking the table. Rapping better than anyone else in the room.” (Hanif Abdurraqib, Go Ahead in the Rain)

Updates:

April was still super busy. I really want to write about Hanif Abdurraqib’s ATCQ memoir, Go Ahead in the Rain, but I just don’t have the time. I could have included at least ten more quotes in this post–the entire book truly is quotable. If you’re a fan of A Tribe Called Quest, or if you’re a fan of 90’s hip hop, I highly recommend reading Abdurraqib’s book. It really is phenomenal. If I had had the time when I finished it, I would have started it over from the beginning right then. The subject matter is close to my heart, so it brought on a ton of nostalgia, but Abdurraqib’s writing is beautiful, too. Soulful. I can’t say enough good things about the book.

2 thoughts on “Month in Review: April 2019

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