February.

February was another stellar reading month for me!

A lot of it was attributed to the Better Reading Challenge. Making time to read just a little bit every day means more reading than what would be achieved just by attempting to have a few long reading sessions.

I was not sure what to expect from Well Read Black Girl. I actually pre-ordered this book and last minute canceled my order. I wish I hadn’t. Well-Read Black Girl is a work of non-fiction; it is a collection of essays written by female black authors and/or writers. It was empowering to listen to.

Honestly, even though I am a black woman I do not really read black authors. Calm down peanut gallery.

I read to escape my reality. I read to learn about people and places I am not familiar with. Reading black authors; their stories I know. I am familiar with. But it was very interesting to hear about these women felt about not seeing themselves in stories.

Growing up as a reader I honestly never felt that. I do not remember ever feeling like I do not see myself in stories as a child. As an adult, I feel that way and can appreciate where these women are coming from. A lot of these women took how they felt about not seeing themselves in stories and made a career out of stories that depicted not only themselves but their cultures. Who could not appreciate, respect and applaud that?

Notes on a Nervous Planet. UGH! I wanted to love this one SO MUCH. But it fell so short for me. Not that I thought it was poorly written or did not say anything I felt was inaccurate. It was purely because I am coming at this one from a different head space.

When I read his Reasons To Stay Alive by this author, I was in love. I felt he made so many beautiful points about mental health and the stigma associated with it.

Mentally I have changed quite a bit in the nine months between reading the two books.

Notes on a Nervous Planet touches on living in a modern world. The busyness of our lives. How we spend so much of our time trying to change who we are to “fit in”. Haig spends almost all of the pages in the book telling the reader how fear is driving us and our action.

Maid is a book I am so happy to have stumbled across.

Thank you, Instagram!

Maid is a book about one woman, one mother’s struggle and the misconceptions that society has about the homeless or those on government assistance. Myself included.

I had no idea what to expect from this book but just cover and tag line got me interested. I still have no idea who Stephanie Land is other than an author.

Stephanie Land is a woman who had BIG PLANS as a young adult. But she met a boy and got pregnant. It did not work out with the young man (shocker) and she found herself without a home and an infant child. Ms. Land did what she had to do to survive which ultimately meant becoming a Maid.

She spoke about the judgments made by people when she was making her grocery purchases with her WIC funding. While reading that part I felt like an asshole; I have definitely felt and thought the things that it seemed other people thought of her and people like her.

I am glad I read this book. It changed my thoughts towards the homeless. This book checked me.

Dude, We Cast a Shadow was a WEIRD ASS story.

The premise is there is an interracial couple, black male and white female, who has a son who is born mostly white except for this birthmark he has. And the father is doing everything in his power to keep his son from getting darker. To keep his son from becoming a black guy. If that doesn’t sound like it could be an interesting story I do not know what is.

The story is set in the future. Didn’t know that. Reading it I thought maybe it was in the future but I could not be too sure.

Overall, I liked the story even though it was a bit had to follow for a while. I felt there were a lot of characters to keep up with. Quite a few different storylines. But the ending sealed the deal. The ending brought it all together and was quite reflective.

I hope March is just as productive a month as February and January were.

JS.

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