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

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

Hi Guys!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Working on Tamar…

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

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: April 29th 2015h

Wednesday Weekly Reads: April 29th 2015h

Hey Y’all

I’m tired guys lol. Its been a busy one! So let me do a quick wrap up!

This week I finished up  “I Love, I Hate, I Miss my Sister” by Amelie Sarn. I literally read this book in 90 minutes (It was just 150 pages). It didn’t love the writing of this book. I found the plot to be very monotonous ( Muslim girl ridiculed for her religious beliefs and choice of religious covering vs Muslim girl seen as not being “modest” enough.) It was just “meh”. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest this book to anyone to read.

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It was just “ok”

I finished up my study on “Lot’s Wife” from my group devotional! Interesting read!  It puts a true spin on the saying, “curiosity killed the  cat”  I really enjoyed the prayer at the end of this study. It reads:

Lord, You call me to live in a world without embracing the ways of the world. Help me to live in a way that preserves my freedom to follow you wherever and however you lead. If i should leave behind a monument, may it be a reminder to others of faith and not foolishness! ( excerpt from the “Women of the Bible devotional)

I tried to read “Coaltown Jesus” by Ron Koertge and I just couldn’t get in to the story because it was written entirely in prose. ( kind of like an Ellen Hopkins novel) Just not my cup of tea.

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Lastly, I started Hold Still” by Nina LaCour” and honestly I’m only a few pages in so I don’t have much to reportI’m going to try and finish this one up and give an honest report next week!

Next week I’m just going read whatever I want. I’m not going to set any goals. I’m  just going to go with the flow and read whatever comes my way. I’ve got a ton of pretty interesting library books to tackle!

Happy reading!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Short Week

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Short Week

Hey guys!

Welcome to this weeks edition of Wednesday Weekly Reads! This is going to be a quick one. This week I was able to able to finish up ” Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe” By Max Lucado with Candace Lee and Eric Newman. It was a very quick read! I managed to finish this up in a day and a bit. I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I did find some parts of the story quite embellished .The whole angels living and working among us aspect was a little far-fetched. Not that I don’t believe that God dispatches angels around us to protect us from harm and danger, however I found that the author kind of made that part of the story a little unbelievable. Overall, it was a feel good story, with a predictable feel good ending: just a quick feel good book 🙂 . If you’re looking for something light to read, pick this one up.

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Next, as I said I would, I picked up,  ” The Garden of Burning Sand” by Corban Addison. I just picked it up yesterday for about 30 minutes and I’m already 50 pages in! This is a pretty deep read as it with some pretty dark issues ( life in Zambia, race relations, rape , child abuse, crime) I know this book will be one that draws me in and I can’t wait to finish this one up.

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The last thing I read this week was my Bible study devotional “Women of the Bible” .My girlfriends and I completed our study on Sarah. What an awesome study it was. It was really eye-opening to see Sarah through different eyes. What turmoil she must have been in; childless, feeling worthless and desperate. How she felt , is how we feel sometimes. Sarah’s struggle encourages me to wait on God. He doesn’t work on our time, but His timing is always right! Continue to wait on Him!!  This week we are studying “Hagar” who was Sarah’s handmaid( servant). Looking forward to diving into her story!

Closing Prayer of this weeks devotional.

In addition to my devotional, I plan to finish  “The Garden of Burning Sand” by Corban Addison.  I have no idea what I want to read if I finish this book so I’m going to leave that open!

Happy Reading!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: So I purchased new books….. LOL

Wednesday Weekly Reads: So I purchased new books….. LOL

Hey guys!

So I managed to finish up “Copper Sun” by Sharon Draper. I really love Sharon’s writing style and this story did not fail to impress me! Although this is classified as a Young Adult novel, the content was definitely mature. I did however find the premise of a “negro slave” and an “indentured slave” becoming allies and running away together to be kind of a stretch.( An indentured slave was someone who in order to possibly clear a debt, gave themselves in service rather than pay with money or property. Some Negroes were indentured, and some poor or lower class whites could have an indenture on them as well) Even though they were both ” enslaved” the white character in this story still found herself to be more superior than Amari the negro. This book really gave insight in to what it must have been like for children to become enslaved and then try to quickly assimilate to a new life and system of living. This book would be a good book for parents who want to introduce this part of history and style of literature into your “tween” or teens reading repertoire. Think of it as the starter book before you would introduce something like ” The Book of Negroes” . 5 out of 5 stars!! Great read!

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5 out of 5 stars…

This week I’m really not sure what I want to read! I have repeatedly broken my promise of not buying any books until i finish my TBR books……but I realized that all of the books on my TBR are really heavy in content and I need something a little different.

So in this last week I purchased three books ( hangs head in shame lol: Shanice don’t judge me LOL) One was a repurchase because the copy I owned was  literally 16 years old. I first read it in the ninth grade. The book is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I remember loving it back then but to be perfectly honest , I don’t remember what happens. So why not pick it up and re-read it! Plus the beautiful edition that I wanted was only $9.99!!!! score! Plus, I just heard that a sequel will finally be released in July of this year. This book was actually written before “To Kill a Mockingbird”  in the 1950’s but was rejected by publishers. I’m excited to see where she takes the characters in this long-awaited sequel. I’ll give your more details on this closer to its release date, but this book is definitely being added to my TBR for this year.

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What a beautiful cover…
Release Date: July 14th, 2015

Next, I was just browsing the bookstore…. lol and I saw a sale rack. Naturally I had to stop and look. I picked up this book called ” Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe” By Max Lucado with Candace Lee and Eric Newman. I was familiar with Max Lucado as an author( I believe my mom has a few of his books around the house) He is a Christian author. The cover( and 10 dollar price tag :P)  caught my eye so I picked it up and it sounded pretty interesting. Amazon gives this summary of it:

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

Sounds like a pretty light read and I can’t wait to pick it up.

IMG_5896Lastly I picked up ” The Garden of Burning Sand” by Corban Addison. This was a book I had been suggested to read by a few of my book blogger peeps and since I had some time to kill yesterday before meeting up with a friend ( Hey Fafa!) I popped into Indigo and picked it up! Amazon.com details this story as follows:

Zoe Fleming, an accomplished young human rights attorney, has made a life for herself in Zambia, far from her estranged father–an American business mogul with presidential aspirations–and from the devastating betrayals of her past.

When a young girl with Down syndrome is sexually assaulted in a Lusaka slum, Zoe joins Zambian police officer Joseph Kabuta in investigating the rape. Piecing together clues from the victim’s past, they discover an unsettling connection between the girl–Kuyeya–and a powerful Zambian family who will stop at nothing to bury the truth.

As they are drawn deeper into the complex web of characters behind this appalling crime, Zoe and Joseph forge a bond of trust and friendship that slowly transforms into love. Opposed on all sides, they find themselves caught in a dangerous clash between the forces of justice and power. To successfully prosecute Kuyeya’s attacker and build a future with Joseph, Zoe must risk her life and her heart–and confront the dark past she thought she had left behind.

I’m so intrigued by this plot line. It’s definitely a genre( mystery/thriller) that I have been wanting to delve into. With my successes in reading “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train” I think this may be one of my favorite genres to read right now.

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So this week I’m going to try to finish the Max Lucado book because it’s a pretty short read ( 184 pages) and maybe try to get through some of ” The Garden of Burning Sand”.

Also , my girlfriends and I are continuing our Bible study devotional “Women of the Bible” This week we are studying Sarah 🙂

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Have a wonderful reading week guys! Good Luck!

xoxo

*Disclaimer: Book descriptions ( with the exception of the Copper Sun description) were taken from the Amazon.com website©