Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Marilla of Green Gables: a novel by Sarah McCoy

 


Marilla of Green Gables: a novel by Sarah McCoy

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sweet, wholesome, and decorous!! Sarah McCoy heeded Lucy Maud Montgomery's spirit in writing. I am honored to have read this novel. McCoy seamlessly writes of Marilla the way we are introduced to her in the Anne books. I thought it intriguing how the U.S. turmoil was added to the plot. Even more delighted that the twist reached a satisfying conclusion.


A marvel to escape to.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Street Children of Brazil: One Woman's Remarkable Story by Sarah de Carvalho




The Street Children of Brazil: One Woman's Remarkable Story by Sarah De Carvalho

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jesus is alive and He works through those who obey His call. I am enamored of Brazil and this book ended a slump of dreary books. It stirred such optimism in me to know that the street children of Brazil have a refuge. The transformations! I think when life becomes truly desolate, that's when the Lord shines even brighter. Many visions of heaven (and hell) were described in this book. Heaven, a gorgeous place full of eternal love, peace, and joy. Hell fit the expectations: people screaming and full of blood. I pray that the boys in this book have continued to prosper. All of them should be over 30 if they're still living. May the readers of this book endeavour to crusade for Christ!


Friday, February 5, 2021

Brief Reflection

 I am proud that I read 123 books in 2020. 


It saddens me that I have only completed 3 books so far in 2021. That's all right, hope has not surrendered. 


Just move quicker!!




Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Hard Times by Studs Terkel





Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Hard Times by Studs Terkel


I don't know why but this book didn't engross me as I had anticipated. I am down for reading the anecdotes of obscure people but I am not certain as to why this book seemed unfascinating. 


Maybe it was the wrong time to read it?


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Confessions of Working Girl: a true story by Miss S.






Anyone seeking to work in a brothel should seek this book. Anyone who seeks to greater understand the sort of men who pursue prostitutes and why this career is not for the faint-hearted needs to read this book. Before I started reading hooker memoirs, I thought prostitution could be fun aside from maintaining a distance from the police. I assumed there were many happy hookers. Miss S details her work in the UK for this book. Maybe in the second book, I'll learn of her American escapades.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Mother of Black Hollywood: a memoir by Jenifer Lewis


 


I read this memoir at a wonderful time! I have elected to heal and help others to deepen my healing. She's done so much living and I admire her honesty. She's aware of her grandiosity and flair for drama. She's willing to tell you that her theatrics were followed by despair for much of her life. One of my adolescent relatives is having a difficult time in her feelings about her mother. Her mother and I both have been diagnosed with a mental condition. She was aware of her mother's issue but I decided to disclose mine to draw more understanding of the perils of mental imbalance. We had that discussion last night. I had not discussed my condition with any of my cousins before last night. The cousin in question is young enough to be my child. I am surprised at myself. So that's a step.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Our healing doesn't exceed anyone else's until we have all been healed.









Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds


 

If the description on the lapel hadn't included "loosely inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd", I wouldn't have known that Posy Simmonds didn't originate the plot. It feels fresh. But greatness builds upon other greatness, so it's not gravely shocking.

No spoilers but my introduction to Posy Simmonds has been swell.

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

 


** spoiler alert ** Piecing Me Together was released two weeks before The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It definitely got overshadowed by the latter. I hadn't become aware of Piecing Me Together until reading multiple entries on a forum I frequent. This book is sweet and presents a protagonist who has an agreeable nature. (The rage stirred by Black Lives Matter no doubt pulled more readers towards The Hate U Give.) No one dies in this book. I think many people, at the time both books were released, wanted something heavy-hitting.

I enjoyed Piecing Me Together. I am grateful that the author presents change occurring in a peaceful manner. It's a gentle story. I need a story like that sometimes.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

On Women Turning Forty: Coming into Our Fullness by Cathleen Rountree

 



Right now, I am 35. Culturally, my next big birthday is 40. No reason to miss any wisdom. I don't esteem one woman above the others. Each woman delivered candor about her past experiences and current standing.

Women and those empathic to women ought to read this book.

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Piece of Cake: a memoir by Cupcake Brown





A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so relieved and delighted for Cupcake!!! I first became aware of Cupcake from an article in the Oprah Magazine in the early 2000s. I started this book knowing she would overcome. It deepens my faith knowing that God watches over people like Cupcake used to be. It lets me know that my situation is not helpless and that I can be victorious. 

All praise aside, I am grateful that I didn't meet Cupcake during her drug years. Too much!! People did love her and they were unyielding with patience. She was blessed in the midst of her turmoil.

It illuminates me to my compulsions and bad habits. No need to hit rock bottom. Preventive measures saves many lives and proves just as or even moreso valuable.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Solitary Vice: Against Reading by Mikita Brottman


The Solitary Vice: Against Reading by Mikita Brottman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mikita Brottman doesn't dispute the potential to receive enrichment by reading. Rather, she pushes the reader to consider that reading may have less influence over the masses than the power we give to it. I would have considered this author to be a kindred spirit until I learned that she loves the macabre. I shun those topics. Also, her love of books exceeded to the point where she didn't want to explore the gorgeous outdoors. In her adolescence, she frequented a local cemetery. Gratefully, I didn't lose my yearning to venture brightly outside. Anyone who loves to read books about books ought to read this book.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs at the Turn of the Millennium by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe, and Sabin Streeter


Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs at the Turn of the Millennium by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe, and Sabin Streeter


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars



** spoiler alert ** My favorite profile: Dane Andrews, orthopedic surgeon. A black man who graduated from Yale, this brother made me laugh. I appreciate the entire book but his interview was the cream!! I would read someone read this for pleasure. Candor is pleasure.

Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.


Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book chose me at an appropriate time. I am preparing to propel a career. I empathize with what behaviours black women elect for survival. I prefer to behave similarly regardless of the company. If someone doesn't accept me, I don't associate with that person. Shifting leads to confusion and despair. You're not allowing yourself to live freely. 

It pays to understand the plight of my people.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Love Supreme: Real-Life Stories of Black Love by TaRessa & Calvin Stovall



A Love Supreme: Real Life Stories of Black Love by TaRessa & Calvin Stovall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A keeper!! I think several members of our community will feel included because not everyone professes Christianity. I appreciate the African principles featured in each chapter. The principle of Sankofa moved me deeply. Sankofa stands as "the symbol of the wisdom of learning from the past to build for the future. Sankofa is a constant reminder that past experience must be a guide for the future, to learn from or build on the past (Stovall 13)." 


On a somber note, I am aware that two of the couples have since divorced: Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Sandra Stevens, followed by Ayedemi Bandele and Iyanla Vanzant. If these people choose to re-enter marriage, I pray that they choose a devoted mate with clarity, respect, fidelity and the mutual bonds of love, joy, and peace.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia Stahr

                                                   


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In childhood and adulthood, Frida maintained a friendship with her sister Cristina. I think Cristina should have been mentioned far earlier in this book.(Frida painted Cristina in 1928.) Although the affair between Cristina and Diego tarnished Frida's psyche, Stahr wrote as if Matilde ( her mother and her elder sister shared the name) and Frida had a deeper relationship. 

I wish more photographs and paintings from Frida and Diego had been included. Many people will read this book who aren't overly familiar with Frida. There can never be too many photographs.


I am a Frida lover. Still delighted I read this book.



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Frida Kahlo: the last interview










I thought this collection would exceed 100 pages. I read this in under an  hour. Furthermore, it included profiles of Frida's work, not so much interviews.

I'm still keeping it.

Mister Gumbo: Down and Dirty with Black Men on Life, Sex, and Relationships

Mister Gumbo: Down and Dirty with Black Men on Life, Sex, and Relationships by Ursula Inga Kindred & Mirranda Guerin-Williams







My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


** spoiler alert ** I loved this book but I have one issue. In the first entry for the fifth chapter called 'Marriage', a man named Terrence grants his opinion. Terrence appears again in the thirteenth chapter called 'Self-Image'. How is it that Terrence wasn't included in the first chapter? The first chapter is called 'Past'. 'Past' is where the authors introduced the men interviewed for this book. I enjoyed being able to turn back and read the primary details of each man in order to understand him better. I wish an explanation had been given as to why Terrence didn't present any early life details.

Still an awesome book!!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Who I admire the most from the Bible

Women 

From the Old Testament: Rahab. I love the fact that she was a prostitute and the Lord still granted her preferential treatment. I believe she's the reason people like to say 'a hooker with a heart of gold'.

From the New Testament: Mary of Bethany. I believe Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of Jesus were three individual women. Mary of Bethany had a gentle and quiet spirit along with being a keen listener. I cherish how she chose to learn wisdom. I want to be a sharp, nonjudgmental listener. When we judge someone, it opens the door to ourselves being hurt. Think about it. When we judge, our countenance changes. This instigates ire in the other person.

Men

I love Joseph, from the Old Testament. He was the elder son of Jacob and Rachel. He connected as a full brother to Benjamin. His father Jacob gifted him a handsome robe and this caused his brothers to get overcome with jealousy. So immense was their anger that they sold him into slavery. The slave traders shipped him to Egypt. He spent the rest of his life in Egypt. First, he served in Potiphar's house. Potiphar's wife became attracted to him. Joseph rejected her advances. Thus, Potiphar's wife falsely accused him of rape. Potiphar had Joseph imprisoned. I don't know how long exactly Joseph was locked up but he stayed behind bars FOR A WHILE. He rose from: slave>convict>second in command in Egypt.

Phenomenal story!!

Sister Gumbo: Spicy Vignettes from Black Women on Life, Sex, and Relationships









My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I identify with every woman featured in some fashion. The candor! It's phenomenal, hysterical, and at times, angering. I am grateful that these women appeared to have achieved prosperity independently. Many of them admitted that they allowed men to pamper them without guilt. (I am agreeing with that belief more as I get older.) I appreciate the recipes ahead of each chapter. I'll prepare each one.

It's a keeper!!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

With or Without You: a memoir by Domenica Ruta






My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I identify with Domenica's struggles with her mother. Except our shared drug is food. My mother has a practical nature. The only period I remember her as a spendthrift existed after the deaths' of my grandparents. Our home had plenty of items but we didn't have animal waste on our floors. ( Neither of us wants pets.) My mom and I would go to eat nearly every day. We always had disposable income to cover our meals. We weren't rich either but we had books in our home, those bought and others borrowed from the public library. Domenica's honesty has illuminated me to myself.

I am grateful I read this book.