Tuesday, December 4, 2018

November Reading Wrap Up


November was a good reading month. I read two books that weighed on my heart and a book that made my heart sing. I got nice doses of science fiction and fantasy that were very enjoyable page turners. There was a dose of political drama, an old school historical romance, I continued my journey with Easy Rawlins, and finally I enjoyed a reread that I have been wanting to do for a while now. There wasn't a bad book in this bunch! I am also glad to say that I am only two books away from my reading goal of 75 books. I'm going to make it y'all! 



 I listened to the audio of Praise Song for the Butterflies and it was emotionally exhausting. I listened to it all in one day & unlike Abeo I still hold the taste of bitterness from her trauma. Ms. McFadden, may I please have my heart back? Because you snatched it. As a woman and a mother of two daughters reading this was not pleasant but it was enhancing in the sense of being made to look at this type of cruelty full on. There is no question that I would recommend reading this one. Just be prepared for the heartache. 

 Little Scarlet is my favorite Easy story so far. Set right after the 1965 LA riots THIS is what I expect from Walter Mosley. I needed this after attempting to read John Woman and getting smacked in the face with the crazy "hotepishness" that it represented. I told you I was gonna steal that phrase Jerrika! (If you need context for hotepishness please read Jerrik's review of John Woman here.

Mosley delivered everything and more of what I needed and wanted in an Easy Rawlins story in this one.

 Heavy is overwhelmingly honest, heart wrenching and written in a stunningly beautiful way. Kiese Laymon not only looks into the mirror and sees himself wholly, he reflects all of the ugly injustice and brutality of our culture. Both as American and as African Americans. The long held and brutal belief that as parents of black children you must beat your children and treat them almost cruelly just to keep them safe and enable them to make it to adulthood is devastating. The cruelty that we impose upon each other in the name of love, self defense, and even self love is mind boggling. The amount of abuse that people are willing to dish out and accept in order to feel the slightest hint of love and acceptance is mortifying.

Heavy will gut you in the most necessary way. While reading Heavy you won't be able to hide from the ugly truths. Seeing the devastation that is heaped upon the hearts and minds of our community through the experiences of Laymon cannot be denied once you experience this memoir. Since you can't heal what you won't acknowledge Heavy is a must read.

 I listened to the audio version of Paper Gods and I actually think that I would have enjoyed the story more if I had read it instead. The narrator was fine but I didn't enjoy the way she narrated the male characters, it just sounded weird to my ear and her southern drawl for a few of the more sinister male characters was almost comical. Bahni Turpin is a really good narrator so I was surprised to have not enjoyed this one as an audio book.

The actual story is a bit drawn out and there are a lot of moving pieces which I didn't really mind. I did mind all of the details of name brands and descriptions of what people were eating. That's purely a personal disinterest on my part. Those details do not add any real interest for me.

This was my first Goldie Taylor story and I will be looking to pick up her two backlist titles eventually.

 I love it when a re-read proves just as enjoyable as the first time. Midnight was just the romance story that I needed. If you haven't picked up any Jenkins before I'd recommend this one as a starting point. It showcases how well she can tell a story and her ability to add some love and sexiness to historical fiction.

 I took my time and read this anthology slowly which worked out really well for me. The stories stayed separate in my mind and didn't all run together. I was able to enjoy them more individually than if I had pushed through the whole thing straight through. Like all collections I enjoyed some more than others but they all had interesting approaches and stories. All in all an enjoyable collection of stories. I now have some new to me authors to track down other writings from.

  This was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I'm not doing a full review of this one. I'm just going to say that I am thankful for the experience of listening to Mrs Obama telling her own story and being so open and honest in the telling.

 Valor is such a good second book. It was worth every page turning moment of my time, because with a book this long there is an investment of time to get through it. I'm looking forward to continuing the series. THAT ENDING THOUGH!!

 I enjoyed rereading this one. It was just what I needed during a hectic time. Now I can slowly move on to rereading the rest of the series. I feel a little guilty rereading books when I have so many unread books staring at me from my shelf, but it is what it is! Although The Clan of the Cave Bear is the most recognizable of the Earth's Children books, it's not my favorite. The stories just get better and more intricate and at least for me-more interesting as the series continues. 

2 comments:

AJ Sterkel said...

I’m glad you had a successful reading month! Good luck with hitting your Goodreads goal. Happy December!

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Monica Reeds said...

Thanks AJ. Happy December to you too!

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