End Of The Year TBR…

End Of The Year TBR…

Hey guys…

So I had TBR when I first started this blog but somehow as the year went on, I became distracted and really lost interest in reading the remaining books on my list. 😦 As you may know, I have a serious addiction to buying books ( lol) so over the course of the year I have purchased and read many amazing books. So, I decided to be realistic and choose a few books that I would like to complete by the December 31st! Hopefully the books that I was not able to finish from my current TBR will make it on to my list once again and finally get completed!

So here are my choices for my end of year TBR!

The Illegal: By Lawrence Hill ( Author of  “The Book of Negroes”) 

Keita Ali is on the run.

Like every boy on the mountainous island of Zantoroland, running is all Keita’s ever wanted to do. In one of the poorest nations in the world, running means respect. Running means riches-until Keita is targeted for his father’s outspoken political views and discovers he must run for his family’s survival.

He signs on with notorious marathon agent Anton Hamm, but when Keita fails to place among the top finishers in his first race, he escapes into Freedom State-a wealthy island nation that has elected a government bent on deporting the refugees living within its borders in the community of AfricTown. Keita can stay safe only if he keeps moving and eludes Hamm and the officials who would deport him to his own country, where he would face almost certain death.

This is the new underground: a place where tens of thousands of people deemed to be “illegal” live below the radar of the police and government officials. As Keita surfaces from time to time to earn cash prizes by running local road races, he has to assess whether the people he meets are friends or enemies: John Falconer, a gifted student struggling to escape the limits of his AfricTown upbringing; Ivernia Beech, a spirited old woman at risk of being forced into an assisted living facility; Rocco Calder, a recreational marathoner and the immigration minister; Lula DiStefano, self-declared queen of AfricTown and madam of the community’s infamous brothel; and Viola Hill, a reporter who is investigating the lengths to which her government will go to stop illegal immigration.

Keita’s very existence in Freedom State is illegal. As he trains in secret, eluding capture, the stakes keep getting higher. Soon, he is running not only for his life, but for his sister’s life, too. 

I’m looking forward to reading this book. I was a huge fan of “The Book of Negroes”.  I’m especially proud to support this author as he is Canadian and lives right in my hometown! His other book “Any Known Blood” was on my TBR,but sadly I didn’t get to it.

The Tears of Dark Water: By Corban Addison

Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC, power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded facade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.

Half a world away on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe except for the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent lives.

Paul Derrick is the FBI s top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take him and Megan into the past or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.

Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, the paths of these individuals converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them and break them, but it will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune, the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow

Mystery/Thriller is usually not the type of genre I gravitate towards, but this year I read two of this authors books ( “A Walk Across The Sun” and “The Garden of Burning Sand”) and I really enjoyed them! I’m looking forward to reading this.

The Golden Son: By Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Anil is the cherished son of a large family in rural India. As the eldest boy, he is expected to inherit the role of leader of his clan and arbiter of its disputes, dispensing wisdom and good advice. Leena is his closest companion, a fiercely brave girl who loves nothing more than the wild terrain they inhabit and her close-knit family. As childhood friends, they are inseparable—but as adulthood approaches, they grow apart.

Anil is the first person in his family to leave India, the first to attend college, the first to become a doctor. Half a world away in Dallas, Texas, he is caught up in his new life, experiencing all the freedoms and temptations of American culture: he tastes alcohol for the first time, falls in love, and learns firsthand about his adopted country’s alluring, dangerous contradictions. Though his work in a gritty urban hospital is grueling, Anil is determined to carve out his own life in America.

At home, Leena dreams of marriage, a strong and true love like the one shared by her parents, and leaves her beloved home to join her new husband’s family in a distant village.

Then things start to go wrong: Anil makes a medical mistake with tragic results, his first love begins to fray and a devastating event makes him question his worth as a doctor and as a friend. On a visit home, Anil rekindles a friendship with the woman who seems to understand him better than anyone else. But their relationship is complicated by a fateful decision made years earlier.

As the two old friends discover each other again, they must also weigh the choice between responsibility and freedom, and between loyalty and love.

I absolutely loved this authors book “Secret Daughter” when I read it a few years back and so, as I was perusing the shelf at Indigo books ( as usual lol)  I saw ( recognized) the authors name on the shelf and decided to give it a try!

 

Finally,

Half of a Yellow Sun : By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

This book was actually on my previous TBR so I’m looking forward to actually reading it! I read “Purple Hibiscus” by this author not too long ago and it was an okay read. I did really enjoy the book “Americanah” by this author as well.

So that’s it folks! I’m hoping I can actually finish these books with the holidays coming up! But… currently the show “Nashville” has been RUNNING my LIFE sooo…. I’m obsessed ( lol)

 

What are you guys reading for the rest of the year?

xoxo

What I Read This Week… August 24-29 2015

What I Read This Week… August 24-29 2015

Hey guys!

Yes I know it’s not Wednesday, but honestly I didn’t have much to write about this week in regards to reading  ( lol) shocker! I actually read quite a bit, but I didn’t  complete one book, I was kinda of jumping around between 3 different books: Judah Smith’s  Life Is : God’s illogical love will change your existence“,  Harper Lee’s ” Go Set a Watchman”  and book called “Sacred Ground” by Adrienne Ellis Reeves, The synopsis of this book is as follows: 

Makima Gray has prayed for guidance in building her town’s new medical clinic, and she’s sure that Gabriel Bell’s property is the perfect location. Gabe insists he’s not at liberty to sell, but Makima won’t give up…nor can she deny that she’s flattered by Gabe’s attentions. But past hurts and present complications lead to an error in judgment that may drive Gabe away forever.

Gabriel Bell was astonished to inherit his great-grandfather’s land, along with clues to a mysterious treasure. But every second he spends with beautiful, determined Makima convinces him that winning her trust—and her heart—is the most important quest of all.

This book was another random pick off of my shelf. Its been sitting there since about 2007 ( no I’m not kidding lol) and I’m really trying to cut down my unread books on my shelf before buying any more books 🙂  So far so good.

I’m really enjoying Judah Smiths book. Such deep content but such an entertaining read. I can’t say the same about ” Go Set A Watchman” . It’s a really slow read but I’m really trying to finish it.

So that’s it guys! I really will be back on my game this Wednesday! 🙂

xoxo

What I Read this Week….

What I Read this Week….

Hi guys!

Sorry I missed another Wednesday Weekly Reads post,but I have been under the weather and just couldn’t mus up the energy to jump on this computer last night! Nevertheless, I did manage to finish a book this week. I deviated from the books I started previously ( Red Queen and The Crying Tree) because I just wasn’t interested in them at all. I had no desire to read them at all ( lol) So I picked another book I had head great things about called “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng. I was NOT impressed. I finished this book in 2 days, not because the story was so captivating but because I wanted to hurry up and finish it! Here is the synopsis:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You, is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another ( amazon.com)

Sounds pretty interesting right? WRONG! Please don’t get me wrong, the writing in this book is beautiful! The author truly has a knack for wordsmanship. But… I found this story so hauntingly depressing, that I couldn’t even connect with the characters…. I lost interest very quickly. I just wanted to hurry up and find out what happened to Lydia. ( which is assumed but never really explained.) I have to give this book 2 stars only.

Next, I picked up the long-awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird entitled “Go Set a Watchman”  ( both by Harper Lee) . I originally wanted to re read To Kill a Mockingbird first, but Go set a Watchman is a prequel to that novel. So I am going to read them in reverse order.  I’m only a few pages in, and I already feel like I’m back in high school, instantly transfixed by Harper Lee’s writing prose. I hope this book will the answer to my boring book choices as of late.

I also am going to try to finish Red Queen as it is a library book that is due back August 6th! (lol) My 31 day Proverbs challenge ends tomorrow so I am going to jump back into my Women of the Bible devotional and study fittingly “The Woman of Proverbs 31” 

Have a wonderful( and successful) reading week!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: This Week I Was Distracted…

Wednesday Weekly Reads: This Week I Was Distracted…

Hey guys!

I hope your week is going well! This is going to be a quick post today. I have to admit… this week I got so distracted and busy with other projects, that I didn’t have a chance to read much. 😦

**Spoiler Alert**

               2.5 out 5 stars

I did manage to finish up “When the Moon is Low” by Nadia Hashimi. I must say, that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. The first  100 pages or so, were really interesting, but I really couldn’t draw a connection to the characters. I still soldiered on with this book hoping it would get better… but it didn’t . I really was not impressed with the way the story ended. It left so many unanswered questions? Did Saleem ever find his family in England? Did Feriba and her other two children successfully make a home for themselves in England? Did Feriba ever confess to her sister about her past “relationship” with her husband? What ever happened to Feriba’s family left behind in Afghanistan?….. so many questions and zero answers. It would seem that this book warrants a sequel, but I don’t see how the author could make that story interesting enough to fill the pages of an entire novel. I sadly give this book a 2.5 stars out of 5. It hurts me to do so because I loved this authors previous work ( The Pearl Who Broke It’s Shell) so much. Oh well! You win some you lose some .

Other than that, I didn’t read much else. I managed to read one magazine I think ( lol) and a couple of pages each of  ‘The Crying Tree and “Red Queen” . I’m not sold on either yet..  I’m not sure I’m going to continue them. Oh boy! I think I may be in a bit of a reading slump 😦  Hopefully I can get my butt back into reading gear this week! I’m still continuing with my Proverb a day Challenge.

Best of luck to you!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Busy Week.. And My Book Choice Bored Me…

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Busy Week.. And My Book Choice Bored Me…

First and foremost, Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians living here or abroad 🙂 Oh Canada!!! 🙂

Alright, now back to book business! The book I chose to read this week “Watch the Sky” by Kirsten Hubbard was a total bust. I just couldn’t get past the first 30 pages. The story just didn’t draw me in at all ( Read my synopsis in last Wednesday’s book blog post)  So I had to put it down. Sorry! No offence to the author, but the writing style just really didn’t connect with me . 

boring

So I put that down and I picked up “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. The synopsis of this book is as followed: ( as found on Goodreads.com) :

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

18460392

I have been reading this book for a few days and its pretty good so far. It’s a book I have wanted to read for a while. I’m about 105 pages in so far. It is extremely well written and the content is extremely deep. Considering all the grief I have experienced the past few weeks, I’m not sure why I chose this book…. but hey it is what it is! I recently heard that this book is going to be a major motion picture in the near future.

I hope to finish this book this week. As for what’s up next… I really have no idea. It’s summer y’all! I’m up and down and all over the place so who knows if I’ll even have much time to read this week 🙂  I’ll let the chips fall where they may! Have a great reading week guys!!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Quick Reads

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Quick Reads

Hey Guys!

I hope you had a successful reading week. I did! After completing Roots, I wanted some quick reads that were easier to get through. So I dived back into the world of Young Adult Fiction. 🙂 ( my guilty pleasure)

As I mentioned last week I began the book “Tease” by Amanda Maciel. I managed to finish that really quickly. The content was still pretty deep as the content dealt with bullying/cyber bullying, suicide and the repercussions of your actions. As someone who works with children, It served as a reminder that I need to ensure that the children I am nurturing, are children who are kind, compassionate and wise. If you know of someone being bullied, don’t just let it happen. Speak up and get help. If not, it could cost someone their life. I’d give this book four out of five stars. I’m not sure if I loved the ending of this book. It kind of just ended flatly. All in all, I’d recommend it especially for preteens/teens.

4/5 stars…

Next I picked up the book “Mosquitoland” by David Arnold. The synopsis of this book as found on davidarnoldbooks.com  reads:

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

What a fantastic book! I read this book in a day and a half! This book touches on the serious topics of mental health issues. In this book it becomes evident that the protagonist Mim has some serious issues; mental health and emotional. After being forced to move from Ohio to Mississippi  with her father and stepmother ( leaving her mother behind) Mim is overcome with grief. She decides that she is going to run away and go back home to Ohio and see her mother. For the sake of not spoiling the entire story, Mim meets some interesting characters along the way and in turn discovers some things about herself and her family.  I did find that the last 50 pages or so dragged a bit. I still would encourage people of all ages to read this book. For a debut novel, I am impressed. I look forward to reading more of David Arnold’s work! He has a book in the works right now with a tentative fall 2016 release date. 🙂

4.5 out of 5 stars…

Lastly, I picked up “Watch the Sky” by Kirsten Hubbard. The synopsis of this book is as follows:

The signs are everywhere, Jory’s stepfather, Caleb, says. Red leaves in the springtime. Pages torn from a library book. All the fish in the aquarium facing the same way. A cracked egg with twin yolks. Everywhere and anywhere. And because of them Jory’s life is far from ordinary. He must follow a very specific set of rules: don’t trust anyone outside the family, have your works at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared.

School is Jory’s only escape from Caleb’s tight grasp, and with the help of new friends Jory begins to explore a world beyond his family’s farm. As Jory’s friendships grow, Caleb notifies Jory’s mother and siblings that the time has come for final preparations.

They begin an exhausting schedule digging a mysterious tunnel in anticipation of the disaster. But as the hold gets deeper, so does the family’s doubt about whether Caleb’s prophecy is true. When the stark reality of his stepfather’s plans becomes clear, Jory must choose between living his own life or following Caleb, shutting his eyes to the bright world he’s just begun to see ( goodreads.com)

I have only read about 20 pages of this book so far. So far it’s not really drawing me in. I’m going to really try to finish it! But if I get bored, I will probably pick up one of the other library Young Adult Fiction I have kicking around my house!

I also feel led to deviate from my weekly devotional and spend time in the book of Ezekiel. So I think that’s what I’m going to do this week!! ( Ezekiel 37 is probably my favorite passage of scripture)

Have a wonderful reading week!

What are you reading right now?

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Continuing Roots…. and adding a new read

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Continuing Roots…. and adding a new read

Hey ya’ll!

So continued on with my reading of the classic novel “Roots”. Sadly, being the busy week that it was, I didn’t make much headway. I did manage to read 50 pages or so, bringing me to page 553 of 888.  I have reached the point where Kizzy, ( Kunta Kinte’s daughter ) has grown up and fallen in love with Noah ( another slave boy) Kizzy being able to read and write, helps Noah run away by forging a travelling pass for him. He in turn is caught and rats on Kizzy. Her master, despite the pleas of her parents Bell and Kunta, sells her, inevitably splitting up the only family Kunta has had since coming to America. That’s the part of the story I am at right now. It was pretty hard to read this section and I know the rest of the book will be equally as challenging on my heart.

I deviated from my plan to read only Roots until I finished it because I saw a BookTube vlog on a book that sounded so compelling, that I just had to get my hands on it! The book is called, “Tease” by Amanda Maciel.

The synopsis of this book is as follows:( as found on goodreads.com)

From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault. At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media. In the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her own role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

With its powerful narrative, unconventional point of view, and strong anti-bullying theme, this coming-of-age story offers smart, insightful, and nuanced views on high school society, toxic friendships, and family relationships.

This is a story that is very relatable. As an educator, I see the effects of bullying almost on a daily basis. I do believe this will be an interesting read based on the fact that it shows the criminal aspect and also from the perspective of the bully. does she feel remorse? Is she even the main bully? I’ll have to read and find out. I’m already 40 pages in ( i started today) and I can already see that this bully might not be the only factor in this shocking story.

That’s it for this week! Hopefully I can finish up tease and at least 100 more pages of Roots! Wish me luck!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Read: Feeling Motivated Again Finally!

Wednesday Weekly Read: Feeling Motivated Again Finally!

Guys,

After a two-week reading slump, I can honestly say I’M BACK! I’ve reignited my passion for reading again.( it was a sad two weeks without my books LOL)

Like I had mentioned before,I recently started reading the book “Roots” by Alex Haley and although I didn’t have an enormous amount of time to read, I did manage to get about 160 pages (of 888) into it! (Yay me!) Man, is it ever a captivating read! I The story has been journeying through the protagonist  Kunta Kinte’s childhood. Right now, I have reached the part of the story where Kunta has begun his manhood training. I don’t really want to say too much more, because if anybody has yet to read it, I don’t want to spoil the journey! I will continue with my progress next week. 🙂

I really have no set plans to read anything else right now, except for my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We just finished up “Tamar” and now we are on to “Potiphars Wife”. 

womenbible
Up next… Potiphars Wife…

I hope you all have a successful reading week!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Reading Fail… And I’m Ok With That….

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Reading Fail… And I’m Ok With That….

Hi Guys!

Yup…. Once again I barely read  anything this week, but you know what… I’m totally okay with that! My teaching partner was away this past week, so that left all of the teaching responsibilities on me which left very little time ( or energy) for leisure reading. Plus, my most recent reading choices aren’t really sparking my interest right now. Those books I think are going to have to take a back seat and be picked up at a later date.

This week I picked up and started a very ambitious read. This is a book that I read as a young teenager but never really took the time to read it in-depth and take in the deep message that it carries. That book is “Roots” by Alex Haley.  Here is a brief synopsis: ( as described on enotes.com ( **spoiler alert**)

**********************************************************************

In the spring of 1750 in Juffure, The Gambia, a son is born to Omoro Kinte and his second wife, Binta. The child is named Kunta. As a member of the old and highly esteemed Kinte family, Kunta is schooled in the customs and traditions befitting a future Mandinka warrior. Throughout his childhood, Kunta is taught to avoid and fear the “toubob,” white men who capture African people for evil purposes.

Despite these tribal caveats, Kunta is captured by white slave traders in 1767 while searching for a tree section to make a drum. Along with 140 Africans of various tribes, Kunta is shipped as cargo on the Lord Ligonier. Pestilence, filth, depravity, and cruelty fill this episode, serving as a controlling metaphor for the inhumanity of the institution of slavery. The captives unsuccessfully stage a revolt, resulting in the deaths of many. Kunta admires the courage of these dead, for they died as warriors. He, as a survivor, dreads what is to come, for he instinctively knows that his eventual fate will be worse than the ocean voyage.

In Annapolis, Maryland, Kunta is sold to John Waller and given the name “Toby.” Appalled by the toubob and their pagan ways, Kunta attempts to escape four times. After his last attempt, he is apprehended by two slave catchers. Given the choice of castration or foot amputation, Kunta chooses the latter. John Waller’s brother William, a physician, is outraged at the mutilation and buys Kunta.

Kunta, through the ministrations of William Waller’s cook, Bell, recovers from this last ordeal. After a lengthy courtship, he “jumps de broom” (the slave equivalent of the marriage ceremony) with Bell. A daughter is born to the couple. Kunta gives her the Mandinka name of “Kizzy,” meaning “you stay put.” Now crippled and unable to run away, Kunta is entrusted with driving Dr. Waller on his calls, which enables him to hear news of the outside world. Of particular interest to Kunta are the accounts of Toussaint Louverture’s revolt in Haiti, which he sees as paralleling his own struggle for freedom, especially when Napoleon Bonaparte captures Toussaint.

Kunta persists in keeping alive his dream of freedom and his pride in his African heritage, both of which he passes on to Kizzy. A clever child, Kizzy is entranced by her father’s African tales and learns many Mandinka words. At the age of sixteen, she is sold to the dissolute Tom Lea as punishment for aiding another slave to escape.

Lea rapes Kizzy repeatedly for several months, eventually fathering a son, George. Kizzy, a devoted mother, regards her son as the descendant of “the African,” not as the son of Tom Lea. She instills in her son both her pride in their African heritage and Kunta Kinte’s dream of freedom.

As George grows to manhood, he exhibits traits of both parents. Like Tom Lea, he loves cockfighting and carousing. The rakish George becomes such an accomplished trainer of gamecocks that he earns the sobriquet of “Chicken George.” From Kizzy he has inherited the desire to be free, and he is determined to buy himself and his family. When Lea loses Chicken George in a bet with an Englishman, he promises Chicken George his manumission papers upon his return.

Years later, Chicken George returns and is grudgingly freed by Lea. Kizzy has died during his absence, but Chicken George seeks to reunite his family, whom Lea had sold to the Murrays. When he finds the family, Chicken George gathers them around and relates the family narrative.

After the Civil War, the family moves to Henning, Tennessee. Upon Chicken George’s death, Tom Murray, his son, asserts his position as patriarch and emphasizes the importance of the family and the oral tradition to his children. Both of these ideas are perpetuated by Tom’s daughter, Cynthia, and other female members of the Murray family. Cynthia’s daughter Bertha, who evinces little interest in the family narrative, goes away to college, where she meets and marries Simon Alexander Haley.

While Haley is a graduate student at Cornell, their first son is born, Alexander Haley. At this point, the novel abruptly shifts to Haley’s first-person narrative, which recounts the death of his mother and the summers he and his brothers spent at Grandma Cynthia’s house listening to the “graying ladies” tell the story of “the African Kin-tay” who called a guitar a “ko” and the river “Kamby Bolongo.” In the final two chapters, Haley details the research and writing of Roots, addressing the fact/fiction elements of the novel.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and Alex Haley’s account of history. Although he says this book is “fiction” he states that it is based on true facts. He actually refers to it as “faction” (aka fact fiction) There have also been claims and settlements that have occurred based on accusations of plagiarism. ( It has been claimed that some parts of the story come from the 1967 book “The African” by Harold Courlander.) Haley claims it was unintentional.

However, I started it this morning on my break and I’m 40 pages ( of 888) in. So this will be what I’ll be reading  for the next few weeks at least. I really want to dedicate most of my time to this novel for the  next little while. This book is also on my 2015 TBR list so I’d really like to knock it out.

I’ll also be continuing with my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We finished up Leah and now we are working on Tamar. She is an intense women! Lord!

womenbible
Working on Tamar…

Is anybody else in a slump? What are you reading this week?

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: My book choices were really deep this week….

Wednesday Weekly Reads: My book choices were really deep this week….

Hi guys!

Your girl is under the weather today ( spring allergies kicking my butt 😦 ) so I’m going to try to be as quick as possible.

I had to stop reading “Hold Still” by Nina Lacour. I just couldn’t get into it. It kind of put me in the mind of two books I had previously read ( Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and I Was Here by Gayle Forman. )  as all three novels deal with suicide. I guess I was just over that particular plot line. It’s a library book, but I still have 2 weeks left with it. I may give it another chance.

Next I picked up “Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church”  by Lauren Drain. This is a memoir about a girl leaving the church and sharing her regrets about some of the acts she committed while being a member. Here is a synopsis of the book from http://www.amazon.com

You’ve likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you’ve seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren’t going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC’s right to picket funerals.

Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it’s perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance.

Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church’s tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren’s fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.

I remember watching the documentary “The Most Hated Family in America” which gives details about the church and what It stands for, and it crushed me! It was so disturbing to see people distorting the word of God and giving a false appearance of what true Christianity is about. So when I saw this book at the library, I had to read it and hear about it from the inside. It was an ok read. It does seem that she hasn’t become used to “life on the outside” and what that entails. I wish she would have waited a few years before writing this memoir.

It was just ok…

Next, a book that I  mentioned in a previous blog ( https://justlovethemanyway.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/wednesday-weekly-reads-success/) was released. That book was,”Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland” by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. This is the memoir of the other two Cleveland kidnapping survivors(Michelle Knight released her memoir, “Finding Me” last year) I finished this book in a day and a car ride. It was pretty parallel in content to Michelle’s book. This book really made me count my blessings that I was not a victim such a heinous crime. I pray these ladies one day truly find peace.

michgina-dejesus-435

I suggest that you read these books in succession. Powerful stories of strength and resilience.

We took a break from our group devotional,”Women of the Bible” We will be back on it come Monday 🙂

This week, I have already started “The Good Sister” by Jamie Kain. The synopsis of this book is as follows:

The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there.

Jamie Kain brings us The Good Sister, a stunning debut young adult novel about love in all its joyful, painful, exhilarating manifestations, and about the ties that bind us together, in life and beyond.

The Good Sister

So far so good! I should finish this by tonight or tomorrow, ( Its a quick read) I really liked not having a reading goal last week and seeing where the reading fairy led me ( LOL) However there are two books that I have to return to the library soon that I would like to try to read. One of them is “The Children’s Crusade” by Ann Packer ( a book I’ve had my eye on for a while)

Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he has yet to create, Bill buys the property on a whim. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life seems compelling and answerable, and they marry and have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, at a time when women chafed at the conventions imposed on them. She finds salvation in art, but the cost is high.

Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family’s future. One by one, the siblings take turns telling the story–Robert, a doctor like their father; Rebecca, a psychiatrist; Ryan, a schoolteacher; and James, the malcontent, the problem child, the only one who hasn’t settled down-their narratives interwoven with portraits of the family at crucial points in their history. ( goodreads.com)

Also, I would like to try to read “Secret of a Thousand Beauties” , which was a  random pick ( honestly the cover intrigued me, it reminded me of “Memoirs of a Geisha” )

Secret of a Thousand Beauties

Set against the vibrant and intrigue-laden backdrop of 1930s China, Mingmei Yip’s enthralling novel explores one woman’s defiant pursuit of independence.

Spring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother’s belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws’ protection, she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a “bad-luck woman,” Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day.

In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor’s love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting–a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete–betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman’s story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own. ( goodreads.com)

Let’s see how much I accomplish this week. The weather is finally amazing and I love to be outdoors and active! To read or not to read…… 🙂 Enjoy whatever you are reading this week!

xoxo