Thursday, September 23, 2021

Love, Sorrow, and Rage: Destitute Women in a Manhattan Residence by Alisse Waterston


I became aware of this ethnography through browsing my library catalog. Sociology fascinates me. I am relieved that it wasn't overly scholarly. The language hovered on the boundaries of the laconic and sophisticated.

I read this book on my initiative but largely academics would pursue this book.

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, September 20, 2021

What Really Happens in Bed by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol


I laughed at many anecdotes. Others gave me feelings of sadness. I want frequent sex within a loving, monogamous marriage. It would intrigue me to know how much people could connect to this book in the 21st century. I feel much of it would still relate to people except for the L.A. Law and Dynasty references.

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds


It's difficult for me not to enjoy a book on Brazil. I agree with a previous reviewer on the author's mislabeling of a luminary: on page 213, he states Naomi Campbell is African-American. Naomi Campbell is a confirmed black British woman. Other than that, I noticed no other errors. I prefer when ethnographies stick exclusively to oral history. Some of the analysis could go over some people's heads.

I read this on my initiative and it was a pleasurable use of time.

rating 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 30, 2021

Frida: a biography by Hayden Herrera


One of my lifelong favorite books!!! Frida Kahlo stands as my favorite person, man or woman. Such a vibrant, sensual life. It astounds me that she lived with such fire and determination in spite of the perils she suffered.

I read this biography for the first time when I was 10 at my cousin Charisse's house. Her former husband had scholarly pursuits and kept the 1983 hardcover edition in their home. Every time I went to their house, I would carve time to read this book. I couldn't believe that she stayed with Diego Rivera after he slept with her sister. (I still don't understand how she could have reconciled with him as his wife.) I've bought multiple copies of this book. (One of my uncles kept it after I left my copy at his house.) I adore that she maintained an active sex life. I think it's awesome that a woman of the first half of the 20th century defied gender norms!!!

My love and affection for Frida endures!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution by Rachel Moran


I am grateful that Rachel Moran found her way out of prostitution. The only way to prevent people from entering prostitution is education. The only way to get people out of prostitution is education. Even though most people just want a well-paying career, an individual will have to be trained for the new profession. This marks the first book I've read from a formerly prostituted woman who analyzes and details the damage inflicted from prostitution.

I am all the wiser for it.

Thank you, Ms. Moran.

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 30, 2021

A word from Andrew Carnegie


"A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert." ~Andrew Carnegie

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian by Jill Grunenwald


It started slow but by the fifth chapter, I began to enjoy it. Grunenwald survived a stint as a prison librarian. She lasted longer than both of us anticipated. (I could only work as a public librarian, hats off to Jill Grunenwald.) Her assertiveness and powers of observation intensify during her employment at the minimum-security prison. The prisoners earned some relief from their surroundings and Jill earned respect. G FOR GANGSTA!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Just Don't Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform


A sociology student would benefit from this book. (I read this on my initiative.) I would have preferred more anecdotes. I've read Seccombe before and this book seemed impersonal.

rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Nobody Ever Asked Me about the Girls: Women, Music, and Fame by Lisa Robinson


I don't interpret misogyny from this book. I do see that Ms. Robinson disapproves of women not aging gracefully, although she acknowledges this feat comes with difficulty. Sometimes, I'll read an article online from Vanity Fair. Even with those excursions, I had not heard of Lisa Robinson. The more you know. I read this book gleefully. It's not gossipy but there's plenty of succulent anecdotes to keep you enthralled. I became aware of this book from browsing the catalog of my public library. So blessed to live in a country with abundance of public libraries!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Art of Eating in: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove by Cathy Erway


I would eat and prepare three recipes from this book. Among those three, I would alter two of the recipes. Miss Erway and I don't share the same palette. I eat many cuisines but I tend to stick to the dishes I adore. No weird or undercooked food for me.

~Coffee and Cigarettes Ladyfinger Sandwiches would be Coffee and Chocolate Ladyfinger Sandwiches. I refuse to add tobacco to my food.

~Four Pepper Pulled-Pork Chili: delete the pumpkin puree and black coffee. That's better.

~Almond Custard Tart with Leftover Muffin Crust: I'm leaving this alone. I fantasized about this dessert!!!

Cathy Erway comes off as wonderful company. She has a sweetness and intelligence that I adore. I loved the chapters on freeganism. It would help the environment plentifully if dumpster diving lacked stigma and legal ramifications.

Kudos to Cathy!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 17, 2021

My Amy: The Life We Shared by Tyler James


I thought Tyler James and Amy Winehouse were occasional lovers. I recall seeing pictures of them together constantly. He clarifies that they weren't lovers but indeed soulmates. His devotion has not faded but strengthened with the epiphanies after her passing. The word 'bored' erupts often in this narrative when Amy describes her life without drugs. That's tragic. Maybe she craved excitement. It seems that way the way he says she complained of boredom. I would hate that. I get restless. But bored? No. I hate she didn't sort herself out with a strong psychiatric team.

Rest in eternal peace, Amy Jade Winehouse.

rating 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 16, 2021

Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia

Realistic fiction geared towards young adults. Experienced adults could read and enjoy this book also.
Many women could identify with the friendship between streetwise Gayle and pure-hearted Cookie. I wish Gayle had improved her spelling skills. I don't think she could read and write at a third-grade level. She was quick-witted but poorly educated. She had maternal affection and instinct but barely any scholastic inclinations. The ending provides hope.

I waited till adulthood to read this book. It was worth the wait.

rating 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait by Elizabeth Selby


I saw Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco in 2015 for my 30th birthday. My mother and I went to San Francisco as a wonderful getaway. (I wanted to stay in San Francisco much longer.) We were walking around Chinatown when I noticed an advertisement on the SFMTA bus for the Amy exhibit.
"Ooh, Mom! Amy Winehouse is at the Contemporary Jewish Museum!"
"You want to go?"

We went that afternoon. I still feel blessed that we went. My mother had held a dismal opinion of Amy. When we left the exhibit, she had become admiring of her. She hadn't believed me when I told her Amy had once been incredibly beautiful. Amy was still sexy and pretty during and post-Back to Black. Except for that period when she was ravishing the drugs. Nonetheless, I adore Amy Jade!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju, and Ryan Estrada


Always check your Goodreads recommendations!!! That's how I learned about this superb book. I don't socialize much these days so I prefer to stay centered around books. I REFUSE to spoil the narrative. If you live in a democracy, read this book to realize the need to preserve liberty and how blessed we are when we live in a full democracy.

No criticisms, just glory!!!

rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing edited by Marita Golden


I'll have to buy this book. This proves a book that requires frequent reference. No one pulled short. Every interview delivered pleasure and yet I wanted more. I felt a fervent connection to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It relieved me when she told of her parents' easy acceptance of her choice to pursue writing. I'll have to read Purple Hibiscus, that novel intrigues me. I adore how Pearl Cleage disclosed that "there is always a love story (85)" in her books. We need black people in love with each other.

This book needs to circulate more.

rating: 5 out of 5 stars