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Throwback Thursday 1/7

Happy New Year!

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.

Synopsis

Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race — and wins — the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?

My Thoughts

This book was read as part of my 2020 Pop Sugar Challenge. It qualified for the prompt of “A book with the same name as a movie that it’s not related to.” It was also one of the books I acquired during BookCon 2019 so I also had the pleasure of meeting Jason Reynolds which made me more excited to read this book. I have to say that I enjoyed it enough that I went on to listen to the rest of the series narrated by Guy Lockard and Heather Alicia Simms.

Each of the books in the Track series is named after one of the track members and is told from their perspective. Reynolds uses their life experiences to show how they have overcome. We get to see what the sport means to them and how people like Coach and have positively impacted their lives and helped these kids grow and flourish. The whole concept of “community” is exemplified here and it’s wonderful to see the kids lean on each other as members of their village.

I would whole heartedly recommend this series to middle grade children but found myself entertained as an adult. Other books by Jason Reynolds that are worth reading are Long Way Down*, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You and For Every One.

*1/4/21 – Long Way Down is currently free through Kindle Unlimited.


Throwback Pic

Young boy attending Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, 28th Aug 1963. I have not been able to find the name of the photographer to credit.

Throwback Thursday 11/26

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.

This week I decided to stick with Nonfiction that brings a smile. I read this book back in 2017 and it still makes me happy just to think of it.

My Original Review

I first came across this delightful memoir while reading The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry for my local book club. At the time I didn’t realize that it was an epistolary book. I only knew that its focus was on the love of books. Being quite the bibliophile myself, I couldn’t resist picking this one up. What starts off as a simple request from Helene Hanff to find a second-hand book evolves into quite a friendship. 84, Charing Cross Road contains over 20 years of correspondence between Helene Hanff and her booksellers in which they share not only their love of books, but also discussions about their favorite sports teams and politics. Although most of her letters are addressed to Frank Doel, her wry wit and her generosity move the other booksellers, his neighbors and family to write her as well. 84, Charing Cross Road is a really charming and sweet read.


Throwback Pics

Charing Cross Road, 1937; Photographer: Wolf Suschitzky Milkman
Anthony Hopkins in 1987 film adaptation of 84 Charing Cross Road

Signing off. Hope we get to talk books soon!

Throwback Thursday #3

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.


This week I decided to choose a nonfiction book – The World Between Two Covers – as this is Nonfiction November. What excited me about this book was that it broadened my horizons. It made me purposely search out books in translation and from different perspectives. Back then over 90% of my reading was mystery/thrillers from older white men. This year 90% of my books read were women and POC.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Review

When I first picked up this book I was excited about the concept of reading texts from all across the world. I could already envision myself with sails cast traveling figuratively to unknown lands. In my mind’s eye I saw clearly the vast array of colors that enveloped the people; could almost taste the exotic food as the aroma of culinary delights wafted into my nose. From looking at the cover, I expected Ann Morgan, “Blogger Extraordinaire”, to include us on her literary adventures. I expected this book to delve into the “The 196 ( . . . AND Kurdistan)” with delightful anecdotes of far-away lands. I supposed it might be a foray into ethnic studies reminiscent of my cultural anthropology classes in college. Ah but alas – One should never judge a book by its cover. What a found between these two covers (pun intended) was a thorough research endeavor in which Morgan painstakingly sought out, found, and was gifted texts from around the world. Indeed some texts had not yet been translated into English and others not even published.


In this global economy that we live in where we can Skype with someone clear across the other side of the world, one might think that Ann Morgan’s endeavor were a simple feat. Over the course of 12 chapters she outlines why we are not as globally minded as we might think we are and the obstacles that stand in the way of authors and readers alike trying to connect across cultures. From the Eurocentrism evident not only in our choice of literary canons, but also in our construction of maps that color how we perceive the world — to the “translation bottleneck” that determines which books even have a chance of reaching the Anglophone reader, Morgan’s thorough analysis is both eye opening and soul searching.

This review originally appeared on my GoodReads page August 4, 2015


Throwback Pic

This photo, Frida Kahlo on White Bench, was taken by Hungarian photographer Nickolas Muray in New York, 1939. The pair are said to have had a decades long love affair.

Signing off. Hope we get to talk books soon!

Throwback Thursday #2

I discovered Throwback Thursday on my friend Carla Loves To Read page.

Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.


This week’s selection was taken from my “Best Book of the Year” shelf where I try earnestly to pick my ultimate favorite book out of 100 or so books I’ve read that year. A daunting task for sure but it gives me a bit more time to spend with the books that touched my heart. Hanya Yanigihara’s A Little Life was one of two books in 2015 that made it on to my list. To read this book is to viscerally, with your whole body and heart, experience another person’s life, loves and tragedy. This is one of those books where I ugly cried. But it is also one of the most tender and moving and strangely hopeful books I’ve ever read. You can find the following review and more on my GoodReads page.

It took me quite a while to get through this book. Not because of the 700+ pages but because of the intense themes (addiction, self-mutilation, abuse in its many forms) that run throughout the book. Please don’t get me wrong I loved this book. It was so beautifully written, the characters were so thoughtfully developed. Yanagihara held nothing back as she praised their gifts; exposed their weaknesses and flaws. I felt as if I personally knew JB, Jude, Willem and Malcolm. Despite how seemingly different my life was from theirs, I still found myself identifying with each of them, crying real tears as they faced their trials and endured the unthinkable. Despite the dark undercurrents of this book, I found it to also be a love story between friends, the definition of family and the sacrifice of lovers.

Throwback Pic

In this photo of Jimi Hendrix taken in 1968 for the album cover of Electric Ladyland, photographer David Montgomery set an actual fire on the set. Yet look at Jimi’s serenity. Despite the chaos behind him he seems at peace. Altogether it makes for an awesome shot don’t you think?

Signing off. Hope we get to talk books soon!