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review 2017-06-15 20:38
Black White Jewish
Black White & Jewish - Rebecca Walker

Never before has a book so completely spoken to my heart. I originally found this last year when I was looking around for around for women's memoirs to be put into my Diverse Books Tag focused on that genre (a book with a biracial protagonist). I recommended it to my library but got quickly absorbed in a number of other books while I waited for it to be available or for the right time to pop up. At last, my library purchased it and I was the first one to get it when it came out.

I have to say that waiting for the right time worked out fantastically. Some books just seem to know when you need them. As I said, this one just spoke right to my heart. That's not to suggest that I "know" what it was like for Rebecca Walker to navigate her life or what it's like to be black and white and Jewish all at the same time. What I do know is that I am quite familiar with that sense of not quite belonging to anyone, but maybe belonging enough to be claimed here and there for this or that trait. I have drifted from one home to another within my family or neighborhood or group of friends and felt that change that Walker describes as "switching radio stations". I've felt the sting of being in one group while people denigrate the other part of you, the part that they don't claim, while they insist that it's not you but you know that it is, even if only in part. I've felt it on both sides of me.

We've lived vastly different lives in different times within this country and I couldn't possibly relate to all of Walker's experiences, but I had never known anyone to describe this being and not being so well, so beautifully. The idea of being a "movement baby" sounds terrifying, like for too much to live up to. Later, I found it far easier to relate to what happened when the ideas of the movement were gone and she was treated like her existence was half-oppressor and half-oppressed, when people asked her navigate those waters and explain what it felt like. I was never able to explain what it was like to be fragmented this way and now I have someone to turn to for that.

I loved Walker's style of writing and relating everything back to memory and the way that memory shifts, that way that it can be wrong and right at the same time and the way it shapes us and perceptions of us without ever asking for permission. I loved the poetic feel that accompanies most of the book. I peaked at some other reviews and it's not the kind of book that everyone loves, but I still find it an important book to read and discuss. Perhaps it would make a great book club memoir because it does bring in questions of race on several fronts and it could open conversations about sex in adolescence, the effect of divorce and/or neglect on a child's upbringing and other important issues that Walker goes through that still plague us.

The downside to that, of course, is that using the book that way invites criticism of Walker and her parents as people who were theoretically doing the best they could. I don't mean to sound like I doubt that anyone was doing their best but I also don't want to make it sound like I'm making assumptions about what could/should have been done. The point is simply that getting judgey about someone's life and story like this would miss the point of reading the book.

Despite what others might think, I found this book engaging, even at it's lowest moments. I appreciated the way it was a little episodic, moving through periods in her life and only stopping to fit in the moments that best sums up the time-frame for her rather than dwelling on incidentals. As mentioned above, what I loved the most was the way she relates what it is like to not fit succinctly into any single category of race, to be a part of something and not a part of it at the same time, close and yet removed from it. I have felt these things so many times in life when I am in Hispanic or not Hispanic depending on the way whoever I'm talking to feels about it and it rarely seems up to me to let them know who I am and how I fit into these categories and whether or not I even want to.

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review 2017-06-12 00:53
Rise of the Rocket Girls
Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars - Nathalia Holt

This is one of my Read Harder 2017 books. Its my choice for task #13, a nonfiction book about technology. I had already read Hidden Figures and some anthologies about women scientists, so I knew we were up to more than most would assume back then. I listened to the audio book version from the library, read by Erin Bennet. 

This is one of those covers that do a great job of showing you everything about the book but I still managed to misinterpret it. I had no idea that rockets were going as far as they were so early. It was fascinating to hear about the way the women went from being computers to programming them. It makes the whole process sound so natural. I also greatly appreciated the details on the way these women worked out family and career. I wouldn't have thought it all possible for the timeframe before I started reading more women's stories. 

Overall, the story and narration held my attention but there was something a little off about it. It took me a little while to realize that it was read in a style that was reminiscent of the introductions to for the show The Desperate Housewives. While this wasn't a bad thing, I did constantly feel like I should be expecting some crazy plot twist. 

This is a great books for anyone into herstories, or the history of rockets or space probes. 

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url 2017-06-11 21:28
Free for kindle via booklikes daily deals
The Book of Tea - Kakuzō Okakura

A random find on opening page of booklikes Daily Deals.  


This one is available lots of places free (public domain, out of copyright).  But just noticed it and convenient to put it on my kindle while this edition is free.


UPDATED: I just had to keep browsing.  So also got this superhero origin story:  


Being Jamie Baker - Kelly Oram  Being Jamie Baker - Kelly Oram  


I broke my own rule about ya books with half a girl's face on the cover because says it's a superhero origin story. Could be a bad book not ready to publish, could be too full of teenage angst, or could be a great superhero story — but, I downloaded it anyway.


More freebies at http://booklikes.com/dailydeals/free .  


More deals at http://booklikes.com/dailydeals/discounted .

Source: www.amazon.com/Book-Tea-Kakuzo-Okakura-ebook/dp/B000JQUVMC?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ3XCC7GLJWZDXC2A&tag=book0dc0-20&linkCode=sp1&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B000JQUVMC
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review 2017-06-05 04:27
Adunni Dares to Dream
Adunni Dares to Dream: The Story of Dr. Ethel A. Adeloye - Taiwo I Ajao RN,Dr. Ajao

Title:  Adunni Dares To Dream

Author:  Taiwo I. Ajao

Publisher:  A Dr. Ajao Company

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating:  Five



"Adunni Dares To Dream" by Taiwo I. Ajao


My Viewpoints...


What will happen when 'Adunni Dares To Dream?'  Will her dreams come true?  "Adunni Dares to Dream" is a beautiful written story of a young girl named Adunni who just wanted to go to school but for her that would be hard because of the money situation.  Adunni's mom needed  her to help work and to help keeping her little sister. However, things were looking up for Adunni after her mom had finally saved and borrowed enough money to send Adunni to 'Primary' school but how long would she be able to go due to the money situation leaving one to think were the schools just for the rich and lucky children?


This novel is so good especially for the children to see how ones dreams can come true especially if you can 'dare to dream it.'  For Adunni will have a hard time but it was quite something as one could see that God was definitely in the plan.  It seems like a 'way' would be made for Adunni  every time it was needed. Now this was not only a story about  Adunni but also for her friend Mike who desired to become a architect. Also did Mike have feelings for his longtime friend?  What would Mike's father do to try to help out with this situation?  I did like how Mike was brought into the story as being a true friendship  of Adunni's that will be their for her all the way from her childhood to adulthood.  In the end will Adunni and Mike get together?


After primary school for Adunni in which she finished at the top of her class and was able to continue on for free but when it came time for secondary school what will she do as there was just  enough money for the first term?


Well, as the story continues when Adunni was ready for secondary school there seems to always be a way that has been made ...through her  principle, family and friends. As one reads through "Adunni Dares to Dream" we read a very touching story for how God was there with Adunni all the way through her life.


Things were not always happy for Adunni because her sister died the last year of her schooling due to lack of money and proper treatment.  As the story moves on Adunni takes the exam for college and obtains the number one score in science and then became a 'prize candidate for three community colleges.'  Then another dream comes true for Adunni's where her principle personally  pays for her interviews and good results comes for her at Christ School for a year.


Mikes connects back up with Adunni and will he still have feelings for Adunni as  he sends and receives a letter from Adunni?   Mike will even create a  beautiful song for Adunni....


"What am I living for if not for you What am I working for if not for you, 

Adunni What am I looking for if not for you Yay Yay nobody else, nobody 

else but you."

After completing two years of community college and Adunni works as a teacher to pay her loan back to Reverend Sister Una.  As Adunni  continue on and take her exams for the admission of the University of Ibadan Medical School and guess again what will happen for her?  With help of her father and the professor...well ....

 "No longer did Adunni dare to dream alone; instead everyone around her began to hope and dream too."

Will Adunni become a 'Lady Doctor' she wanted to be as she knew the goal in her life was to help prevent the senseless death of children, like her own sweet sister?"


Adunni & Mike will continue their long distance relationship and more good things come to Adunni after she 'completes one short semester, she received a full scholarship, plus stipend to complete her medical school program.'  I will say from this more good things will come but I will just let you pick up "Adunni Dares to Dream" and see for yourself how well this author brings it all out to the reader.


This was quite a interesting read as we see "Adunni eventually decided she would become a

pediatrician: a doctor for children...'The Lady Doctor.'  She would soon be able to take care of newborn babies, help children in emergencies, and guide parents on how to keep  their children safe and healthy."


Soon Mike would goes to Adunni's parents and ask for her hand in marriage.  However, there was something else that Mike needed to talk to Adunni about.  I don't want to give it away but will say again you will have to pick up this good story and read about it for yourself.


In the end I will say this was a wonderfully well written story that anyone.... child or even a adult will enjoy to read.


I loved this quote:


"Although she was a part of a very hardworking family, Adunni just could not have the finer things in life, like school, books and literacy.  In her culture, girls were just expected to look pretty, get married and have children,  But Adunni Wished for something more for she dared to dream."


I love the ending where the reader will get some beautiful photos that will tell the rest of this  beautifully told story along with a glossary with some questions...."Does Adunni give in to her society's expectations?  Does she chose the status quo?  What are Aduni's dreams and where do her dreams take her and she dreamt on?"  All of these questions and so much more will be answered from this novel "Adunni Dares to Dream."


IN THE END....'ADUNNI DARES TO DREAM' .... The Story of Dr. Ethel A. Adeloye... Wow,  where Her Dream Took Her!   Would I recommend this novel?  YES, it was beautiful written true story.


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url 2017-05-27 04:13
Airwoman: Book 1 - Zara Quentin

Jade Gariq is the daughter of a respected Taraqan leader, and the heiress to Gariq Industries—a large, cross-Portal trading company. Her future appears to be set.

Except for one thing: It’s a life that she doesn’t want.

Jade has always dreamed of joining the Traveller Force—the elite Taraqans who traverse the Betwixt, filled with terrifying beasts, and who protect and patrol the Dragonverse. Despite having been Travellers themselves once, Jade’s parents remain vehemently against risking their only daughter’s life. When Jade’s father dies suddenly, she inherits Gariq Industries, its assets, trade deals and social responsibilities.


It seems as though her fate has once again been decided.


Meanwhile, Axel—her close friend and secret crush—disappears without a trace. Then Jade discovers the circumstances surrounding her father's death are not what they seem— her uncle Zorman suspects foul play. To find the truth and avenge her father's death, Jade travels to an uncharted world, where she will learn more about her family, herself, loyalty, and betrayal than she ever imagined.


Reviews for Airwoman:


I absolutely loved Airwoman, it was unique and interesting and action packed. The book was fast paced and hard to put down, and the characters were all so different yet just as important as each other. I can’t wait for the release of the second book in this series.--Nicole


Zara Quentin’s writing style of Airwoman reminds me of books by Robert Jordan or Kristen Britain, the thought provoking character developments and plot developments kept you inquiring what was on the next and then the next pages. If I had a 9 to 5 job, I would be taking sick days to binge read Airwoman. Airwoman was a real treat to read, a great page turner and with that in mind I can’t wait until the sequel comes out. --Schuyler


If you’re looking for a story which hooks you from the start, sweeps you away to another world and temporarily gives you wings, this is the book you’ve been looking for! --Inky Wings

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