Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review:Grown Folks Business By Victoria Christiopher Murrary

About the Author: I admire the fact that she never gave up that desire
to write not even after she finished at Hampton University, or after
receiving her MBA from New York University.Not even after opening up a financial services agency,managing the #1 division for 9 years did
she give up on her dream to write.  Her first novel "Temptation" was originally self published in 1997 and later picked up by Time Warner in
2000.  Well let's just say it's been on and poppin' since then!That book was on the Essence bestseller's list for 9,count 'em 9,months  straight.NAACP later nominated this book for outstanding literature.

Speaking of accolades: She also received the Golden Pen Award for best Inspirational Fiction and the Phyillis Wheatly Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American  Christian fiction.

About the book:Sheridan Hart is left to pick up the pieces when her husband of 16 years has dumped her for another man.  From the outside looking in they had the perfect life. He was a successful Doctor, she stayed home to take care of the
kids and run their businesss(ironically selling greeting cards  ) Hart to Heart.  Why was this happening to her?
She went to church and tried to raise her kids the right way so why her?How would she face the people in church?  To make things even more complicated their son  Chris, refuses to talk to his father.  Tori, always the Daddy's Girl still wants to spend time with her father even though he has moved out.

My overall impression:  I was very  reeled in pretty quickly! I loved the pacing of the plot, my only bone of contention is that I don't think it's realistic for someone to bounce back from life altering news in 6 months.  I
do believe that God will heal you from that pain.    I am a witness to this myself , however I believe it is a
process that God helps you with in time.I really did enjoy this book and if you aren't familiar with the Jasimine
series by the author definitely check those out I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Poem:Other tongueby Vikas Menon

Elephants sway in my mother's   e nglish
Pleased to meeting you she says
the multiple suffixes of her mother tongue
affix themselves to her meter: Okay-na

In Malayalam,vowels sit like an egg
On tongue Ant to aardvark
Her voice vies against drunkit English
hums with the rhythm of a Mridanangame

In  English, the word Malayalam
reads the same from left to right as right to left-a mirror of contentment
If only other words were so settled.

My mother worries about the pale cluster's
on her mammogram
Breast Cancer is very popular now
Common,I say,not popular
Our other tongue is this silence
A hush,
a blank face
pressed against the glass

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friend Follow and Weekend Blog Hop

I you are stopping by from the Friend Follow or Weekend Blog Hop Welcome  and take a look around. I am hosting a giveaway(see the post below) I post poetry on Mondays. and I love to review the following
genres:Contemporary, and World Literature, Urban Christian, Christian, Suspense ,Memoirs and African-American.  I try to be as diverse as I can I just love to read so I guess eclectic would be an accurate to describe me.  Thanks for visiting me and be sure to leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Contest Gieveaway:Becoming a Man of Unwavering Faith By John Osteen

Becoming a Man of Unwavering Faith

I have two copies to give away here are the rules:

1. You must be a follower of this blog to win .
2.U.S and Canada residents may enter.
3. Leave your email address in the comment section of this post by midnight on August 30,2011

I wanted to mention that Joel Osteen also makes his commentary for each chapter so far it's pretty good

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok



How do you survive living with someone who thinks that any given moment you will be killed, or raped? What do you if they were a gifted musician  slowly losing their grip on what is real?  What do you do if that person just happens to be your mother? Mira Bartok's memoir gives you an up close and personal view of 
what's like growing up in the 1960's with a mother who tried to jump out of the window and later diagnosed with schizophrenia.    My overall impression: I felt the author's writing was heartbreaking, poetic and profound . It seemed that she was able
to make her sorrow and pain palatable.Very difficult to read not because it was bad of course it wasn't but because she can tell you with precise detail just  where things go terribly wrong as a child , who later turns
into an adult that is helpless to save the one person she cares about the most.  The author also happens to be
a gifted artist as well so you will see artwork work included in every chapter. I recommend it but not to the faint of heart. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.  I would like to thank Free Press for giving me the book to review.  Idon't get paid to review but I am an Amazon Associate.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcoming Party by Joshua trotter

Is this what I've been traveling toward
dodging rocks and reefs at funeral speed?
I see no dish of milk, no welcoming lips
just the beach-palms outstretched and the abyss
of all I've missed,winking from every bead
on every rain-whetted, wind-brandished blade

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone This is another novel I read for my Outdo Yourself Challenge plus I have to include novels
I feel are in the literary category.     Not to knock anyone else if they like escapist type literature or commerically
successful.  I love books with imagery I guess it's the poet in me.

About the Author:Dr Verghese is the Professor of Theory &Practice of Medicine at Standford University school of Medicine, in addition to being Senior  Associate Chair of the Dept. Of Internal Medicne.  He was born to Indian parents(in 1955) who migrated from India  to a town near  Addis Ababa, Ethopia.
There was alot of political turmoil  in 1973 forcing him and his parents to go to the United States interuppting
his medical studies, he was able to return to Madras Medical College and complete them there.

     He came back to the U S to become an orderly at Boston Medical,in 1980. Here he was to come face to face with HIv epidemic. and later the muse for his forst book.  My own country: A doctor's story.  Afterwards he became so enthralled with writing that  he took time off from medicine to study at the  Iowa Writer's Workshop earning his Master's Degree in Fine Arts.(I guess it's never to late to reinvent yourself!)

My overall impression: Actually I am not shocked that the author is a doctor in real life because the story was
laced with medical terms, I would have been surprised if he hadn't been a doctor or at the very least a medical
student.Marion and Shiva Stone are twins who are abandoned by their father ,Dr.Stone.  Their mother has died in childbirth leaving   an Indian couple to raise them in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the 1950's.   I think he did an excellent job with the setting , however I had a hard time believing that Dr. Stone didn't know he impregnated his nurse who was also a nun.   I could definitely see why the Book Addicts on Good Reads
choose this book it is in my permanent collection and I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poem: In Texas Grass by Quincy Troupe

Transcircularities: New & Selected Poems   All along the rail
                                road tracks of texas
                               old train cars lay
                               rusted &overturned
                              like new african governments
                             long forgotten by the people
                              who built & rode them
                                till they couldn't run no more,
                              they remind me of old race horses
                             who've been put out to pasture
                            amongst the weeds
                            rain sleet &snow
                            till they die,rot away
                            like photos fading
                           in grandma's picture book,
                         of old black men in mississippi/texas
                         who sit on dilapidated porches,
                        that fall away
                       like dead man's skin,
                      like white people's eyes
                     &on the peeling photos,
                      old men sit sad -eyed
                      waiting,waiting for
                       worm dust,thinking of
                    the master&his long forgotten promise
                   of 40 acres & a mule,
                    & even now,if you pass across
                    the bleeding flesh ever-
                     changing landscape,
                     you will see the fruited
                     countryside, stretching, stretching,
                    old black men,&young black men
                      sitting on  porches
                      waiting, waiting for rusted
                     trains in texas grass

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett(book review)

The Help  I finally got an  chance to  read this book that has been on my To Be Read list since 2010 atleast! I will count this for my Outdo Yourself challenge.  I haven't forgotten about the challeng.  I wanted to
catch up on some of my other obligations first.

  About the contreversy:  I noticed in the back of the book ., the author made a point to mention a maid that
worked for them when she was a little whom she seems fond of, by the name Demetrie, who died when the author was sixteen and was supposed to be the reason for her writing the book.  I also noticed in the August

2011 issue of   Essence magazine, there is a sister by the name of Abelene Cooper who alleges in her lawsuit against the Stockett family (Kathryn Stockett's ;brother hired her to work for his family)  that she worked for them
in 1998, 3 months after her youngest son died from leukemia .  She read the
book and said it brought back alot of bad memories for her, they didn't have permission to use her name, and the fact that she compared her skin to the color of a cockroach demonstrates, in her opinion, that after all those years the author didn't  seem to get it.

About the book;  It's 1961 In Jackson, Mississippi.  Ms Skeeter has returned form graduating from  college but much to her mother's  not-so-subtle disappointment  no husband.  Her friends Hilly and Elizabeth had dropped out once they got married,playing the role of Southern Hostess.  Ms Skeeter is  more than  taken back by the way her friends treat their help.  Ms Skeeter approaches Aibelieen about writing a book that would show people how difficult it really is to be an African-American maid in the south.  Of course Aibileen thinks she is nuts, but because it's 1961  mind you she can't come out and say that! But  a series of events
would change not only her mind , but several other maids and a book  is written detailing just how hard it is to
be a  an African American maid back then.

My overall  impression:  I actually  enjoyed the book.  I feel a little guilty, being an African American blogger
and admitting this .Now of course the real life Ableen has every right to be offended and once I got to that section of the book(that compared her skin to that of a roach) I could see why she would be. the author had already  described her skin color several chapters back  there really wasn't  a point that I could see that would justify making that comparison.There are so many other words she could have used that wouldn't have had such a negative connotation .   The irony is
that Ableen's character is clearly the hero ,almost a saint, which is the part I wasn't crazy about, I felt that she needed to be more complex since there aren't any perfect people that I know of. I felt like the Celia character was a poor man's version of Marilyn Monroe.  I did  like Minnie's character because she did have alot more complexity, than some of the other characters.  I  think the author did a pretty good job with the plot and the story by telling it  from 3 different perspectives.  I was definitely  anxious to find out how it was going to turn out. I would give this book 4 stars

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review Angela Sloan by James Whorton , jr

Angela Sloan: A NovelI  have two words for you Awe   some.(Now before you email me to correct my english
I know that's not 2  I love reading a novel that has the intrigue of a mystery or spy book with
more imagery and a good use of plot.Angela Sloan is the daughter of a former CIA agent,Ray Sloan, who
is reenlisted in for just one more assignment.  The job sounds easy but he doesnt want Angela to know about it.

Itturns out that to be the Wategate incident and  boy does the action really pick up here.   I have to say ,after
reading this novel ,I have a newfound respect for anyone who had to work undercover in the 1970's with the CIA!  You had to know your cover story, not only know when someone is following you ,but how to get rid of them, and if you have been found out you have to recall your code word.  Anyone contact you have with
your "coworker" has to be through a crossword puzzle so  you wont be discovered.  I loved this quirky charcter.  I highly recommend that you read it. I give this book 4 stars out of 5 .  I would also like to thank
Free Press for giving me the  oppurtunity to review this book.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Contest giveaway:Sex on the Moon By Ben Mezrich

Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History   I am giving away 2 copies the rules are as follows:
1. You must be a follower to win
2.Deadline to enter is Tuesday August 14th@ midnight
3. US residents only.
4.Leave your email address in the comment section of this post and please check back on August 15th
when I will annouce the winner

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Silver Girl: A Novel  Elin Hilderbran is from  Collegeville,Pennsylvani the graduate of the John Hopkins University and  University o fIowa writer's Workshop teaching/writing  fellow.  Her short fiction has appeared in Seventeen,The Masssachusetts Review, and the  Colorado Review.  Like most mothers of 3 the majority of time is dominated the kids' activites,playdates and doctor's appointments and at one point in time headed non profit organizations  for Nantuckey, Mass, where she and her husband and kids have lived for 13 years.  Neeedless to say  doesn't leave much time for writing.  In spite of that she has written the following:

  •     Silver Girl(2011)
  • The Island(2010)
  • The Castaways(2009)
  • A Summer Affoir(2008)
  • Barefoot(2008)
  • The Love Season(2007)
  • The Blue Bistro(2006)
  • Summer People(2004)
  • Nantucket Nights(2002)
  • The Beach Club(2000)
  About this book, Meredith Delinn has to hide out for the summer in Nantucket because her top notch husband alot of investors out of their life savings some of them angry enough to possibly seek revenge.To add
insult to injury she has to ask her estranged friend, Connie Flute for a place to stay on the island since the feds
got everything except the money that Meredith had made on her own.  Her son, Leo Delinn is also under investigation since he also worked with his dad,meaning she can't have contact with him either.  Now don't think this ordeal is a cakewalk for  Constance, aka Connie.  Aside from the fact that she would be vilified
 by the public , she was trying to adapt to being a widow and  reconcile her differences with her only  child , Ashlyn.

   My overall impression:Since this is my first experience that I can remember with escapist literature I can only judge it against works of literature that is on the more creative end of the literary scale.  I was prepared to strongly dislike Meredith, I mean boo hoo ,poor you , you only have 40,000 in your bank account.  Alot of  people are struggling and would love to have her  problem and even on a red letter day I don't get to vacation
on Nantucket! What saves this  book from being a crybaby -free-for -all is the authors skill use of plot. By interweaving Meredith and Connie's past as well as their  frailties that were exposed in the present makes them more human more approachable. This is the perfect book to take with to the doctor's office or dmv.  I
give this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

New Location

If you have made it here then I want to direct you to my newer improved blog over on wordpress ( New blog .) I just want to thank you guys f...