#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 25 – Most Read Author

img_2550Day 25Most Read Author  Toni Morrison, the Queen, is my most read author.  I’ve read everything except Paradise, Love, and God Help the Child.  I’ll need to get on to reading these three really soon since I’v heard through the grapevine that she’s working on a new book titled Justice.  Sounds intriguing….

 

 

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#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 12

Day 12 – Most Expensive Book:

I’m back again today with another Toni Morrison.  Beloved and Song of Solomon are my most expensive
books.  They are both from the Everyman’s Library collection.  Beautifully made and they look great on myIMG_1411 shelves.  Now the thing that really stumped me is this.  When I first looked into getting these editions I was so thrilled and was plotting where I’d display them on my shelves.  Unfortunately, when I finally went to order them I realized that Everyman’s Library only had Beloved and Song of Solomon. I couldn’t believe it. I was so disappointed and spent the rest of the time trying to figure how they could justify only have 2 of Toni Morrison’s books in their collection.  Two years later and I till can’t figure it out.  But, don’t you just love the great picture of Morrison on the cover?  What expressive eyes!   What’s your most expensive book?

#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 11

Day 11 – Favorite Toni Morrison:

Today’s photo is from one of my favorite authors.  I adore this edition because I love the photo of Toni IMG_1405Morrison rocking her afro on the back. Regal!  I’ve had the pleasure of reading almost all of her work except Paradise and Love.  I hope to get to them both before her new novel is released in March, I believe.  The Bluest Eye is Morrison’s first novel and it so happens it is the first Morrison I read.  I read it for a Black Women Writers class in my third year of studying English Literature.  It opened my eyes to a whole different way of writing and telling a story.  I can still remember how blown away by it I was.  The writing style, the character the development, the story’s structure, etc.  All of that perfection rolled up into a mere 164 pages.  If you haven’t read it yet you really need to make the effort to read it before the end of the year.  It’s poignant, will break your heart, but mostly make you think profoundly.  What’s your favorite Morrison?

Festival America

The Festival America has taken place in Vincennes, France for ten years.  It premiered the day after the  tragic terrorist attack of  September 11.  It’s intention is to hear the views of authors from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti on the world’s current economic, social, and political strife, as well as in their own countries.  This year’s honorary guest is Toni Morrison. The Festival is taking place from the September 20-23 in various venues in the area of Vincennes.  You will be able to buy books, meet authors, attend debates, lectures, and films, and enjoy exhibitions.  A plethora of authors have been invited for book signing throughout  the festival – Russell Banks, Nick Flynn, Samuel Archibald, Ron Hansen, etc.  So if any of you are near the Paris area go check it out!  Below there’s a clip of African-American author Jake Lamar talking about the Festival America and his works.

xtc35m_america-2012-bande-annonce_creation

Festival AMERICA_Grille_horaire 2012

16. Home

In a way, home can be considered the beginning of us all.  For some it evokes nostalgia, comfort, warmth, love-a place one can’t wait to get back to.  For others it’s a place we’d like to forget completely or partly, and some wander aimlessly for a good amount of their lives trying to find one.   Home is our reference point.  The place which has made us in some respect who we are today.  Home is the story of Frank Money and his journey to his home after serving in the Korean War, which took place between 1950 and 1953.  Frank is a self-loathing African-American man who is searching for peace among all the horrors he went through during the Korean War, but that he can’t seem to shake.  He tries to subdue them with alcohol but that just disorients him. and gets him into trouble.  This novel is engaging, but very melancholy.  At some points, I got the impression that he felt he didn’t deserve to survive the war.  It’s very difficult to talk about this book without including spoilers but I’ll try.

The second main character in Home is Frank’s sister, Cee.  Cee is the reason that Frank finally goes home.  Growing up, Frank and Cee were very close to each other.  He protected his sister as if he were a parent.  Until then, we follow Frank through the ups and downs of being an African-American veteran in racist America.  Jim Crow Laws (1876-1965) are being enforced, separating blacks from whites, and preventing any type of equality.  The Korean War was the first time that whites and blacks actually fought in combat side-by-side in war.  Preceding this war, the military was segregated, although President Truman had signed the Executive Order 9981 in July of 1948.  It established equal treatment and opportunity in the Armed Forces without regard to race.  More than 600,000 African-Americans served in the Korean War and no one can begin to imagine the horrors they must have had to face in the US after what they had already been through in Korea.  What’s even more incomprehensible is that Korea integrated the armed forces.

Home is Toni Morrison’s latest and tenth book.  Morrison is 81 this year and still an extraordinary writer.  I hope she’ll continue to write these informative and important stories that we don’t have the possibility to read so often.  Before long,  I’ll be able to say I’ve read them all.  I still have Love and Paradise left to complete reading all of her genius works.  Home is a real gem!  Morrison does what she knows how to do best, which are descriptions and massively detail packed sentences giving you the character analysis,  scenery and time, but most of all feelings.  She really knows how to get to the crux of the subject and the emotion, which she explores thoroughly.  It’s like watching a movie and you’re afraid to blink because you’re afraid of missing something.  I hated putting it down because I just wanted to know more about what happens to the characters in the future.  I haven’t read anything before as a fiction novel on this subject, but Home reads quickly.  The proof, I read it in 2 days.  I probably could have read it quicker if I didn’t have so many classes to teach.  Approaching the end of the novel, I wanted to know more about the future of the characters.  It’s a lovely little 145 page book that I suggest all Morrison fans and newbies to Morrison should read.  I rate it 5 stars out of 5!  Happy reading……

http://www.nj.gov/military/korea/factsheets/afroamer.html

8. A Mercy

Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors – The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Paradise, Song of Solomon, etc.  I discovered her and her incredible novels in my second year of university, as an English lit major and have never stopped reading her since.  I always look forward to anything new she writes.  She is a writer, editor, and professor and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for the novel Beloved – a must read and for me a must reread.  However, she really became famous when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in literature in 1993, “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”. Having read most of her books, Love and A Mercy were the last two left  on my list.  It’s almost done! I finally got around to reading A Mercy.  It was interesting to read about slavery in this way.  Morrison attempted to write about slavery at its beginnings before it became organized and regulated.  She brings together Florens a slave, Lina a Native American labourer, Jacob Vaark, and Rebekkah, Jacob Vaark’s wife, who was sent from the Old World.  These three women are slaves in their own ways and bound by their situations.  Their relationships which begins as unified and solid almost like a “family” slowly but surely deteriorates and becomes rash, desperate, and unkind.  The place is the New World in the 17th century at the beginning where everything is wild and up for grabs by all different nationalities.  The story is told in first and third person and is not easy to understand but by the third chapter things become clearer.

I think Morrison was trying to show that slavery wasn’t always connected to the hatred of the black man and that many people had slave-like status in the New World in which men and women were trying to survive.  I must admit I enjoyed the second half of this book a lot more than the first half.  I felt disconnected from the characters and I missed the in-depth characterization that Morrison usually does.  Maybe this was done on purpose to accentuate these very different people coming together.  In my opinion, I think this book was too short.  I did enjoy reading the connections between the  characters and the way the connections were made(skillfully done), although it’s not a joyful read.  Once I started to get into the book it seemed to fly by and I was looking for more and then “pouf” it was over.  It’s about 160 pages and beautifully written, as always.  Nevertheless, I wouldn’t suggest this title to someone who has never read Morrison.  I would say start with The Bluest Eye or Sula and then work your way through Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Paradise, and of course the crème de la crème BelovedBeloved is not an easy read but it’s all worth it in the end.  It’s one of my favorites and I need to reread it.  I say check out A Mercy if you’re a Morrison fan.  I give it three and a half stars.  I don’t hate it but it’s not in my top favorites of Morrison.  I’ll have to hurry to read Love, since I read somewhere that she has a new novel coming out in May called Home.  It looks intriguing.