#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 10 – Favorite Antagonist

Day 10Favorite Antagonist   I to think a bit to decide who I would put for my favorite IMG_2458antagonist.  It has to be Dr. Kasim from Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith!  This character is introduced about one third of the way into the story and he is introduced like a slithering, silent, snake waiting to strike.  If you get a chance to read Forty Acres keep your eyes on Dr. Kasim.  I do hope Smith decides to write a part 2 to this novel because it really needs one and that’s coming from me who is really a fan of part twos and series.

What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel.

“Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay dwayne-alexander-smithalive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.” (Forty Acres, inside flap)

My copy:  Forty Acres, hardcover 369 pages

I’m an affiliate for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated to click the link below if you’re interested in picking up any of my recommendations. It will help fund my incessant book buying.

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#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 1 -Recently Purchased

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Day 1 – Recent Purchase: Blues Dancing  is “a work that fuses past and present, character and place with a transfixing lyricism that shimmers in its detail.  A richly spun story of love, passion, betrayal, and redemption.  Blues Dancing grapples with the meaning of faith, forgiveness, and familial bonds, in a narrative that moves seamlessly  between the Philadelphia  of contemporary times and the city in the early 1970s.”(inside cover of Blues Dancing) I can’t wait to pick this one up,especially after reading the first chapter and that cover is everything!

Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the celebrated author of two well received novels dianeTumbling and Tempest Rising.  Tumbling was her first novel and was published in 1996.  McKinney-Whetstone was born in Philadelphia into a family of four daughters. She began writing at the age of 39 years old.  After winning a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant for a 500 page first draft, her first novel Tumbling was published soon after.  She’s written other novels such as Leaving Cecil Street, Philadelphia Blues, and Trading Dreams at Midnight.  Her novels all take place in the city of Philadelphia in the center of the black community.  Her latest historical fiction novel Lazaretto is due to be released on April 12, 2016.

My copy:  Blues Dancing, hardcover  – 307 pages

 

I’m an affiliate for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated to click the link below if you’re interested in picking up any of my recommendations. It will help fund my incessant book buying.

http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=browngirlreading

Out Stealing Horses

I finished Out Stealing Horses on Saturday morning, before meeting with my book club in the afternoon. I was relieved it was over.  I’d dragged 9 days to read such a short book and couldn’t believe it.  So, how come big books get the bad rap so much?

I was expecting something different than what I got.  Actually, the description on the back cover is slightly misleading.  In spite of that, it was good for me but not great. It’s the story of a 67 year old retiree who is living out in the countryside in an old run down house that he’s just bought and is renovating himself.  The story takes place in Norway and the glacially cold landscapes and dark silent nights develop into a story that is both surprising and very melancholy. I can’t say more than that. The little you know about the plot the better off your reading experience. Speaking of the reading experience, Petterson’s writing is simple and undeviating, from his descriptions of the landscape to Trond’s personal feelings. It is perfectly written from the first person, while interchanging with flashbacks.  However, I had a problem with the quiet, slow pace, and depressing tone of this book. There were several times when I started out reading and wound up falling asleep.  Yes there were some slow areas.

Having not read much Scandinavian literature, reading this one made we wonder about the way Scandinavian authors tell stories.  It seems to be very different from the anglo-saxon way.  It’s intriguing and seems to be very much like a puzzle and emotionally charged.  I’m interested in continuing on to read Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book 1 or Skomsvold’s The Faster I Walk.  If anybody has read either and wants to encourage me to read one or both of them, down below is where you need to tell me all about it.

As my book club discussed the book, we wondered how well it had been translated.  There were some parts that just seemed to have nothing special happen in them and we discussed in depth the utilization of the word “special” in one part of the book.  The book is only 264 pages but even so the plot thickens and makes you wonder because Petterson doesn’t give you all the details.  His writing resembles his protagonist’s personality.  He refuses to fill in the blanks.  We as readers have to do that.  This can either drive you mad, keep you confused, or titillate your imagination.  If anything this book will spark meaningful conversation and much speculation on the different characters – why they do what they do, the outcome of their actions, and oh all the what ifs….

Favorite passage:  “The face there is no different from the one I had expected to see at age sixty-seven.  In that way I am in time with myself.  Whether I like what I see is a different question.  But it is of no importance.  There are not many people I am going to show myself to, and I only have the one mirror. To tell the truth, I have nothing against the face in the mirror. I acknowledge it, I recognise myself. I cannot ask for more.” (Out Stealing Horses, p. 98-99)

I’m an affiliate for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated to click the link below if you’re interested in picking up any of my recommendations. It will help fund my incessant book buying.
http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=browngirlreading

2014 Reading Resolutions

Hello all! Firstly I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year full of loads of excellent reading and book connecting.  I’ve been reflecting quite a bit these days on my reading resolutions for this year, while reading of course.  I’ve decided to be practical and throw out some titles that I’d like to pick up this year.  Last year I wanted to read more varied and I think I attempted that but I wouldn’t say it was a total success, but not bad.  I also wanted to read more classics.  Well that was a bomb!  However, I did read more Afo Literature, which I will continue to do this year.  I did read some graphic novels and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.  Now enough of last year and on to what is happening and what you and I have to look forward to.  The following books have been on my shelves now since about the month of November.  The main reading goal of this year is to read as many of those big books that are hanging around on the shelves that I’ve been passing over.  The next big goal is to try to read quality.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t get in a little Walking Dead or something else light now and then.

These first 3 are called The Australian trilogy and it’s by Bryce Courtney.  Now I’ve read The Power of One and Tandia and enjoyed them immensely.  I saw these three on Goodreads and I thought they would help me fulfill the Australian reading challenge over on Booklover Book Reviews.  I’m aspiring to take part in and to succeed at the Wallaroo challenge.  If you guys have any titles to recommend, drop them in a few lines below.

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The next trilogy I’d like to attempt is MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood.  Now I’ve only had the pleasure of reading two of her books The Robber Bride and The Handmaid’s Tale and they both left me reflecting for some time there after.  They were excellent!  So, I figured since MaddAddam came out in September 2013, why not check out the entire series.  I hate nothing more than reading book one and then having to wait 2 years for the next bit to be published.  Having the entire trilogy in my possession is sparking my interest  even more.

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Now the next books are my prize winners/finalists for something.  I can’t help it but I just fall for those kinds of books.  Pulitzer, Man Booker, Nobel Prize in Literature, Women’s Prize,etc. you name it and I’m checking it out.  One of these is and oldie and hopefully a goodie and the other two were finalists for the Man Booker.  I’ve been dying to read them and I’m sure some of you already have.  I received these books in November for my birthday and couldn’t make the shift to get started on any of them. 2014 is the moment!

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The next two are epic novels that are being talked about and raved over all over the net, in newspapers, and literary magazines for a few months now.  They have been on my TBR since I heard they were being released at the end of last year.  I absolutely have to read these two books this year.  One is from the young new Booker prize winner and the other is from an astounding author whose last book was published in 2002 and whose first book was a hit that her fans can’t stop talking about, The Secret History.

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These last three novels were picked up toward the end of last year as well.  Curiosity is the best way to describe why I picked them up.  This will be my first time  trying these authors but I’ve heard so many good things about the first 2.  The last one I discovered while reading a Goodreads pitch about it.  I couldn’t resist.  They say curiosity killed the cat but I prefer to use Stephen King’s variation “Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back”.  That’s definitely going to be me in 2014.

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Well that’s all I have for reading goals in 2014.  I want to read loads of big books and most of all good books.  I’m participating in the 2014 Big Book Challenge where we read books over 400 pages.  I’ve challenged myself to 10 books this year.  Last year I challenged myself to 5 and I read 7 which was pretty good because I didn’t really read that many big books. I felt like I was subconsciously avoiding them.  This year a big book is going to be the go to book.  My Goodreads 2014 reading challenge is 55 books just like last year.  I succeeded in reading 58 books in 2013 and stayed at least 1 book ahead on my reading challenge the entire year.  I was pretty proud of myself for that.  I’m looking forward to bringing you more reviews and maybe even introducing you to some books you wouldn’t normally read.  I’ll be continuing Teacher Feature as I find more interesting teachers that you’ll enjoy reading about.  I also hope to do some more book spine poetry and some hauls.  There may be more surprises throughout the year as well so sit tight, keep reading, and commenting. 🙂