Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Reads Part One: The Physical Books

     Hey Scholars!  My name is Rebekkah and I am an avid reader (everyone say: Hi Rebekkah!). Seriously, I love to read. This stems from my parents buying tons of books for my brother and me. As a child I enjoyed reading because of all the places I could go and the people I met in the many stories I read. As an adult I still love reading. I read books from many different authors across many genres. Even though my days are hectic between being a full-time graduate student and working part-time (sometimes full-time) it is hard to squeeze in reading for pleasure. Currently, I am taking a six week summer course and then I start my internship. This summer my evenings belong to me, meaning that when I come home I am not bogged down with research, writing papers or studying for exams. Basically,  I will be able to read whatever I want, whenever I feel like it.
     When books that I want to read come out, I usually shelve them until I can get to them. I have been buying a lot of books some of which (okay most of them) have been on my To Be Read (TBR) list. I have a ton of books on this list; some are physical copies of books and others are on my Nook Color. The books that will be mentioned in this post are all physical copies of books. I know that e-readers are really huge right now and I will even admit convenient, however, I prefer books with pages. I enjoy the entire reading process; reading the flaps or back of books to see what the story is about, turning the pages, and memorizing which chapter and/or page number I left off on (I do not use bookmarks- I have them; I just do not use them).
     Okay so here are a few of the books on my physical book reading list this summer:

Eric Jerome Dickey
Accidental Affair
Dutton Publishing

"James Thicke is a man whose mysterious past runs as deep as his violent streak. He's channeled the intensity of his soul into twin passions-success as a screenwriter, and marriage to movie actress Regina Baptiste. In the midst of filming his latest script, starring Regina and leading man Johnny Bergs, James receives a video of his wife caught in the most compromising of situations.

Hours later, the clip of the on-set infidelity has hit the Internet and gone viral in the blogosphere and across all channels of social media. James responds to the affront by savagely attacking Johnny Bergs, and the spectacle has both the paparazzi and the police amassing at the married couple's estate. James goes on the run, but only as far as the city of Downey, California. As James tries to protect Regina from Hollywood's underbelly, lust, blackmail, and revenge become his constant companions. Does an accidental affair spell permanent danger?"

I have actually started reading this a while ago but due to my busy and ever changing schedules, I made it about half way through and put it down.

Marlon James
The Book of Night Women: A Novel
Riverhead Books (a member of Penguin Group)

"The Book of Night Women is the profoundly moving and authentic tale of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the turn of the eighteenth century. From her birth, the women on the plantation recognize the ancient, dark power she possesses—something that they all come to both revere and fear as they plot a revolt against their owners. As Lilith grows into her own woman, with her own aspirations, and as her passion for their plantation manager develops into a feeling deeper than she could have imagined, she threatens to become the weak link in the women’s plans.

Deeply affecting and beautifully written, The Book of Night Women instantly joins the ranks of the classic literature of slavery."

The author sent me this copy of her book. Thanks Ms. Bernice!

Bernice L. McFadden
Gathering of Waters: A Novel
Akashic Books

"Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi—a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till’s spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town’s families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism—both disturbing and riveting—combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s Beloved."

Toni Morrison is my all-time favorite writer.

Toni Morrison
A Mercy: A Novel

"A powerful tragedy distilled into a jewel of a masterpiece by the Nobel Prize–winning author of Beloved and, almost like a prelude to that story, set two centuries earlier.

In the 1680s the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class divisions, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were planted and took root.

Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh north. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, “with the hands of a slave and the feet of a Portuguese lady.” Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, but later from a handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved.

There are other voices: Lina, whose tribe was decimated by smallpox; their mistress, Rebekka, herself a victim of religious intolerance back in England; Sorrow, a strange girl who’s spent her early years at sea; and finally the devastating voice of Florens’ mother. These are all men and women inventing themselves in the wilderness.

A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and of a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.

Acts of mercy may have unforeseen consequences."

Toni Morrison
Home: A Novel

"America’s most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man’s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war.

Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he’s hated all his life. As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again.
A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood—and his home."

Dolen Perkins- Valdez
Wench: A Novel
Amistad (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing)

"wench \'wench\ n. from Middle English “wenchel,” 1 a: a girl, maid, young woman; a female child.

Situated in Ohio, a free territory before the Civil War, Tawawa House is an idyllic retreat for Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their enslaved black mistresses. It’s their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at the resort, building strong friendships over the years. But when Mawu, as fearless as she is assured, comes along and starts talking of running away, things change. To run is to leave everything behind, and for some it also means escaping from the emotional and psychological bonds that bind them to their masters. When a fire on the resort sets off a string of tragedies, the women of Tawawa House soon learn that triumph and dehumanization are inseparable and that love exists even in the most inhuman, brutal of circumstances— all while they bear witness to the end of an era.

An engaging, page-turning, and wholly original novel, Wench explores, with an unflinching eye, the moral complexities of slavery."

***Disclaimer: All of the summaries are from the publisher's website.*** 

Enjoy your summer reading!

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