Island Heritage

The year is drawing to a close, and as I reflect on the books I read this year, and those I didn’t, I can’t help but look forward. For the first time since 2009, since before starting this blog, I am finally able to return to The Bahamas for the holidays. As one who has spent nearly as much time away from home as I have living at home, this time is incredibly sentimental. We alternate our holiday destinations between the United States and The Bahamas. My birthday is a week after Christmas, right after New Years. In the past, this has meant that the whole family is together for at least a week or two.  This year, everyone will be down in the islands. While I write this, our first New England snow of the season comes down. The plows scrape and rumble by, frightening my cats.

But to the heart of this entry: This year was also the first time I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo… and by attempted, I mean, I didn’t really write much… BUT, I do have an idea. A grand idea if you ask me — but one that requires quite a bit of research on my part. I realize that next semester should be my last in my graduate school career, and for next NaNoWriMo, I want to be poised and ready to hammer out my fifty thousand words. Though I feel it’s too early to discuss this idea, I will say that it involves some aspects of the Caribbean. There’s not a terrible amount of visible Caribbean literature out there. I say visible because I know how rich and vibrant story-telling is in the islands, but not as many tales are written down and then published.

I also can’t stop thinking about Tiphanie Yanique’s book Land of Love and Drowning sitting on my shelf (scandalously adjacent to Herman Wouk!) so, tonight, I’ve picked it up. Yes, there are still three titles I haven’t read out of my 16 book gauntlet, and I still have reviews to write for about a half-dozen, but I’m still pleased that I finished most on the list! Anyone watching my other page will notice how much that list has grown… Trust me, I’m reading!

land of love and drowning tiphanie yanique caribbean Ah, look how beautiful under the dust jacket!

My task for this next year is to read as much as I can find about my cultural heritage from The Bahamas, as well as the other topics involved with my NaNoWriMo idea. I’ll be starting with the titles I already own, such as Tiphanie’s book, but also Paradise Overdose, by Brian Antoni, re-reading titles by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, whatever I happen to find at home in my old room, and many more Caribbean authors. I’m taking International and Comparative Librarianship in my final semester of grad school, so ideally, I’ll be making some contacts (in the islands) for a class-related project. (You see how I worked that out, right?) We’ll see if I can skate around without purchasing any books… But I’m a sucker for a signed copy! I’d also like to revisit some titles from my childhood studies, such at The Cay by Theodore Taylor, and The Wooing of Beppo Tate by C. Everard Palmer. I can’t believe I actually remembered those to tell you the truth. Despite realizing that many… most… of these will not have audiobook versions, I am looking forward to reading physical copies.

If nothing else, I hope these books help me feel a bit warmer during the winter.

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