November 29, 2020

Series Sunday: Before Her

(Amazon Original Stories) 


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.

"Living, loving, and dying. A circle unbroken." ~ pg. 11

My Series Sunday pick is Before Her, a short from Amazon Original Stories, by Jacqueline Woodson. It is part of the collection called The One. Sometimes you find the One and sometimes you chase the One. It could be that the One isn't enough. 

In this super short memoir, Jacqueline Woodson traces the relationships in her past that led to the love of her lifetime. She was very open and left readers with a message. Every lover we encounter bends the path of our life and shape the person you are today. It is a true love story!

These Amazon Original Stories are perfect for when you steal a few minutes to read. I actually read this while waiting in line at Target. Yes, that quick! So grab your Kindle and enjoy this eShort!

Title: Before Her
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Published: July 2019
Pages: 17
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

   

November 27, 2020

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.

"I began writing this book shortly after the end of my presidency—after Michelle and I had boarded Air Force One for the last time and traveled west for a long-deferred break."

~ A Promised Land by Barack Obama ~ My Live Read

November 26, 2020

The Wide Circumference of Love

On this Give Thanks Day, let's be grateful for our wits, our memory, our intuition and voluntary actions. November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month and I purposely saved Marita Golden's award-winning novel, The Wide Circumference of Love, for my leisure read this month. 

It is a moving story by a woman of color about characters of color in a strong black family. Their acceptance, adaptation and unconditional love is well told when the head of the family is faced with Alzheimer's disease. The Wide Circumference of Love is more than the ordinary black family tale. Slice a piece of Thanksgiving pie and settle in for this review!

"Cancer fights fair compared to Alzheimer's. And African Americans? We've got a 50 to 70 percent greater risk of developing it than anybody else, because of our higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol." ~ 37%


"This love was a country to which she was ready to pledge allegiance." ~ 81%

Diane and Gregory Tate have been together for decades. They didn't plan on facing early-onset dementia in their 60s yet here they are. Diane is a family court judge and Gregory was a successful, high-demand architect. But his memories are slipping away. Through carefully placed chapters, readers can see his decline in health from his own point of view. 

We also get Diane's side of the story and her struggle with placing him in an assisted-living facility. We also hear from their daughter, Lauren, who is following in her father's professional footsteps and their prodigal son, Sean, who tries to finally forge a relationship with his father before it's too late. As if this isn't enough to tug at your heart strings, you may feel it slightly break when Gregory finds love with another resident in the memory care unit.

"In the novels she loved, the march of life was relentless, the shocks and surprises unfolded right up to the last page." ~ 91%

The Wide Circumference of Love carries us from 1960 to 2016. History and the present are perfectly intertwined to tell the story and get you vested in the Tate family's lives. Caring for an ill relative can tear the closest family apart. Marita Golden did such a great job writing on the effects of Alzheimer's to the spouse, children, elderly parents and the person affected too. Though this novel is fiction, I learned a lot about the horror of Alzheimer's. It claims lives and takes a toll if you cannot accept and adapt early on. Learn to love what is left.

Bookhearts, we don't have our whole lives ahead of us. Spend every day how YOU choose to. Because we only have today. We've got now to enjoy the wide circumference of love! 

Title: The Wide Circumference of Love
Author: Marita Gold
Published: March 2017
Pages: 300
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

   

November 25, 2020

Punching the Air


"I hope all the books I've read will save my life." ~ pg. 93 

Herein lies the review of a story about the system. A system that is designed to strip people of color; a system that is unjust more than it is fair. A system that fails young adults and makes it hard for them to maintain humanity. Yet we still fight for the truth in both real life and in fiction.

Told entirely in verse, Punching the Air tells a moving story of a young artist named Amal Shahid. He is involved in an altercation one fateful night in a gentrified neighborhood. It escalates into a tragedy. Now 16-year-old Amal's bright future is snatched and exchanged for a conviction of a crime he didn't commit. No more art school; hello, prison where Amal's only weapon are his words.

"A butterfly's wings can change the path of a storm." ~ pg. 225 

It is November; I'm calling it. Punching the Air is the BEST literary collab of 2020. The poetry of Ibi Zoboi along with the real-life experience of Exonerated Five member, Yusef Salaam, makes this novel-in-verse so powerful. Young adults, prison reform activists and poetry readers at heart will absolutely want to read this novel. Thank me later for putting it on your radar!

Title: Punching the Air
Author: Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam
Published: September 2020
Pages: 386
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

November 24, 2020

Confessions in B-Flat


"Because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." ~ 59%

Love thy neighbor. Jason is new to the city of New York; he arrived to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. MLK, Jr. Meanwhile, Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X, that freedom is "by any means necessary." Opposites attract. Even more-so when Jason sees Anita perform poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he is mesmerized. Can love be enough or will their differences get in the way?

A love story set in the civil rights movement. The makings of a wonderful novel. But the setting took center stage and drowned out the characters. I was more interested in the references to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Harlem and the fight for equality. That is what kept me reading. 

Happy Pub Day, Donna Hill! Confessions in B-Flat is now available.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Confessions in B-Flat
Author: Donna Hill
Published: November 2020
Pages: 400
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤

November 22, 2020

Series Sunday: Graceful Burdens

(Amazon Original Stories) 


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.

"The librarians never asked why their patrons needed to check out a baby." ~ pg. 3

My Series Sunday pick is Graceful Burdens, a short from Amazon Original Stories by Roxane Gay. Imagine a nightmarish world where women may be deemed unacceptable to procreate. Meanwhile, there are other women whose only purpose is to mate with screened men to raise genetically optimal children.

Hadley is unlicensed for motherhood but there's a nifty baby library where women can "check out" babies for a two-week loan. Yes, just like borrowing books! What is intended to be a temporary balm leads to a permanent journey.

True to my last review, I went on a download spree on the Amazon Original Stories and came across this goodie. Graceful Burdens is part of a collection called Out of Line, hopeful stories of women's empowerment and escape. What it means to be a woman! So click the title link below, grab your Kindle and read/listen in just one sitting.

Author: Roxane Gay
Published: September 2020
Pages: 21
Edition: eBook
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

November 20, 2020

First Lines Friday *BONUS*


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.


"Devon Monroe tore his eyes off the two dead bodies in the powder-blue Bentley convertible, top down, idling not twenty yards away, and glanced at his best friend."

~ Deadly Cross by James Patterson

*BONUS* Click the title link above to read/listen to the first six chapters and view virtual events.