Black Histoy Month, Reading list, Top Lists, Uncategorized

The books I read during Black History Month!

Its the beginning of Women’s History Month! February was an exciting blur of life, learning and having the flu. But as the saying goes: Nevertheless, she persisted!

While didn’t post often, I did read a ton.

My top five reads:

An American Marriage

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

This interesting love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

Reason for reading: This title is an Oprah’s Book Club pick!

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The ABC’s of the Black Panther Party

The ABCs of the Black Panther Party introduces and gives an overview of the Black Panther Party to children (suggested ages 7-12). The ABCs of the BPP helps to start the discussion about race and political activism and helps to develop the social-political consciousness of children.

Reason for reading: My brilliant friend wrote it! Well-written and beautifully drawn.

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The Wedding Date

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles, and his job as a pediatric surgeon and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other.

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century — or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

Reason for reading: Roxanne Gay tweeted about it, and I love a good romance novel! February is also the month of romance.

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This Is Just My Face

Gabourey Sidibe skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This Is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy / Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring  story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside ”a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, ”would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.

Reason for reading: Again, Roxanne Gay said read it, so I obeyed!

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Hunger

In Roxanne Gay’s phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, she has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

Reason for reading: So you might have noticed a theme here…I love Roxanne Gay. She is brilliant, funny writer who I connect with on many levels. Reading her work feels like being gut-pouched with the beauty of the hard parts of the human experience.  But it’s also strangely liberating.

Top Lists

I am back!!!

It has been a while. Life has a way of getting in the way of things. However, I might have stopped writing but I did not stop reading. Here are my top 6 reads of 2017:

Each book explores the pain and courage it takes to see where you stand in the world and the motivation it takes to move forward when things are stacked against you. All these books are great reads and stay with you long after.

American War and The Fire Next Time gave me clarity and perspective on some of the national issues we face here in the States. They also reflect the darkness of our modern day. The Fire Next Time was written in 1963 and is still relevant which makes me really sad and angry. While American War shows how divisive politics will and have created a voilate and unstable world.  The more shit changes, the more it says the same.

Black Panther is king, hero, and man. In the cycle currently being written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, we live in a world filled with conflict, magic and ultimately hope. It’s also filled with people of color and kick-ass women in almost every panel. As a fan of comics, I have read my share of books that didn’t have people of color or treated women with any real respect. This current cycle does both. Plus, the panels are filled with action movie magic. I can’t wait to see this hero and his kingdom on the big screen.

Nonfiction is not my favorite category to read, However, I do try to make the effort to go beyond my comfort zone. Grit was well worth the effort. It’s an amazing read. I would highly recommend it. It expanded my definition of grit and help me see the other ways  I can find it for myself and others.

Grit is also at the heart of Rich People Problems and Foreign Soil. Without it, we can’t endure the bad or have the courage to move toward the good. Socials structures that can sometimes grant us freedom also have the power to limit our choices. Each character ultimately has to make a choice because the status quo doesn’t fulfill a need in their life, Making those choices and enduring the consequences takes grit, passion, and the ability to believe you can change the narrative.

I hope to share on more regular bases my reading list and other adventures.

Thanks for being here.