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Showing posts from December, 2017

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson



                This is the story of Walter McMillan, a man on death row in Alabama, awaiting an execution date for a murder he claims he didn’t commit. This is the story of Bryan Stevenson, a young, black lawyer who founded Equal Justice Initiative, in hopes of helping those who had fallen victim to an unjust legal system. This is the story of how Bryan Stevenson saved Walter McMillan from the execution chair by fighting for his freedom and revealing the holes in a case based off corrupt witness testimony, lies, and deceit. But this is also the story of many other people living behind bars, hoping for a chance at freedom, even though the odds are stacked against them.                 This book was absolutely incredible and extremely disheartening. Stevenson, in telling this story, reveals so much about what is wrong in our criminal justice. And he does it in such a way, that it is extremely hard to refute. He is full of …

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi




                This was a story that I began reading with the most basic of information and a whole lot of hype. I took my time getting to it. Part of me didn't know if I was mentally ready to read it, the other part of me didn’t want to be disappointed. I shouldn't have feared either. This book was amazing, beautifully crafted and extremely engaging. Homegoing is about a family separated. Sisters, that never knew each other, and how their fates would lead their descendants in two completely different directions. One would stay in Africa. The other a slave in America. But what would become of their children, and their children's children, and the many after that? This is a look back at history. This history of a people separated. One side staying home while the other can only look back unknowingly to a home they never knew.                 I've said before and I'll say it again, writing successful generational stories is hard. Gyasi though ex…

Imago by Octavia E. Butler

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Imago by Octavia E. Butler


This is how a story should end. This is how you bring all the different parts together, weave them together seamlessly and produce something new. The Ooankali weren't expecting to create a construct-ooloi and yet Johads is going through metamorphosis, its first, and will become the first construct-ooloi. What this will mean for its future and its ability to mate is yet to be seen. When I first started this trilogy I was constantly amazed by Butler's creativity and her ability to give so many details to not only the Ooankali but the world that was left after war destroyed life on Earth. With each book she added layers to the story that just increased the scope of this world and brought me to the brink of my imagination. Imago blends seamlessly into this world and takes a wholly unexpected turn that kept me intrigued and excited! One of things that I really loved about this series was the passage of time. Decades pass between the books and yet Butler mi…

Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler

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Adulthood Rites by Octavia E. Butler



                Lilith has just given birth to the only human born, male construct on Earth. Akin looks human with brown skin and no tentacles except one on his gray tongue. His perception is amazing. Within days he can speak and because of his memory and Oankali senses he is very intelligent. But Akin, regardless of how intelligent he is, is still a child. The raiders took him from his village on Earth in hopes of trading with one of the resister villages. It is there, with the people who once knew his mother that Akin learns of his Human heritage and why they feel the need to continue to fight.                 Just enough time has passed between Dawn and Adulthood Rites for this to feel like a fresh start, with different challenges and circumstances. Lilith has now been living on Earth for years, and has been raising a family with her Oankali mates. The resisters live on Earth as well, having separated from the Oankali as soon as the opportunity a…

Dawn by Octavia E. Butler

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Dawn by Octavia E. Butler


                I love Octavia E. Butler. I can’t say that enough. I think she is a masterful storyteller. This book is no exception. It took me way too long to fall under the Butler spell and now that I have there is no turning back. Dawn is the first book in the Xenogenisis trilogy. In this novel you are introduced to Lillith, a survivor of a nuclear war on Earth. The Oankali rescued her and the rest of the survivors and placed them on their ship orbiting around Earth. Eventually they will return to Earth. Lillith has been chosen by the Oankali to act in the role of leader or mother, but first she must learn their ways, learn to survive and learn to teach others. All of this is for the trade. The Oankali will return the humans to Earth but they expect something from the humans in return.                 Disoriented. That’s how Lillith felt trying to understand the world she was now a part of and that’s how I felt in the beginning of the book. Simply off kilt…

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

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Tampa by Alissa Nutting



                Celeste seems to have a perfect life. Her husband is a police officer with an inheritance that allows them to live more than comfortably. She is an extremely attractive woman, who will begin her first teaching job in the fall. Everyone thinks they are really happy. But all Celeste really wants is for the school year to begin so she can be surrounded by fourteen-year-old boys and find that special one that she can do with as she pleases sexually. Celeste is well aware of the fact that she has to be careful, that no one will understand the way she prefers young men right on the cusp of puberty and that while others may find her husband attractive she simply sees him as a means to an end. Celeste has been looking forward to this for so long and then she finds him, Jack. Tampa is a complete mind fuck of a book. And I mean that in a good way. This book isn’t going to be for everybody and you will know very early on if this is a book that you can actua…

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

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The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin



And now the journey continues and the fight against Father Earth rages on. Essun and Nassun are both on the road now, one to destroy the world, the other to save it. Both struggling to make it to their destinations. Their companions remain faithful if not completely aware of their destinies and why. Each with a stone eater near, constantly watching. And throughout this, a story is being told. The story of how the seasons began, how the prisoners fought back and how the world was never the same. Well, if that's not how you are supposed to end a series then dammit, I've got nothing. This has such a satisfying ending, one that was completely unexpected and yet perfectly fitting. The Stone Sky picks up where The Obelisk Gate left off and the readers are thrown right back into a desolate world. I was wary from the beginning to find out where Nassun and Essun were going, if their paths would cross and how? The narratives changed between, Nassun in third …

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler


                Olamina has been living on Acorn for two years now with her husband and the many people who journeyed with her. Their small community has grown and they have embraced her teachings of Earthseed. They are making a life for themselves in their secluded home. But trouble it brewing outside of their community, in the shape of a presidential candidate who wants to return America back to its previous glory, when Christianity was the only practiced religion. Some of his people known as Crusaders have been making the rounds in the area near Acorn and while Olamina is doing what she can to protect her community and Earthseed, the future is extremely unclear.                 This second novel in Butler’s Earthseed series is a story told through the eyes of Olamina’s daughter, Larkin, who we soon learn was taken from her mother and given to a married couple to be raised away from Olamina’s heathen ways. We learn what has happened to Acor…

The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution by Jonathan Hennessey, Art by Jack McGowan

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The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution by Jonathan Hennessey, Art by Jack McGowan


                This was a really entertaining and fascinating look at the history of video gaming. Comprehensive and done with a nod to all those who took part in the creation of video games as we now know it, The Comic Book Story of Video Games doesn’t take itself too seriously but does make sure to leave readers with an overall history of how video games were created. I enjoyed this book. It kept me intrigued and revealed plenty of information that I wasn’t aware of. I thought the illustrations were well done and heightened the appeal of the overall story. Hennessey did his research and made sure to highlight many of the games people know and love while introducing those behind the scenes of their creation. I am not a video game master by any means but I thought this was well done. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Thank you Blogging for Books for …

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


                This novel begins the night Arthur dies. He collapsed on stage while performing King Lear. His obituary would be in the next day’s paper. The night of his collapse would be the night the pandemic really began. The hospitals in Toronto were overflowing, the incubation period for patients with the Georgia Flu was hours, with death in days. And it was spreading, faster than anyone could imagine. Twenty years have passed since that night. Survivors are now in Year 20, since the collapse of civilization as it was once known. The Traveling Symphony that Kirsten travels with has seen what’s left of the world. They have their territory that they feel secure in covering after all these many years. Whenever she thinks back on that night, the night the world begins to end, it’s always Arthur that she remembers.                 I’m not sure how this dystopian novel worked as well as it did. I’ve read quite a few dystopian novels centered arou…

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton


          It all started the day “The Nutcracker” cast was announced. Bette knew she would be the Sugar Plum Fairy, just like her sister. And besides she is the best dancer at the American Ballet Conservatory. The chances that Mr. K would choose someone else for that role are slim to none. June feels the same way. She has been at the conservatory since she was 6. She knows all about how Mr. K chooses to cast his ballets, and that’s why she knows she won’t be cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy, because June is half-Korean and none of the Asian girls ever get a lead role. Needless to say, everyone was shocked when Gigi, the new girl from California, got the role. Especially since she is the only black girl in the class. Now Gigi unknowingly has a target on her back.            So this book is really intense! I was expecting something along the lines of “Centerstage” with some dramatic flair. What I got was a surprisingly diverse grou…