Reading as Escape(Repeatedly)

I’m on Spring Break! Officially it began for me on Thursday but I’ve been relaxing most of the week. Needless to say, the way that I’ve been relaxing is by reading.

 Reading is my number one hobby. It’s my comfort, escape, and solace. For me, there’s something relaxing about reading that can’t be beat by any of my other hobbies. No matter what format or genre, I love being in bed with a book; just slipping into the worlds these authors create. As I mentioned in a previous post, I went to the library over a week ago and picked up a stack of books. I stayed up until after 3:00 this morning reading Catherine Coulter’s Enigma and am now less than a hundred pages into Harlan Coben’s Don’t Let Go

 One of my favorite parts of being a reader is getting to experience different lives, occupations and worlds. The pages of books really do allow you to live other experiences. I think that my love of books translates to my ability to see the plot twists in movies and TV shows. I may finish this book tonight or tomorrow but then I’ll definitely be diving into the next one. I’m sure that Monday will see me picking up another stack of books as I eagerly await the delivery of pre-ordered books from Amazon.

Note:The picture above is one of my favorite reads from my latest library pick up. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, please check it out when you have time. It’s a wonderful blend of history and fiction. 

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Giving Up

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As I have stated many times before, I am a long-time reader. I love reading, love books, love stories. There is no way to describe the joy I feel at having a book in my hand or the fact that I have come to feel the same way about ebooks. I can still recall the struggle I put myself through trying to finish Uncle Tom’s Cabin and how I kept giving myself pep talks about not letting a book defeat me. Thank God for growth. I no longer force it; if the book doesn’t work for me, it just doesn’t.

On Monday, I stopped at my local library and picked up a new stack of books. I probably picked up at least eight books but I’m sure it was easily ten. I finished one book and started another one and stalled.  I picked up another one and that one was quickly put down as well as I chose to start reading a title by J.D. Robb. I haven’t finished that one either because I chose to start rereading one of my favorite titles by another author.

I have no doubt that by the time these books are due in another week and a half that I will have read the bulk of them. But what I won’t do is keep trying to force myself to finish books that don’t hold my attention. There are too many great books out there for that!

Buying New Poetry

One of my big life goals is to create a significant poetry section on my bookshelves. As a lover of poetry, I was shocked when I recently realized that the only poetry books on my shelves are those that were required from various classes; if you don’t count the William Wordsworth volume that I managed to snag from a used bookstore. My winter reading list features several poetry volumes but I have made little inroads on that. However, I did make a recent poetry purchase. It was Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne. I love it so much that I want to purchase another copy to donate to my local library.

Although it’s technically only one poem, it is really amazingly powerful and I strongly suggest reading it.

I’m going to share a small list of books that I plan to get in the next four months or so. I’m hoping that because I plan to buy these from Amazon that it will make them start recommending more books for me. A few of these are books from a few of my favorite poets and some come highly recommended.

milk and honey -rupi kaur

Don’t Call Us Dead-Danez Smith

The Essential Rumi-Rumi

Night Sky with Exit Wounds-Ocean Vuong

This Is My Beloved- Walter Benton

I’ve Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems- Sonia Sanchez

The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998- Nikki Giovanni

The Complete Poetry- Maya Angelou

Electric Arches- Eve Ewing

(and I must have) The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010

 

Please feel free to share any recommendation for poetry books. I am serious about growing my collection and reading more poetry.

 

Snowed In…

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Yesterday a snowstorm hit part of the East Coast and surprise of all surprises, my part of North Carolina got quite a bit. As someone who grew up in snow, I am excited about it but also staying in the house. The semester doesn’t begin for me until Monday so I’ve been relaxing. I spent the day watching the Kingsman movies and sleeping off what I hope are the last bits of a nasty cold. Tonight, I plan to finish reading Michael Connelly’s The Late Show and watching the newest episode of Chicago Fire.

I also hope to get some writing done tomorrow on one of the new pieces that I hope to finish this year. Hopefully, I will be sharing new fiction next week.

New Year, Same Crap

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I hope that you enjoyed your holidays and got the chance to overeat and relax. I took the time to be lazy and to work on a long overdue purge of clothes, old work from my past grad programs and from past semesters. 

I also started working on my winter reading list which I can already tell is going to go deep into spring because I keep adding new books. In fact, I just added Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine and Ashley Farley’s Sweet Tea Tuesdays to my Kindle today. In addition to the two Michael Connelly books that I checked out of the library. 

Since we are firmly in 2018, I wanted to take a quick moment to share a few of my goals for the year.

  • I am gearing up for the new year with a commitment to building a brand for this blog and expanding it. That’s one of my major goals for 2018. I’ll be posting about that later this month.
  •  I also hope to recruit some guest bloggers or to feature more original poems from new poets. Another one of my goals for the year is to read more poetry. 
  • In that vein, I ordered a new book at the end of the year Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. 
  • Lastly, as you can see from the attached picture I am also working on some new story ideas. So one of my immediate goals is to spend more time at my desk working on these ideas.

Please let me know if you’ve set any specific goals for the new year and how you’re planning to tackle them.

Winter Reading List

Newsflash: I love to read! I know that many people do seasonal reading list. I just read what comes out or whatever piques my interest when I’m at the library. However, I have decided that I want to develop a reading list for the winter. Below are the 18 books that I’ve selected, I am hopeful that I will be able to get through many of them while I am on break between semesters. I have read Otherwise as Sheila the Great and The Autobiography of Malcolm X before and look forward to doing so again. Biko is a story that I am looking forward to reading. I am looking forward to dedicating some time to relaxing, reading as I light the wick on my new bookish candles from Frostbeard Studio.

 

Please share what you’re reading and if you have any recommendations!

 

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Attica Locke -Bluebird, Bluebird

Danielle Girard- Dead Center

Harlen Coben -Don’t Let Go

Donald Woods- Biko

Alexander McCall Smith -The House of Unexpected Sisters

Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers 1967 to Present

Malcolm X and Alex Haley-The Autobiography of Malcolm X**

Tsitsi Dangarembga- Nervous Conditions

Roxane Gay-An Untamed State

Audre Lorde-A Burst of Light and Other Essays

Joy Jordan-Lake- A Tangled Mercy

Simeon Wright-Simeon’s Story An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till

Rainbow Rowell -Attachments

Walter Benton- This is My Beloved

Eve L. Ewing – Electric Arches

Judy Blume- Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great *

Ayobami Adebayo-Stay With Me

Colson Whitehead -The Underground Railroad

Kali Nicole Gross-Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America

Andres Resendez-The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

 

Writer’s Travel List-Update

I went to New Orleans, again! This time, I was able to mark off something from my literary travel wish list. Right before I landed, I took a look at the New Orleans section of the list just as a refresher. Of course, I visited the French Quarter, and ate beignets and po’ boys but…I also went to Faulkner House Books. It was so amazing! It’s a small place but it’s shelves are filled with books so as a bibliophile I was suitably impressed. I managed to keep my purchases down to two books but I’m already envisioning a trip back. 

I was also able to sneak in a bit of writing while I was away. I’ve found that when I travel, I’m almost always inspired to create. So expect to see that in the coming weeks.