Book of the Month: My Sister, The Serial Killer

I don't know why there was no book of the month for January. I think I just did not fancy any of the books I read enough to make a post out of them. Yeah, that happens. But I will try my hardest to make sure this goes up in February (cookie points if it actually does—hurray , it will!). Okay, so the book of this month is definitely Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, The Serial Killer.

I want to start by saying I spent an insane amount of money on books last year so I want to pump the breaks this year on spending on books for two reasons. The first is to save money, duh! More importantly though, I'm hoping for more funding to our local libraries. I really don't want libraries to die at all. So please borrow from your local library if you have one. I have access to 3 (yes, THREE) libraries (I know, lucky me). They are not all in the same city (long story) but, point is when I want a book, surely one of those three has to have it. And if they don't, well sorry to that book*. Lol. If libraries continually get used then the likelihood of them closing up reduces. And we all win when there are libraries.



Okay back to the book. As the title probably tells you, it's a satire (?), kinda funny book about two sisters. One is a well, you guessed it, serial killer. Apart from being the serial killer though, Ayoola is the favorite child, she is charming, ditzy, and somewhat manipulative.  The other, Korede, is the big sister. She is also the protagonist of the book. It is her [often resentful]  voice with which we hear the story. She is also the one who cleans up after her sister, literally. Ayoola kills, Korede cleans.  And she doesn't just kill anyone, she kills her lovers. So what happens when she starts dating a doctor at the hospital Korede works as a Nurse, but whom Korede has also secretly been in love with? I know, lol. But yes, that is the premise of the book. I love the book mostly because it does not pretend to be what it is not.

Notwithstanding, upon reading it, it uncovers layers and themes of love (yup, LOVE), emotional and physical abuse, family loyalty and more. This book is pretty dope for many reasons. The first is that it is such an easy read. Seriously, the writing is easy but astute. With so many forced writing these days, I was appreciative of the fact that this was a prose that was artful but also very straightforward and accessible.  Another thing about the book is the implicit tribute to Lagos [and Yoruba tradition]. It pays enough respect to its setting, and with the bastardization of Yoruba culture and lineage in Children of Blood and Bone, I can understand why I appreciated all the reference to  Lagos traffic, Naija police, nosy Nurses, women's place in the Nigerian society etc.

While I watch a lot of crime shows, I wasn't sure I would love a book about a serial killer. But I was pleasantly surprised. So don't let the genre discourage you. Have I mentioned how fast and easy it is to get through the book? Oh I should also mention, some people might pick this up expecting a thriller or scary book. Uhm, I don't think you would find that here, so if that's your type of stuff, I don't know lol. Some might disagree with me on this. Nothing scared or "thrilled" me about this book. However, I doubt you would read this book and not like it on some level, at least. So you should still read it; also because it's a brilliant and interesting story. It has won tons of well deserved awards too! Plus, I love the author. She is really cool in a I'm-not-even-trying-to-be-cool way.

Alright, that's it for that. If you do read the book (or if you already have), let me know, please!

Hope this wasn't too short? If yes, sorry to you (lmao). If no, then...

...it's bye, till the next book of the month!

No no, I will still blog before then (I think?😬)

Love,

I

* I always wonder about using current pop culture references in writing, because what if in 10 years I am (or you are) reading this and wondering what on God's earth I was referring to. Anyway, this is from the Keke Palmer's meme where she couldn't recognize Dick Cheney.

Food Chat: Why Turkish Food is Amazingly Good

How's everyone doing? Maybe I should begin every blogpost with this very important question. Everyone talks about how slow January is as a month, generally, but I truly never feel this way at all. It never feels like January is moving as a glacier pace to me. To me, the pace is just fine. But that's just me. All that to say, we thank God we are in February (LOL, this was written at the beginning of the month even though I'm only just posting it).

As the title so glaringly says, this post is about foooooddddd. And I am going to be the one to tell you all about it myself. As this whole thing is still in its beginning stages, I'm not quite sure what format to use. But what does it matter? I will try to follow the format of questioning from the last food chat as best as I can. And of course, I will share the pictures and of course say something about the place. How does that sound?

First off, we went to this place (in far far far away land) to celebrate my friend's birthday. It is a Turkish restaurant in Manassas. Now, when my friend said she wanted a Turkish place for her birthday brunch, I said oh? okay... Please note that she is not Turkish lol. Plus when she said where it was and how long it would take there, I was like erm, that food must be good for us to go ALL THE WAY considering the several other local brunch options. I will be honest, I was very apprehensive. I had never had Turkish food before, and quite frankly I did not know what to expect. But like I always say, it didn't matter much to me. It was going to be great company and we were celebrating my friend. In fact, the journey would give us all time to catch up after our respective holiday travels. So why not? What's the worst that could happen, I would not like the food? So what? And so we traveled down. Beloved, I was PLEASANTLY surprised. It was AMAZING. I am here to preach the gospel that Turkish food or at least, Turkish breakfast/brunch is where it's at.

So the place is appropriately called, My Cravingz and so easy to miss on the very quiet road it is. They call themselves a "brunch/bakery spot".

As for how I found it, well I already mentioned most of it. My friend asked a Turkish person where to get the best Turkish food and they suggested this place, probably thinking there was no way we would actually go there. Hahaha. Well, SURPRISE!

What did I like about it? Everything really. The food itself was really awesome. But the ambience: cozy, not overly crowded, and lots of light. Nothing to see outside of course, it was kinda in the middle of nowhere. And yes, parking was free. I mean, this is not a fancy place or anything. We had a platter. But the best thing was the food. It's family owned, and everyone was incredibly pleasant. I mean, incredibly pleasant. Someone, either the manager or the owner himself attended to us all through. Apart from the birthday babe who has lived in Turkey before, the rest of us were new to Turkish food. So he took his time to explain the menu to us, and was VERY patient despite our indecisiveness (and boy, were we annoyingly indecisive lol). So his kindness was noteworthy. My friend (not the birthday babe) even got like complementary Turkish bagel or something. So yes, they were very nice there.



We ordered a platter, pictured above. And I regret not taking more pictures. I think I was so carried away by all the food. Anyway, each platter contained spreads and sides enough to feed four people.  The platter had various cheeses, olives, homemade jams with no sugar added, tomatoes, a variety of nuts, Simit (Turkish bagel), Menemen (this is a dish made with eggs, green peppers, tomatoes, and some spices), Muhlama (this is cornmeal and cheese), Soujouk (this is a kind of sausage, I think), Mucver (like a zucchini fritter. Nigerians, think Akara but made with zucchini not beans),  Turkish bread (just soooo good) etc. Yup, ALL of these were in the platter. And on top of that, you can get sides as well. So for our sides, we expanded on some of the individual components of the platter. That Menemen stuff is the actual best Lol. My friend (again, not birthday babe) is vegan so she got the Menemen without eggs, and I think it was just as good. I don't like eggs so I think I prefer sans eggs. Either way, that stuff  (Menemen) on Turkish bread or frankly any of their pastries (which are ALL made in house, by the way) is a party in the mouth. It frankly reminded me of Nigerian food and I think that's why I loved it even more. Menemen for instance can be egg stew, and without eggs can (emphasis on can) be ata dindin. Now Mucver was something else that I underestimated. I thought, Zucchini, blegh...I mean, seriously what good can come out of zucchini? My friends, the answer to that is A LOT of GOOD. Seriously delicious. If I wasn't so lazy, I would actually look online for the recipe. You know what, maybe I should.

Turkish coffee...so bitter


What did I not like at this place? Nothing. I can one hundred percent say there was nothing about this place I didn't like. There was this honey butter thing they had in the platter. Woah. Good stuff.  I realized I have been doing brunch wrong all the while ha.

Would I return? Probably not. I know, lol, after all of that. I wish I could but it's too far. Now maybe if I make a trip of it, why not. It would certainly be worth it.

Well, that's it!

I hope I touched on everything. If you ever visit, let me know, please. And apologies for the lack of pictures. It wasn't until writing this post I realized I didn't have that many pictures from the trip.

Oops.

Love,

I