October 13, 2019

Series Sunday: Christmas Shopaholic

(Shopaholic #9) 

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 Christmas Shopaholic, the ninth book in the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and full of tradition. Mum and Dad host the holiday, neighbors visit in their matching jumpers, carols playing and online shopping. But there is a slight change in plans this holiday. Becky's parents are moving to a trendy neighborhood and ask Becky to host Christmas this year. No worries, right?

"Ribs are the new cleavage." ~ 4%

If that quote didn't make you *teehee* then I don't know what will. And that means this funny chick lit series is not for you! In true style, Sophie Kinsella brings back our beloved hilarious fictional character, Becky Brandon nΓ©e Bloomwood. This new novel has so many LOL moments that I had to stifle my chuckles while in public. My goodness, I'd forgotten how ridiculously funny this series continues to be. And although it is only October, this book put me in the holiday spirit. If you are in the mood for a festive light read, Christmas Shopaholic is the right pick.

Happy Early U.S. Pub Day, Sophie Kinsella! Christmas Shopaholic will be available Tuesday, October 15 in the States.

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: Christmas Shopaholic
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: October 2019
Pages: 344
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

October 11, 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.

"My last marriage was made in heaven."

~ Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou 

August 14, 2019

Summer Status Symbol ⚓️


LiteraryMarie.com is on Summer Holiday⚓️
But 🏁The Reading Continues Here

August 13, 2019

For Black Girls Like Me


"My round face. My dark brown eyes. My skin the color of ditch water. Muddy river. One of these things just doesn't belong." ~ pg. 96

Have you read a book labeled as fiction but it seemed too real? Too memoir-ish? I get the sense that author Mariama J. Lockington drew upon her own personal experiences to write For Black Girls Like Me. That made it all the more better. It was as if she spilled childhood memories onto the page in lyrical prose. WAYMENT...I just noticed the author and main character have the same initials: M.J.!

Makeda June Kirkland is an 11-year-old black girl that feels like a question mark. Her parents and big sister are white; she is adopted. No matter how much love is in the family, Makeda can't help feeling left out and wondering how it would feel to grow up with a family that looks like her reflection in the mirror. Brown glowing skin, locs, natural hair, teeny-weeny afro and all!

"Do you remember the first black woman to ever wash your hair? What did it feel like? Did it hurt? Or did it feel like home?" ~ pg. 134

Talk about a book that has you in your feelings—whew! At times I wanted to hug young Makeda, let her know life would get better and to keep presenting herself as the young smart black girl she is. And other times, I wanted to back-slap bullies and reassure her white parents.

For Black Girls Like Me has sensitive themes such as depression, self-discovery, racism, identity, friendship and the impact of music; but the chapters are short (loooove!) with letters and poems sprinkled throughout.  I was on a roll after I got past the absence of commas and oddly placed periods. I finished the 300+ page book in only two days. Not nearly enough time to flaunt the beautiful cover while reading in public.

I recommend this novel as a buddy read for moms and young adult daughters, grandmamas and young granddaughters, book exchange clubs for middle schoolers and best friends in 4th-8th grade. Order it for school library. Gift a copy. Add to summer reading list. Just get it! Share it! Then discuss this heartbreaking yet necessary coming-of-age story.

"In this house we believe:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL
LOVE IS LOVE
KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING." ~ pg. 175

Title: For Black Girls Like Me
Author: Mariama J. Lockington
Published: August 2019
Pages: 321
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

Toni Morrison: A Literary Legend


It took years of maturing before I could read a Toni Morrison novel in its entirety. The characters were complex. The storylines were layered. The messages within were on a deeper level. I avoided discussions of her work because it simply went over my head.

But when I finally sat down to watch interviews—where she kept it all the way real—I noticed her grace and urgency to introduce characters and deliver prose that no one else could. Her writing lives on while her spirit rests in paradise. A literary legend indeed! 


August 11, 2019

Series Sunday: Alibis & Angels

(Sister Lou Mystery #3) 

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.

"Women don't have what it takes to make the hard decisions necessary to run an organization, much less a town." ~ pg. 156

My Series Sunday pick is Alibis & Angels, the third book in the Sister Lou mystery series by Olivia Matthews. Louise "Lou" LaSalle is Briar Coast's Sleuthing Sister. Her amateur team includes her handsome no-longer-single nephew, Chris, and investigative reporter, Shari. The trio finds themselves solving a murder in order to prevent another.

Sounds like someone didn't give up murder for Lent. The mayor's director of finance, Opal, died from a slip-and-fall down the steps of a municipal building. To most, it seems like a freak accident. But the mayor believes it was done on purpose and that she was the real target. Opal was wearing Mayor Heather's coat and driving the mayor's car. After all, it is a critical election year and she's been receiving threatening letters too.

"Falling is the second leading cause of accidental deaths, not just in this country, but around the world." ~ pg. 38

Like the two previous books in the Sister Lou mystery series, there were characters I did not like then suddenly pity when they're accused of murder (Sister Marianna) or intended for murder (Mayor Heather). Somehow, author Olivia Matthews makes me put aside my feelings for the character and get wrapped into their story. Alibis & Angels was slower and unnecessarily longer but still a light cozy mystery worth reading.

I'm sad to be caught up on this series. What amateur sleuth am I supposed to read about now?! But you—my dear bookhearts—are lucky. You can begin reading the Sister Lou mysteries! In fact, I encourage you to go ahead and download the eBook(s). A cozy mystery for less than the price of a bagel with cream cheese and bottled water. You're welcome!

Author: Olivia Matthews
Published: February 2019
Pages: 368
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

 

August 9, 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. 

"Today the computers would tell Senator Gilbert Hennington about his impending campaign for reelection. The senator knew from experience that the computers did not lie."

~ The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee 



Bookmark and visit Literary Marie's Live Read to see my live updates and final book-to-movie adaptation review of The Spook Who Sat by the Door, a black literature classic written by Sam Greenlee in 1969.

This 50-year-old novel focuses on civil rights and black militancy. Dan Freeman is enlisted and becomes the first black CIA agent. After mastering agency tactics, he retires. On paper, he works with the youth in Chicago. In actuality, he's training black youth to be Freedom Fighters. His goal is to ensure black people's rights and equality for all. If that means overthrowing the white government, so be it. No one suspects the spook who sat by the door.

I had no interest whatsoever in reading this book until Nipsey Hussle's reference on Victory Lap album and interviews. And to discover there is a movie adaptation too! In the spirit of 🏁THE MARATHON CONTINUES, please join me in live reading The Spook Who Sat by the Door.