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review 2018-01-02 20:30
Surprised this got so much love.
Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race (Explod... Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race (Exploded Views) - Naben Ruthnum

I was curious to read this book about curry. It's place in certain cultures/societies/countries, etc. It's associations, the history and what it represents (if it represents anything at all).

 

Instead I got a book of essays that was horribly uneven. It started off well with an anecdote about how his grandmother died while he was visiting and the disconnect he felt since he had only met her once before as a toddler and as a young child had no emotional connection to her. But that is not the story he wants to write and that's not what this book is about.

 

There are aspects of that introduction that are woven throughout the book but otherwise I found the writing quite ramble-y, jumping from topic to topic and just couldn't hold my attention. Essay collections are always tough but despite my interest in the subject I just wasn't sure what the author was trying to say.

 

There are interesting bits of information, recipes (not many), the discussions of how those recipes aren't necessarily "codified", how it fits (or not) in terms of cultural identity, etc. But it's also interspersed with seemingly random topics like the author writing under a pseudonym (including why he chose the name and the consequences). While I could understand where he was going (I think) the writing never really took me there or helped me understand where he wanted to go or what he was trying to explore.

 

Maybe it was me. I don't like essay collections and I'm still somewhat still in another book world after reading a humongous fantasy trilogy (or maybe hexalogy since it was really six books). I had been looking for something very different from that but maybe this wasn't the best choice. Look for it at the library or buy cheap if you're really interested, but I think there are other books that are better.

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review 2017-12-07 18:37
Review of A Race is a Nice Thing to Have by Janet Helms
A Race Is a Nice Thing to Have: A Guide to Being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life - Janet E. Helms

This was a book that looked at how White People view themselves in society and how that can often lead to a natural racism.  It is an academic text and to be honest, it was not easy to get through even though it was short.  There were many important points in here, but I feel like I have read them all in many other places.

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review 2017-11-29 14:55
My Black Body
Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates beautifully describes what it is like to be black in America. To have the world treat and see you as different because of the color of your skin. 

 

This is a collection of essays that Coates wrote to his son about his experiences growing up black in America and his thoughts of a lot of the police violence that surrounds being a black teen in America. And he describes how scared many black parents are when raising their children and doing what they can to ensure that they "get" how things are in this world. He segues back and forth into many pivotal points during the U.S.'s history (Civil War, Civil Rights, 9/11). 

 

This will make you uncomfortable. This will make you think. This will make you realize that in a hundred thousand different ways in America we do our best to tell everyone the American dream is for you, but than we hard pause and say it's not for you (if you are black, if you are Muslim, if you are Asian, if you are Hispanic) if you don't fit what the America true ideal is which is to be white and Christian.

 

“Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered.”

 

“The destroyers will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.”

 

“You may have heard the talk of diversity, sensitivity training, and body cameras. These are all fine and applicable, but they understate the task and allow the citizens of this country to pretend that there is real distance between their own attitudes and those of the ones appointed to protect them. The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are the product of democratic will. And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.”

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review 2017-11-15 04:17
I Wore My Blackest Hair by Carlina Duan
I Wore My Blackest Hair - Carlina Duan

I honestly don't really understand a lot of poetry and I was hoping this book would be different, because I really do like poetry and want to "get it" better, if that makes sense.

There was pain and beauty in some of the poems, but could not get the meaning behind most of them. Maybe I'm not meant to? Poetry is very personal to the writer. If I related more to Carlina's life, would I understand them better? The writing style was different from how I see a lot of poems, very interesting, but might have been one of the factors in making it hard for me to understand.

Despite not getting most of the poems, I still really enjoyed reading this book. I like that it challenged my brain and made me think.

**Disclaimer, I won an ebook copy through a Goodreads giveaway.**

 

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text 2017-10-30 00:59
Exciting November New Releases TBR
Mustard Seed - Laila Ibrahim
The Austen Escape - Katherine Reay
Out of the Ordinary (Apart From the Crowd) - Jen Turano
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Perennials - Julie Cantrell
Secrets of Cavendon: A Novel (Cavendon Hall) - Barbara Taylor Bradford
Moonlight Over Manhattan - Sarah Morgan
A Hope Divided (The Loyal League) - Alyssa Cole
Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto - Bryan W. Van Norden,Jay L. Garfield
The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wan

I'm super excited for these reads. It's a good variety. I have very high expectations for A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole. I will need to read the first book (I do have it) An Extraordinary Union. I read The Diamond Empire last month and loved it! I gave it 4 stars. K'wan knows how to draw you in and keep you there. Moonlight Over Manhattan will be my first read by Sarah Morgan. So many readers love her books. Since I'm familiar with the works of authors Jen Turano and Katherine Reay I know these will be awesome. Over the years I've seen the works of Barbara Taylor Bradford in bookstores and have been curious about her writing. Finally, I can see why she's so beloved. The big book of the month is Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race. This book has been read widely and is being promoted everywhere. Overly hyped books scare me and I usually try to keep them for some time to not be influenced by frenzy.

 

 

November 1

 

Beyond Freedom: Disrupting the History of Emancipation by David W. Blight

 

A Tangled Web: Mata Hari: Dancer, Courtesan, Spy by Mary W. Craig

 

 

November 7

 

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

 

Mustard Seed by Laila Ibrahim

 

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

 

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

 

Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto by Bryan W. Van Norden

 

 

November14

 

Perrinials by Julie Cantrell

 

 

November 21

 

Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford

 

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

 

 

November 28

 

Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sara Morgan

 

A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole

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