Book Club- I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying

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The latest read for book club was I’m Telling the Truth but I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi.  It was an incredible book! This month was my choice and I knew as soon as it came out that it would be my next book club choice.  I’ve heard Bassey on several of the podcasts I listen to and have found her honesty about her mental health struggles truly refreshing.  I am glad to see that we are starting to have more honest discussions about mental health in our country but still have a long way to go.  A book like Bassey’s will help fuel more of these discussions.  Her book is heart wrenching in its honesty.  You see the struggle through her eyes, the eyes of someone with Bipolar II and Depression.  She doesn’t sugarcoat things, even at times in her life where she might have been viewed from outside as the villain.  I also appreciate her honesty in the declaration that every day is a struggle and most likely always will be.  

Not only was Bassey’s story something to make this book an incredible read, but she is also a phenomenal writer.  It’s easy to see that she really started as a poet.  A lot of the writing has a poetic feel and flow to it, even though it’s prose.  I hope that she writes more and I fully intend on finding any of her spoken word videos I can.  

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.  While it’s a heavy topic, I think it’s a look at mental illness that we all need.  I also feel like in a weird way her melodic writing helps soften the blow.  Even if you don’t struggle with mental illness, I think you will find things in Bassey’s book you can relate to.  It may also open your eyes to the struggles of others you know.  I really hope you all read this book.

Book rating:  I cannot recommend this book enough! (10/10)  

Bassey is Nigerian-American, so I chose a menu centered around Nigerian food.  Here’s what we had:

  • Jollof Rice– This is probably one of the more well-known Nigerian dishes.  Even though I’ve made it before in book club, I felt like it was worth repeating such a classic.
  • Seared Flank Steak with Suya spice mix
  • Nigerian Puffs Puffs– This is a sweet fried dough that actually reminded me a little of beignets and they were pretty tasty!


I thought beer would pair well with this menu, so I chose a seasonal one.  We had the Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale.  It’s an Amber ale with just a hint of pumpkin flavor.  There’s also a nice smell to it of pumpkin and warm spices.  I liked this beer because it’s dark enough that it wasn’t too bitter for me, but light enough that it didn’t feel like a meal all on its own.  I’ll definitely have it again, especially during fall and winter!

Beer rating:  A great option for fall that I would drink and buy again. (8/10)

The next book we’re reading is The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro.  As always you can see all of the books we’ve read on my Book Club Pinterest board.



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