It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. ~ Oscar Wilde.
Last year, I started a pattern of book reviews here but I couldn’t go through with them for long till I went on that long hiatus but being a person who’s quite engaged in a lot of writings, I’ve decided to be very conscious of my reading life.
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Let me just say this, I’m an avid reader but trust me, it’s possible not to pick a book to read in one month or probably pick a book to read and not finish until forever because of some writing commitments – that’s just me being ?.
A Writer is a Reader.
In that regards, I’ve decided to do what’s called a 2018 Reading Plan where I’d be reading a total of 50 books. I love round figures. It’s quite easy to say 52 after all there are 52 weeks in the year but mehn, who’s counting! I’m not trying to impress anyone; I’m just trying to be accountable for my reading life! I don’t need it to just bloom; I need it blooming (continuously).
So how am I going to do it?
Well, I’ve seen quite a lot of reading plans and then it has too much routine and rules and believe me, I’m quite a rule breaker, I don’t do so much with them. I can’t afford to read a book by letter, by history, by author, etc. It’s cool ‘cause I probably might use some of those factors in picking any book to read but not like I’m conditioned to do that for a particular month/week (I’m not trying to criticise people who do it, I’m just trying to explain my own hesitation about that style). It’s going to be quite random for me – I’m quite spontaneous; I pick whichever attracts me (Nigerian, African, Foreign, Memoir, Fiction, Poetry, Spiritual, etc.) and that could be based on personal recommendation, reviews read, affection for a particular author, etc.
Also, I’m not doing a number per month; I’m gonna be very intentional by making sure it’s 50! But yea, I could set a goal limit for each month like at least 3 books per month (as check and balance).
It’s better to exceed your reading goals than to fall short.
So, have I started?
Yes. I have. Read two books already in January; presently on my third; that’s like (-3+50) for me and I’m gonna be reviewing one of them today!?
Title: The Last Black Unicorn
Author: Tiffany Haddish
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon and Schuster)
Year of Publication: 2017
Number of Pages: 373 (my ebook reader version)
A little history!
That picture up there is dated August, 2017! Yea, that was me hanging out in Abuja with two of my favourite persons during my work holiday. I was meeting the two of them for the first time after a long time of online friendship and call relationship.
So, it happened that we decided to go see a movie at Jabbi Mall and that movie was Girls Trip. More like, me and my girls were hooking up after a long time of never seeing and we were there to see a movie about four girls who were reuniting after a long time of separation (The Flossy Possy) – I’m not here to review the movie? (lemme fall back in line).
Should have reviewed that movie since last year but I know many of y’all probably would have seen it but I’m still gonna put up a review for my opinion’s sake and for blog’s sake. ?. . .
Why the history?
The history is to help you understand my drive behind reading that book up there. For me, and for everyone out there that saw the movie, I want to believe Tiffany Haddish blew their mind! As in, she was like the highlight of it all and I was like, how come I’ve never heard of this woman until now? What kind of movies have I been seeing? . . . But you know what; I saw that movie twice at the Cinema. . . What!!!? Yea!
First, I didn’t go see it again cos I was obsessed with (eyes rolling) it but I had another date with one of my friends (Yetunde) working in Abuja to go see a movie and when we got there, we wanted to see something else that was unfortunately not shown at the Silverbird Cinema but Girls Trip was just starting and she had wanted to see it, so I had to pretend as if I hadn’t seen it so my friend could see it (I just couldn’t deprive her of laughing it all out by deciding to see something else you know) but guess what, I was a terrible actor? and my friend could tell I had seen the movie before.
You know that moment you try to laugh extra hard or you’re under-laughing and that shoot-yourself-in-the-leg moment when you’re carelessly giving spoilers for the next scene and she be looking at you and the spirit of God be telling her, check that girl well, she been here before???!
Now, the sold out moment was when we were walking out and we bumped into my friend that I had come to Abuja to meet (Debs) with Seyifunmi (another friend of hers I had met) they were on ‘after work shopping’ and by the way, Debs had met Yetunde before that day and she knew I was out with her and she was like what movie did you guys see and Yetunde replied Girls Trip and Debs just sold me out, and she be like Ibukun, you saw that movie again?
And Yetunde that took me out was like ehn ehn, I was sensing it. Gosh! She was like you could have told me, we would have seen something else since the outing was about me; but I was trying to make sure she didn’t have to make that sacrifice. I had seen the movie, I loved it and she hasn’t and she’s quite a busy person, she may never have the time! so why not see it again on my part?
Anyways, back to the book.
I knew I was gonna feed on anything Tiffany Haddish from that cinema moment. I fell in love right there watching Girls Trip and saying she got my heart was an understatement. She was dang hilarious and funny and you know what, I had to online track her??. In my mind, I was like Girl, you’ve got a diehard fan in me. . . So, I followed her on Instagram (I do that a lot when I fall in love with someone’s personality).
Fortunately afterwards, the movie apparently sold out and yea, it’s time the world gotta know Tiffany Motherfucking Haddish (sorry, that was how she put it in the book). So, she wrote a book and I knew I was gonna be reading it. I have a thing for nonfictions a lot! It’s a type of literature I practically live for.
So, what should you expect reading The Last Black Unicorn?
1. This is Tiffany Haddish very vulnerable and bare to the whole world. You know, vulnerability is a big deal. It takes strength and a lot of freedom in who you are and acceptance of all that you are and believing all that matters is the way you and God alone sees you! So it doesn’t matter who has an opinion or who is trying to make his/her opinion counts.
2. This book is raw (like undiluted), deep and hilarious. I mean, this is gonna make you laugh really hard (you better not be reading this when your grandmamma is at home and she’s gonna be hearing you laugh hard cos you gonna keep getting the girl! Are you alright? Check). Truthfully, I expected her writing style (very comic) ‘cause I was consciously reading with her personality in my head that it became pretty easy for me to laugh really hard at some things (like I was imagining Dina from Girls Trip talking to me). She had her voice written all over the narrative. . . she would make you laugh even at the painful things.
3. Most importantly, this book is not a comic book. It’s a painstakingly narrated story of struggles, joy and pain especially through the eye of comedy. Tiffany Haddish lived a hard life – a very rough and traumatized childhood, serial relationship pains, abuse, domestic violence, divorcing the same man twice, fighting through a men-dominated comedy world as a woman and becoming a Hollywood hit girl.
4. Trust me, this book is a lot!!!
Favourites: My favourite parts were where she talked about Roscoe; a character with a physical challenge (it was very inspiring to me – I didn’t find it offensive at all; she handled the sensitivity very well as far I’m concerned). Also, I love the part where she talked about being friends with Jada, hanging out with Jada and Will Smith; meeting the Queen of Soul, Mary J. Blige and how she handled her success when people who had rejected her started calling after Girls Trip became a box office hit (trust me, I was literally smiling at that point. I could imagine that feeling of being wanted by the ones who had rejected you and make you feel like some shitty holes down the drainage).
Reservations: In all fairness, I really do not have any. Of course, it is normal that people would crave for more depth when it comes to truth-telling especially (memoirs, autobiography, biography, etc.) but I like to put it at the back of my mind that a person’s story is theirs to own which includes, how they tell it, what they tell and what they hold back. For me, this is a truth well told for someone who is a Comedian and an Actor! Tiffany is not only hilarious but also a great story and truth teller. In the book, she mentioned that after breaking things off with Roscoe, he disappeared and no one knows where he is till date – a part of me did wish he is still alive somewhere.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.
Extra: I just want to say thank you to Tiffany Haddish for sharing her truth with the whole world! It takes strength and love to see others being free to accept who they are to do that. Also, her success is well deserved and admirable. She’s one heaven of a fighter.
PS: Everyone should really read this book and it is important to say that there are lots of lessons to pick, so, don’t get carried away with the comic telling and yea, this book has an audio version; I can tell it’s gonna be fire and smoke altogether!
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Till I come your way next week with another interesting post, please, do have an amazing and fun-filled weekend.
Everyone should have a strong and very active reading culture. It has nothing to do with being a Writer or not! It has everything to do with overall self development.
What do you think of reading plans? Is it an idea you’d buy? What do you think of Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn?
Nonfiction is more than telling the world your story; it’s also helping others tell their stories! ~ Ibukunwrites