RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn the nearly 20 years since I first learned of Aristotle’s belief that the best story endings are \'surprising, yet inevitable,\' I have rarely been as blindsided — in the best possible way — by the final moments of a book as I was while reading Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi’s Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories ... The final chapter will shock you. You will likely pause, flip back a few pages, certain that you missed something. Then you will realize that you did not, in fact, miss anything. You might scream, close the book, go for a walk and return to it, still shocked ... The brilliance of Ogunyemi’s writing is that after that walk, you’ll realize that from the book’s earliest pages (which are set in 1897) to its final pages (set in 2050), she lays out exactly what is to come. While the narrative is personal...the background also matters. Politics and revolution are never far from the women’s stories ... Ogunyemi declines to explain Africanness or Blackness to readers ... Ogunyemi artfully describes the strength of a sisterhood formed in childhood and forged through highs and lows of love, loss and distance or separation from a loved one ... Each of the 10 chapters that make up this novel can stand on its own, but together they tell a beautiful story of sisterhood, family and love.
RaveNew York Times Book ReviewBlack readers specifically — British, American, Ghanian or otherwise — will find Enninful’s experiences of racism relatable ... It would be misguided to pick up this memoir in search of scoops about Enninful’s American Vogue counterparts. The author knows his story is his own, and he does not lean on gossip in charting his own rise ... The industry insights are intriguing, but some of the most memorable and endearing passages in this book consist of Enninful’s more personal disclosures ... He writes poignantly about his close relationship with his mother, his adoration of his siblings and his tense relationship with his father ... The memoir truly shines in its most intimate revelations of Enninful’s sobriety and depression, of what it felt like to soar professionally while struggling personally — and of how he learned to lean on those who love him most.
Richard Thompson Ford
RaveThe New York Times Book Review... a long-overdue course correction...on the rules, both written and unwritten, that govern what people put on their bodies and so much more ... Dress Codes focuses an even wider lens on what we wear, and on what influences those choices. Taking readers around the world from the 1200s to today, Ford embarks on an ambitious and comprehensive exploration of how fashion has been used by people both with and without money and power ... Moving closer to the present, a chapter on resistance provides an in-depth analysis of the clothes worn during the civil rights movement of the 1960s ... Ford’s writing is steeped in extensive research and makes what could be a dull history lesson about fashion a deeply informative and entertaining study of why we dress the way we do, and what that tells us about class, sexuality and power.
MixedThe New York Times Book Review... did not deliver ... [the authors\'] efforts become exhausting, bogging down the story with tedious details. The authors write that all information included in the book has at least two sources, but do not mention if the couple was involved. Scobie has insisted that they were not, and the Sussexes have also denied being interviewed or participating ... While the book offers no new bombshells, it does add small details to stories everyone thinks they already know ... a visit to George and Amal Clooney’s Lake Como home seems to serve only as a reminder that the royal couple is friends with the Clooneys. Too much space is dedicated to clarifying that, counter to what the British press claimed, Markle did not make the Duchess of Cambridge cry at a bridesmaid dress fitting. Five pages are spent explaining that Markle did not demand and then fail to receive the emerald tiara that she supposedly wanted for her wedding, another viral story from 2018 ... successfully illuminates Prince Harry’s obsession with the press. What has typically been described as Markle’s preoccupation with the media seems to be more of an issue for him ... The book also fails to explore how much it mattered within palace walls that Markle is Black ... does offer an alternative to the story line that has become a go-to for the couple’s detractors, in particular for those who argue that Markle is high maintenance and controlling, and has forced her husband to leave his family. Here she is presented as the independent woman who emboldened him to stand up for himself and do whatever it took to get what he wanted: a life outside the Firm.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"...[a] remarkable and daring debut novel ... Freshwater is a poetic and disturbing depiction of mental illness as it haunts the protagonist from birth to adulthood ... This novel expands the universe of mental illness to include women of color and other ethnicities. Rooting Ada’s story in Igbo cosmology forces us to further question our paradigm for what causes mental illness and how it manifests. It causes us to question science and reason.\