Welcome to my Bibliophile’s Corner page.
I have a self-imposed book embargo that includes keeping a quasi-schedule of the books i’m reading, going to read, and their initial impressions (aperçu) or possibly a more in-depth write-up.
I don’t really know if i’m going to stick to any self-imposed embargo, nor do i think i’ll even have a schedule to follow. But, what i do know for sure after starting this page, i will have the book’s description, a quote from it, its cover, and some sort of blurb introducing the book to y’all.
If it’s more than, hmm, 108 words, it’ll link to the full post. Wait, all of the books’ write-ups should be more than that—unless it’s not needed. Eh. Nevermind. Just continue along.
All of the covers will link to its Amazon page, which, if you purchase after clicking, will count as a referral for me. Cha-ching! Money in my pocket.
- Touré’s Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness
In the age of Obama, racial attitudes have become more complicated and nuanced than ever before. Inspired by a president who is unlike any Black man ever seen on our national stage, we are searching for new ways of understanding Blackness. In this provocative new book, iconic commentator and journalist Touré tackles what it means to be Black in America today.
- Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds
Miriam Black knows when you will die.
Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.
Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.
- Ron Christie’s Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur
In the tradition of Randall Kennedy’s Nigger and Shelby Steele’s The Content of Our Character, Acting White demonstrates how the charge that any African-American who is successful, well mannered, or well educated is “acting white,” is a slur that continues to haunt blacks. Ron Christie traces the complex history of the phrase, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the tensions between Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X to Bill Cosby’s controversial NAACP speech in 2004. The author also writes candidly of being challenged by black students for his “acting white,” and also of being labeled a race traitor in Congress by daring to be Republican. This lucid chronicle reveals how this prevalent put-down sets back much of the hard-earned progress for all blacks in American society. Deftly argued and determinedly controversial, this book is certain to spur thoughtful discussion for years to come.
I stumbled upon this book while perusing the shelves of my favorite physical bookstore, Strand, in the heart of Union Square. It was apropos to my current mental leanings and water filling my well: definition of Blackness, “race,” and living in a world pre-occupied with both. The term “acting White” has been a pejorative thrown my way for years, though i’ve been able to elude its clawing attacks, still the derision behind its use is hurtful. I wanted to read another’s experience of it, hoping for some tidbits of solace, as well as some enlightment to pass along to others when they utter it.
- Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter….
I picked this book up less than two minutes (Amazon Prime, baby!) after a friend and fellow Nomadness Tribe member mentioned it when I was talking about my local (United States) wanderlusting: every year a buddy and I make it a point to travel to a different college campus for either their Homecoming or a rivalry football game. Into The Wild was the person’s corroboration to my contention that there’s a lot of things to do and see in America, but people don’t realize that, instead doing the bulk of their traveling abroad—and that’s not a bad thing; i’m just a proponent of experiencing all (the good things) my beloved country has to offer :-).
- Robert A. Johnson’s Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
The shadow in Jungian psychology is the unconscious dumping ground for undesirable characteristics of personality. “Owning” the shadow–accepting it as part of one’s self–is seen as the first step toward wholeness. Using examples from history, mythology, and religion, Johnson, author of Inner Work ( LJ 7/86) and Transformation ( LJ 8/91), offers a tour of the shadow, showing its origin and features, and demonstrating how and why it bursts into consciousness when least expected. Returning to the subject of his earlier work We ( LJ 2/1/84), the author reveals how experience of romantic love may lead to awareness of both positive and negative aspects of the shadow, and how integrating the shadow into one’s personality can be a challenging religious experience. This clearly written, thought-provoking work is recommended for academic and public libraries.
– Lucille Boone, San Jose P.L., Cal.
- Pearce Hansen’s Street Raised
(This was free for a few days during a running promotion by the author.)
When Speedy raises from prison, he hitchhikes home to Oakland only to find his brother Little Willy a homeless crack head and his best friend Fat Bob bouncing in San Francisco’s underground hardcore clubs. When two of their childhood homeboys get wrapped in chains by Mexican slangers and thrown in the American River alive, our heroes somehow get it together enough to plot revenge.
- Dave Zeltserman’s Bad Karma
(This was actually free during a promotion the author was running for a few days.)
In this sequel to Bad Thoughts, Bill Shannon and his ex-wife, Susan, are reunited and living in Boulder, Colorado. When Shannon is hired to investigate the brutal murder of two college students, he finds himself mixed up with evil yoga studios, dangerous Russian mobsters, and worse! Bad Karma introduces a new hard-boiled PI series with a New Age twist.
- Chuck Wendig’s 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer
500 WAYS TO BE A BETTER WRITER aims to provide novelists, screenwriters and other flavors of penmonkey with an avalanche of writing tips and storytelling tricks. All of it greased up with whisky and bad language (let that serve as your first and only warning: this is a very NSFW book of writing advice).
Every writer should read this book—now. Go. I don’t even need or know what else to say. Oh, a warning: it’s funny, but can become a little too juvenile with all of the penis jokes. Besides that, tons of gems to be found. This will be taken off my “shelf” for years and years—it’s that useful.
- Chuck Wendig’s The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience
The journey to become a successful writer is long, fraught with peril, and filled with difficult questions: How do i write dialogue? How do I build suspense? What should I know about query letters? Where do I start?
The best way to answer these questions is to ditch your uncertainty and transform yourself into a KICK-ASS writer. Chuck Wendig will show you how with an explosive broadside of gritty advice that will destroy your fears, clear the path, and help you find your voice, your story, and your audience.
I’ve been on a i-need-to-write-kick the past few weeks and incidentally saw that Chuck had released a new writing advice book recently so i had to get it!