#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 22

Bookish Stuff / Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Day 22 – Set Where You Live:

I had to choose two novels for today’s theme – one that I read and loved and one that I can’t wait to read.  Well if you’ve followed me on here for a while you know that I read and loved Giovanni’s Room which I picked up last year.  I don’t know how I managed to get my BA in English Literature without having to read the illustrious James Baldwin.  There is something seriously wrong with that.  Reading Giovanni’s Room last year IMG_1466opened the flood gates to Baldwin’s brilliant mix of adept writing style and pertinent social commentary.  What’s so amazing is how modern and relevant his work has remained.  This is as good a place as any to begin reading Baldwin.  It’s a short novel of only 159 pages and chock full of layers of meaning on all levels.  If you decide to read the Penguin Modern Classics edition there is a very informative introduction written by Caryl Phillips that I suggest you check out after reading the book.

The second book I’m suggesting is  Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood.  She is a well-known contemporary African-American writer of novels, short stories, and plays.  She’s been published in numerous magazines and spent some time abroad in Peace Corps and in Paris as an au pair.  I hope to really make an effort to read this one this year because I’d say it could almost be a modern classic when I hear people talk about it.

“Any writer who makes a writer the protagonist of a novel is just asking for trouble. If the protagonist in question is a young African-American woman in Paris, following in the footsteps of such well-known black expatriates as Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, and James Baldwin, it’s double jeopardy. And yet in Black Girl in Paris, Shay Youngblood manages to avoid clichés even as she steers a course straight through them.”(Black Girl in Paris, Goodreads description)


8 Replies to “#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 22”

  1. I’m recommending the debut novel “Black Water Rising” by Attica Locke. She very accurately captures Houston, Texas 1980’s, as well as tells the story of a ex activist, now lawyer, finding his way back to his true self. We never hear the story of how being jailed and having to go through a trial affects people after it is all done. What happens to these people? Do they return to the cause or just remain slightly traumatized by a near prison experience? Not to mention this is also a good old mystery to boot!

  2. I went with Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King (Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction)

    I live in Orange County (Florida) and Lake County is nearby. This book is excellent – a page turner! Although nonfiction, it reads like a novel. I was lucky enough to have my novel signed by Mr. King – it was an honor to meet him.

      1. Thanks so much for sending that blog link for Nubian Circle – my guess is I must have initiated it back in 2011 and obviously abandoned it. The local club is supposed to vote on a name change soon – so I’ll revisit the blog idea with them also. Blogs are a lot of work and I don’t want to be the only one stuck creating and managing content, replies, etc – you know the deal. 🙂 It’ll have to be a ‘group’ effort, if we do it.

        1. I liked the name. Well if you want it to be a group effort for the blog forget about it because it never will be. lol! It will always fall on you. Just have fun reading and discussing with your group. 😉

  3. I KNOW you know how you could have earned your Bachelor’s degree – from LSU – without having read Jmes Baldwin! I read him in GRAD school and when I taught Black Literature! Better late than never, I guess!

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