Sunday, October 25, 2020

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Pages: 368 pages
Published: October 2020

My last October read for this year was Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell. Although a prolific author, this was my first Jewell read, and it did not disappoint. The story is told from three perspectives - Owen, a bit of a socially awkward teacher, his neighbor, Cate, a stay-at-home mom who might be letting her imagination get the best of her and Saffyre, a young girl who mysteriously disappears. 

The bulk of the book takes us back and forth in time with each of these main characters giving us a glimpse into their world to solve the mystery of the missing teenager. The book flowed at a good pace and provided enough clues along the way to keep the reader intrigued and guessing. There was good character development. I think Saffyre was probably my favorite character. There was some darkness to her that made me, as the reader, sad but there was also an element of hope. The book also broached some difficult topics like molestation and violence against women. I would be mindful of those triggers should you choose to pick up this book. 

Overall, this was a thrilling read with a satisfying ending. I did rather enjoy the little twist at the end that left me thinking for days after. I would definitely read another book by this author. 

Recommendation: If you're looking for a twisty mystery thriller, you might consider putting Invisible Girl on your to-be-read list! Thank you to the Fort Worth Library for this digital loan

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Pages: 256 pages
Published: October 2020

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam is one of of those books where you love it or you hate it. I hated it. It seemed much longer than its 256 pages and ended with no real conclusion of any kind. The book is basically about a white family of 4 who rent an Airbnb for a vacation away from the city. Upon the first few days of their vacation, the Black owners of the home show up unannounced with news that something very strange is going on in the world that has hindered communication with people in New York and news media to electronic devices. From there, many random things happen that, I suppose, are to illustrate the uncertainty of the situation and how people react in a dire situation. The book goes on like this till the end that isn’t really an end. I seriously thought maybe I was missing some pages. 

This was a Book of the Month add-on selection for me. On one-hand I’m disappointed I spent my money on it, but on the other hand, it was only $9.99. So, membership does have its privileges. 

The over-attention to detail - the droning on and on of grocery list items and non-essential sexual activities just didn’t do it for me. The only reason, and I am so serious when I say this, the only reason I continued to the end is for the upcoming Netflix movie that will star my two favorite actors -  Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. I have a feeling this will be one of the rare cases where the movie will be better than the book - it has to be! 

Recommendation: Save your time and your coins - just wait for the movie. So little time; so many books. Choose something else.  

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 264 pages
Published: September 2020

I have had a difficult time pulling together a review for Yaa Gyasi’s sophomore novel, Transcendent Kingdom I absolutely loved Homegoing. I read it twice, which is something I rarely do. (There are simply too many books to read.) Gyasi is a talented writer, a gifted storyteller. However, despite warnings by the publisher, critics and the author herself, I wanted Transcendent Kingdom to be like Homegoing. It was not. The story was told in a stream of consciousness format from Gifty, the main character’s viewpoint of she and her mom healing from a husband and father who deserted them and a son and brother who died of an opioid addiction. As a result of these traumatic events, Gifty has dedicated her education to studying addiction and trying to find a cure to help people overcome it. This is where we find her in the opening of the book - in the midst of her PhD research on the subject. In addition to healing from the loss of her brother, Gifty is also trying to come to terms with her father’s return to Ghana from the United States many years earlier. And she is trying to reconcile her dedication to science while being the daughter of a devout Christian mother.

Even though the page count is a little over 250, the book had so many layers. I found it to be very complex and reflective but also very sad. The book does have some elements of hope but overall it basically focuses on the psychological struggle of a young woman attempting to synthesize the very heavy life experiences she’s faced. 

Recommendation: This is not a book that ties up neatly in the end. It’s one that you have to consider the journey more so than focusing on the ending. While I loved Homegoing much more, Transcendent Kingdom is good in its own right. It is different, but the writing is solid and I would recommend picking it up when you’re in the mood for an in-depth read. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Rating: 5+ of 5 stars
Pages: 352 pages
Published: September 2020

I love, love Fredrik Backman. I've read all of his novels (just search his name on this blog), and I think he is one of the most gifted writers in modern literature. He is able to compose sentences in a way that evoke a myriad of emotions. So, it was no surprise that as I read, I found myself pondering then laughing and then tearing up throughout Anxious People. So, what is this book about? If you read it (and please do read it), you will see that even the narrator even has a hard time pinpointing the exact subject matter. But I think overall it's about life and how we deal with it. It's written in a unique way, and in my opinion, it almost reads like a stage play. The best part of the book are the little nuggets of truth Backman hides within this dramedy. Here are some of my favorites - 

Our hearts are bars of soap that we keep losing hold of; the moment we relax, they drift off and fall in love and get broken, all in the wink of an eye. 

Because that was a parent's job: to provide shoulders. Shoulders for your children to sit on when they're little so they can see the world, then to stand on when they get older so they can reach the clouds, and sometimes lean against whenever they stumble and feel unsure. 

She told herself that was why you should always be nice to other people, even idiots, because you never know how heavy their burden is. 

I think you can understand someone without necessarily agreeing with them. 

Have you ever held a three-year-old by the hand on the way home from preschool? You're never more important than you are then. 

Because the people we argue with hardest of all are not the ones who are completely different from us, but the ones who are almost no different at all. 

He was my echo. Everything I do is quieter now. 

If you can do something for someone in such a way that they think they managed it all on their own, then you've done a good job. 

Loneliness is like starvation, you don't realize how hungry you are until you begin to eat. 

That's the power of literature, you know, it can act lie little love letters between people who can only explain their feelings by pointing at other people's. 

It's such an odd thing, the way you can know someone so perfectly through what they read. 

You can't carry the guilt and the shame and the unbearable silence on your own, and you shouldn't have to.

You see what I mean? He just finds the most beautiful ways to say the most basic things. So, back to the book. It's a story about a person at a desperate point in their life who does something they normally wouldn't and the resulting events affect a group of people who happen to be viewing an apartment for sale. Backman provides a bit of back story to each character while taking us through one day they all shared together. It sounds complicated, but the result of this novel is an uplifting work of art. Just go snag a copy! 

Recommendation: This book was definitely written for my generation, but I really think anyone can appreciate the beauty in it. If you have ever considered suicide suffer from anxiety or depression, please consider this book carefully. But note that it contains much hope! And in times like these, we could all use a little of that. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Killer Deadline by Lauren Carr

Category: Adult fiction (18+) / Mystery / Cozy
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 232 pages
Published: April 2020 

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

Killer Deadline by Lauren Carr is a fictional cozy mystery novel that centers around Nikki Bryant and her return to her small hometown of Pine Grove to take over management of the family's TV news station. When Nikki was a child, her father was murdered in his office at the news station. This event played a part in her career as an investigative journalist. When she returns home to take over the business from her mother, one of her employees is mysteriously killed. In trying to follow the clues of the present-day murder mystery, Nikki begins to uncover what might have happened to her father all those years ago. 

The book includes a cast of some eccentric characters living in the charming town of Pine Grove. Carr creates a vivid community that brings all the characters to life, not just the primary ones. While it may seem difficult to keep up with who's who, the author provides a nice list and description at the start of the novel. I'd have to say my favorite character was Nikki's sidekick, her Boxer dog, Elmo. 

At just over 200 pages, this book an engaging and quick read. Carr's writing style definitely keeps the reader turning the pages to learn the ultimate conclusion of the mystery. This book can easily be read over a long weekend or perhaps a quick road trip. It has just the right balance of elements: humor, romance, suspense and a tidy resolution. 

Recommendation If you are a fan of cozies, enjoy good, clean reading, and a strong female lead, this is just the book for you. Pick up a copy and escape reality for a few hours. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren's first venture into mystery's purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: 

Prizes: $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of Candidate for Murder
(ends Oct. 16, 2020)

Sep 21 Locks, Hooks and Books 
Sep 22 Books, Tea, Healthy Me 
Sep 23 – seasons of opportunities 
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Sunday, September 20, 2020

One by One by Ruth Ware

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 372 pages
Published: September 2020

The thing with having a Book of the Month subscription is that you rarely, if ever, run into any bad books. For the month of September, I splurged on three books (read the next 2 reviews or view my reading list to learn the titles). While I finished One by One by Ruth Ware on the last day of a warm summer in Texas, the book took me to the snowy mountains in the French Alps. This was my first read by this prolific mystery/thriller author. The book centers around the employees of this interesting new mobile app that allows users to listen in or "snoop" on what other people, including celebrities, are listening to musically. 

Anyway, the eight employees including the founding (and stock-holding) members of the company go off to the luxurious ski chalet for a team-building retreat. While there, they learn that one of the founders has ulterior business motives for the trip. An unexpected and dangerous avalanche leaves the guests stranded and one by one (get it?), people start dying. The plot has the makings of a classic whodunit, like Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. The two staff members, Erin and Danny, try to maintain a sense of control while waiting for help to come clear the way, but they are in just as much danger. 

This book was suspenseful enough to keep me turning the pages. Ware does a good job of providing clues to lead you to the killer. I enjoyed her beautiful descriptions of the Alps and the snow. It transported me right there, and when she got to the action, I felt emotions as if I were a character in the book. The only thing that bothered me about this book was the length. I think the last portion including the ski chase could have been removed as it seemed to slow down the overall pace of the novel. 

None of these characters are really that likable, which is odd because the story is. I read this book as a read-along with an online book club, but I think it might be even more fun to read when it's cold outside. 

Recommendation: I would recommend One by One as an intense, fast-paced winter read. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 387 pages
Published: February 2016

The Fort Worth Library's Stay At Home Book Club prompted me to dig into the fantasy/horror of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff this summer. Coupled with the recently released series of the same name on HBO, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to read the book even though neither fantasy nor horror is my favorite type of book or movie. 

So, basically this book is told is eight vignettes all set in 1954 on the backdrop of Jim Crow racism in the United States. The inciting story is about a young man, Atticus, who returns from military service in search of his missing father. He partners up with his uncle who is the publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide (which is based on the real Negro Motorist Green Book that Black people had to use to find safe shelter and resources while traveling not so freely though these United States of America) and, reluctantly, with his childhood friend (possibly crush) Letitia. On their quest to find Atticus' father they are faced with some dangerous encounters with racists and horrific ones led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb, who are attempting to secure salvation for their secret tribe, the Order of the Ancient Dawn, that only Atticus can provide. 

I found the first chapter of the book to be attention-getting and engrossing. Being a historical fiction buff, the Jim Crow thematic elements are what kept my interest. At times I wasn't sure what was more nerve-racking, the overt racism or the fantasy and horror elements of each short story. All of the stories are intertwined, and you would need to read the book in order to get a full understanding. My favorite chapter was the one that focused on a secondary character, Ruby who is Letitia's sister.  

I don't really know much about Lovecraft or his type of horror writing; however, I think if I did I would have had a greater appreciation for how this author put his spin on it. I enjoyed the book for what it was, but I do think fans of horror would enjoy it more. 

Recommendation: If fantasy and horror float your boat, you might enjoy this book as it has a little more depth by adding the racial element. However, if you're looking for something about racism or the Jim Crow era, choose another book. 

Thanks to the Fort Worth Library for this ebook loan! 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pages: 352 pages
Published: August 2020

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin was one of my Book of the Month selections for August. The plot centers around Rachel Krall, a former investigative journalist who now headlines a widely popular true crime podcast. In the opening of the book, the reader learns that the protagonist is on her way to a fiction town in North Carolina to cover the rape trial of the town's celebrity athlete who is accused of assaulting a younger teen girl. If this sounds familiar, it's because that part of the plot is very similar to real-life Brock Turner case. On her way to town, a letter is left on the windshield of her car regarding another case that happened 25 years earlier. As the story goes on, we find the two cases intertwined and Rachel in some pretty dangerous situations as her investigative spirit gets the best of her in searching for the truth in both.  

As a fan of mystery thrillers and true crime podcasts, I found this book to be completely captivating. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. When I was forced to, I would open it back up as soon as I had free time to read again. Goldin has done a good job with a very sensitive subject. At times I wondered if she is a survivor of sexual assault in the persuasive stance she took on the topic and how she described the logistical aftermath of a rape and its resulting emotional trauma. Goldin is able to paint a vivid picture with her writing, putting the reader right in the middle of the story. And that cover art is pretty alluring as well, wouldn't you agree?

Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this book, if you're looking for a quick mystery thriller, but beware of emotional triggers. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Shadows by Alex North

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 336 pages
Published: July 2020

The Shadows by Alex North was my second indulgence from my July Book of the Month subscription service. The synopsis is what prompted me to purchase this mystery thriller. Paul Adams, the protagonist, has returned to his hometown to take care of his ailing mother. Twenty-five years prior Paul's classmate, Charlie Crabtree disappeared after an unsolved murder. Everyone believes that Charlie must be the killer because he disappeared without a trace after the crime. Upon high school graduation, Paul left town and never looked back until he was forced to return and when he does he finds himself drawn right back into the mysterious case again. 

This is the first book I've read by this author. I think he does a good job creating suspense and giving the reader a reason to continue the journey with the narrator. I found the pace of the book to be just right; not too fast, not too slow, and the conclusion a satisfying one. My only critique would be about the issue with Paul and his high school love interest. I don't think the author did a good job of fully developing that twist in the plot. I won't write anymore so as not to spoil this relatively new release. 

I think North is a good writer, and this was a compelling story. It prompted me to purchase The Whisper Man for my August subscription. Review soon to come! 

Recommendation: If you're looking for a mystery with dark tones and intrigue, I'd highly recommend this as your next read. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Pages: 322 pages
Published: May 2019

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson was a selection by the Fort Worth Library's Stay at Home Book Club. With its inception on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has grown to several hundred members who read a book about every two weeks. Because of the controversy between this book and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, I had this one on my TBR list for some time. I was very thankful to read it with such a interactive reading group. 

The historical fiction story follows Cussy who is a packhorse librarian and also one of the last of the Kentucky blue people. While the book is fiction, the genetic trait that causes a disease known as methemoglobinemia is real, as are the descendants of the Fugate family who were afflicted with it. 

Because of her condition, Cussy and her father live a relatively reclusive lifestyle in the Kentucky hill country. Cussy secures the packhorse librarian position, which was funded by the government, because she was a single woman with no husband. She is very proud of her job, but her father, who is beginning to age due to his rigorous work in the coal mine, wants to get Cussy married off so he knows she will be taken care of upon his death. Cussy, wanting her independence, vehemently disagrees. The main conflict in the story is between Cussy and her father but more so between Cussy and the ignorant people of the community who either shun her completely because of her physical condition or attempt to "fix her" at all costs. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found Cussy as a "blue person" to suffer many of the challenges that Black people (or colored people, as they were then called) also endured. Additionally, the part of the book about marrying one's daughter off (when all she really wanted was to read and learn) reminded me of The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare that I read earlier this year. It's amazing how we as a society can look so different on the outside but share some of the very same internal and emotional experiences. I wish the author would have connected more of that theme in the book, hence the slight deduction in rating. 

Recommendation: Overall, I found this book engaging, entertaining, and informational. I think I devoured it in about one week's time. I highly recommend it as an anytime read! Support your local library!

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Pages: 304 pages
Published: July 2020

The Beauty in Breaking by Dr. Michele Harper is a beautifully written memoir in which the emergency room doctor shares tales of her life growing up in an abusive home, being educated at Harvard, and her subsequent career in the medical field. I chose this book as one of my July Book of the Month selections. 

Each chapter in this book focuses on a patient or patients that Harper encountered in her career. While protecting confidentiality, she shares the ailment that brought them into the hospital and her treatment plan. That probably doesn't sound any different than what you could watch on a medical drama on TV; however, Harper also digs deeper beyond the diagnosing the patient's illness but learning more about their brokenness. In some cases, she is able to help them beyond a prescription or referral. And then, she shares how sometimes she never knows what happens to a patient once they leave her facility, or in more dire cases, the patient dies. Each story is unique, and Harper approaches each vignette with care and respect. If she heals the way she writes, she is probably an excellent doctor. 

Her overarching message is that we are all broken in some way - physically, emotionally, spiritually, economically. But like a broken piece of pottery, the cracks are what allow the light to shine through. Harper did an exceptional job sharing her life's work and story. The memoir is wonderfully written, and I am simply in awe that someone with such a demanding career was able to make time to also write such a succinct piece of non-fiction. 

Recommendation: While the topics are heavy, the prose is written in such a way that allows the reader to draw from it easily. I highly recommend The Beauty in Breaking

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 361 pages
Published: May 2020

A solid 4 stars for Beach Read by Emily Henry. I learned about this book from Book of the Month but snagged a paperback copy during Target's "Buy 2; Get 1" sale this summer.

The story is about two writers, January, who writes romance novels that are happily ever afters and Augustus, who is committed to dark literary fiction. The two genres and writers are as different as their seasonal names suggest (i.e., summer/winter). They have a history with one another dating back to their college days and consider each other literary rivals. Both writers are also at difficult points in their personal lives, suffering from writer's block in their professional ones, and just happen to be living in adjacent beach houses. Their professional troubles lead them to make a bet of sorts, January will write a literary fiction as her next novel and Augustus will write a romantic one for his. This agreement takes them on several adventures togethers, and as you might suspect, a friendship develops.

By the cover, you might think this book is chick lit or a rom-com, and that would be true, there are some steamy scenes. However, the plot much deeper than romance. The personal issues the protagonists are struggling with are very real and somewhat dark. I picked up this book thinking I would get a light read, but I got more than I bargained for and I think it made for a successful story. A reader might be looking for a light, thoughtless read to push through the hot summer days, and there are plenty available. Beach Read is a little heavier, and as a more mature reader I appreciated the mix of light and dark.

The reason for the lacking star is the slow start. It takes awhile for the author to build the story and early on the construction of her sentences made some parts difficult to understand causing me to have to re-read several sentences. I feel like about a third of the way into the book she found her rhythm and the pace picked up for me.

Recommendation: It was a slow start but well worth the finish. A great beach read for my summer quarantine sans the beach.

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Pages: 208 pages
Published: May 2018

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness was recommended to me by the Likewise app that takes personal preferences and serves up books, movies and more that might fit one's tastes. When I read Austin Channing Brown's excerpt on the app about how she got her name, it totally resonated with me. My dad's name is Melvin, and as the first born, my mom wanted my name to mirror his, but Melvina was totally off the table. At the time, my aunt - my mom's sister, was working at a daycare and she off-handedly said to my pregnant mom, "If the baby is a girl, you should name her Melissa. All the Melissa's at my daycare are white." I guess I get my creative side from my mom because she decided the name would be more special with a Y instead of an I. So, that's how I got MELyssa, "Mel" for Melvin and "yssa" to help position me for a bit of an easier life.

Similarly, Channing got her name because her parents knew people would see her name in print and incorrectly assume she was a white male. I'm not sure if this is part of the code switching we, as people of color, do to put ourselves in a more favorable position. But I can certainly see the necessity for it and why my family and Austin's parents went that route. This is just one nugget the author shares about her life growing up Black in a largely white and male dominated world. Her book was published a couple of years ago, it is very relevant right now. In it she shares several tales of growing up in a society where she was muted and had to conform to meet societal expectations to get ahead.

Channing's vignettes are not particularly new. They are different variations of the same song that many Black people face. So, why do we need more books like this? Because everyone has a right to tell their story, and we need to keep learning so we can all do better. This book is not that long, easily digestible, and offers a powerful perspective.

"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time."
- James Baldwin

"Perfection is demanded of Blackness before mercy or grace or justice can even be considered."
- Austin Channing Brown

"For only by being truthful about how we got here can we begin to imagine another way."
- Austin Channing Brown

"We demand because our ancestors did. We demand because we believe in our own dignity."
- Austin Channing Brown

Recommendation: If you're seeking to understand the Black experience from a woman's perspective, this is a good selection to add to your TBR list. It is not THE only resource, but as a Black Christian woman working in corporate America, I round it very relatable and her experiences very much similar to my own. As Channing so eloquently said in her book, "Black is not a monolithic. Black is expansive." We do not all think and act alike, but just like any group, some generalizations can be drawn from this little green book.

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.