"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."

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Kong Boys by Gerald Yeung

Synopsis: A travel diary of several friends, native of Hong-Kong, touring eleven European cities for their 30th birthday.

Writing Style: First-person satirical.

Pacing: Hyper-Fast.

Personal Highlights: What was most interesting was how the story was narrated… as if there was a tug-o-war over too much fun and not the right kind of fun. Lots of pressure here, though Gerald tackles the challenge like Jet Li or Jackie Chan. Masterfully! A martial arts of writing! Right off the bat, what I’m expressing here are the finer tenants of upscale, upbeat, top-shelf entertainment.

My favorite spots were the conversations and Cantonese inserts…mixing past with present as the Kong boys easygoing exploits traverses from city to city. Between the dining experiences, and that’s anywhere from microwaves in 7-Elevens to Michelin-starred restaurants, along with the lodging accommodations and owners that came with, there was a lot going on… and not ‘all’ laid out cookie-cutter style, but very well imagined. Some of the best laughs came from reading Justin’s Bouillabaisse recipe, the Neon Paint party, and Gerald’s mom on soccer---a hoot! Haha. Gerald tickled me too, with his fixation on time…and wasted running water! One story however, I really anticipated. The Bull Run! Wasn’t disappointed there either. I agree with Gerald on that one, particularly bull fighting. 

Overall, this was quite the ‘chillaxing a ‘la parascience’ experience. If you love soccer, like food, enjoy traveling, and crave high-end entertainment, this book certainly is for you! Highly recommended!

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Synopsis: The personal story of a Somalian humanitarian advocate.

Writing Style: Passionate. Clear. To the Point. Organized.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: First of all, I opened the book and was unable to put it down. The storytelling is exceptionally engaging, and deeply fierce. Although I’m constantly learning, and enshrine procuring new bits of information, it’s not often to come by revelations ‘as positioned’ in these type memoirs. 

Too many details to count kept the pages turning...nicely; from the customs…Somalia children being taught to memorize their lineage…often dating back 800 years…to the geographies covered. Ayaan’s family moved from Mogadishu, Somalia to Saudi Arabia, to Ethiopia, to Kenya/Nairobi. By the time she was 10 she lived through three different political systems, where and how she picks up the fluent ability to articulate a kaleidoscope of customs and cultures…and religions. It’s also what led to her humanity crusade, from a respectable political position after seeking asylum in the Netherlands. 

Overall, Ayaan’s life story is hard…and touching, and without doubt both informative and memorable. Not one page is wasted. Women who deeply care about women’s issues will want to read this book. People who care about the quality of human life on earth, as well will get a lot out of reading this memoir. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

More Myself by Alicia Keys

The personal reflections of a celebrity musician.

Writing Style: Commercially passionate.

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: What drew me to want to read this memoir was #NoMakeUp. Not that I was hoping to read a tell-all unmasking, I did look forward to learning Alicia Keys’ perspectives on making music, from the ground, up. It took a minute, getting through the opening, but delivered as the pages turned.

The narration is positive, classy, and the energy wrapped around this memoir is to be treasured for sure. Sensitive and somewhat reserved, what wholly won me over was Alicia's business focus and passion for her work. She IS the whole package! She plays, composes and sings! I as well adored the relationship she shared with her paternal grandparents. Was glad she came to an understanding with her father. Really liked hubby Swizz. Had to laugh though, about his view when it came to that alternative marriage suggestion…like I laughed about Alicia initially throwing shade with that… ‘nah, I’m good…see you when I see you.’ Haha.  The entire romance read beautiful…to include the expose on ‘Blended Family.’ I also respected Alicia admitting to not knowing all the nuances of politics, but wanting to use her voice and platform to inspire change for the better of mankind… i.e., #NoMakeUp and what first drew me to this memoir. Personally, her music alone, especially FALLEN’, and the raw passion she puts into her work, moves me… and not just my feet!

Overall, this was a great reading experience! Highly recommended.