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Everything posted by Crystal

  1. I liked The Street too but I liked her book The Narrows even better. It would make a great movie. Check it out if you get the chance. Crystal
  2. Hey Lili - I've read some of the books on your list since you posted it: 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter – a fun coming of age story. I enjoyed the characterization of the heroine and Nicky and Mama Jane were favorites. Murder on the Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young [buying Time was on the list but I got this one instead]. This is a sista-girl book with the downlowbrother twist. I haven’t read this type of book in quite a while and liked it well enough. Small Island by Andrea Levy. Jamaicans trying to make it work in England after WW2. Same crap different country. Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich – just about the most depressing book I’ve read in a long time. I had to finish it just to see who would survive. Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende – love an historical novel. Slave stories, not so much. Thanks again! Crystal
  3. I’m reading some old 1930’s books by Jessie Fauset. I finished The Chinaberry Tree – loved it. I’m reading Comedy American Style right now. Wow, I haven’t come across a bitch like this woman since King Tremaine’s low-down-dirty-wife! This story is a perfect example of ‘sticks and stones may break your bones but words can ruin your life’ and your husband’s life, your children’s life, etc. Check these stories out if you get a chance. Black Mamba Boy – Nadifa Mohamed – set in 1935 Yemen and follows a young orphan boy through WW2. Another historical novel from the perspective of a young black boy living/traveling in the middle east. Tempted by Trouble – Eric Jerome Dickey. About bank robbers. Yes, I actually finished it. Not because it was good but I just wanted to see how he would end it. Still not a fan. The writing seems to have been dumbed down. The woman I borrowed it from hated it and didn't finish it. Secret Daughter – Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Adoption Indian style. Crystal
  4. From the comments it seems it’s because she backed Obama. The level of hatred for him is outrageous. If it’s not racism what is it? He hasn’t been on the national political scene long enough for all these folks to have formed an opinion and he hasn’t been in office long enough to piss folks off for his actions [cough BUSH cough]. Anytime anyone spoke against Bush they were told to go live somewhere else if they didn’t like the President. How will these folks react to being told the same thing today? Another Sigh. Crystal
  5. Sounds like there’s some good reading going on! I’ve taken an eastern detour in my winter wonderland reading. I’m reading Out by Natuo Kirino. Set in current Japan in a seedy part of Tokyo involving 4 women working the night shift in a food factory. It’s a ridiculous murder mystery where the mystery isn’t whodunit but will they get away with it. Several fun twists. Seems I’ve gone back to my habit [i won’t say bad habit because it works for me ] of reading the ending to see who’s left so I know at least one of them got away but it’ll be interesting to see who doesn’t and what happens to the others. I’m out of touch with the literature they are teaching in schools now but I think if students could read stories from all over the world they’d recognize how much the same we all are. No good abusive husbands/skanky wives/long suffering wives/nosey neighbors/ungrateful children/crooks/sicko’s: all the same. Bigotry is the same too. Apparently after the war a lot of Japanese folks left Japan looking for work and ended up all over South America. Guess how their mixed offspring are treated when they go back to the ‘motherland’? Sigh. Thumper, I finished Gatsby. Not a fan. Everybody got on my nerves and I was glad when it ended. Crystal
  6. No, no Troy, wait a minute. I'll respond. As I've said before [many times] I don't understand most poetry. Most of the time I'm like "why don't they just come out and say what they're trying to say" and I've been told "they are!" so I get that it's me. I just don't 'get' most poetry. Maybe I don't have enough of an imagination. But I went to your link and I 'got' the poetry in the post. Unfortunately The Cancer Chronicles was very familiar. Thanks for the post. I think I'll check this book out. Crystal
  7. Happy Birthday Cynique! 9lbs huh? You was a big'un. My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on August 20th. We are having a big party on Saturday. Congratulations to you all for surviving this mess called Life! Crystal
  8. Sorry Thumper - Gatsby was putting me to sleep. Had to put him down and picked up Lawd Today! by Richard Wright. I'm liking that better.
  9. This goes back to a couple of other posts we’ve had here. One of the problems we have in getting the general public to read is that the teachers who are on the front line of exposure are not even reading “good” contemporary books. It's not just us folks. From the comments: It never ceases to amaze me that the schools still rely upon Catcher r in The Rye, The Great Gatsby, etc. in the literature classes. You mean to tell me that since the publication of those books there haven't been any seminal books about life and human nature that can be used in the schools? A response: As an English teacher, I'll let you in on the reasoning for the reliance on these books. Many English teachers are older women who have been teaching this for thirty or forty years. They have all their lesson plans done for these books and then many of them NEVER read new literature. Don't get me wrong, the books you referenced are fantastic books, but there are some new books that students might find engaging(Perks of Being a Wallflower, 100 Years of Solitude, Confederacy of Dunces) or even older books that students wouldn't be familiar with(A lot of newly translated Russian writers). But the problem is that teachers simply aren't reading either anymore or if they are, they are reading hacks like Nicholas Sparks or The Da Vinci Code. Crystal
  10. I’m going old school this summer. I’m reading All-Night Visitors by Clarence Major. Somebody should have warned me! I have to be careful who’s sitting behind me when I’m reading this on the bus. Wouldn’t want anybody to think I’m a dirty ole woman. This fool spent 8 pages describing one particular act. 8 pages! I also read Sarah Phillips by Andrea Lee. Both of these books are in my time zone so I could relate. More to Sarah than Eli. Hey Thumper – I’m thinking of giving your boy F. Scott Fitzgerald a play during my winter wonderland reading. Crystal
  11. I tend to think he wasn’t personally involved. He shouldn’t have been. He’s not the President of Race Relations he’s the President of the United [cough] States of America and last time I looked the country has a few problems that need his immediate attention. His problem is that he can’t trust the folks that are supposed to have his back aka the “Administration”. How can he run the country when he has to keep putting out fires started by his employees? Where’s his Chaney? The more important question to me is WHY was the NAACP so quick to toss her. They know this woman. They thought enough of her to invite her to speak at their conference. Yet they jump on her at the first wink and nod from the white folks. The racist a-holes barely had time to lift their fingers off the keyboard with this crap before those butt kissing Negroes were on their knees smacking their lips and yessirbossing. After all this time and all the backstabbing we’ve endured WHY would they be so quick to believe what the white man says? Especially against one of their own? WHY? Crystal
  12. I'm reading Allende's Zorro now. The story of Zorro's childhood, young adulthood and how he got to be who he was. Very entertaining historical novel. Again, the cruelty of the Inquisition! Crystal
  13. Standing at the Scratch Line is one of my all time favorites. Ann Petry is a favorite too. Enjoy! Crystal
  14. I can see that Linda. Who'd be Twill? Tiger's wife could be Katrina. Crystal
  15. Yeah, he’s got me hooked too Thumper. Known to Evil got my attention much more than The Long Fall did. I need to re-read that one to see what I missed. Maybe I should slow down. I still find Mosley just fun to read. These stories do remind me of Easy just a lot darker, meaner, harder. In the Easy stories I felt like I knew or knew of or would like to know someone who was like some of the characters. In the McGill stories I don’t want to know most of those folks. Take the Mouse/Hush thing. I could hang with Mouse a bit but would seriously try to avoid Hush. And in the Easy stories he referenced the bad things that went on but in the McGill stories he TELLS you what those bad things are. Sometime in more detail than I wanted to know. And yeah, he’s still got that woman thing going on. Katrina? My son was all “hell naw” early on in the story. In that last Easy story I was saying to someone [or was it on this board?] that it seemed different. Easy seemed harder. Maybe Mosley was preparing us for McGill. Welcome to the 21st Century. Makes me kind of sad but, whatever. I’m in. Crystal
  16. Hey bookfan. I finished this book. A slavery story set in Haiti with a peek at our boi Toussaint Louverture and then in New Orleans. I enjoyed it. I found it to be a page-turner and just had to find out what would happen. Like most slave stories it’s not easy to read [the cruelty is mind boggling – how did they think these horrors up?] but the historical elements were interesting. She even channeled a couple of Jane Eyre story lines. The characterization was a little lite. Like she was telling us about some of them instead of letting us know them through their dialog and actions. But overall I’d recommend it. Crystal
  17. Brilliant? Really? Maybe I need to read it again. It's been over a year and I think I was still mourning Easy and just wasn't having it. I mean it was ok and all but . . . Change is Good. Change is Good. Change is Good damnit. Crystal
  18. Thanks Cynique! I read a couple of Ms. Bland's books quite a while back. I need to add more of her books to my list. You should give her a look-see. I'm sorry to hear of her passing at such a 'young' age. Re: the John Edward Bruce book - I forgot to mention that the introduction [i forgot who wrote it] was interesting in itself. Bruce was a contemporary of Booker Washington but not a fan. He thought that an institution like Tuskegee was one of the reasons the poor white class developed such a hatred of black folks instead of just the disregard they had during slavery. Washington was teaching us to take over those people's jobs! The nerve of those uppity Negroes! Lots of tidbits in the intro for historical/literary fans. Just in the library and picked up Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende [i think it was mentioned earlier in this post] and Mosley's Known to Evil. Alas, it ain't Easy. Crystal
  19. I was reading The Black Sleuth by John Edward Bruce labeled as “one of the earliest African American fictional works to depict a black detective.” It was published in serial form between 1907 and 1909 in McGirt’s Magazine. Unfortunately, just when I was really getting into the mystery – the book ended. Unfinished. Apparently the book was put together from microfilm of the McGirt’s Magazine but the magazine ceased publication before the end of the story. Anyway, one of the things I found interesting in the book was imagining 1907 white folks’ reaction to some of the things Bruce writes such as: “We Africans, I must here add, associate the white man with the prince of evil and all that is wicked and bad.” and “It is no compliment to the Negro to tell him that he is as good as a white man, for that presupposes that the white man is a superior being which is not true.” What’s even more sadly interesting is these sayings are still true today. 100 years later. Sigh. Oh well. Doing a little research on the McGirt’s Magazine I came across The Magazine Novels of Pauline Hopkins, writer of another early AA detective story, Hagar’s Daughter. I’ve tracked it down at the library and will pick it up [all 600+ pages] shortly. This made my day! I get on the bus and a little girl of about 6 or 7 is sitting there reading a little book. I pulled out my book and said to her “I’m reading too” and she and her mother both gave me a smile. I saw her again the next day reading a different book and when I pulled out my different book I said “wow, we’re pretty fast readers”. She got the biggest grin on her face. Made my day! It’s the little things people . . . Crystal
  20. Well, you already know how I feel about poetry. But in your honor CH I do read the poems on the Poetry In Motion banners they always have on the bus. I don't 'get' most of them either . . .
  21. I’m reading The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu – about an Ethiopian immigrant trying to make it in D.C. I like the writing but I don't seem to be able to reconcile the inner voice with the spoken words and actions. They don’t seem to belong to the same person but I’m not quite half way through so hopefully it’ll come together for me.
  22. Ok Carey but be careful. I don’t want you to become addicted and have to go through PAWS!
  23. Not a white person and not without asking but I've had 2 Hispanic men at different times ask if they could touch my hair. I could tell they were just interested and not trying to be funny or anything so I said ok. They both smiled and said it was soft. Guess they were expecting a brillo pad or something.
  24. Oh No! Now Dad and Big Sis LiLi are going at it. Will someone adopt me? I can't stay here - it's getting dangerous.
  25. That looks like a good one Xeon. I felt in need of a little retail thereapy so I just ordered [through this site of course ] : The Ancestors - Brandon Massey, Tananarive Due, L.A Banks; The Blue Orchard - Jackson Taylor and I Do Not Come To You By Chance - Adaobi Nwaubani.
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