it’s been a while.

I’m reeeeal shitty at keeping my blog updated. Usually I disappear because Im lazy. This time around I feel that I have a pretty good reason for being absent. I’ve mentioned before that I quit my job two years ago to go back to school. Well this month started a new semester for me.

When Im not working, I have my face buried in a textbook. Even though my classes are very reading heavy I’ve still managed to get some reading done. Whenever I take a break from studying, I spend about 15 minutes reading a few pages; and when I’m commuting to/from work I listen to audiobooks that I get from my library through OverDrive.

To encourage myself to blog more, I thought I’d share with you a few of the books I’ve read (and my thoughts) and what Im currently reading.

What I’ve Read:

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his black skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their trained cops. But when he delivers an occult page to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

I flew through this book in no time! I listened to it as an audiobook while driving to work, but I wasn’t feelin’ the narrator’s voice. I was still able to enjoy the story, but I felt the narrator for this book should’ve had a smokey, hypnotic voice that would give me the chills and add to the creep factor of this book. I enjoyed it so much I ended up buying it on my Kindle.I think this book would make an amazing graphic novel. I hope Victor gives us more of Black Tom!

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips “Rozelle favors her light-skinned kids, but Tangy Mae, 13, her darkest-complected child, is the brightest. She desperately wants to continue with her education. Her mother, however, has other plans. Rozelle wants her daughter to work cleaning houses for whites, like she does, and accompany her to the “Farmhouse,” where Rozelle earns extra money bedding men. Tangy Mae, she’s decided, is of age. This is the story from an era when life’s possibilities for an African-American were unimaginably different.”

This book gripped my soul and wouldn’t let go! I’ll just link to my Goodreads review so you can see my full thoughts after reading. I mentioned in my review that I experienced every emotion while reading and even sitting here writing this I find myself getting sad. The Quinn children are still with me and I want to know how they turned out! I got this from the library, but I plan on picking up my own copy.

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison “A young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.

I didn’t have any interest in reading this book. I was browsing my library’s audiobooks for something to listen to while going to work and I saw this. I enjoy Toni’s voice when she narrates so I decided to give it a try. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I liked the book. Toni did a great job of showing how what our parents do to us and the traumas we experience as children follow us into our adult lives. I did find some of the characters to be underdeveloped; for instance,  I didn’t see the point in Brooklyn’s (Bride’s best-friend/coworker)  triflin’ ass narrative and I had so many questions about the elementary school teacher who narrated a chapter.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline WoodsonRunning into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

This is another book I didn’t have intentions to read, but it was an audiobook and people have been chattering about it lately so i figured I’d check it out. I enjoyed the writing style, but I felt nothing for the characters. I mentioned in my Goodreads review that they felt so distant. This is considered a novel, but it reads more like a short story. It was over too soon.

Books I’m Currently Reading

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

So far Im loving this. I’m just about 20% done with the book (if you’ve read it, Im currently on Six’s story). If you haven’t read (or heard of) this book, this book follows Hattie Shepherd’s twelve children as they navigate life. I like the audiobook narrator, her voice matches the vibe of the book.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

I just started this book today and I’m intrigued. I just finished the part where Henrietta is getting treated for her cancer and the doctors have discovered that Henrietta’s cells are unlike any other cells they’ve encountered.

 

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them!

birthday books.

birthdaybook haul

Last month was my birthday and, at my fiance’s expense, I went book shopping!! All of the books I got costed less than $5; I got most of them online at ThriftBooks (I bought one from a local used bookstore). I don’t know about you, but I always get excited seeing what books other people are reading. So, let me show you what I got!

 

The Joy Luck Club-1

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
I’ve been meaning to read this book since 2005/2006. I had to read and analyze an excerpt from this book, titled “Two Kinds,” for a freshman level English class in college. I enjoyed the piece and made a mental note to check out the entire book. Here I am 10 years later and I’m one step away from reading this book: I now own it, now I just need to read the damn thing.

HeLa Immortal

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction)
I remember learning about HeLa cells during college, but there wasn’t much said about Henrietta Lacks (besides the fact that the cells were named after her). I studied health & science in college and I’ve always told myself that I would spend more time learning about Black people and the medicine/science in America. When I ran across this book at work, I instantly knew I had to read it.

I Tituba

I, Tituba, Black With of Salem by Maryse Conde
A Black witch? Say what now?! I stumbled across this book on Goodreads. The title had my attention, but once I read the blurb I knew I had to buy it.

Perfume

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
I watched a YouTuber do a convincing review of this book. My favorite genre of books fall in the suspense/thriller category, so when she described this book I threw it on my TBR list with the quickness. This is the story of a man who has an incredible sense of smell. He goes into the perfume industry, but becomes obsessed with the smell of women.

The Between

The Between by Tananarive Due
I want to read more science fiction novels and in my search for Black science fiction authors, Tananarive’s name kept popping up. I have several of her books on my TBR and decided to pick one at random to purchase and start reading. The Between was the one I picked.

Chokecp

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Yet another YouTuber is the reason I grabbed this book. She was doing a book haul and gave a quick overview of what the book was about. It sounded good, so I checked it out on Goodreads and the reviews sold me.

Fledgling

Fledgling by Octavia Butler 
Another science fiction writer that I want to get into. I picked this novel because several people I’m friends with on Goodreads have given this book high ratings.

in a dark dark wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
This book has been a bestseller at my job for a very long time. Brand new, the paperback is $16; I got it as a used hardcover for $6 AND it’s in great condition! I bought it simply because I want to see what all the hype is about. I read the advance reader copy of The Woman in Cabin 10 by this author and it was okay (3 out of 5 stars), so Im hoping this book is enjoyable.

Delicious Foods

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
Yall, I was told that this book is narrated by crack cocaine. I’m not sure if the entire novel is narrated that way or just a chapter or two, but what the fuck?! That’s right up my alley!!

White Oleander

White Oleander by Janet Fitch 
This book was an accidental freebie that I got from Thriftbooks. Instead of sending me Delicious Foods, I was sent this book. When I contacted Thriftbooks to get the mistake corrected, they told me they would send me the correct book and that I could keep White Oleander (or give it to a friend, donate to a library, etc). How cool is that? I’m not familiar with this book (or the author), but it has pretty good reviews so I think I will give it a read. I’ll let you know what I think of it. Not a big fan of the movie cover, though…

 

Let me know if you have read any of these books or if you’re interested in reading any of them. Or let me know what books you recently bought.