As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka

9781524713416As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Six of Crows—this international bestseller is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that chills to the bone, and not just because of the icy winter setting.

Lumikki Andersson has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. She knows all too well that trouble comes to those who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. But Lumikki’s rule is put to the test when she uncovers thousands of washed Euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom and three of her classmates with blood on their hands. Literally.

A web of lies and deception now has Lumikki on the run from those determined to get the money back—no matter the cost. At the center of the chaos: Polar Bear, the mythical drug lord who has managed to remain anonymous despite his lavish parties and notorious reputation. If Lumikki hopes to make it out alive, she’ll have to uncover the entire operation.

 

REVIEW:Simukka follows in the same line of storytelling as Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo by introducing the reader to brilliant characters that are a bit rough around the edges and slightly introverted. As Red as Blood introduces us to Lumikki, a girl minding her own business until she finds blood stained money hanging in a dark room. From here the main character is pulled into a whirlwind attempt to help a trio of students find the source of the money. Overall, this book was a bit uneven and boring at times. It took me a while to finish it as it wasn’t as engaging as I thought it would be. Readers, I’m sure were tantalized with allusions to Lumikki’s tragic backstory throughout the story, but in the end, the backstory is just dumped on readers in one big sodden lump. The ending, while perfectly logical given that we’re talking about four art students, three of them useless, squaring off against a well-equipped murderous gang, seems somewhat abrupt. It struck me, not as the best ending for this novel, but as a plot device calculated to set up the next two books in the series. Yet I must admit that it does so successfully.

****(Received this book from bloggingforbooks.com as an exchange for an honest review)****

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The Fifth Petal: Quick Review

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The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

(I want to thank Bloggingforbooks for allowing me to review this book.)

Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of THE LACE READER with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

 

*MY QUICK REVIEW*

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry is an intriguing mystery set in modern day Salem.  However, the city’s dark past features heavily in a story that is rife with references to the Salem witch trials, modern day witchcraft and psychic phenomena.  Although this newest release is the second installment in the The Lace Reader series, it can be read as a standalone. It’s important to point out that while this is a murder mystery, the author’s writing style has a strong literary element. The pace is slow, with a heavy focus on the mood and the emotional relationships between the characters. If you go into this book expecting a fast-paced mystery with a lot of suspense, you might be disappointed. This is an expansive, sweeping tale, encompassing many characters whose separate stories intertwine over the years. The present-day story unfolds over a two-year span, but also reaches back to the unsolved murders in 1989, which then links all the way back to 1692 and the 19 witches killed then. While complex, the plot is laid out well and I had no problem following along. The supernatural aspects are gradually woven in, blending modern-day witchcraft and healing with more otherworldly possibilities. We also have romance, mystery, and suspense, set against a backdrop of family drama. Something that I found to be very well done was the connections made to the hysteria and vengefulness surrounding the initial Salem Witch Trials and what the town of Salem was experiencing in this much more modern world. It was amazing to see just how fast the people of Salem became vicious and began not only pointing fingers at Rose – a woman who was homeless and defiant and, admittedly, a little weird – but attacking the Goddesses – the victims of a heinous attack – for being seductresses and possible witches just because they were promiscuous young women when they were alive. Adding on the reach and scope of Internet trolls and reporters blasting their unfounded opinions on this criminal case really drove home the fact that we, as a society, haven’t come that far from the superstitious and unaccepting beliefs of our ancestors. THE FIFTH PETAL is a book to be read carefully with each page. It is a story filled with interesting characters. There are secrets upon secrets that are craftily woven into the plot and, just when you think you might have figured out what is going on; you discover that you could not be more wrong. Those that have read Barry’s other books and liked them will enjoy this one; likewise those that are drawn to various aspects of modern spiritual healing and Wiccan practices will also be pleased. For myself, I would enjoy her work more if she didn’t try to jam such an extensive collection of minutiae into a single novel.

 

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

9781101934715Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places will love the New York Timesbestselling novel Girl in Pieces.

“A haunting, beautiful, and necessary book that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page.”Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

REVIEW: A Girl in Pieces is an intriguing and heart-rending book. Kathleen Glasgow highlights her own experience as a self-harmer to paint an authentic portrayal of trauma and healing. Characters were well rounded, and Glasgow makes it easy to empathize with Charlie’s decisions, even when it’s equally easy to see that they’ll turn out poorly. In addition to the topic of self-harm, Girl in Pieces paints an unflinching but empathetic portrayal of people dealing with loss and substance abuse, issues around what it means to be an enabler figure strongly into the story, too. Charlie is a relatable, interesting narrator who struggles to make a new life but doesn’t fall into annoying self-pity. The book is on the long side and would have benefited from more details about Charlie’s backstory with her mom and dad, but her journey will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the book. While most of the book is well-grounded, there are some aspects that stretch believability–Charlie finds a job at the second place she asks, and despite the drama built up around whether she’ll react to stress by cutting again, the temptation to do so never comes off as very difficult to resist. Nonetheless, A Girl in Pieces is a good book that I would recommend for people who have struggled with self-harm and homelessness.

***(received this book from bloggingforbooks.com as an exchange for an honest review)***

Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life

9780451498090Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser

The life—and lessons—of the Founding Father who mastered the arts of wit, war, and wealth, long before becoming the subject of Broadway’s Hamilton: An American Musical

Two centuries after his death, Alexander Hamilton is shining once more under the world’s spotlight—and we need him now more than ever.Hamilton was a self-starter. Scrappy. Orphaned as a child, he came to America with nothing but a code of honor and a hunger to work. He then went on to help win the Revolutionary War and ratify the Constitution, create the country’s financial system, charm New York’s most eligible ladies, and land his face on our $10 bill. The ultimate underdog, he combined a fearless, independent spirit with a much-needed dose of American optimism.Hamilton died before he could teach us the lessons he learned, but Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Lifeunlocks his core principles—intended for anyone interested in success, romance, money, or dueling. They include:

·         Speak with Authority Even If You Have None (Career)
·         Seduce with Your Strengths (Romance)
·         Find Time for the Quills and the Bills (Money)
·         Put the Father in Founding Father (Friends & Family)
·         Being Right Trumps Being Popular (Leadership)

For history buffs and pop-culture addicts alike, this mix of biography, humor, and advice offers a fresh take on a nearly forgotten Founding Father, and will spark a revolution in your own life.

Review:    American history isn’t one of my best subjects to read about. My love for history lies with the ancient world. But the hype surrounding Alexander Hamilton’s life and legacy intrigued not only myself but millions of people as well. Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life by Jeff Wilser presents the reader with the primary principles/guidelines that is intended to attract anyone who wants to be successful in life, love, economics and many other aspects.
This book is Funny, engaging, and full of interesting facts about a truly remarkable life. Not only will you learn about a man who changed the course of the United States several times during his life, you’ll also learn how to apply his way of thinking to your own life. This book is fun and substantive book to read not an easy balance to pull off, especially in a biography. He intertwines the biographical history of Hamilton’s life with the great quotes and details that show one of the founding father as a powerful figure not only in his career but the evolving foundation of the United States. Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life is a must read if you want to learn about his extraordinary life and advice.
****(received this book through Bloggingforbooks.com as an exchange for an honest review)****

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My Christmas List:So Far :)

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This is my Christmas List so far. These are the books that I have been keeping my eyes on and now that Christmas is on its way, what better time then now to make a list.

28819821Lost Gods: A Novel by Brom

A young man descends into Purgatory to save his wife and unborn child in this gorgeous, illustrated tale of wonder and terror from the mind of master storyteller and acclaimed artist Brom

Published October 25th 2016 by Harper Voyager

 

 

 

 

 

25953369.jpgHidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly 

Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program—and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now.

Expected publication: December 29th 2016 by HarperCollins World

 

 

 

 

21897920Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys 

You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.

Published November 8th 2016 by Delacorte Press
24033058Glitter (Glitter Duology #1) by Aprilynne Pike

Published October 25th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
23203252.jpgA Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica Cluess (Goodreads Author)
I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

Published September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR
28962906Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco 
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Published September 20th 2016 by Jimmy Patterson
24846331.jpgEver the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1)

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

Expected publication: December 27th 2016 by Harcourt Childrens Books
28954021Fate of Flames (Effigies #1) by Sarah Raughley 

Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.

Published November 22nd 2016 by Simon
Pulse
27396155.jpgTruthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard 

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home. 

 

Published January 14th 2016 by Tor
22489107

Fairest 3.5 by Marissa Meyer

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Stars Above 4.5 by Marissa Meyer

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

 

25164304Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst 

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Published November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray
10194157Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company
17869212.jpgPromise of Shadows byJustina Ireland

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself
Published March 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
30233110Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth 
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by HarperCollins
27883214.jpgCaraval by Stephanie Garber 
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books

Book BFF: Beyoncé Part 2

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This is a continuation of my Book BFF with Beyoncé and the books she and I would read if we were actually friends :). Its always fun to figure out what books celebrities would read, especially based on their music. This my second list of Books for Beyoncé. Feel free make any suggestions or even create your own list also pick up any of these books or borrow it from your local libraries. Enjoy :).

609311. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Published February 1st 2004 by Beacon Press (first published June 1st 1979)

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.
256679182. Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
Published September 22nd 2015 by Tor.com
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.
222953043. Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older
Published June 30th 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

770074. Like Water for Chocolate byLaura Esquivel

Published October 1992 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid

The number-one bestseller in Mexico in 1990, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with bittersweet moments of magic and sensuality. Evocative of How to Make an American Quilt in structure, Tampopo in its celebration of food, and Heartburn in its irony and wit, it is a lively and funny tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico.

The narrator’s great-aunt Tita is the youngest of three daughters born to Mama Elena, the tyrannical owner of De la Garza ranch. While still in her mother’s womb, she wept so violently–as her mother chopped onions–that she caused Mama Elena to begin early labor, and Tita slipped out in the middle of the kitchen table, amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon became a way of life, and Tita grew up to be a master chef. Each chapter of the novel begins with one of Tita’s recipes and her careful instructions for preparation.

In well-born Mexican families, tradition dictates that the youngest daughter not marry, but remain at home to care for her mother. Even though Tita has fallen in love, Mama Elena chooses not to make an exception, and instead, arranges for Tita’s older sister to marry Tita’s young man.

In order to punish Tita for her willfulness, Mama Elena forces her to bake the wedding cake. The bitter tears Tita weeps while stirring the batter provoke a remarkable reaction among the guests who eat the cake. It is then that it first becomes apparent that her culinary talents are unique.

208933145. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Published October 2nd 2014 by Riverhead Books
WINNER OF THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FOR FICTION From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

305554886. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Published August 2nd 2016 by Doubleday Books
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

283903697. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Published November 15th 2016 by Hamish Hamilton
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

18090010.jpg8. Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Published April 12th 2016 by Harper

Isolated on an island where two rivers meet, the Lazaretto quarantine hospital is the first stop for immigrants who wish to begin new lives in Philadelphia. The Lazaretto’s black live-in staff forge a strong social community, and when one of them receives permission to get married on the island the mood is one of celebration, particularly since the white staff—save the opium-addicted doctor—are given leave for the weekend. On the eve of the ceremony, a gunshot rings out across the river. A white man has fired at a boat carrying the couple’s friends and family to the island, and the captain is injured. His life lies in the hands of Sylvia, the Lazaretto’s head nurse, who is shocked to realize she knows the patient. Intertwined with the drama unfolding at the Lazaretto are the fates of orphan brothers. When one brother commits a crime to protect the other, he imperils both of their lives—and the consequences ultimately deliver both of them to the Lazaretto. In this masterful work of historical fiction, Diane McKinney-Whetstone seamlessly transports us to Philadelphia in the aftermath of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, beautifully evoking powerful stories of love, friendship and humanity amid the vibrant black community that flourished amid the troubled times.
113379. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Published September 6th 2005 by Plume (first published June 1st 1970)
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways.
What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Tony Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.
614910.Beloved (The Trilogy #1) by Toni Morrison

Published June 8th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1987)
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Belovedis a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.

Book BFF: Beyoncé Part 1

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Have you ever wondered what celebrities read? some post their bookish interest online but unlike most, Beyoncé’s Book Preferences remain a mystery to me at least. If celebrities were your best friends, which books would they read?

My celebrity book BFF for today is Beyoncé. It has always been curious to see what they would read if you knew them personally. I have chosen books that I have read in the past that I think if Beyonce were my bff would read as well or at least entertain the thought of reading these books.

113461. Sula by Toni Morrison

Published April 5th 2002 by Plume (first published 1973)

This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.

9590282. You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down: Short Stories  by Alice Walker

A natural evolution from the earlier, much-acclaimed collection In Love & Trouble, these fourteen provocative and often humorous stories show women oppressed but not defeated. These are hopeful stories about love, lust, fame, and cultural thievery, the delight of new lovers, and the rediscovery of old friends, affirmed even across self-imposed color lines.
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 17th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 1971)

586012  3.The Panther and the Lash by Langston Hughes

From the publication of his first book in 1926, Langston Hughes was America’s acknowledged poet of color, the first to commemorate the experience–and suffering–of African-Americans in a voice that no reader, black or white, could fail to hear.  In this, his last collection of verse, Hughes’s voice is more pointed than ever before, as he explicitly addresses the racial politics of the sixties in such pieces as “Prime,” “Motto,” “Dream Deferred,” “Frederick Douglas: 1817-1895,” “Still Here,” “Birmingham Sunday.” ” History,” “Slave,” “Warning,” and “Daybreak in Alabama.” Sometimes Ironic, sometimes bitter, always powerful, the poems in The Panther and the Lashare the last testament of a great American writer who grappled fearlessly and artfully with the most compelling issues of his time.
Paperback, 120 pages Published February 4th 1992 by Vintage (first published June 12th 1967)
132084. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women byMaya Angelou
Maya Angelou, the bestselling author of On the Pulse of Morning, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, and other lavishly praised works, is considered one of America’s finest poets. Here, four of her most highly acclaimed poems are assembled in a beautiful gift edition that provides a feast for the eyes as well as the heart. (Poetry)
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 17th 1995 by Random House
2039385.  Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells by Ida B. Wells-BarnettAda B. Wells,
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was one of the foremost crusaders against black oppression. This engaging memoir tells of her private life as mother of a growing family as well as her public activities as teacher, lecturer, and journalist in her fight against attitudes and laws oppressing blacks.

“No student of black history should overlook Crusade for Justice.”—William M. Tuttle, Jr., Journal of American History

“Besides being the story of an incredibly courageous and outspoken black woman in the face of innumerable odds, the book is a valuable contribution to the social history of the United States and to the literature of the women’s movement as well.”—Elizabeth Kolmer, American Quarterly
Paperback, 466 pages Published July 23rd 1991 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 1st 1970)

374156 Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
When Janie, at sixteen, is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before meeting the man of her dreams, who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds … Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fair-skinned, fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood through three marriages and a life marked by poverty, trials, and purpose.

Modern Classics (first published 1937)

Fighting for the Future

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https://www.gofundme.com/master-s-degree

Never forgive those who haven’t apologize and never forget the things that were meant to be said

We have someone in the Presidency that does not represent the core of humanity and the people around him are shadowing the real values that America should always stand for. One should never praise an over current of evil that has plagued America and that has never been cured. We live in a world where cruelty and evil has diminished the little good that was left by leaders that advocated for equal justice and the basic human rights that should be born with every human being. No one should accept racism and hate as there next-door neighbor or fear that the difference they represent should be prosecuted in public. Many of us don’t have the luxury of being part of the exception but we continue to reap in our inheritance of revolutionary vision for a better future for those who have yet to live in the real world. To be a child right now might seem like a blessing. Yet, they too have succumbed to the darkness that blinds the sun and cast doubt on the moon; where dreams aren’t full of rainbows and unicorns but fears that tomorrow will never be a better day. How can we look at each other, our kids and say this is what America accepted. This is what has been invited into our homes. Not my choice but by those who savagely seek to reprimand and kill the new America, where diversity is key to a better world. Sitting back, waiting and watching isn’t an option for many people. The leaders in Washington are downplaying the right to be fearful of the unknown, to question our place because our new president has shown that we do not belong here based on the color of our skin or the religion we choose to practice. We have to continue to educate ourselves, educate others and provide a necessary platform for those to do the same. We must protest, not only with our voices but also with action. Seek out leaders in your community that share the same values and future because our time is almost up and we must fight for the future of our kids. People who say that protesters are being babies for not getting their way. I don’t agree. It’s more than that. Half of America is protesting the Democratic Party. They are protesting hate and racism. That to me isn’t crying because you didn’t get your way, it’s making sure that this isn’t a new wave of politics. I rather protest for the next 4 years then allow myself to conform to ideals that should never be apart of anyone’s ideologies. I don’t care what anyone says, racism, hate, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia should never be apart of the fabric of America. I want to continue on the right path, the right side of history that was left behind by Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and many others that were, are and continue to be great leaders. I believe that education is the key to any success that you want to achieve. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Global History from John Jay College of criminal justice and I would like to go back and continue my education with a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration. I’ve never asked for help but it doesn’t hurt to try. I want to be a product of change and with that I asked you to help me do so. Any donation will help and I want to thank you all for listening.

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https://www.gofundme.com/master-s-degree

FrostBlood Arc Review

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Frostblood by Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga, #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on January 10, 2017

Rating: 4 ♥♥♥♥
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Elly Blake is a library assistant and the debut young adult author of a new series, The Frostblood Saga.FROSTBLOOD is her first novel, releasing in January 2017. The second novel in the saga, FIREBLOOD, is set to release in September 2017.

FROSTBLOOD is the story of Ruby, a Fireblood, who is trying to keep herself hidden in a kingdom ruled by Frostbloods who want her dead. Her powers are hard to control, leading to her capture by the king’s guards and her imprisonment. Ruby is eventually taken from prison by Frostblood monks who believe she will be very useful in defeating the tyrannical Frostblood king. Ruby must train, fight, love and persevere in this dangerous and complicated world.

“FROSTBLOOD is an enticing and fast-paced read…that it is fun and entertaining to read….Ruby’s point of view was enjoyable, and she was a flawed character with a temper, which I appreciated.”

FROSTBLOOD is an enticing and fast-paced read, but it reminds me a lot of other YA fantasy novels. The novel’s strongest attribute is the fact that it is fun and entertaining to read. The plot eventually broke away from the usual YA fantasy tropes, but it took a while to get to the point where the story introduced those unique concepts.

Ruby’s point of view was enjoyable, and she was a flawed character with a temper, which I appreciated. The love interest, Arcus, grew on me. I found him to be somewhat typical, yet still a compelling love interest. The two main characters complimented each other very well and balanced out the good and evil in the rest of the cast of characters and the world. I was captured by the side characters probably more so than the two main characters. All of the monks and nobles had their personal political motivations, and that made for an engaging read. I enjoyed reading about them, and that kept me wanting to finish the book.

I think that the plot could have used some more action and world-building towards the middle and the end. The first half was slow compared the second half, but I began to enjoy it more once the pace picked up. Not a lot happened plot-wise in the first half, and there was so much set up for the second half of the book and the sequels. The world-building successfully opened the door for a faster-paced second book. The ending made me interested in what Elly Blake will come up with next, and she did not leave the reader agonizing over those last pages. The sequel has great potential to be much better than the first book, and I am excited to see how these characters and this world evolve in the next book.

readers who are new to fantasy will find this novel a lot of fun to read. Even readers who are fans of YA fantasy will enjoy this enchanting story. I would recommend FROSTBLOOD to those who love novels with romance, magic, royalty and bloody warfare.