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 

 

May Reads…

May Reads…

Hey y’ all

I’m not going to lie to you… March and April were not the best months of reading for me. I was in kind of a slump and was not motivated by anything I had prepared to read. Thus, you will see some repeats on here for the month of May ( lol)

What I actually  did end up reading the last two months:

Colliding with Destiny: Sarah Jakes ( now Sarah Jakes Roberts )
The Replacement Wife: Tiffany L  Warren
On The Come Up: Angie Thomas
Brutally Honest: By Melanie Brown ( From the Spice Girls)
Take the lid off- A  7-day reading plan and also the  Ready or Knot reading plan on the Bible App.

Here’s what I’m reading this month:

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 just couldn’t get motivated to actually pick this one up last month! It’s next in line so fingers crossed I get to it this month!

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 started this one back in March. I put it down for a while as I just couldn’t get into it. I really want to give this one another go.

 The Proposal: Jasmine Guillory

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes… (goodreads.com)

Okay, guys… I breezed through this one! I absolutely loved it! I purchased it on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t aware that it was part of a series, so I am going to go back and read the first one and am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series due out summer 2019

In The Midst Of It All: Tiffany L. Warren 

For feisty seventeen-year-old Zenovia, keeping strong in her faith is an uphill battle. Between her schizophrenic mother and their tough neighbourhood, her life has never been even remotely near normal. When the Brethren of the Sacrifice Church offers them acceptance and a chance at stability, even skeptical Zee can’t resist. Especially when Tristan, a handsome, fervent young member, acts like he wants her to be his one-and-only…and his wry older brother Justin reveals he’s more interested in Zee than he pretends. But when she falls hard for Emil, the Brethren’s outspoken rebel, her belief in mercy and tolerance puts her at odds with the Brethren, her new life—and her mother. Now Zee must come to terms with betrayal, deceit, and false faith. As she fights to grow spiritually and live on her own terms, she will discover how love, forgiveness, and God’s guidance can bring the most unexpected blessings. (goodreads.com)

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Queenie: Candice Carty-Williams

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle-class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world. (goodreads.com)

Queenie

I don’t generally pick a book at random, but I picked this book up solely because of its boldly hued cover and artwork depiction of a girl of colour with box braids.
I am currently 85% finished this novel already, and I literally started it 2 days ago! While it has some colourful language and some graphic adult content, I am thoroughly enjoying this author’s candid and relatable way of telling a story that touches on so many issues many people face today.  For a debut novel, I am highly anticipating her future works!

Lastly, currently I am focusing on this devotional from the Bible app:

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I think I am already off to a good start this month! What are you reading?

xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway

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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February Reads…

February Reads…

Hey y’all!

Happy Black History Month Y’all! In honour of Black History Month, I thought I would read some books by African- American authors.  I’m actually reading two books that I have previously read as well as one new read and a devotional on the Book of Isaiah.  It’s an ambitious list as February is a short month, but as I will be travelling for quite a bit of this month, I figured what better way to pass some time than to read while I soak up some much needed Vitamin D and ocean waves! 🙂 Here’s what I’m reading:

The Wait:A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love – BDeVon Franklin, and Meagan Good ( Goodreads.com)

Hollywood power couple DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good candidly share about their courtship and marriage, and the key to their success—waiting.

President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment and former Sony Pictures executive DeVon Franklin and award-winning actress Meagan Good have learned sometimes all we can do is wait for “the one” to come into our lives. They spent years crossing paths but it wasn’t until they were thrown together while working on the film Jumping the Broom that their storybook romance began.

Faced with starting a new relationship and wanting to avoid potentially devastating relationship pitfalls, DeVon and Meagan chose to do something almost unheard of in today’s society—abstain from sex until they were married.

In The Wait, DeVon and Meagan share the life-changing message that waiting—rather than rushing a relationship—can help you find the person you’re meant to be with. Filled with candid his-and-hers accounts of the most important moments of their relationship, and practical advice on how waiting for everything—from dating to sex—can transform relationships, allowing you to find a deep connection based on patience, trust, and faith.

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This is a re-read for me. With February also being the month of “love” I thought it was fitting 🙂 .

The Autobiography of Malcom X – as told to Alex Haley

Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister. Here, the man who called himself “the angriest Black man in America” relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognize the brotherhood of all mankind.
An established classic of modern America, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” was hailed by the New York Times as “Extraordinary. A brilliant, painful, important book.” Still extraordinary, still important, this electrifying story has transformed Malcom X’s life into his legacy. The strength of his words, the power of his ideas continue to resonate more than a generation after they first appeared.

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I’ve read this book several times throughout my childhood  ( yes , I was an avid and advanced reader since the age of 4) and adolescent years. I think it’s important for me to revisit this book and  interpret it through the eyes of an adult who’s core values and life experiences may give me a fresh outlook on this particular body of work.

Monday’s Not Coming- By Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone? (Goodreads.com)

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I was just perusing the shelves at my local bookstore and the cover jumped out at me. I picked it up, read the synopsis and was sold! I will definitely be digging into this one on my vacation. It seems to be a mystery novel  which is not normally a genre that I gravitate towards but I am intrigued by this book and I’m excited to see how the plot plays out.

Finally, The Daily Grace Co. always has fantastic devotionals for some in depth Bible study . Like I mentioned before, this month I’ll be journeying through the book of Isaiah.

Everlasting Love - Study on Isaiah

Check out their website for other cool devotionals: https://thedailygraceco.com/collections/bible-studies-devotionals

What are you reading this month?
Let me know!

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August Reads…

August Reads…

Hey y’all I have a bunch of new books to read for the month of August. My choices are kind of all over the place this month. I guess that’s what happens when you enter a book. store to pick up something for somebody else and get lost in the sales! Anyway, here’s what I chose:

The Darkest Minds : By Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

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To be honest I hadn’t heard anything about this book ( which is actually Book one in a series) until I saw the trailer for the movie that comes out this month. It reminded me of a Hunger Games/ Divergent dystopian YA fiction that I absolutely love. The trailer totally captivated me and I always have to read the book before I watch the movie, so I picked this one up…. all 488 pages worth (LOL) I’m 2 chapters in and already sold so it shouldn’t be too hard to breeze through . Wish me luck!

Crazy Rich Asians:  Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazilyrich.

Image result for crazy rich asiansI have honestly been avoiding reading these books for years. I used read books by. this author K’wan and every single time I would look up his books, Kevin K’wan would pop up. So, because that irritated me, I ignored every suggestion to read this book. Then, I saw the movie trailer for this book, ( I sense a trend here) and was totally intrigued. Like I mentioned previously, I like to read the book before I see the movie so I’m hoping to breeze through this one quickly as this movie comes out this month as well.

Black Privilege : Charlamagne The God

An instant New York Times bestseller! Charlamagne Tha God—the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” cohost of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “the most important voice in hip-hop”—shares his eight principles for unlocking your God-given privilege.

In Black Privilege, Charlamagne presents his often controversial and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. This journey to truth begins in the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and leads to New York and headline-grabbing interviews and insights from celebrities like Kanye West, Kevin Hart, Malcolm Gladwell, Lena Dunham, Jay Z, and Hillary Clinton.

Black Privilege lays out all the great wisdom Charlamagne’s been given from many mentors, and tells the uncensored story of how he turned around his troubled early life by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. These life-learned principles include:

-There are no losses in life, only lessons
-Give people the credit they deserve for being stupid—starting with yourself
-It’s not the size of the pond but the hustle in the fish
-When you live your truth, no one can use it against you
-We all have privilege, we just need to access it

By combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty no matter the cost, Charlamagne hopes Black Privilege will empower you to live your own truth

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It

Charlamagne is the brash, unapologetic , crude co anchor of the Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 FM New York. He may be very rough around the edges and crass with his verbiage, but he has a lot of things to say that make sense and provide us the reader with some tough food for thought. I’m entertained by his radio banter and intrigued by his views on black culture and society of today.

(Click the links in the book titles for the full Goodreads link)

I’m also going to be continuing my study on the book of Ruth in the Bible. 🙂

That’s all for this month folks!
Happy Reading!
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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