Welcome to #Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is the interview series where you read about the most amazing humans who love books and all things bookish.
Today’s #Spotlight is on Makeda. You’re about to find out why in a bit. She is one of the people I share bookish tastes with. Going through her page just helps me eradicate the books I shouldn’t waste my time on and the ones I absolutely have to get.
Even when she doesn’t like a book, she is very objective and gives reasons so that you can make independent decisions. This is also someone you need to be following if you want to diversify your reading life. Imma stop gushing now, let’s get to meet her.
Where did your love of books /reading come from?
I’ve been reading books for as long as I can remember – some of my fondest memories involve visits to the library to check out 12 books at a time (haha!). Reading has always been my go-to form of self-care when times were tough I found solace in books.
Which genres do you especially enjoy reading?
Historical fiction, Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thrillers. To be honest, I like most genres bar Romance.
What moves you most in a work of literature?
Complex and layered characters. I’m definitely driven by good characterisation. I specifically enjoy books with characters who I can feel equal measures of loathing and pity (Delores from ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by Nicole Dennis-Benn springs to mind).
What’s the last great book you read?
‘The Nickel Boys’ by Colson Whitehead
Is there a classic book you never got around to reading until recently?
I guess it depends on what you determine a ‘classic’ to be. I don’t subscribe to the view that old books written by white, English (or Russian) authors = a classic. I find those books boring, they are revered because of who they are written by, I’m all for the decolonisation of the literary canon 🙂
If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
Probably Japanese. I’ve read a few translated Japanese texts and really enjoyed them. I’m fascinated by the different character sets (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji) and enjoy a challenge!
What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
That traditional black hairstyles incorporate fractal patterns (maths/geometry/etc.) Too long and complex for me to explain but covered succinctly in ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ by Emma Dabiri.
Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Hmm…not really a genre but non-fiction books. I have a ton at home and just can’t seem to find the motivation to pick them up. I said at the start of the year that I wanted to get through more non-fiction but I’ve only managed to read four.
What is your policy on book lending?
Happy to recommend and even buy someone a book if necessary, however, my personal library is not a lending one. I’ve had too many bad experiences on that front in the past (I’ll lend to immediate family only).
How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? One book at a time or simultaneously? Morning or night?
Paper / Monogamously / Throughout the day if I can (I find it difficult to read in bed when I do I always fall asleep).
What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
The Twilight Series
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?
A signed copy of ‘An American Marriage’ by Tayari Jones. Best in the sense that it was a lovely gift from an American bookstagrammer (Anna @never_withouta_book) who went out of her way to get it signed and sent to me in the UK.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Toni Morrison, Marlon James, Jesmyn Ward
How do you decide what to read next? Is it reviews, word-of-mouth, books by friends, books for research? Does it depend on mood or do you plot in advance?
I pull together a loose TBR (‘to be read’) list of what I’d like to read, a few months in advance, but I rarely stick to it and will pick up whatever I’m feeling in the mood for.
If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Oooh, this is hard. I’m sure in a former life I was filthy rich so I’d probably go with Beyonce, Oprah or Steve Jobs. The latter because I’m fascinated at how he was able to present himself publicly as a likeable CEO yet allegedly act like an egomaniac dictator in private.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I’ll leave that to my family to decide 🙂
You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?
This question has me stumped tbh as I know I’d probably go mad with power and become a despot, so perhaps the best thing for humanity would be for me to live on said island alone with an endless supply of books, music, food, home comforts, plus the ability to periodically ship in friends and family (and a hottie) when I find myself craving human attention!
Would rather sweat mayonnaise or have cheese for saliva?
Cheese for saliva. I love cheese and could always use gum/mints to mask the smell!
What is your guilty pleasure Disney movie?
Bambi – every time I watch it, I cry.
If you were known as a strain of cannabis, what would your name be?
Lol. Another challenging question. Maybe ‘Earthbound’ as the handful of times I’ve smoked weed it’s mellowed me, plus I’m a Virgo, which is an Earth sign!
Don’t you want to be best friends with her already? Follow Makeda @colourlit_uk on Instagram, it’s a treasure trove of book recommendations and stimulating reviews. Also, check out her website, follow her on Twitter and GoodReads. Thank me later.
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