Saturday wasn’t good (there was police involved… don’t ask), so let’s just move past that to Sunday, because, yay, I finished another book, making this a legit (I promised) addition to Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Salon, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Post meme and It’s Monday What are You Reading (because it’s already Sunday night here, which is kind of like Monday).
The book I finished is Bernice McFadden’s Glorious.
See a review excerpt below:
“Really, though, what I started to get, the closer I got to the end, was that this book is more of a full biography (with all of the coming of age, first loves, romances, adventure, career, growth etc.) that a full life entails. More than that, it is really the story of the African American, and specifically the African American female artiste, through main character Easter’s journeys away from and back to where she started. And in a sense from boxer Jack Johnson’s defeat of Jim Jeffries in 1910 to the 1960s civil rights era, this is the story of America – achieved with only one major time jump.
As with Sugar, previously reviewed, McFadden does a really good job in making the recent history of which she writes touchable, seeable, feelable. The imagery is vivid, the historical notes solid and interestingly montage-y, the rhythm of the language has a beauty and musicality, and seductive layering, that you see for the first but not the last time in the opening sequence when it connects the Johnson fight worlds away to the traumatic, catalyzing incident in young Easter’s life, suggesting a connectivity between everything (or if not everything, unlikely things) that’s really thought-provoking. Historical figures, like Johnson, Garvey, many from the Harlem Renaissance, and others are worked in seamlessly and original characters claim their space in the reader’s imagination as well. Shortcomings include what feels like loose-ends in that some characters, Rain for example, kind of disappear back in to the scenery when Easter’s arc with them is done but without satiating my curiousity about them. Overall though, the language is beautiful and striking, Easter has an interesting life, and the world she moves through is rich; and Easter in the end feels like someone of that time, not just of that time in the novel, but in reality, and her journey all too sad and familiar.”
Still on the active reading pile:
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
All the Joy You can Stand by Debrena Jackson Gandy
(those are the two I’m most actively reading)
Nobody owns the Rainbow by Kristene Simelda
(this is an advance review copy – Simelda is based and the novel is set in Dominica, which is all the motivation I need to remind you to support hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean if and where you can)
Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
(I started these about the same time and am about 20 pages in in both cases…sigh…I’ll get there)
The Black Rose by Tananarive Due
Singles Holiday by Elaine Spires
(bigger sigh…because, I know, I know, I’ve been reading these for a while and enjoying them when I actually have time to read them more or less but I need to finish them already)
Serpent Bride by Sara Douglass
(newly plucked from the book shelf…yes, I know I have 8 books ahead of this one and have no business plucking another book from the shelf… but picking a new book when I’ve finished one is one of my life’s simplest pleasures…don’t ask me to give that up… programming note: the shelf is looking lighter! does this mean I’ll be able to get new-er books soon?)
Wishing everyone a good week – myself included. We’ve earned it.