african american · book review · fiction · non-fiction

Mini Review Time

So these are a few books I finished recently. Mini reviews will usually be reserved for books that don’t warrant their own review. They may be books I liked but don’t have enough to say about or,books that have been reviewed so much there isn’t anything left to say.

This week I have an exception to this in the first book. I have tons to say but I couldn’t seem to mix my thoughts with the review. So, I will be creating a discussion post on the book at a later time where I talk about how I feel and my personal experience with the subjects covered in the book.

Without further ado…

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Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What it means to be black now.

Written By: Toure

Audio Book edition Published by Dreamscape Media; Unabridged edition (September 13, 2011)

Read By Toure

Hardcover Edition Published by Atria Books; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)

Journalist Touré turns his ear to 100 prominent black Americans to create a provocative look at the state of race in America .Goodreads

So i happened upon this book while browsing on my library’s website. It was available in audio format and since I am pretty familiar with Toure and I usually find what he has to say pretty interesting I checked it out. So post Blackness is basically black people deciding what it means to be black for themselves. The idea that you don’t have to speak or act in a certain way. The idea that liking a certain genre of music or disliking it wont take away your blackness. That you can grow up middle class or go to a really good school and do well and still be black. The crazy notion that not all black people think the same things or want the same things.  Toure picks the brains of the people he interviewed and get’s their insight and opinions about what post-blackness means to them. The stories he tells of their experiences are sometimes funny and sometimes painful but always really fascinating.  The most captivating part of this book had to do with Dave Chappelle. Even if you never watched The Chappelle show you probably saw or heard something about Dave’s “breakdown” and the subsequent end of his show. Toure really gives some insight into why that may have happened. Overall this was the kind of book that makes you think while simultaneously entertaining you. I don’t think you have to be black to enjoy this book and, if you aren’t it might give you something new to think about.

 

vintage affair

A Vintage Affair

Written by: Isabel Wolff

Published by Bantam; 1 edition (June 29, 2010)

Do fairytale dresses bring fairytale endings? Every dress has a history, so does Phoebe! Phoebe always dreamt of opening her own vintage dress shop. She imagined every detail, from the Vivienne Westwood bustiers hanging next to satin gowns, to sequinned cupcake dresses adorning the walls. At the launch of Village Vintage, Phoebe feels the tingle of excitement as customers snap up the fairytale dresses. Her dream has come true, but a secret from her past is casting a shadow over her new venture. Then one day she meets Therese, an elderly Frenchwoman with a collection to sell, apart from one piece that she won’t part with ! As Therese tells the story of the little blue coat, Phoebe feels a profound connection with her own life, one that will help her heal the pain of her past and allow her to love again. Goodreads

This was all around a beautiful book. The book moves between modern-day London and WWII France. The back and forth is well done and well paced. There are 2 major story lines throughout the book the first is Phoebe’s the second is Therese Bell’s. Together the two women share their stories and deal with the grief and loss they have had in their lives. The backdrop of this story is fashion specifically vintage fashion. As someone who really loves vintage clothing  I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of Phoebe’s store and the clothing in it. I loved the writing style it was beautiful without being fluffy and the pacing was just perfect. Everything unfolded in just the right way and at just the right time. Ultimately this book is about family, friendship, love and forgiveness and I really loved it.

 

alias2

Alias

A Secret Life (Alias Sequel #2)

Written by Laura Peyton Roberts

Published by Channel 4 Books (January 17, 2003)

It’s Sydney Bristow’s first mission–in Paris.
Her first alias.
Her first real enemy.
Her first real crush.
And her first big mistake.
There are a lot of firsts for Sydney.
But no second chances. Goodreads

This was a bit of a disappointment to read. Alias is my favorite TV show and I re-watch it all the time.  I rarely go more than a month with out watching it. Stands to reason that I would want to read these books. I read the first book in this series at the beginning of the year and I enjoyed it. I guess I had high expectations for this one and it did not live up to them. The problem with this book was Sydney I just didn’t like her. She was kind of whinny and pitiful which is so not Sydney Bristow. It is at the very beginning of her time at SD-6 so it would make sense that she wouldn’t be the strong Syd from the show but I feel like the author just didn’t understand her. She spends way to much time mooning over her partner. Come on even if he is cute a normal person isn’t going to be wondering if he liked her while you are literally running for your life. I did enjoy the fact that Noah Hicks is part of the book but, it was also a bit sad considering what happens with Noah in the show. There was more action in this book than there was in the first and that was a plus. I will be continuing on with the series because most of the books have different authors so the next person may do a better job. I don’t think this is the kind of book just anyone would want to read they are really for fans of the show.

Until Next Time

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Mini Review Time

  1. This term “post-blackness” is kinda funny to me; in reality, the concept has always existed. For years there have African-Americans who don’t exactly subscribe to the narrow frame of what constitutes being black. When I compare the cultural history of black Americans with that of black Brazilians, it’s interesting to see the mirror images. On the one hand, because of the “you’re black” ideology in the US, when black folk happen to like things that are considered “outside” of the norm for cultural blackness, they are sometimes ostracized or classified as “strange” or a “wanna be (white)”. In Brazil, because there has been a lack of a coherent, strong black identity for so long, it’s not strange to find black Brazilians who like things that Americans would consider to be “white” things, i.e. “surfing” and “rock music”. It seems that the two countries are converging in this sense with more Brazilians of visible African ancestry “becoming black” while more African-Americans are fighting for the right to remain black on their on terms. Here is an example of how a lot of Brazilians have trouble assuming a “racial” identity: http://wp.me/p1XDuf-1w0

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    1. Post-Blackness is a funny term to me too. Growing up with my father he was the definition of what Toure said rooted in but not restricted by his blackness. He was black but he did what he wanted even if it wasn’t typically “black” without caring what anyone else thought and no one ever questioned him. I have often thought about what being black in other parts of the world was like especially a place like Brazil. We have such a strong sense of what is black here in America and it’s fascinating to know that Brazil has this opposite situation going on. Thanks for the info and for the comment.

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