Fall Reads 2019…

Fall Reads 2019…

Hey guys!

I must say that I had a successful summer of reading! I managed to read all the books on my list with the exception of one ( The Mother’s of Brit Bennett. I just can’t seem to finish this one…. maybe one day )

In addition to the books on my list I also managed to dive into and finish the following books:

Here are the books I have chosen for Fall 2019! Its a very ambitious list but fingers crossed I can!

Speaking of Summer: Kalisha Buckhanon

The new novel from the author of Upstate, one of five books selected by the National Book Foundation for the inaugural Literature for Justice Program: a literary thriller about one woman’s desperate search for her missing twin sister, a multi-layered mystery set against the neighborhoods of Harlem.

On a cold December evening, Autumn Spencer’s twin sister Summer walks to the roof of their shared Harlem brownstone and is never seen again—the door to the roof is locked, and no footsteps are found. Faced with authorities indifferent to another missing woman, Autumn must pursue answers on her own, all while grieving her mother’s recent death.

With her friends and neighbors, Autumn pretends to hold up through the crisis. She falls into an affair with Summer’s boyfriend to cope with the disappearance of a woman they both loved. But the loss becomes too great, the mystery too inexplicable, and Autumn starts to unravel, all the while becoming obsessed with murdered women and the men who kill them.

In Speaking of Summer, critically acclaimed author Kalisha Buckhanon has created a postmodern, fast-paced story of urban peril and victim invisibility, and the fight to discover truth at any cost.

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I must say I chose this book solely based on an Amazon recommendation and how pretty the cover is. I’m hearing mixed reviews on this one. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 

 

Make Room: Finding Where Faith Fits : Jonathan McReynolds

God wants to be in everything that has to do with our lives, yet we learn how to separate God from the rest of life early in our spiritual development. But no attitude, no activity, and no element of our lives should be without a faith-infused, God-led foundation.  There is a godly basis for everything you do—posting online, relating to your boss, submitting to your teacher, honoring your mom and dad, performing on your job, and appropriating your talent and money. Making room for God means giving Him unrestricted space to operate in and through your life. It’s the time, energy, and identity you allow Him to use, challenge, and redeem in you so that you can make a difference in the world. Truly making room for God extends into every crack and fold of your life. In his first book, author Jonathan McReynolds draws on the testimony of Scripture and of personal experience to appeal to readers to make room for God in every area of life—public or private, mental or spiritual—to experience the fullness that can come only through an authentic relationship with God. In every chapter, he enlightens marginal and seasoned believers alike about the ways that we shut God out. More important, McReynolds offers honest, practical advice on how to make room for Him every day and in every way.

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 I love Jonathan McReynolds music and so naturally when he put out a book, I snatched it up! I’m already halfway done this one and I’m loving it.

Half of a Yellow Sun: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A masterly, haunting new novel from a writer heralded by The Washington Post Book World as “the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe,” Half of a Yellow Sun re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.

With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor’s beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna’s twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.

Epic, ambitious, and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a remarkable novel about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race—and the ways in which love can complicate them all. Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise and the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place, bringing us one of the most powerful, dramatic, and intensely emotional pictures of modern Africa that we have ever had.

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I have been trying to read this book for years and I always get sidetracked.This fall I must finish it!

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine: by Maika Moulite    and Maritza Moulite

Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

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I truly loved this book! ( I finished it already)  I only wasn’t too keen on the parts that delved into the practice of voodoo which is very prevalent in Caribbean ( predominantly Haitian culture) Other than that, the story of mothers and daughters and how they navigate through various means of  trauma really pulled on my heartstrings.

The Marriage Clock: Zara Raheem

In Zara Raheem’s fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her–a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.

To Leila Abid’s traditional Indian parents, finding a husband in their South Asian-Muslim American community is as easy as match, meet, marry. But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a Bollywood romance which has her convinced that real love happens before marriage, not the other way around.

Finding the right husband was always part of her life-plan, but after 26 years of singledom, even Leila is starting to get nervous. And to make matters worse, her parents are panicking, the neighbors are talking, and she’s wondering, are her expectations just too high? So Leila decides it’s time to stop dreaming and start dating.

She makes a deal with her parents: they’ll give her three months, until their 30th wedding anniversary, to find a husband on her own terms. But if she fails, they’ll take over and arrange her marriage for her.

With the stakes set, Leila succumbs to the impossible mission of satisfying her parents’ expectations, while also fulfilling her own western ideals of love. But after a series of speed dates, blind dates, online dates and even ambush dates, the sparks just don’t fly! And now, with the marriage clock ticking, and her 3-month deadline looming in the horizon, Leila must face the consequences of what might happen if she doesn’t find “the one…”

39298169. sy475 Sounded interesting! Starting this one today!

The Woman Next Door: Yewande Omotoso

Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility which they prune with a zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty.

But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?

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Interesting concept. Interested to see how this turns out. 

Behold The Dreamers: Imbolo Mbue

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

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I started this last year but had to return it to the library before I had a chance to finish it. I honestly forgot about it until I heard a colleague of mine speaking about it.  What I’ve read so far was great so I’m looking forward to finishing it. 

Thick: And Other Essays : Tressie McMillan Cottom

Smart, humorous, and strikingly original thoughts on race, beauty, money, and more—by one of today’s most intrepid public intellectuals

Tressie McMillan Cottom, the writer, professor, and acclaimed author of Lower Ed, now brilliantly shifts gears from running regression analyses on college data to unleashing another identity: a purveyor of wit, wisdom—and of course Black Twitter snark—about all that is right and much that is so very wrong about this thing we call society. In the bestselling tradition of bell hooks and Roxane Gay, McMillan Cottom’s freshman collection illuminates a particular trait of her tribe: being thick. In form, and in substance.

This bold compendium, likely to find its place on shelves alongside Lindy West, Rebecca Solnit, and Maggie Nelson, dissects everything from beauty to Obama to pumpkin spice lattes. Yet Thick will also fill a void on those very shelves: a modern black American female voice waxing poetic on self and society, serving up a healthy portion of clever prose and southern aphorisms in a style uniquely her own.

McMillan Cottom has crafted a black woman’s cultural bible, as she mines for meaning in places many of us miss and reveals precisely how—when you’re in the thick of it—the political, the social, and the personal are almost always one and the same.

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I don’t generally gravitate towards anthologies /short stories . But I am trying to branch out and try new reading content, I figured this would be a good start. 

 

What are you guys reading this fall? Let me know!

Til Next Time.
xoxo

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( All synopsis’ are from Goodreads.com. )

Summer Reads…

Summer Reads…

Hey guys!

June was a really slow reading month for me as it was the end of the school year which is often the busiest time at work for me. Long story short, I didn’t finish two books on June’s list so I put them back on my summer reads list! Here’s what I’m hoping to read during these long summer nights : )

 

The Mothers: Brit Bennett

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever

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It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: Lysa Terkeurst

New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to live assured when life doesn’t turn out like they expected.

What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.
* Shift our suspicion that God is cruel or unfair to the biblical assurance that God is protecting and preparing us.
* Know how to encourage a friend and help her navigate hard realities with real help from God’s truth

[It's Not Supposed to Be This Way (Signed Book) by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Just Say No: Omar Tyree

Best friends since childhood, Darin Harmon and John Williams are young men on the brink of realizing their dreams. For John, it’s his music; for Darin, football. When Darin suffers an injury that closes the door on his sports aspirations, he reluctantly follows his friend into the music scene and quickly gets swept up in promoting John’s new “Loverboy” identity to R&B superstardom. But the celebrity lifestyle of big-time money, fast women, and easy drugs quickly takes it toll, and the friends find themselves at a crossroads that will forever shape each of their futures.
As only he can, Omar Tyree delivers another urban classic filled with irresistible characters you won’t forget

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This is a re-read for me. I first read this book in high school and absolutely fell in love with the characters and this story. I used to read this book once a year ( if my bestie Steph is reading this she’s probably laughing at me) I actually read this book so many times, that my original copy fell apart! ( shout out to Steph for gifting me with a new copy a few years ago 🙂 ) I’m looking forward to delving back into this book this summer.

 

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

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Another re-read for me. I’ve just been drawn back to books on my personal shelf as of late. The late, great Dr Maya Angelou was truly a gift to the literary world and this book was a deep look into her early beginnings.

 

Intercepted: Alexa Martin

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

Intercepted (Playbook, #1)

I’ve actually already finished this book! It is the first in a series of sports-themed romance novels. The author is a former NFL wife herself which adds an element of authenticity to her writing. It was a light and fun read! I really enjoyed it!

 

Fumbled: Alexa Martin 

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

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This is the sequel to Intercepted. If it’s anything like the first one. I’m sure it will be an enjoyable read.

Unmarriageable: Soniah Kamal

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

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This one was in my recommended reads list at my public library. It sounded interesting so I figured I’d give it a shot!

So that’s it, guys! My very ambitious summer reading list! Fingers crossed I pull this off!

xoxo

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Book synopsis can all be found on goodreads.com 

 

March Reads…

March Reads…

Hey loves!

Here’s a peek into what I’ll be reading for the month of March!

1.  Housegirl: Michael Donkor 

Moving between Ghana and London, Hold is an intimate, moving, powerful coming-of-age novel. It’s a story of friendship and family, shame and forgiveness; of learning what we should cling to, and when we need to let go.

Belinda knows how to follow the rules. As a housegirl, she has learnt the right way to polish water glasses, to wash and fold a hundred handkerchiefs, and to keep a tight lid on memories of the village she left behind when she came to Kumasi.

Mary is still learning the rules. Eleven-years-old and irrepressible, the young housegirl-in-training is the little sister Belinda never had.

Amma has had enough of the rules. A straight-A pupil at her exclusive South-London school, she has always been the pride of her Ghanaian parents. Until now. Watching their once-confident teenager grow sullen and wayward, they decide that sensible Belinda might be just the shining example Amma needs.

So Belinda is summoned from Ghana to London and must leave Mary to befriend a troubled girl who shows no desire for her friendship. She encounters a city as bewildering as it is thrilling, and tries to impose order on her unsettling new world.

As the Brixton summer turns to Autumn, Belinda and Amma are surprised to discover the beginnings of an unexpected kinship. But when the cracks in their defences open up, the secrets they have both been holding tightly threaten to seep out. (Goodreads.com)

Housegirl

I’m already quite a bit through this one and frankly, I’m regretting spending time reading this. I hope it gets better but so far… I’m not impressed.

2. On The Come Up: Angie Thomas 

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighbourhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families (Goodreads.com) 

On the Come Up

I actually read this book as soon as I got my hands on it in mid-February, but it was originally on my March TBR. I just couldn’t wait and I was not disappointed, While this book has mixed reviews ( no less coming on the heels of the widely acclaimed “The Hate U Give” ) I absolutely loved it and I am anxiously awaiting whatever Angie Thomas has coming next!

3, Where The Crawdads Sing: Delia Owens 

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps (Goodreads.com)

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I found the synopsis of this book super intriguing. It’s a much different genre than I’m used to reading but since it sparked my interest, I’ll give it a try!

4. Colliding With Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth: Sarah Jakes

The story of Ruth is a journey of transformation. By allowing God to transform her circumstances, Ruth went from a widow who would be excluded from society to a wife with a secure and protected future, a future that ultimately paved the way for the birth of King David! Her story is full of collision–loss, heartache, poverty, even shame–but she never let her past define her. Instead, the most painful time of her life became her most pivotal, propelling her to a destiny she never imagined.

Perhaps you have a past you’re struggling to overcome. If disappointments, whether a result of your own choices or the actions of others, have kept you from being your true self, this book is for you. Follow Ruth’s life and discover the hope available to each of us. Your yesterday does not have to dictate your tomorrow.

Despite your past pain, you, too, can find redemption and restoration.

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This is a re-read for me. I oftentimes like to re-read books depending on the season of life I find myself in. The story of Ruth is always one I like to dive back into. I also love the way Sarah Jakes brings this story to life.

 

Lastly, I’ll be doing another devotional from the Daily Grace Co.  This month( and April ) I will be journeying through the book of Isaiah. 

Everlasting Love - Study on Isaiah

What are you reading this month?

xoxo
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December Reads…

December Reads…

Hey y’all,

With the holiday season fast approaching, here are the three books I want to get through before the year ends…

  1. Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith andResilience-  Alison PatakiFive months pregnant, on a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when he asked if his eye looked strange, and watched him suddenly lose consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her husband would survive the night.
  2. When Dave woke up, he could not carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next. Allison lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to come.
  3. As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation for this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in love with her husband all over again.
  4. This is a manifesto for living, an ultimately uplifting story about the transformative power of faith and resilience. It’s a tale of a husband’s turbulent road to recovery, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places (Goodreads) 
    Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience
  5. The Namesake-  Jhumpa Lahiri 
    The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name.
  6. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. (Goodreads)
    The Namesake
  7. Becoming- Michelle Obama
    An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
  8. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. (Goodreads)
    Becoming
  9. I absolutely love this woman and I’m super excited to hear about her experience as the first black FLOTUS.I will also be studying the new testament with help of the YouVersion bible app reading plan “New Thru 30”
  10. What you reading to wrap up your reading year? Let me know!
  11. Till next time,
    xoxo
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November Reads…

November Reads…

Hey guys!

I have a very ambitious reading list for the month of November. In addition to this terms textbook ( Creative Bible Teaching) I am going to try and read 4 books…… We’ll see how that goes! This is what I’m trying to get through this month:

  1. Sing, Unburied Sing: By Jesmyn Ward

    I absolutely love this author. I have read a few of her other books and have yet to be disappointed. This book has been on my to read list for quite some time so what a delight it was when I received a copy from my friend Jen as a gift! ( Thanks girl!) 

    Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

    His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

    When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love

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  2. Far From The Tree: By Robin Benway

    I saw this book on somebody’s Youtube channel and it sounded pretty interesting. This is a young adult fiction book. 

    A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

    Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

    But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

    Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

    And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
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  3. A Lesson Before Dying: By Ernest J. Gaines
    A classic book that I have never got around to reading. No time like the present right? 🙂

    A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting and defying the expected. Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction
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  4. Dusty Crowns:  By Heather Lindsey
    I absolutely love Heather Lindsey and I am making my way through all of her written work!

    Have you ever felt like you are completely inadequate and regardless of what you do—you still don’t feel good enough? Well, Heather Lindsey felt the same way for years and she would try to earn God’s love and affirmation. After searching to fill her “God voids” in things, she learned what it meant to be the crown of her spiritual husband, God. Instead of chasing after unhealthy relationships, money and things, she sought a relationship with Jesus and He dusted her past off and made all things new. This book is a reminder that regardless of how far you have gotten away from God, He is still right there, ready to dust you off and make you whole.

    In this book, you will:

    • Learn what it means to be the crown of Jesus Christ and the crown of your physical husband, from the inside out.

    • Learn to protect your heart, mind and life from distractions.

    • Learn to enjoy the current season of your life and develop into the woman God called you to be.

    • Learn to refuse to settle for anything or anyone less than God’s best for your life.

    • See yourself how God sees you—valued, beautiful and special in His eyes.

    • Take advantage of the tests and trails and develop in patience

    Join Heather Lindsey on a heart-to-heart journey to becoming who God called you to be from the inside out. Dusty Crowns challenges women, whether single or married to be beautiful from the inside out and to accomplish the will of God for their life.
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    That’s it folks! Wish me luck! What are you guys reading this month?

    Till next time,
    xoxo

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October Reads…

October Reads…

 

Hey y’all!

I’m keeping my reading list extremely short for October as I am back to taking classes ( in addition to full time work.. pray for me LOL) so a lot of my leisurely reading time will have to be devoted to a textbook! However I do have 2 books and 1 devotional that I hope to get through this month!

  1. China Rich Girlfriend- Kevin Kwan – This is part two in the  Crazy Rich Asians series. I read the first one last month and was absolutely enamoured with the story. I just have to see how this story ends! Here is the synopsis of  this book:

    On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiancé willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she has never known, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle.
    Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel in to a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly-minted tech billionaire husband.
    A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily China-rich ( synopsis from Goodreads.com)

    China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)

  2. Rich People Problems: This is the third and final installment in the Crazy Rich Asians series. Here is the synopsis for this book:

    When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls.

    With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises.

    As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. ( synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.com)
    Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3)

  3. Redeemed : A study on the book of Exodus-  Yet again another beautiful devotional from the Daily Grace Co.  They always have easy to follow and interactive devotionals that make studying the word of God not boring! I highly suggest you check them out!( click link)   I have the original print( Not the one shown in the photo here . The content is pretty much the same.) Here’s the synopsis of this devotional:

    This study of God’s deliverance of His people reminds us of our own deliverance and redemption. It reminds us of who God is and what He has done for us. As we study how Moses would deliver his people from Egypt, we are reminded of our True Deliverer who has redeemed us from our sin.
    Redeemed - A Study on Exodus
    That’s it for this month folks! What are you guys reading this month?  Let me know!

    Till next time!
    xoxo
    ©justlovethemanyway

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July Reads…

July Reads…

Hey y’all

We are already halfway through July and I must admit I haven’t been doing that much new reading these past two weeks. I was playing catch up from my June reads. I finished all but one book last month and so one of my books is going to be a repeat. I will be travelling a lot this month and want to be able to soak up all the experiences that my travels have for me, so that means less reading more experiencing.:)  These are my picks for this month. I’ve narrowed it down to two books and a devotional :

The Pressure Trap: Heather Lindsey 

Do you feel stressed out and pressured about life? In this book, The Pressure Trap – Heather Lindsey exposes how to be free from the pressures of society so that you can fully do what God has called you to do. Don’t get caught in the trap of being pressured by this world. Instead, break free to do what God has called you to do! In this book, Heather tackles being pressured in the following areas: · Singlehood · Marriage · With your Children · Ministry · Your Job · Your career/purpose · Family
And so much more!

It is time to walk in freedom and it starts now!

This book is first up this month as I didn’t get to it in June. Really excited for it.
The Pressure Trap: Breaking Free from the Pressures of Society to Become Who God Called You to be

We Are Taking Only What We Need:  Stephanie Powell Watts

In these powerfully rendered, prizewinning stories, working-class African Americans across the South strive for meaning and search for direction in lives shaped by forces beyond their control

The ten stories in this resonant collection deal with both the ties that bind and the gulf that separates generations, from children confronting the fallibility of their own parents for the first time to adults finding themselves forced to start over again and again.

In “Highway 18” a young Jehovah’s Witness going door to door with an expert field-service partner from up north is at a crossroads: will she go to college or continue to serve the church? “If You Hit Randall County, You’ve Gone Too Far” tells of a family trying to make it through a tense celebratory dinner for a son just out on bail. And in the collection’s title story, a young girl experiences loss for the first time in the fallout from her father’s relationship with her babysitter.

Startling, intimate, and prescient on their own, these stories build to a kaleidoscopic understanding of both the individual and the collective black experience over the last fifty years in the American South. With We Are Taking Only What We Need,Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted an incredibly assured and emotionally affecting meditation on everything from the large institutional forces to the small interpersonal moments that impress upon us and direct our lives.

I’m not often a fan of anthologies or short story collections, but something about the cover intrigued me and I figured I’d give it a chance!

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Ruth Fields of Grace: A devotional from the Daily Grace Co. 

This 21 day study on the book of Ruth is an in-depth look at the book of Ruth and how this small book points to the gospel. The short book of Ruth is packed with grace and truth for every season of life. It is a reminder that God is present in the waiting and the ordinary. It is full of gospel-hope that God is working behind the scenes in ways that we could never imagine to sovereignly and providentially bring about His good plan for His people. This isn’t your ordinary study of Ruth. This isn’t just about a love story between Ruth and Boaz, but about the ultimate love story between God and His people.

Poverty to Provision
Brokenness to Beauty
Reproach to Redemption
Famine to Fullness
Grief to Grace
This is the gospel story seen in the book of Ruth.

Ruth - Fields of Grace

I absolutely love this company and its beautifully designed devotionals. This is my fourth study and plan on doing many many more!

That’s it for me this month! Happy Reading 🙂

( Click the links for the full book synopsis’ courtesy of Goodreads.com and harpercollins.com)

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

May Reads…

May Reads…

Hey guys!

I’ve been grappling with what I want to read this month as it appears that there is barely any free time at my grasp this month! Your girl is booked and busy! Work and weddings, bridal showers and other celebrations leaves little to no time for leisurely afternoons curled up with a good book, which is why I’ve chosen only 2 books and a couple months of Essence and Ebony magazines to focus on. Here’s what I chose…

  1. An American Marriage: By Tayari Jones

    Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together
    An American Marriage
  2. Life Is _____.: God’s Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence – By: Judah Smith

    Life is ____.  How would you finish that sentence?
    Judah Smith believes Jesus shows us how to live life to the fullest. In this follow-up to his New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jesus Is ____, Judah completes the new sentence again and again, revealing how·      Life is to be loved and to love.
  3. ·      Life is to trust God in every moment.
  4. ·      Life is to be at peace with God and yourself.
  5. ·      Life is to enjoy God.
  6. Judah writes as a friend, welcoming new believers, lifelong followers of Jesus, and even the merely curious. He shows us the love of God that defies human logic and the life that God intends for us to have in the here and now. With excitement and humor, Judah looks at the stories in the Bible from his unique angle and shows how life is all about loving God and loving others
    Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence

That’s all I’m reading this month y’all! What are you reading this month? I need some suggestions for June!

xoxo
©justlovethemanyway
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My Winter Reads 2017…

My Winter Reads 2017…

Hey guys,

Yesterday I was walking outside with my jacket open enjoying my 9 degree celsius weather ( where I live in the middle of February thats unusually warm!) and today I woke up to a winter wonderland blizzard / freezing rain mess!!! It was at that moment that I decided that it was finally time to enter my Canadian winter hibernation mode! Insert long lazy evenings indoors with Netflix and some good reads! These are some of the books that I hope to delve into this season!

Every Little Step, My Story by Bobby Brown: 

This is a book I have wanted to read for a while, but had been put on the back burner and then eventually forgotten. But with the New Edition biopic that just aired, I ran to my bookshelf and dug it out. There’s always 3 sides to every story; what he said, what she said and the truth and I am interested in hearing Bobby’s side of the stories we’ve all watched and heard about. Im already 100 pages in and I’m glad I picked this up again!

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How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith:  

Judah Smith is a Christian author of many books, two of which I have previously read and loved! When I saw that he was releasing a new book, I had to get my hands on it . This one focuses on the inner you – your soul and keeping it in check! Can’t wait to pick this one up.

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Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes :

This book is written by the daughter of acclaimed pastor T.D. Jakes. Sarah has notably been through lots of ups and downs and has turned her situations into inspirations for many. This book  simultaneously walks us through the story of Ruth and Naomi as it parallels to our own lives . I’m currently reading this one already and I am really enjoying it!

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A Moment of Silence( Midnight III) by Sister Souljah:  

This is a continuation of a story I have been following for a long time. Are there any “Coldest Winter Ever” fans out there? If there are , you’d know that is where we first met Midnight. This series really focuses on his life from its rough beginnings in Africa to his migration to the United States of America and his subsequent rises and falls.

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Neecey’s Lullaby by Cris Burks:  

This book was passed on to me by a friend . This book deals with the plight of the main character Neecey,  who is living in 1950’s America with an absent father and an absentee mother. Neecey has to grow up real quick and this is her story. This is a real quick read so I hope to get to this one really soon!

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley :

This is a re-read  for me. I read this as a young girl about 12 0r 13. I wanted to read it as an adult because I think there is so much more I can gain from it now.

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie :

I have been trying to read this book for about 2 years and it always get shifted to the back burner! Well I am determined to get this read this winter!!  I love this author! Ive read some of her other books like “Americanah” and “Purple Hibiscus” which I loved so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too.  This one has more of a African political twist to it  which is a subject I am interested in becoming more knowledgeable about.

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So that’s it folks? What are you reading this winter? Any other suggestions for me?  Let me know!

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