December 6, 2019

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"It had been three days since my friend disappeared and I was starting to think the worst might have happened."

~ Ali Cross by James (Jimmy) Patterson 

 

December 3, 2019

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick


"Stepped on a tin, mah story ends." ~ 65%

Zora Neale Hurston made a name for herself in the 1920s. She was the only black student at Barnard College. During this time, she wrote short stories to capture African American culture. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is a collection of eight (8) stories found in the archives. Themes include love, independence, migration, racism and social class.

Bookhearts, this review is difficult. How do you rate a new release by a deceased legendary author? A writer of remarkable classics. One of the greats! How do you rate a new book filled with all the elements of a Harlem Renaissance novel but is not easy to follow?

"Ah dont keer HOW yuh take it." ~ 43%

There are a couple stories that touched the literary side of my heart. Other stories that were just okay. However, I struggled through the entire collection because of the dialogue. It totally threw me off. I understand the language is indicative of how people spoke during this time, but it was so hard to keep up with. I spent more time trying to decipher a sentence than enjoying the story itself. This definitely took the pleasure out of my reading experience.

The cover is a work of colorful art though. So eye-catching! And I found the title fitting once I finally completed the short story collection. Is this enough reason to read a book? Well, it is your choice. Go ahead and pre-order. Or wait to read other reviews. Then decide if this collection of short stories from the Harlem Renaissance tickles your fancy.

Happy Early Pub Day to the late Zora Neale Hurston! Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick will be available Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick
Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Published: January 2020
Pages: 192
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤

 

December 1, 2019

Series Sunday: Little Fires Everywhere

(Little Fires Everywhere - HULU TV) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read or watch an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Little Fires Everywhere, the television mini-series based on the novel, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I am already pleased with the few details that have been released; for example, the casting seems on point. It will star Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. There is no firm premiere date but the series is set to air on HULU in early 2020.

Bookhearts, if you have not yet read this book after my high praise recommendation back in 2017, then do so before the eight (8) episode mini-series airs. Circle back so we can chat!

 

November 29, 2019

First Lines *Black* Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

I am not reading anything today but Black Friday sales ads and price tags. Tis the Season!

 

November 26, 2019

JAY-Z: Made in America


"Meanwhile, Jay is ambushed by double entendres, and instead of turning them over to English authorities, he plays judge and jury and gives them long sentences." ~ 29%

Your fave could never be labeled one of the best poets ever. Your fave would not publicly apologize to his wife via a whole album. Your fave is not the fifth black billionaire. Surely your fave could not stay relevant for so long. Your fave just cannot. Periodt.

From rap to boardroom to his own lane, JAY-Z is deeper than just a former street hustler turned rapper. He beat the odds! So when I got the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of JAY-Z: Made in America, being the superfan that I am, imagine my glee!

Writer Michael Eric Dyson delves into the biggest themes of JAY-Z's career, from hustling to rapping to boardroom to art collector and more. His music mirrors his life. However, Dyson takes it a step further. He examines the role that JAY-Z plays in our society today while relating the music to themes such as politics, race, criminal justice, black wealth and social injustice. Dyson also highlights the many accomplishments and business ventures. With a Foreword by Pharrell, this nonfiction read will feel like a master class on one of the greatest artists of our time.

"What's better than one billionaire? Two. 'Specially if they're from the same hue as you. Y'all stop me when I stop tellin' the truth." ~ 89%

Let me break down this recommendation. For general music or memoir fans, this book will give perspective on lyrics as it relates to JAY-Z's life over the years—both personally and professionally. For fans, you may get insight into the meaning behind some of JAY-Z's bars.

For Hov stans, like myself, you will devour this book. You will start reading from the very beginning word until the very last, follow along with playing the corresponding tracks, digest the interpreted lyrics, enjoy the hip-hop references and admire JAY-Z's brilliance. All along thanking Dyson for bringing a few things to your attention.

"His rolling or clipped cadences, his dense or simple descriptions, his slow or sped-up observations about life unfurl like a thickly knitted quilt cast over shivering bones." ~ 4%

I cannot imagine the amount of research that went into the publication of JAY-Z: Made in America. But it is quite evident that Dyson left no stone unturned in his analysis study. In fact, I suggest it as prerequisite reading before listening, at length, to classic albums like The Blueprint, 4:44 and Reasonable Doubt. This book will help music listeners know and understand what they're listening to (without skimming through it) and provide reason as to why JAY-Z is influential in America. Minus the few tangents of hip-hop history or politics, Dyson could not have written this any better!

Happy Pub Day, Michael Eric Dyson! JAY-Z: Made in America is now available.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: JAY-Z: Made in America
Author: Michael Eric Dyson
Published: November 2019
Pages: 240
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

November 24, 2019

Series Sunday: Cleaning the Gold

(Jack Reacher #23.6) 


Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is Cleaning the Gold, book #23.6 in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter. Why did I just discover this mid-series-mini-collabo-whatever-you-call-it short story? It is perfect to finish off my Perpetual Jack Reacher reading challenge for the year. Just published in the spring, apparently it has been years in the making but escaped my notice until now.

"The last pieces of the puzzle: Former MP. Currently homeless. Mercenary. Ass kicker. Gold cleaner. Cop Killer." ~ pg. 22

Will Trent goes undercover at Fort Knox. His current assignment is investigating a 22-year-old murder. The suspect is Jack Reacher, also in Fort Knox bringing down a dangerous criminal ring operation in the military. Though there is a bigger conspiracy at play that force the two men to team up and play nice...for now.

Authors Lee Child and Karin Slaughter are friends and fans of each other's writing. Of course they've had conversations on what their series characters would do if they met. Welp, it happens here! Jack Reacher meets Will Trent in Cleaning the Gold. It is fifty (50)* pages of not knowing who wrote what and watching a friendship unfold between legendary characters. I may not care for the cover (bye, flag) but the content sure held my attention. Glad I came across this one!

Authors: Lee Child & Karin Slaughter 
Published: May 2019
Pages: 81 (31 pages of sneak peek, authors' letter & fluff)*
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Perpetual Jack Reacher
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

 

November 22, 2019

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s) or adaptation.
  • Share the first line(s) of the show/movie.
  • Include the title and author.

"I should have known that you would be here." 

The E! channel is playing not one, not two, but ALL six of the Harry Potter movies! My DVR is about to be so full. I should probably start reading the box set now.