Thursday, October 29, 2015

Brief insights

“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.”~Anne Rice

“There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.”~Thomas Wolfe

“I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey.”~H.L. Mencken

“...bookstores, libraries... they're the closest thing I have to a church.” ~Jim C.Hines

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. Besides, in this random miscellaneous company we may rub against some complete stranger who will, with luck, turn into the best friend we have in the world.” ~Virginia Woolf

Monday, September 28, 2015

A midnight blessing

I just discovered that my book review for Eva Luna has been published on a British website called For Reading Addicts. Here is the link:

I hope you enjoy the review.

A glorious weekend

I went to the Banned Books Festival at West Hollywood Library on Saturday, September 26. It was scheduled to last from 12 pm-7 pm. I arrived a little after 2 pm. First, I went into the library to drop off books that were due that day. Then, I went upstairs to see what books I'd like to borrow. I picked six works of nonfiction: Apathy for the devil : a seventies memoir by Nick Kent, It's what I do : a photographer's life of love and war by Lynsey Addario, Yesterday, today, tomorrow : my life by Sophia Loren, The book of firsts : 150 world-changing people and events, from Caesar Augustus to the Internet by Peter D'Epiro, The man in the white sharkskin suit : my family's exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado, and Funny in Farsi : a memoir of growing up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas. It didn't take long to find them because I bypassed the fiction. A few glitches at self-checkout but everything worked out. It was when I went downstairs that events became fascinating. There was a vertically aligned poster on a column that asked us, "What book were you afraid to get caught reading?" There was a marker attached for us to write our answers. I wrote the Kama Sutra. I still wouldn't read that openly. I rented it from the library about three years ago. Very much something I would buy. I also took some pictures. While I had my camera out, I began speaking to a soft butch lesbian named Tobi. She offered pointers on how to get the best shot. Her father was a gaffer in film production.( He was the person who knew how to create the desired effect for lighting in a scene.) She took over as a photographer from an attractive Latina brunette. Tobi had been living in San Francisco for a few years, then moved back to Southern California  in the summer of 2015. She was born in Panorama City at a Kaiser Permanente. ( I had told her that I was born at a Kaiser Permanente near the 10 in West LA.) She told me about Red Hen Press. I told her I love men and she accommodated my desires. A book called 52 Men by Louise Wareham Leonard. I look forward to reading that! I'll wait to see if the library purchases a copy. The price is a bit steeper than what I would like: $ 15.95 for 120 pages. That's a slender book. The author is from New Zealand. I have read multiple times that women from Australia and New Zealand are very progressive sexually. So she's true to her country.( Or possibly stereotype.) 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

One of Miss Chaka's gems

This is a song I had hoped to hear from Miss Chaka last week. Unfortunately, I didn't. But here is a clip of the song:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Friday Night at the Fair!

I went to the LA County Fair on September 4, 2015 to see Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle. They performed in that order. Chaka was less animated than the performances of days past but her voice sounded excellent.She performed much of her Rufus catalogue, maybe two songs from her solo days. She closed her set with "Ain't Nobody". The entire crowd rejoiced! I stayed on my feet during her time. Patti LaBelle had some sort of throat problem that became evident when she spoke. She could still manage some high notes, though. She chose to sing mostly slow songs. "I Got a New Attitude" was the only uptempo song she delivered. It was sweet at the end. She elected to arrange an " In Loving Memory" segment. Just about everyone important in singing of the last 45 years had their picture displayed. Minnie Riperton, who died in 1979, was included. My girl, Amy Winehouse, was included. After the celebrities were finished, she showed her relatives who had died. I remember reading in Ebony about how she decided to get healthy because all of her sisters succumbed to illness at early ages. I am very pleased that I was blessed to see Chaka and Patti.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Have you ever heard of George Lamming?

I had saved a novel called The Emigrants by George Lamming on my Amazon Wish List some years ago. I still haven't gotten around to reading it. Thankfully, I just learned that my public library has it in circulation. He was born in Barbados on June 8, 1927. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University. He's still alive as of this writing, having reached the age of 88. 


Guajira / Oye Como Va

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I saw this incredible band last night. They performed for over three hours and it was my first time seeing them. Anyone who wants to see a performance that exudes joy should take the time to watch Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. All the classics were performed: "Joy and Pain", " We Are One",
"Before I Let Go", " Golden Time of Day"," Happy Feelings",
"Back in Stride"," Feel What You're Feelin" are the songs I remember hearing last night. They encored with "I Wanna Thank You". I get the feeling Frankie Beverly may have gotten sick. He told the audience that "You don't want no overnight love, that'll just take your money. You want love that when you get sick, somebody will take care of your ass love." He still has a voice but it is deeper and raspier. The musicians were incredible. They sound just as wondrous as the record. I would happily see them again.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Just remembered something

I signed up for the Bustling Bookshelves Banned Books Challenge in January 2015. I am a lifelong voracious reader so I figured I could fit in at least 5 books that have been banned. I initially had objections to the challenge because it mostly focused on the classics. However, the initiator of the challenge suggested Goodreads to find a wider range of literature. I am glad that I checked it out because I would have rescinded my participation! The banned books that were based on China intrigued me the most. Since I live in a metropolis, I can rent most of these books from the library. I would love to buy some of the titles but I have over 200 books in my library and not enough space. I'll figure something out. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What has happened in the past two weeks

  On Saturday, June 7, 2015, I went to the Savoy in Inglewood to see Daley perform. The show was due to start at 9 pm. He didn't get on stage until 12:43 am. Yes, three hours and forty-three minutes waiting to see this gentleman perform. He sang for less than a hour and a real treat arrived when Marsha Ambrosius appeared to close the set with "Alone Together." Even though the wait felt like punishment, I am very pleased that I went. It made me feel like a grown-up.

  The following Friday, June 13, 2015, I decided to the 40th anniversary of Book Soup on the Sunset Strip. I got to meet Meredith Maran. What a doll. I told her that I had read her memoir, What It's Like to Live Now. She seemed genuinely pleased to hear my comments. Because I am trying to save, I opted to not buy literature that night. ( Even though I saw plenty that I appealed to me.) This weekend is reserved for downtime. I shall savor it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Count your Blessings

* If you woke up this morning with more health than are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

*If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the 
loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the 
pangs of starvation.. you are ahead of 500 million people in 
the world.

*If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

*If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to are richer than 75% of this world.

*If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

*If your parents are still alive are very rare, even in the United States.

*If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

*If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the are blessed because you can offer a healing touch.

* If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Author Unknown

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quotes on reading, part 3

The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade. 
 - Anthony Trollope

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. 
 - Austin Phelps

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes. 
 - Barrow

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. 
 - Confucius

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. 
 - Frederick Douglass

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author in her closet. 
 - Lady Montagu

A big book is like a serious relationship; it requires a commitment. Not only that, but there's no guarantee that you will enjoy it, or that it will have a happy ending. 
 - Mick Foley

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. 
 - Mortimer Adler

No two persons ever read the same book.

–Edmund Wilson

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.

–Neil Gaiman

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.

–Vera Nazarian

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men do not understand books until they have a certain amount of life, or at any rate no man understands a deep book, until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents.

–Ezra Pound

More quotes on reading

Quotes on Reading

“Reading brings us unknown friends” ― Honoré de Balzac

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Books I would like to recommend

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine

Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York edited by Sari Botton

The Sunday List of Dreams by Kris Radish

Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish

Dance Lest We All Fall Down by Margaret Willson

What It's Like to Live Now by Meredith Maran

Wrapped in Rainbows: the life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd

Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip

The Unedited Diaries of Carolina Maria de Jesus edited by Robert Levine and Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy