Recent Reads #2

From the New Releases at the North Beach library branch, I yanked:

A Life in the Merde, Stephen Clarke

To tell you what I thought of it, let me just say: after finishing the last sentence I chuckled, then called brother-in-law to talk about it, then went online to library and reserved the next in line, In the Merde for Love. Randomly explained to my 7 year-old niece what Merde was- which involved backpeddling when I realized I was teaching her a swear word in another language, and the language that she already half knows because her parents use it as the “adult-only” language. Back to the book: really funny. Clarke did vanity press before getting picked up, and I’m glad he did, because I really enjoyed it. Funny, light, insightful, voila. “My tea is rich!”

Nowhere is a Place, by Bernice McFadden

I stayed up all night last night reading this. It’s along the lines of Beloved meets Terry McMillan. Depressing, but also a great story in general, and she’s a great storyteller. I’m really glad when the perspective shifted from the Terry McMillan-style character to her mother, who was more … earthy? Not sure. Tough read but great.

… this was a book that I searched for and reserved:
If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery, Farah Jasmine Griffin

I started reading this because I had just watched the Jazz series and Billie’s story seemed fascinating. I wanted a biography but this is all the library had available. The problem is that it involves a whole lot of Farah, and not a lot of Billie. For an academic like Farah, this book was a work of love. Didn’t help transfer to me the love she had for Billie, and I’m a huge fan. I think she could have re-vamped this and made it work. Loosely edited, with annoying academic speak- authoritative statements, and just not a lot of examples, evidence, etc. to backup her opinions. I felt she was defensive about stuff too that I just didn’t think she needed to be defensive about.