ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Days 19 & 20

 

Day 19 – Celebrate Good Times

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate good times other than with friend, family, great food and drink. So this cookbook Jubilee: Recipes from two centuries of African American Cooking by Toni TiptonMartin came immediately to mind. I have a thing for cookbooks. I can read them like novels. Cooking I feel is a great way to get to know someone, understand how they function on many different levels. However this post is about celebration and Jubilee is the cookbook to bring some serious flavor to the festivities. A few of the recipes I’m interested in trying out on my friends and family are the orange biscuits for a nice brunch, the braised lamb shanks with peanut sauce for Sunday lunch, and the moist rich Devil’s Food Cake for afternoon tea. Of course there are many more interesting recipes as well as some historical information through recounting all about the tradition and background of the different recipes. She even cites other cookbooks she used to do research to choose these recipes for the book. I highly recommend it. The video below Tipton-Martin discusses her first hit cookbook called The Jemima Code: two centuries of African American Cookbooks.

 

https://youtu.be/W6ZSryGTjyE

 

 

Day 20 – Published in September

I thought I was going to have to comb my shelves for ages to find a book published in September, but actually I remembered that both Bluebird, Bluebird and Heaven, My Home were both published in September. Even though I decided to look to see how long it would take me to find another book published in September and sure enough four books later I was holding Dear Haiti, Love Alaine in my hands. I received this book from a book buddy, Forsaken707, Kesha as a birthday gift. haven’t picked it up yet but can’t wait since I’ve noticed its format is epistolary, notes, emails and text. Love when authors use letters to write stories. The special thing about this book is that it’s written by two sisters who are Haitian-American. So I suspect it will contain themes about integration, immigration, Haitian culture, and race. Once I read it I’ll surely be back to let you know what I think about it. Check the video below where the authors talk about what their goals were in writing Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.

 

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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)

 

 

 

 

#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 26 Book and Music

Here’s another book that is on my 2018 TBR by an African-American writer called Jedah Mayberry.  It’s a coming of age story. “It’s a lushly told reflection on a young man’s passage into manhood.” (back of The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle)  Check out the video below with an interview with Jedah Mayberry talking about the inspiration he had for this book.

 

The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle – Jedah Mayberry, paperback, 315 pages (River Grove Books)

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#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 11 A Debut Novel (Post 2015)

I haven’t read many debut novels by African-American authors in the past few years, but The Hate U Give was published in 2017 and surprisingly enough had me gripped. As you know, I don’t usually read YA novels but I loved everything about what I was hearing from this book on audio. The Hate U Give is a wonderful book for young people and adults.  Angie Thomas depicts the difficulty of police brutality and the meaning behind #blacklivesmatter for everyone to understand.  If you haven’t read it, definitely check it out or listen to this well-read audiobook.  Check out the video below where Angie Thomas is candid and intelligent about The Hate U Give, diverse books, black children reading, being a debut author, and so much more.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas, audiobook, 11 hours, 40 minutes

hardcover, 464 pages (Balzer + Bray)

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, reading, and reviewing.
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