Harlem Renaissance: five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar

Mar 04

Harlem Renaissance: five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar

This was a very interesting read. Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar, is just as the title suggests–five novels written by African American authors during or about the Harlem Renaissance. This was a fascinating period in black history for many reasons. One, it is where a lot of black intellectuals began to become known in various fields–literature, music, art, scholarly pursuits. It really was a golden age for post-slavery African Americans. The five novels in this book are: Jean Toomer’s Cane written in 1923 — it is a story about a woman in Georgia, a teacher, who struggles with who she is as a black woman and how her ‘race’ affects her; Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem written in 1928, a story of two young men with very different backgrounds, both African American, and how they deal with the prejudices and stereotypes of white America — it is rich with culture–jazz and excitement– prohibition and drinking, and even sex– this is a story of defining a race from within the race and starting a cultural revolution, it is a good peek into Harlem in the 1920’s; next was Nella Larsen’s Quicksand which is a story about a woman who is half black, half white–she struggles with who she is, who her people are and how she can connect within a society so divided when she is not white or black but both; Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun written in 1928 is the story of two African American sisters–they are different in many ways–one, the main character, is pale and can pass as a white person and so she does, but she learns how deserting your roots and your culture is not always the best thing, rarely ever is, actually, but how to be black in a white dominant culture is the question she is trying to answer; and finally Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry written in 1929, is a story about a young woman, Emma, who is very dark skinned and how this influenced how other African Americans, as well as whites, treated her, this story digs into how the culture of color went inside the African American communities as well as the...

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Where The Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein

Mar 03

Where The Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein

For one of my 2013 Reading Challenges, Reading Outside the Box, I chose this category: It’s my Birthday! So, have a party! Read a book that was published in either your birth month or birth year! And for my birth year, 1974, one of my favorite authors Shel Silverstein published one of his most popular books, Where the Sidewalk Ends. So, I read it. It was a fun, silly book of poems. The poems are silly and catchy. Some of my favorites are: Sick, a poem about a little girl who swears she is sick with all sorts of ailments as she is trying to get out of going to school but in the end, it is Saturday! And she recovers very quickly indeed–silly girl; Hug O’ War, Because, I absolutely love hugs!; and, Spaghetti, Because it is silly and messy fun; and Lazy Jane, This book is definitely fun and I can see why it is so very popular! I would definitely recommend Where The Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel...

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Bout of Books!

Jan 07

  The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books 6.0 team I am joining in the fun this week! I could use the quiet time. =) I will commit to read more than I have been lately....

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2013 Reading Challenges

Jan 03

I want to try some new stuff, reattempt some I didn’t tackle last year and just enjoy reading. This year, I am joining even more reading challenges! However, I might join at lower levels. Instead of ‘Go big or go home”, I am choosing to “go small and stay home. 🙂 A little of the old,   Definition of a chunkster: A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge. Level: The Chubby Chunkster – this option is for the readers who want to dabble in large tomes, but really doesn’t want to commit to much more than that. FOUR Chunksters is all you need to finish this challenge. 1. Harlem Renaissance : five novels of the 1920s edited by Rafia Zafar (Review) 2. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (849 pages) 3. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (672 pages) 4. _____________________________________________________ ** ** A little of the new… ** ** _____________________________________________________   Rules: Read x amount of books, one in each category you choose. Books cannot be re-read, except category 9. Each month post about your experience reading and link back. You can overlap categories. Level: It’s not so bad out here!:  5-7 categories 1.  It’s my Birthday! So, have a party! Read a book that was published in either your birth month or birth year! Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein (Review) 2.  It’s All About ME! Read a memoir. (True Compass or Tis’ or Angela’s Ashes or Teacher Man by Frank McCourt) 3. Visit an Old Friend Read a favorite again. 4. I couldn’t help myself! Grab a book by it’s cover—cover love. 5. To be or Not to be… Read a play, memorize a poem and analyze it since it’s rolling around in your head! 6. XyZ pdQ Grab a book that has either an X, Z or Q in the title! Or in the author’s name. (Quiet by Susan Cain or The Lost City of X by David Grann) _____________________________________________________   The only rules are to read x-amount of books over 650 pages and enjoy tea while you do it. =) A C.S. Lewis inspired challenge. I like it. I...

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Out with the old, in with the new…Reading Challenges!

Jan 03

So. Let me recap my reading challenges for 2012 before I announce my reading challenges for 2013. In 2012, I signed up for two reading challenges: The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge and The 2012 Chunkster Challenge. I will let you know how I did on both! I read 10/12 categories. I got stuck on Crime/Mystery because I am really rather a chicken and also can’t get into the weird detective novels. They always just lose my interest. I have to admit, I am just not good at taking others recommendations, particularly if I do not know this person and do not know their reading preferences. I also am not good at choosing books in this genre. I have to say both of these reasons prevented me from choosing a romance too. Also, I have an aversion to romance novels. =/ I know. Silly, but true. It really held me up. I hemmed and hawwed and ended up never choosing one of either. Tsk. Maybe, just maybe, I should join another this year and just allow someone else to choose these two for me. I also seemed to be lacking in the review area. I didn’t write many reviews 4/10. Tsk. Well, we live, we learn, we read but we forget to write about it. Thanks to Book’dOut (http://bookdout.wordpress.com) for this lovely challenge! =) Hehehe… onward, I go! I was derailed in my notetaking this year. I simply did not write down anything (or at least not much). So, I DID read many, many books and quite a few chunksters, but I just did not write reviews on them. Maybe this year I will be better! Success or not, it is a good thing to keep challenging myself! So, I...

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The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman

Apr 05

  I am a huge fan of Elliot Perlman’s work. I have read all his work to date. The Street Sweeper was worth the 8 year wait. This book, like all of Perlman’s books, starts out a little slow. This is only because he intricately weaves stories and lives together like a masterful story teller…interlocking fates and personal experiences in the most minute of ways. His attention to detail is a gift that keeps me wanting to find each next little clue. He spends a lot of time developing characters, letting us lurk about in their thoughts and each page helping us grow to feel closer with each and every one of them. The protagonists in The Street Sweeper,  Lamont Williams and Adam Zignelik, have nothing at all in common on the surface. They are from very different backgrounds, living very different lives but life is still full of connections we may never see and in the end we all have more in common than we seem to think. This is the story of two men and the stories of those they encounter, both dead and alive, entangled into a fantastic book worth reading. Adam is a flailing historian. Lamont, a struggling ex-con in search of his long lost daughter. Both men have an uphill battle towards fulfillment and both find themselves treading through the difficult memories of the Holocaust to get to wherever they are going. This is a story of lives interconnecting in the simplest, rawest of ways, through stories, through happenstance, through love, through history, through family, through friends, through employment. This is a message of listening, of remembering and of telling the stories of those who came before us and maybe even leaving a story worth telling for those we leave behind.   This book was part of my reading challenges —...

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