This year I’m tracking my reading in so many ways I worry it’s unsustainable (here, Goodreads, Storygraph, and the BookRiot tracker) but one of the things I do like is that in some places I can give half stars. I’m finding that a lot of what I read is 4.5 stars. Truly excellent, but just doesn’t have that special something that tips me into obsession. Obsession is what gets you the full 5. The Office of Historical Corrections is amazing and I definitely recommend it, but I’m not racing out to buy my own copy.
This is several short stories and a novella, and they’re all incredible. A friend recommended that I let things breathe and not rush through it all at once, which was good advice. I’d read one or two of the stories and step away to sit with them for a bit. The title novella came last and that one I did read in one sitting (it’s about the full back half of the book). Written by a Black woman, these stories are about being Black in America (one centers a white girl, it’s essentially about how the privilege apathy upholds the racist status quo, it’s good) in moments that feel more everyday than headline grabbing. Look, it’s really good. This is an early contender for a birthday gift for my mom.
It’s also just broadly insightful. This particular exchange about D.C. had me feeling seen.
“Is that why you didn’t start by asking what I do?”
“I never start there. It’s an easy trick for being the least predictable person at a DC party. Ask anything other than ‘What do you do?’ If people want you to know, they’ll still find a way to tell you.”