Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

December 27, 2016
Published By: CreateSpace on September 24, 2013
Format Read: Paperback Edition
Genre: Poetry/ Feminist/ Non-Fiction
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
salt.
~Amazon~ 

Salt is a journey through warmth and sharpness. This collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love.

VERDICT:



 

REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed these wonderful poems. Similar to milk and honey by Rupi Kaur's minimalist style, the poems were short but multilayered and memorable. The voice and thought brought to the form was unique and thought provoking. The topics covered ranged from race, immigration, growth and womanhood. Each poem taught me to reflect and approach seemingly familiar topics critically, breaking them down into tangible bites that were worth more then the sum of there parts.

I recommend this to everyone who appreciates  poetry, and relishes the art of well put together prose. I read through this in one sitting and was blown away by Nayyirah's ability to bring the truth and pain of existing as a women to the page. This is a wonderful primer on the  ways that black women exist and survive in a society that usually thinks for them and of them last. The cover is pure white, and so the book quickly got marked up by being around my bag and flipped through on my dresser. But I liked that the book made room to be marked by the world around it, just like we all are.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Find out more about her work and contact her here: http://www.nayyirahwaheed.com/
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The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

Published By: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24, 2016
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (338 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Book Three of The Fifth Wave Series
Source: Purchased
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)
~Amazon~  
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

 VERDICT: 

REVIEW:

After being in love with The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2), reading this book did not meet my very high expectations. The reasons I have loved and cherished this series, because it was unafraid to be bleak, depressing, and funny. However, I was unable to empathize and feel the same way I had felt about these characters in the past. Zombie and Ringer are my favorite characters so I was happy to read more from their point of views. But the book slowed down in the middle and included build up and suspense that ultimately didn't pay off. There was some well thought out prose, but the book could have been shorter and better with many things cut.
"Empty the vessel of hope and faith and trust and you can fill it with anything you like. They could have told the kids in Squad 19 that two plus two equals five and they would have believed it. No, not just believed it; they would have killed anyone who claimed otherwise."
While I was engaged in the narrative the emotional connection I had for these characters was gone in this final book in series. Between the action and terror was too much light-hearted cheesiness which took me out of the story. Cassie and Evan's connection and devotion stopped being believable because it was stretched out so long,  the suspense of it didn't land. After a slow moving middle of the book the action and plot picks up again in the last hundred pages or so. This led to a rewarding ending, which was satisfying but not happy.
"It's halfway across the courtyard, right next to the statute  of some war hero from the days when wars had heroes. You know, the good old days when we slaughtered each other for all the right reasons."
If your a fan of the series, this was an ok end to a decent narrative. However there are some plot points that were never resolved. Overall this was a worthwhile read that had some surprising moments, but it pales in comparison to the first two books. The creepy atmosphere and well timed humor was found in much less quantity here then the other two books. I would recommend the series to those who enjoy darker Sci-fi Dystopian Young Adult reads.

Reviews in Series
The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

aka Richard Yancey

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida.
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Book Scoop November 18- November 25, 2016

November 25, 2016
Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, Links to Click, InToriLex
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book 

HEADLINES


~Amazon~
Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

LINKS TO CLICK

What do we want?
In this groundbreaking collection, more than fifty cutting-edge voices, including Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti, and Mia McKenzie, invite us to imagine a truly feminist world. An abortion provider reinvents birth control, Sheila Bapat envisions an economy that values domestic work, a teenage rock band dreams up a new way to make music, Katherine Cross rewrites the Constitution, and Maya Dusenbery resets the standard for good sex. Combining essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations, and short stories, The Feminist Utopia Projectchallenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given—and inspires us to demand a radically better future.



Did I miss Anything in the Book World This Week?
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Waiting on Wednesday Issue #10

November 23, 2016
Waiting on Wednesday, Weekly Feature, InToriLex
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas, Waiting on Wednesday, InToriLex

The Hate U Give
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
OUT FEBRUARY 28, 2017
This book is so relatable, I feel like I must have telepathically sent the author my thoughts. Straddling two levels of consciousness is a well know phenomena people on the margins of our society live with everyday. I'm hopeful that this book will challenge readers and publishers to discuss and address, the many problems and issues black communities face. I CAN NOT WAIT TO READ!!
What are You Anxiously Waiting On?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.
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Book Scoop November 11- November 18, 2016

November 18, 2016
InTorilex, Book News, Links to Click, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature
Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book
I don't know how to comfort the many people in my life, who are fearful of what's to come under Trump's Presidency. But I will continue to fight against injustice every way I know how as a Lawyer and a Citizen. Everyone can help empower the dis-empowered, find out how you can!

HEADLINES

Post-Truth Named Word of the Year 

Bad Sex Award 2016 Contenders
 
2016 National Book Award Winners
The Performance of Becoming Human
~Amazon~ 
Following in the path of his acclaimed collections The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011) and In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, 2015), Daniel Borzutzky returns to confront the various ways nation-states and their bureaucracies absorb and destroy communities and economies. In The Performance of Becoming Human, the bay of Valparaiso merges into the western shore of Lake Michigan, where Borzutzky continues his poetic investigation into the political and economic violence shared by Chicago and Chile, two places integral to his personal formation. To become human is to navigate borders, including the fuzzy borders of institutions, the economies of privatization, overdevelopment, and underdevelopment, under which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses in cities, villages, deserts. Borzutzky, whose writing Eileen Myles has described as “violent, perverse, and tender” in its portrayal of a “kaleidoscopic journey of American horror and global horror,” adds another chapter to a growing and important compendium of work that asks what it means to a be both a unitedstatesian and a globalized subject whose body is “shared between the earth, the state, and the bank.” 
What Trump Presidency Could Mean for Authors

Amazon Battles Trolls Over Megyn Kelly's Book

16 Writers on Trump's America

LINKS TO CLICK

25 Non-Fiction Books for Anger and Action

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People
~Amazon~
It is a widespread belief among liberals that if only Democrats can continue to dominate national elections, if only those awful Republicans are beaten into submission, the country will be on the right course.

But this is to fundamentally misunderstand the modern Democratic Party. Drawing on years of research and first-hand reporting, Frank points out that the Democrats have done little to advance traditional liberal goals: expanding opportunity, fighting for social justice, and ensuring that workers get a fair deal. Indeed, they have scarcely dented the free-market consensus at all. This is not for lack of opportunity: Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last twenty-four years, and yet the decline of the middle class has only accelerated. Wall Street gets its bailouts, wages keep falling, and the free-trade deals keep coming.

With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank's Listen, Liberal lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years. A form of corporate and cultural elitism has largely eclipsed the party's old working-class commitment, he finds. For certain favored groups, this has meant prosperity. But for the nation as a whole, it is a one-way ticket into the abyss of inequality. In this critical election year, Frank recalls the Democrats to their historic goals-the only way to reverse the ever-deepening rift between the rich and the poor in America.
10 Contemporary Novels by and About Muslims

Post Election Reading List

Beautiful Book Quotes to Read When Feeling Lost 
Did I miss Anything in the Book World This Week?
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Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman

November 16, 2016
FairyTales for Lost Children, Diriye Osman, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Team Angelica Publishing on September 1, 2016
Format Read: Paperback Edition (156 pages)
Genre: Short Story/ LGBTQ/ Somali
Series: Standalone
Source: Author Request
Rating: FOUR STARS
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
~Amazon~
"Fairytales For Lost Children" is narrated by people constantly on the verge of self-revelation. These characters - young, gay and lesbian Somalis - must navigate the complexities of family, identity and the immigrant experience as they tumble towards freedom. Using a unique idiom rooted in hip-hop, graphic illustrations, Arabic calligraphy and folklore studded with Kiswahili and Somali slang, these stories mark the arrival of a singular new voice in contemporary fiction.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This was a beautiful exploration of what it's like to grapple with your identity. It illustrates how people toil just to exist as they need to; as a minority, as a lesbian/gay person, as a refugee and as someone who identifies with a religion that demonizes parts of themselves. These short stories are intimate glances into young people's lives who are discovering themselves. The writing is wonderful because it seamlessly flows from thoughtful prose into believable dialogue. Most of the stories are about Somali refugees who dream of home, while dealing with the pain of being rejected from their Somalian and Muslim community's.
"In the end something gives way. The earth doesn't move but something shifts. That shift is change and change is the layman's lingo for that elusive state that lovers, dreamers, prophets and politicians call 'freedom'."
There are wonderful illustrations between each chapter that  whimsically interpret the themes in each story. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy great writing and reading about gay and lesbian marginalized voices. Below are short summaries of each short story to pique your interest and give you more context:

Watering the Imagination - focuses on a mother's understanding of her daughter's happiness s more important than her understanding of it.

Tell the Sun Not to Shine- follows the lives of  two adolescents who experimented together, but later occupy very different roles in their community.

FairyTales of Lost Children- explores how quickly, naively and tragically friendship can being and end.

Shoga-  follows a young man who is demoralized by his loved ones and struggles to accept it.

If I Were A Dance-  a couple comes back together to  interpret their relationship into dance for a show, the dance leads them to both to grapple with the truth of that relationship.

Pavilion- is about a transsexual woman who flamboyantly flaunts her otherness, and vulgarly rejects those who don't.

Ndambi- is about loving someone beyond their dislike for who you are, and learning to cope with the loss.

Earthling- is about a woman who is dealing with her declining mental health, and trying to be in love with someone who has s struggling to keep her grip on reality.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You- details the often long, painful and sometimes dangerous process that coming out to a intolerant family can be.

The Other (Wo)man- is about struggling to learn  gender boundaries, relationship honesty and being comfortable on the journey to a choice.

My Roots Are Your Roots-  is about two men finding home with each other and not living in the beauty of love and intimacy with each other.
"But I've learnt that when is comes to being an African artist working in a white field, tutors or patrons want my experiences to reflect their fantasies: the cliched notion of the noble savage. Sometimes you have to give in, because they hold your destiny in their hands."
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR









Diriye Osman is a Somali-born, British short story writer and visual artist. His writing has appeared in 'Time Out', 'Attitude', 'Prospect', 'Poetry Review', 'Kwani?', 'Jungle Jim', 'Under The Influence' and 'SCARF Magazine'.
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Waiting on Wednesday Issue #9

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Gilded Cage, Vic James, Waiting on Wenesday
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)
Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?
OUT FEBRUARY 14, 2017 
This sounds like a great dystopian revolution dipped in magic. Especially after the election, I want to continue to read stories about rebellion and change. Hopefully this lives up to hype I've seen surrounding it. 
What are You Anxiously Waiting On?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Vic lives in London’s Notting Hill, but her life is more action-adventure than rom-com.

She studied History and English at Merton College, Oxford where Tolkien was once professor. Relocating to Rome, she completed her doctorate in the Vatican Secret Archives (they’re nothing like The Da Vinci Code), then spent five years living in Tokyo where she learned Japanese and worked as a journalist. She now writes full time.

Vic has scuba-dived on Easter Island, camped at Everest Base Camp, voyaged on one of the last mailboats to St Helena, hang-glided across Rio de Janeiro, and swum the Hellespont from Europe to Asia. But there’s little she loves more than lying in bed till midday with a good book and a supply of her favourite biscuits.
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Waiting on Wednesday Issue #8

November 9, 2016
InToriLex, Waiting on Wednesday, Book Blog Meme,
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Paul Auster, Henry Holt and Co., 4321, Waiting on Wednesday
4 3 2 1 : A Novel
Astonishing, a masterpiece, Paul Auster’s greatest, most satisfying, most vivid and heartbreaking novel--a sweeping and surprising story of inheritance, family, love and life itself.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From one aunts- and unclesfilled beginning, Ferguson will take four paths, find his way from four outlooks, live four entirely different lives. And listeners will take in his pleasures and ache from the losses in each life as each precious, mortal plot rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism —and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to life itself—that listeners have never seen from Auster before. 4321 is gorgeous, epic, affecting and resplendent, an epic.
OUT JANUARY 31, 2017
I won a signed copy of this from the Brooklyn Book Festival Sweepstakes! This looks especially intriguing because it explores the many different paths you can take, and the inevitability of loss. I haven't read any other books by this author, but I hope it's really good.

What are You Anxiously Waiting On?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of Report from the Interior, Winter Journal, Sunset Park, Invisible, The Book of Illusions, and The New York Trilogy, among many other works. He has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature, the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Premio Napoli. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

http://paul-auster.com 

0 comments

Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life by Peter Himmelman

November 8, 2016
Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life, Peter Himmelman, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: TarcherPerigee on On October 11, 2016
Format Read:  Edition
Genre: Self Help/ Nonfiction
Series: Standalone
Source: ShelfAwareness Giveaway
Rating: FIVE STARS
Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life

~Amazon~
Are you afraid of your dreams?
Do you want to stop procrastinatng?
Would you love to be more creative?
Is there an idea you need to realize?

If so, then Let Me Out is for you.

Whether it’s learning ragtime piano, losing 30 pounds, or starting an organic jellybean company, award-winning musician turned communications expert Peter Himmelman's unique techniques to harness fear and take the steps to make goals a reality will give you the tools and confidence you need to stop listening to the negative thoughts holding you back and achieve professional and personal success.

Using science-based techniques plus methods designed to unlock creative potential (mined from his years as a successful musician) Himmelman shows you how to open your mind and unite left AND right-brained thinking in order to take action through powerful and deceptively simple exercises that will enable you to:

-Create more fearlessly, whether it's an ad campaign, a song, or a new business
-Communicate more effectively
-Finish projects that have stayed in the "bits and pieces" phase forever
-Make your ideas take shape in the real world

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This book teaches important lessons about a menacing voice we all live with named MARV, Majorly Afraid of Revealing Vulnerability. I don't read alot of self-help, but I picked up this ARC and decided it would be a way for me to get back to my writing and open myself up more creativly. Himmelman does a great job giving scientific and anecdotal evidence about how to take the steps that you need to fulfill your dreams. The writing is relateable, humorous and very engaging.
Himmelan suggests your goals should be Specific, Present and True, so that you are able to take real and worthwhile steps toward them. Brain Bottle Openers are small activity's you complete throughout the book to help you tap into your creativity. These activity's are one of the best features of the book. The activity's only take between 3 to 10 minutes  and he strongly suggests you to follow the time constraints. Here are some Brain Bottle Openers I felt were especially worthwhile:
Acknowledgement is Knowledge asks the reader to  acknowledge a situation where they  were partly responsible for the bad outcome.  
Disconnect to Reconnect suggests that you designate 4 hours a week to unplug from technology.  Chaos to Kid thinking, focus on a object for a few minutes and think of ways that object can be used outside of its normal function.

These activities shows readers they are capable of addressing the deep seated reasons they are afraid to achieve their dreams, in practical ways. After each chapter there is a review of the main points discussed and the Brain Bottle Openers that were featured. The chapter reviews are a great way for the reader to use this book as a reference. I look forward to using the Brain Bottle Openers in the future as I need them. This book got me out of a bad place with my writing, and I'm encouraged to begin again. I would recommend this book for everyone who is looking for a catalyst to get out their own way and pursue their dreams.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PETER HIMMELMAN is the founder of Big Muse, a company that teaches creative thinking, leadership skills, and deeper levels of communication in all facets of life--from personal to professional. As Big Muse has grown in popularity over the last four years, Peter has come to share his program with thousands of individuals, including charitable organizations, start-ups and international brands. A successful musician, he has been nominated for Emmy and Grammy awards, won the NAAPA Album of the Year Award, won six consecutive Parents Choice Gold Awards, and recieved six ASCAP awards.
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