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.

Book News

This week in Reading…

This week, my TBR list grows courtesy of Granta’s BEST OF YOUNG AMERICAN NOVELISTS issue. Granta is quarterly literary magazine.

I am happy to say, there are 5 writers of color on the list. It breaks down like this:

Authors I have never hear of:

Author I have been meaning to get to:

And one author I would highly recommend:

Homegoing

Homegoing is inspirational debut novel about the troubled legacy of slavery in this country.  Each chapter follows the parallel paths of  two sisters and their descendants through eight generations:from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem.

Happy Reading!

Uncategorized

More Poetry…

Robin Coste Lewis reflects on a black female education in this poem from her National Book Award-winning volume, Voyage of the Sable Venus.
Art & Craft
I would figure out all the right answers
first, then gently mark a few of them wrong.
If a quiz had ten problems, I’d cancel
out one. When it had twenty, I’d bite my tongue

then leave at least two questions blank: ______ ______.
A B was good, but an A was too good.
They’d kick your ass, call your big sister
slow, then stare over your desk, as if you’d

snaked out of a different hole. Knowing
taught me—quickly—to spell community
more honestly: l-o-n-e-l-y.
During Arts and Crafts, when Miss Larson allowed

the scissors out, I’d sneak a pair, then cut
my hair to stop me from growing too long.

Uncategorized

Discovering poetry…

You may or may not know it’s National Poetry Month. I signed up for poem-a-day newsletter to celebrate. It’s fun way to rediscover old classics and be introduced to new voices.

One such new gem is Airea D. Matthews.

Swindle

                               -Trenton, NJ 1977
Learn the suits, Ace:
a club looks like a three-leaf clover
a spade is an upside-down heart
a diamond looks like two kissing triangles
a heart is a goddamn heart.
A hand is five cards:
one card, each finger.
The ace is the highest.
Then the head cards:
King, Queen, Jack then
count back by 10—
that’s the rank.

 

                         Got it?

 

Bring a Barbie doll,
something to play with.
Circle the players from afar.
Eye your sneaky Uncle Clayt,
nigger tucks cards under his cuff.
Pull on his sleeve, ask for a hug.
If it feels stiff, say you’re thirsty.
Don’t crawl under that table,
‘less you want a gun in my mouth.
Don’t sniff the powder on the felt.
And boy, don’t touch the chips;
they’re worth more than you.

 

                            Understand?

 

Aim for loose play,
every motherfucker’s hungry.
When the game is tight,
stakes get too fat, too quick.
You’ll lose before the draw.
Spy those hands, Ace. Tell me
what you see. Scratch your chin,
rub your nose, pull on your ear;
we got a code:
                                   Eat.

 

Thing is that ace is tricky,
hinges on what’s held;
it can play high or low.
A full house ain’t shit.
Bend the straight.
Fuck a pair.
Fear that flush.
If you see those head cards
in order with the same suit:
grab your baby doll,
go to the bathroom,
flush the toilet twice,
stick one finger down
your throat,
bloat your cheek, run out,
force lunch on the table. Say:

 

                                  Daddy, my head hurts.

 

We make dust, baby girl.
Only lose what little you left.
Book News

TBR Tuedays

Reads from around the world, now in bookstore shelves and my TBR list!

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Kintu is a modern classic, a multilayered narrative that reimagines the history of Uganda through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan.

 

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“A tale of a rivalry between two well-to-do widows and next-door-neighbors in South Africa…On the surface, author Yewande Omotoso presents a war of wits, but the story also addresses the history of colonialism, slavery, class and race as tensions come to a head.”Time (25 Female-Driven Books, Movies, and Shows We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on in 2017)

 

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“A classic tale of wealth and moral ruin.” —The New Yorker

Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings—and consequences—of financial gain in contemporary India.

 

 

Black Histoy Month, Book News

Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is going to be a Amazon show!!!

I have been a fan of Colson Whitehead‘s since I read The Intuitionist.  I really enjoyed his latest book immensely.  I am doubly excited about the Amazon announcement because the writer/director of  MOONLIGHT, Barry Jenkins has come on to help adapt it.  So much talent on this project gives me hope it will turn out well.

Book News, Uncategorized

Day 13 of Black History Month- Searching for next great read…

 5 links I checked out to expand my reading list of authors of color this week. These lists are incisive nonfiction to celebrated fiction.

  1. 22 Award-Winning Books by African American Authors

  2. How Black Books Lit My Way Along The Appalachian Trail

  3. 10 Essential Books About the Immigrant Experience

  4. 9 Books with Black Female Lead Characters

And one list for those of you who like to Netflix and Chill:

Black Histoy Month, Book News

Day 11 of Black History Month

During this month, I have challenged myself to read books by Black authors I have never read. Once such author is Jacqueline Woodson. I read the rave reviews about her work, but I never had a chance to pick up any of her books. Partly because they are considered YA novels. But two weeks ago,  I was at the public library and there it sat on the table outside the Adult Trade isle. I took it as a sign and I am so glad I did.

It’s elegantly written, yet sparse prose are heartbreaking. The amazing thing about this book is how Jacqueline Woodson packs so much in Another Brooklyn. She may be economical with her words, but she doesn’t shortchange you when it comes to delivering an emotional and thoughtful story of loss.

I plan to read more of her work. Check out her list of other award winning books here.