Saturday, July 1, 2017

JULY TBR

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     This month I have one main goal and that is to finish the Easy Rawlins Mysteries by Walter Mosley. I have only two books left, and they are Rose Gold (#currentlyreading) and the newly released 2016 book, Charcoal Joe.  I'm sad to be finishing this series, but I'm happy to say it's still one of my favorite series by Walter Mosley. And I already have plans on reading his Leonid McGill Series, which consists of only 5 books after this one is done. 

     Blood Colony by Tananarive Due is the third book in her African Immortals series that I had started last year. And I need to finish up this series, so I have also placed My Soul to Take, which is the fourth and final book in the series on my TBR for the month.

Sidenote: I am going to have to see how many series I have finished vs. those started this year, because I feel like I'm on a roll with this.


     I will also be reading (#currentlyreading) Imago, the third and final book in the Xenogenesis series by Octavia E. Butler. The only reason why I hadn't finished this series last month was because I was waiting on my next audible credit to come through. I love listening to these on audio, and they also help with the pronouncing of the names, cause without it, I'd be lost. 
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     Since I had read Matilda by Roald Dahl last month, I thought about reading another one of his children classics. Since my library had this one available on Overdrive I'm excited to say that I'll be reading The Witches. I remember watching the movie as a kid and being lightweight scared of it. So this one I plan to read at night to get the full effect.

     The Name of the Wind has been in the back of my mind for a while now and I think I am ready to read it. I know people have been gushing about this book what feels like forever. So yeah. I'm really hyped because now I'll be reading this book with Frankie at FrankieReads and Monica at ReadsMonica. This will be my first buddy-read and it's making reading this book all the more enjoyable.

     I first saw Waiting to Exhale right when it came out on VHS back in 1996! And since I came of age, my Mom has always sung it praise. She had read the book before the movie and has always been a big fan of it. Always telling me about how Gloria's part is bigger in the books. I love the movie, always will be a go to empowering movie. I brought the book back in April I have been meaning to one, tackle a Terry McMillan book and two maybe do a book to movie comparison. *shrug* #shegetsitfromhermama.


     My last book, which I want to read, but not really sure if I'll be able to get to it or not is The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
In West Africa in 2070, after fifteen-year-old "shadow speaker" Ejii witnesses her father's beheading, she embarks on a dangerous journey across the Sahara to find Jaa, her father's killer, and upon finding her, she also discovers a greater purpose to her life and to the mystical powers she possesses.
This sounds like something right up my alley. If I get to it, I get to it. If not maybe it'll get pushed to next month.  

     What are you getting into this month, anything good? If you have read any of these book I'd like to hear about them, also tell me what books you are looking forward to reading this month. That's it for me.


PEACE ✌

     



JUNE WRAP UP

     This month I might have read what look like a lot of books, but I only read four of the books that were originally on my TBR for the month, not even half of what I set off to read. So yeah... about that. 

   I think what I can contribute to the success was the fact that these books are rather small books, nothing really over 300 pages. Gotta love short books! 

     Let's get to it, shall we. All books are listed in the order that I read them, and if I did a review, it is linked. 



Sleeping With Strangers-  My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
     After having this book on my shelves FOR YEARS, I had finally plunged into picking this series up and so far (after reading the 1st and 2nd installment) I am pleased and VERY entertained! This book was so good. I loved the characters, I love the flow of the story I even liked the side characters that Gideon came in contact with, Lola Mack was probably my favorite, besides Gideon that is. 

Vengeance in Death- ⭐⭐⭐
     This is the 6th book in the In Death series. This one had a lot of focus on Roarke and Summerset back when they were in Ireland and the death of Summersets daughter and the men that were involved in her death. I liked this one more so because of the fact that we got to see from the killers POV, which is something that I love to read in my thrillers/mysteries/suspense books. I thrive on the creepy vibes that they put out. But still this one didn't give me everything that I wanted. 
     
Bad Boy Brawly Brown- My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐
   In this, the 7th book in the Easy Rawlins series we find Easy still not over the death of his best friend Raymond  'Mouse' Alexander so to try and get himself out of the grief and funk of it all, he jumps at the chance to help a friend of his. He gets a call and is asked to met his old friend and his wife to try and help find his step son who they believe is mixed up, not with a gang, but with a revolutionary party and they want him to come home. Easy has always been in the business of helping friends and this is no different. But what I really liked was the minor connections that you can make with the world in 2017. Outraged youth angry with "the man" killing black folks and getting away with it and wanted to stand up not just for themselves but for their communities. I have a review that you can check out. #BlackLivesMatter


The Cutting Season- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
     This was a slow burner of a mystery but I couldn't keep myself from needing to know what was going to happen next. It starts with a dead body found on the grounds of a plantation turned tourist trap and it just goes waay deeper than I was expecting. Something that goes back all the way til 1871 between two families and the land that they have both lived, died, and worked on.
    As a whole, these cast of characters were something else, you hear me. Caren, the main protagonist, had some personal demons that she had to work out throughout the book first with her mother, her daughter, the father of her child, the plantation itself, and the people who hired her to manage it, and at times you wanna say, "dammit Caren!" All the characters felt very real, very believable. I liked this story very much. This is the second book by Ms. Locke that I have read and I was not disappointed.

Six Easy Pieces- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
     Instead of having 6 more books between Bad Boy Brawly Brown and Little Scarlet Mr. Mosley gave us six quick intertwining stories that answer Easy's most important question: Is Mouse dead? But you also start to see Easy's family growing Jesus and Feather growing into more stronger and more healthier children than when they first became Easy's children and the relationship between Easy and Bonnie come under some strain as well. 

The Man in my Basement- ⭐⭐⭐
     I think I'm being nice when I say this was a three star book. What I thought was going to be a thriller, with a title like that, was not a thriller so much as a self discovery book. Charles, the man who owns the basement is on his last dime after being fired from his bank job and is almost on pariah status in the community due to the circumstances of his lack of employment. He barely has enough money to put food on his table when a man comes and asks that he rent his basement out for a very hefty sum for the remainder of the summer. Now while this man is in Charles' basement the relationship between the two men take a stance turn that I'm sure Charles was not expecting. While it was not the thriller that I hoped it to be, it definitely gives the reader a whole hell of a lot to think about. In terms of right and wrong. 


Little Scarlet- My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
       A serial killer is on the loose and only Easy and one Det. is aware of this, no one else really believes it. All they see is a dead black woman and because it took place during/after the L.A riots in 1965 the police are afraid that it was a white man who is the killer and since the mood of community is something that the local cops are afraid to deal with they hire Easy to go where they can't to find out what really happened to the girl who was found dead and mutilated. Check out my review on this book for a more close looking at this race fueled murder mystery. 

Cinnamon Kiss- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
     After the shit went down in Little Scarlet, Easy was officially granted his PI license and carrying permit from the city of Los Angeles. No longer just a man, with an office, who just did favors for his friends, his now a PI. We find Easy looking to score some more, real money, real quickly.  Feather, his adopted daughter, is sick with some kind of blood disease and no amount of juju from Mama Jo can help and neither can the doctors. Bonnie, Easy's long time love in gf knows of a hospital in Europe that can help but it very costly. With the influence of a man she has met at work (she's a flight attendant) Feather is able to get treated, but to pay for this treatment, Easy has to think of getting the money in maybe not the most legal ways. Saul, another PI and friend of Easy's, puts him on a case where he might not have to thinking about robbing a payroll truck finding a lawyer that has gone missing. 

Waking with Enemies-  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
https://tenor.com/view/kevin-hart-comedian-she-wasnt-ready-sad-gif-3540683     This book took off right where the last one ended, and I must say there was a TON of sex in this book. I was not ready for that. Like the first 100 pages had to be nothing but sex. SEX SEX SEX!  But after that and between all the sex when it came down to the actual plot of assassin vs. assassin this was really good. The ending was what won it over for me. I liked how in this one we have another assassin who's goal in life, besides getting divorced from his wife in TX is killing Gideon. He happened to be in London on business and picks up another job and you see his story and how his and Gideons timelines line up. Once again, the characters were great they storyline was great, besides the long sex scenes it was a very good book. 



Blonde Faith- ⭐⭐⭐
    From Goodreads: Easy Rawlins, L.A.'s most reluctant detective, comes home one day to find Easter, the daughter of his friend Chrismas Black, left on his doorstep. Easy knows that this could only mean that the ex-marine Black is probably dead, or will be soon. Easter's appearance is only the beginning, as Easy is immersed in a sea of problems. The love of his life is marrying another man and his friend Mouse is wanted for the murder of a father of 12. As he's searching for a clue to Christmas Black's whereabouts, two suspicious MPs hire him to find his friend Black on behalf of the U.S. Army. Easy's investigation brings him to Faith Laneer, a blonde woman with a dark past. As Easy begins to put the pieces together, he realizes that Black's dissappearance has its roots in Vietnam, and that Faith might be in a world of danger.
The Ballad of Black Tom- ⭐⭐
 A novella by Victor Lavalle, its a take on a H.P. Lovecraft short story. Now while I have never read anything by H.P. Lovecraft (due to the fact that he was a known racist) I thought I would like this take on something he wrote. While I did enjoy some aspects of the tale, it somehow didn't go all the way over for me. I guess I missed the whole thing that people love about this novella. I gave it two stars. 

Go the F**k to Sleep- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
     I was recommended this by a friend on Goodreads and it was HILARIOUS, it's not a children's book, but it's written like one and the audio version is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. My library had it available via my Overdrive app and I read it faster than I downloaded it. It pretty much is an ode to those moments when you just want your child to go to sleep but they won't for some reason or another. And you are pretty much begging them to go the fuck to sleep. 

     So after I had read Black Tom novella, I knew I didn't want to just jump right into the next Easy book, and I tried my hand at something that has been on kindle was a while that I just hadn't tried out yet and that was Sleeping Giants. 


Sleeping Giants- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
     I was pleasantly surprised when I started this book. All I knew was that a little girl found a giant hand and that it was a scifi book. What I didn't know was that it was going to be as good as it was. It gave that Iron Giant feeling but more adult. This was told in interview format and journal format which I thought that somehow the story wasn't going to be told well enough but I was wrong. The interviewer is a no named man who has put together this team of Army helicopter pilots, physicists, linguist and others to figure out what this giant metal woman can do. Why it is here, what is her function, who made her. It was a great read and I will definitely be reading the second book Waking Gods.

Little Green- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
     At the end of Blond Faith we leave Easy drifting off into darkness in his not to be clearly identified suicide attempt. Waking up after being in a coma for two months Easy is asked for help one again. Fueled by Gator Blood, a special concoction by Mama Jo to keep him going, Easy is in search a young man that Mouse has always called Little Green. His mama is looking for him and is afraid for his safety. Bad LSD trips, bloody sacks filled with money, unknown parental connections, hippies, and free love. 

Matilda- ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
    I must admit that I have never read a Roald Dahl book, ever. I have seen most of his book to movie adaptations, not really knowing they were books first. James and the Giant Peach is one of my favorite movies, but I have never read the book. Anyways... my library had Matilda the book and the audio (read by Katie Winslet, who does a great job by the way) available and I decided to end off my month with a children's classic. 
     It was so stinking cute. I can definitely see why people love it so much. This surely won't be the last Dahl book I read, next is going to JATGP. What I don't like to see is people being mad at Mr. Dahl about how he portrays these FICTIONAL characters. Sometimes that irks my nerves, but whatever. That's their opinion, I just think they are fantastic I thought the story so magical and even at some places tough to read. I mean that in terms of how the children at the school were treated at the school. Her (Matilda) parents were awful, Miss Honey was true to her name and she herself (Matilda) was such a delight. Very good Mr. Dahl, very good. 


     So that's it for me, let me know what you read for the month of June. Or if you have read any of the books that I have listed above hit me up down below.

PEACE ✌








Thursday, June 22, 2017

JUNE BOOK HAUL


     This month I have received/brought 15 physical books and a couple of ebooks for 1.99 or so. But today I want to show you all the beautiful books that I brought over the course of the month. None of them at full price. One book is from my BOTM subscription. And the other two stacks can be divided between Thriftbooks and Book Outlet. It should be painfully obvious that I am really excited about each and every book that I have purchased.


     An Extraordinary Union is a book that I won on Twitter from the lovely ladies over at MochaGirlsRead. It is the first book in The Loyal League series. It's a historical romance book set during the Civil War era.

     And as you can see there are four books by Ken Liu. Which I am dying to read, The Dandelion Dynasty books sounds like some awesome fantasy books that I would like to get into, at least one this year. They are very massive though. I also go two short story collections one translated by him, Invisible Planets (Chinese SF) and The Paper Menagerie, which is a collection of his story stories fantasy again.

   I try not to buy books mainly one their covers, but The Trees by Ali Shaw has to be one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen, so yes, that's why it is in the stack. I mean really, look at it. This picture does it no real justice.

     The Ancestors, Dark Dreams and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones are three short story collections that I have been looking for (reasonably priced and in good condition) a very long time. African American short stories featuring horror, thriller, paranormal and speculative fiction. I'm all ears.

     How to Be Black has been added to my Nonfiction November TBR, after hearing so many good things about it from Booktube.

     My Soul to Take is book four in the African Immortals series by Tananarive Due which is another series that I am finishing up this year.

     I also picked up another Nnedi Okorafor book, The Shadow Speaker is another one of her YA books about a young girl in West Africa in the year 2070, who is searching for fathers killer and also dealing with the fact that she has mystical powers.

    Cinnamon and Gunpowder has been on my radar for a long time, female pirate takes male chef as her prisoner, historical fiction, I can dig it.

     And last but not least, is The Striver's Row Spy. Been creeping on this one for months! But due to it's not so good reviews I have been hesitant about it, but I found an exlibrary edition, in great condition that I couldn't pass up.


     Let me know if you have read any of these books I have shown above or if you have purchased any good books you want to share. Hit me up.

PEACE ✌

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mid Year Review and Goals Update

     I realize after looking at some Youtube videos these past couple of mornings that 1/2 the year is already gone, or close to it, and I should probably go back and check over my goals for 2017 and see what I have read and what I might need to work on more for the next 1/2 of the year. So first lets see what goals I had set for myself, reading wise and where I stand with them:
  • Read 5 nonfiction books (not my go to genre, but I have a few in mind)
I have not started one NonFiction book BUT, I'm really just waiting for #NonfictionNovember to get the done.
  • Read one Bernice McFadden book a month (last year I read four of her books and she quickly became of of my of favorite new authors.)
Yeaaaaa, haven't read one of her books yet this year. Need to work on this one.
  • Read 5 big books (and I mean books over 400 pages)✔ 
Yes, I have completed this one I have read 6 books over 400 pages.
  • I want to finish a series or two (or as many as I can)
I am completing this one right now. Since I've started some series last year, I'm trying to get through all of those before picking up anymore.
  • Read more Science Fiction (by POC)✔ -->Yes and growing.
  • Read more Fantasy (by POC)✔ -->Yes and growing 
  • Keep up with my Comics and Manga
I will be doing this for my comics, got to find a month of my manga.
  • Read at least two English Classics
Nope, but I have the one that I want to read.
Yes, I'm on the last book published, A Dance with Dragons right now. Then I'm all caught up.
On book 9 of 14, so I'm pretty sure this one will be done before summer ends.
  • Take part in some read-a-thons (#ReadSoulLit ✔, #MarchMysteryMadness ✔, etc.)
Yes, I have done three so far and I know of some more that will take place later this year.  
success! 
     Overall, I know where I'm lacking, but YAY for my success. So far I have read about 58 books and according to Goodreads I'm about 14 books ahead of schedule. So far so good on my book goals. I think my main goal, which I didn't even list was to enjoy what I'm reading and I can say that I am definitely doing that. I'm also happy to be getting to books that have been on my shelves for a while too.

     How are you doing on the reading goals that you have set for the year? Did you see that new Black Panther teaser trailer? #blackpanthersolit 



PEACE ✌

Sunday, June 11, 2017

#GettingGraphic Readalong 📚

     @GetGraphicReads is run by @kittygbooks + @robertson_elena to share their love of all things graphic, comic + artsy. On the 17th of June they are hosting a read along on twitter and I believe this is the second go around for this readalong.

     I have a whole stack of comic that I want to read, and here is a short video of all the books that I have to read. Don't mind my daughters voice in the background, she was being funny, making up name, things kids do. Like I said I have a WHOLE stack to read. Since the readalong is only one day long I'll see how much I can get through. 



     I'm pretty excited about this one. I have been meaning to get to these books for over a year or so. Let me know if you have ever read any of these or if you are participating in the readalong. 

PEACE ✌

Sunday, June 4, 2017

BAD BOY BRAWLY BROWN BOOK REVIEW 📚

from my Insta
    Easy, going about his normal life, still trying to get over the death of his best friend Mouse when a friend of his calls and asks for a favor. This is the moment when Easy should have taken a hard pass on the favor, but being who he is, doing something for someone else perked him up a bit. Now still grieving the loss of his friend, Easy is asked to find Brawly Brown. His mama is looking for him, but he doesn't seem to want to be found. Easy has heard that he has started running with this local group called the First Men or the Urban Revolutionary Party.
"Their voices might have seemed angry to someone who didn't know the gruff bark of the American Negro's soul. Those men and woman were far beyond anger, though. They were expressing a desire for love and revenge and for something that didn't exist - had never existed. That's why they were there. They were going to create freedom to of the sow's ear called America. The believed in the spirit of the Constitution and not the direction of the cash register." (p. 44, Mosley)
     Sounds like something familiar huh? That is what really drew me into this story. Being as this is an Easy Rawlins story, you know it's never just as simple as it starts out being. Cop raids, dead bodies, a stash of weapons, 3am phone calls, the works. All while Easy is trying to keep his home life safe and on normal progression. I'm loving it.

     Edit/In addition: Of course this book is dripping with race relations and what would be deemed as a "terrorist" group outlook/activities from police eyes, and what it means to be a black man in 1964, rising a family, owning your own home and car. Its crazy the correlation from the police/government activities in a book of fiction have to the daily lives of black folks in 2017 . I think that's what I really love about Mosley's work. It stands the test of time and it can really hit home.
What cha reading? Let me know.

PEACE ✌