My Blogging Anniversary

Brown Girl Reading has made 9 years today. I can hardly believe it.  So in honor of my blogging birthday I’m reposting one of my first reviews.  You won’t believe it but I reviewed a zombie novel called Warm Bodies. Hated it! Surprise, surprise…  Thank you all for reading, commenting, and supporting all these years. I really appreciate it.  So here’s a post from the past in celebration of all of these years of blogging. Now nobody can say I haven’t tried to read a fantasy/zombie/romance/horror book. That favorite quote is pretty funny though.

Warm Bodies

7619057It seems as if my reading experience at the end of January has gone down slightly.  I strayed from my intentions of sticking to really good sure thing four-star and five-star books.  I was enticed into reading Warm Bodies – 1. because it was the YT book club pick for the 2nd of February, 2.  because I’ve never read a zombie book before, and 3.  because of the description on the back of the book was tempting and I was sure it was going be a good read.

Warm Bodies is a story of R, a zombie who cannot remember his name, his age, or how he’s become what he is.  He and other zombies spend their time wandering aimlessly in an abandoned airport, which is ruled by the terrifying  Bonies.  Bonies are zombies in the most decomposed state, essentially skeletons, that are vicious and dangerous.  R is a different kind of zombie because he has dreams.  One evening while R and some other zombies are out on a “food” run, he meets a “living” girl named Julie.  She is the total opposite of what he knows and an affectionate relationship grows between the two.  Sounds pretty interesting, but in essence reading about it was a total bore for me.

The best thing about this book is the writing style.  Isaac Marion is a talented writer.  He does an excellent job of describing situations and especially the feelings of R, however I found some parts of this story uninteresting and very slow.   Another good thing about Warm Bodies is the Vintage Originals paperback cover, white with the red raised nerves.  I also loved how each chapter begins with a labeled sketch of a part of the human body.  The sketches at the beginning of the chapters seem to correlate with what happens in the chapter where it appears.  There is a strong underlying theme from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette and I found that a little cliché at times.  It was as if he was trying much too hard to intellectualize this zombie story.  Since Isaac Marion apparently wrote this book for adults, he was surprised that his book is being shelved in the Young Adult section and thinks that adolescents aged 16-19 should be reading what he reads and that these classifications shouldn’t need to exist.  He believes this is mostly because of the quote from Stephanie Meyer on the back of his book.  Needless to say, they put Stephanie Meyer’s quote on the back and the front of the Vintage Originals paperback edition.  Marion feels “the YA label is reductive to any book.”  So there are probably a lot more adolescents picking this one up than adults, moreover I can’t see this story really  appealing to adults.  Who knows?  I could be wrong, certainly when you read Audrey Niffenegger’s quote on the back cover:

“Warm Bodies is a strange and unexpected treat.  R is the thinking woman’s zombie — he could be the perfect boyfriend (though somewhat grey-skinned and monosyllabic).  This is a wonderful book, elegantly written, touching and fun, as delightful as a mouthful of fresh brains.”

“Monosyllabic and grey-skinned “are not the only problem, R is a walking, smelly, rotting corpse for Christ’s sake.  Warm Bodies was published in 2010 and I don’t think I remember hearing anything about it before now, but the movie was released yesterday in the States and next week in Europe.  It is evidently more comical than the book, at least from what I can tell from the movie trailer.  It did well at the box office this past weekend, but will it be classified as another movie about love between a living being and an undead, like Twilight.  I’m sure the masses will be attracted to this film because of the comedy and I’d say go see the movie because you’ll have a better time than reading the book.

The New Hunger is the prequel to Warm Bodies, which is the beginning and ending of R and a few other characters.  It foreshadows the second part to Warm Bodies.  Isaac Marion has written since he was 14 years old.  He has done lots of different jobs, including delivering death beds to hospice patients and supervising parental visits for foster-kids.  Isaac Marion is the writer who has reinvented the zombie story, without really wanting to. He’s currently working on a sequel to Warm Bodies, which is due to be released in 2014.  Check out the clip below to find out more about his path to success.

Title: Warm Bodies

Genre:  Zombies/Horror/Fantasy/Romance

Published:  2010

Edition: Vintage Originals – Cool cover!

Pages:  240

Language:  English

My rating:  

My favorite quote:  ” ‘Why is beautiful that humanity keeps coming back?  Herpes does that, too.’ ” (Warm Bodies, p. 147)

 

 

 

 

Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora

Poetry is not something I pick up very much but in the past 4 years I’ve had the pleasure of reading some fantastic poetry collections.  This year has started with Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora by CP Patrick, author of the compelling novel The Truth About Awiti.  There are poems in this collection that come from The Truth About Awiti.  I strongly recommend you check it out because it is quite the story with a dash of fantasy and deals with the African diaspora and the transAtlantic slave trade.

It’s a slim collection containing only 58 pages, a short poem on each page.  To the eye that would appear to be slither to discuss such a complex subject, but believe me it’s more than enough.  From the first poem I was thrown into the African diaspora, my emotions rising within.  I could put it down and when I did I had finished and reread it a second time.

The collection is structured in 4 parts – Home, Middle Passage/Second Home, Bondage, Freedom or Something Like It.  The poems in each section are perfectly understandable.  These poems are not obscure or difficult to understand.  They are written with nuance and a perspective that will touch you before you realize it.  These poems made me reflect but also made me remember how proud I am to be black.  I come from strong people.  People that have a history that doesn’t just start with slavery.

The fact that CP Patrick begins the collection with poems from the section Home that cherishes the beginnings of black people in Africa – free with their own lives and customs, good and bad, exhibits her desire to tell our entire story.

“if but for a moment

you were

stillborn

descending from the heavens

leaving the safety of my warm womb

you saw this sad world

and changed your mind”

clairvoyant stillborn

  • CP Patrick, Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora, p. 28

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Dear Ancestors or any of my other recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository.  It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!

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#ReadSoulLit 2019 in Honor of Black History Month

February always gets me so excited about reading.  Black History Month always makes me want to delve deeper into the books written by black Americans and to learn more about my culture.  I feel that black literature, is getting more recognition these days although I still feel that more consideration is given to African Literature.  We have ways to go to get to the same level of recognition.

This is why I’m hoping that the photo challenge on Instagram and my videos this month on YouTube will give African-American authors the spotlight they so desperately need.  I’d love to be able to mention Bernice L. McFadden, Dolen Perkins-Vladez, Gayl Jones, and so many others and have everybody know who they are and what their writing is about.

As you can see in the picture above, this is just a fraction of one of my book shelves that contains quite a few books by African-American authors – 11 to be exact including the June Jordan novel that’s just at the edge of the picture on the right.  There are a few of these that I plan on reading this year that frankly I should have read many years before.  I’m looking forward to reading So Much Blue this month by Perceval Everett.  It will be my first attempt and I hope I’ll love it, having heard so many great things about this author and how he tells stories.  Another one on this shelf that is long overdue is Perfect Peace by Daniel Black.  So many people have recommended this one to me over the years and I’m not sure why I have continued to neglect picking it up.  Promise to myself and others that this one will get read this year.  Ann Petry’s The Street is another one that I’d like to finally read completely.  I had one failed attempt during a buddy read.  I didn’t finish because I didn’t like it. It was mostly because I was too busy to concentrate on it.  The classic The Wedding by Dorothy West has been on my list for ages and I finally picked up a copy 3 years ago but have been putting it off.  The Darkest Child I’ve been putting of because of its story.  I’ll definitely need a pallet cleanser after reading it. I’m sure it’s going to make me mad as hell.  So these are just a few books among many others that will continue my #readsoullit reading of African-American writers throughout the year.   I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing these as well as checking out a few new ones this year.  Happy Black History Month and reading!

#ReadSoulLit Tag

I created this tag so that people could get more recommendations of books by black authors.  I’m tagging all of you bloggers out there to do it and to add to the list of growing recommendations of African-American authors and their works this Black History Month.  Enjoy!

If you’d like to pick up a copy of any of my recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository, where shipping is free! It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!

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