"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Chose to Stay by Salome Thomas-EL

Synopsis: Memoir of a teacher who after refusing to give up teaching in an inner city school, gains notoriety for the school, the city and himself through the bond built with his students.

Writing Style: First person genuine.
Pacing: Fast. (read in a day)

Personal Highlights: The young Mr. EL was fortunate to have teachers take an early interest in him to further his education; and beyond blessed to have a mother with the perspicacity to support him in ways not taken for granted. Irrespective of family dynamics, not all parents have the grit to see children who they love, work through the kinds of harassment Mr. EL experienced early on in college. More to the point, adversity creates the drive to perform at the highest levels, what many miss as a critical element of various successes; what appears in this memoir and what I cherished most about reading ‘I Chose to Stay.’

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

Synopsis: Powerful personal reflections of being a wife to a man regarded as large as the highest prophet, in addition to being a mother, a concert singer and an active peace advocate.

Writing Style: First person polite; genuine.
Pacing: Fast. (read in 2 days)

Personal Highlights: I had a strong inclination this memoir was going to be a powerful recording of history, and it was. There was more direct, genuine information contained in this tome than expected. I enjoyed reading between the lines, nothing designed to delude readers, but more so due to my personal habit of analyzing and absorbing details in fragments. It was innocuous things such as valuing ‘land ownership’, in juxtapose to the historical events of how land was initially acquired in America. Overall, I was immensely drawn to the eminent spirit working in this memoir.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

At Wit’s End by Erma Bombeck

Synopsis: A memoir of the pearls and perils of wifedom and motherhood.

Writing Style: First person satire.

Pacing: Moderately fast.

Personal Highlights: I know this is a relic memoir, first published 1965, yet the premise is still relevant. “I wonder why the good Lord gave the job of having children to women?” –WoW. & So there it is. Proof? Women blaming God, nature or men, or all, for this inherent station in life? Can this book be credited for how, where, when and why the women’s movement was birthed?

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

Synopsis: Novel of an HIV-positive woman finding a suitor among unexpected craziness.

Writing Style: First person modish.

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: Delightful, near brilliant opening; humorous and unpredictable right before the story gets predictable, and protracted. Questions that will keep readers reading; What’s Eddie’s secret? How will Eddie respond to Ava’s news? Will Joyce get to keep little Imani, a baby orphaned to her? And what’s the deal with the new pastor and First Lady who loaf into town like czars, albeit carrying all that baggage?

The romance part of the story was a favorite, certainly a satisfying novel I would recommend to anyone looking for a pliable tale to curl up with.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Around the Way Girl by Taraji P. Henson

Synopsis: Memoir of an Academy Award and Emmy-nominated actress.

Writing Style: First person, jargon laden.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: Flags flashed wild, top to bottom high and low all over the pages while reading this yet, humbling memoir.