Update on My Reading Goal: Americanah

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my little goal of reading all the books on the list the Huffington Post published of 21 books from the past five years that every woman should read.

I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


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The protagonist is Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman living in America. Adichie herself was born and raised in Nigeria and came to the United States to attend college.

I was looking forward to reading some of Adichie’s work after reading Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist in which she is mentioned.

In all honesty, this book started a little slow for me. The story weaves back and forth between Ifemelu and her ex-boyfriend back in Nigeria with whom she is still in love.

The book picked up significantly about 60 percent through when we start to see Ifemelu go from struggling to find work in the United States to becoming a successful blogger on topics of diversity. Several of those blog posts are featured in the novel and they are both intelligent and witty. She’s an inspirational person and I wanted to root for her, which is always a nice characteristic to have in a protagonist.

When the successful Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, she is a bit less likeable. She turns up her nose at some of the customs in her local town, but I suppose that could be something we are all a little guilty of doing. Returning to Nigeria also means seeing the aforementioned old boyfriend, but I won’t give away all those details.

After a slow start, this book is good and meaningful, but perhaps not the page-turner that Swamplandia! was.

Here is the updated list. The top five books are the ones I had read prior to discovering the list.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Her by Christa Parravani
Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
NW by Zadie Smith
Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
Room by Emma Donoghue
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri


2 thoughts on “Update on My Reading Goal: Americanah”

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