2018 christmas gift guide

Christmas is just right around the corner. If you need to find a dope gift for your family, friend or even you coworkers I think I have the guide for you. Best of all the brands are created by women. Happy shopping!

  1. Erin Condren Hard Notebook these notebooks come in beautiful colors and can be used for planning or just as a journal for thoughts.  Another bonus that makes this the perfect gift is that it can be personalized  Order early to receive in time for Christmas.
  2. Felicia Leatherwood Detangling brush for your naturally curly, kinky hair lady this is the perfect gift! It makes detangling a breeze because the brush is strong yet flexible so it won’t rip her curls out. If the brush is available don’t wait.
  3. Fenty Bomb Baby set includes Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in “Hu$tla Baby” and Gloss Bomb Universal Lip in travel-friendly sizes for your beauty queen. She can have favorites on the go or you can introduce someone to the greatness that is Fenty Beauty.
  4. Elle Vie body butter is the perfect moisturizer with beautiful scents. Especially with winter right around the corner this is a beautiful gift for the lady in your life. She will be soft and smell amazing!
  5. Posh Candles soy wax candles that have cute names to go with their wonderful smell. This is the perfect gift for the person who loves cute decor and the candles smell better than those found in your local stores.
  6. My Lit Box a subscription service for the book lover in your life. It is delivered quarterly so she won’t  over run with books. They send you the latest in new book releases and have three different options to choose from.

Great gift ideas for every woman in your life no matter her age. Happy Holidays

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The many sides of Aretha Franklin

Last month the great Aretha Louise Franklin passed away. Every since then I have been down a YouTube rabbit hole of her performances and interviews. In doing that I also decided I wanted to read about her life first her telling her own story in the autobiography  Aretha: From These Roots and then book that is said to be the definitive Aretha Franklin biography written by David Ritz Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin. 

In her autobiography Aretha basically just took the reader on ride through her career touching on a few incidents with other artist but always making her self out to be the victim. She touched on a few of her personal relationships but all but skimped over her marriage to Ted White and made her marriage to Glenn Thurman sound like a fairy tale. Aretha was very upset about the stories that had been told about her mother abandoning the family and wanted set the record straight. She painted a picture of childhood bliss going between both parents until her months death. I don’t doubt that she visited her mother but having mother leave and suddenly die as child is what Aretha stated “that it was pain she could not describe and wouldn’t even try”. Later in the book when speaking about Natalie Cole she states that hearing Natalie discuss her fathers death made it easier later for her to talk about her father. I believe Aretha was of the black old school adage that what happens at home stays and family business isn’t to be discussed with others. I don’t fault Aretha for being scared to truly open about her loses, but she would have probably benefited from therapy.

Mr. Ritz was able to take a deeper dive  into Aretha’s life good and bad. He interviewed her sibling, other family members and people who have worked with Aretha professionally. Ruth Bowen is probably the closest non-family member in the book and her takes on Ms Aretha were interesting. One topic that is discussed through out both books are Aretha’s stage shows. Aretha speaks on them as if they are just beautiful and well put together because she does them. While in Mr. Ritz books everyone says that her shows border on tacky and her song selections most of the times are a miss. Another thing that is touched towards the end of Respect is Aretha’s later song selections. Many felt they were beneath her but  also a lot of people were depending Aretha financially. When you are the person responsible for taking care of your family and your money management are lacking you are going to have to keep working well past the time you probably should. So I think based off the books and also clips I have seen I do believe Aretha truly enjoyed performing and making music but it was also a necessary for her too. The stories told my her family and other artist who worked with Aretha describe how talented she was on the piano. One time her arm was broken and she was able to come into the studio and play beautifully. We didn’t see much of her playing the piano in the 80’s and 90’s but she went back to that in her later concerts.

The last thing I want to touch on is Ms. Aretha’s mystery man. Her autobiography she touches on a mystery man she was interested in interwoven between her long term relationship and marriage. Ms. Bowen had me crying laughing talking about the matter. Everyone in Mr. Ritz’s book says that there was no mystery man and Aretha liked to make up stories because she desired to be loved and wanted.  I say if you don’t know much about Ms. Franklin and want to know more then definitely give these books a read. I don’t think Aretha is a great autobiography/memoir but it is a great companion to Respect. Neither book is a hard read I finished both books in a week and half. There is a lot I have left out this review because I feel people should read the books and shape their own opinion of the phenomenal Aretha Louise Franklin.

Have read either of these books if so what was your opinion? Would you recommend them?

 

Fall and Winter TBR

I have met my reading goal for this year already so now I’m taking a little more time with books and will be getting into a little more non-fiction to finish out the year hopefully. Some of the books have yet to be released so they may actually carryover into next year depending on if I’m able to get my hands on them. What are some books you looking forward to diving into during the cool/colder months?

Fiction:

The Talented Ribkins – I saw a review this book last year on YouTube and it has been on my TBR every since. I was browsing my local library and saw they had it so I will be picking that up soon.

My Sister, The Serial Killer -this book isn’t set for release until November but I am excited to read this one. The cover looks amazing and premise is interesting to me. –

Praise Song for Butterflies– after doing some research this a re release for Bernice L. Mcfadden. I’m slowly making my way through her works but I this is one I want to read sooner rather than later.

Whiskey and Ribbons– I have seen wonderful reviews for this book. I started reading it this summer but they kept talking about snow. I decided to put this down until it gets cold so I can fully appreciate the cold weather and coziness I think I’m supposed to feel reading this book.

 

Non-fiction:

Becoming– Michelle Obama’s memoir the cover is beautiful and that is enough for me. It will also be released in November.

The Warmth of Other Suns– my sister told me about this book last year. I ordered it early this year but once I saw the size I knew a book like that it could be overwhelming for me to read. I’m waiting on the audio copy from library but I may just end up purchasing the audio because I don’t want to continue to put this one off.

All the Pieces Matter: Inside Story of the Wire– I have a confession I have never finished the Wire series. However I love reading behind the scenes or how events are put together.  I want to really to read this one because the Wire is a piece of pop culture.

This definitely isn’t a complete list of what I will be picking up but just some books I’m excited to read the latter part of 2018.

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Coming Up

Summer is winding down I was able to accomplish four items off of my summer bucket list. I can truly say I had a great summer. I took a few vacations got to put my feet in the sand. I also read some great books and watched some wonderful movies. The biggest thing my son started his freshman year of college!

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some seasonal blogs about books and beauty the things I love I hope you are enjoying the content.

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Summer Reading Round Up

Summer is coming to a close but there are few more weeks left at least down south where I live to for summer like weather. So if you want a good read before the morning chill comes check out a few of the books I read this summer. I recommend them all!

Physical copies:

A Princess in Theory -great summer romance novel. Glad to see the female lead being described as some one that I can identify with. The book moved quickly and secondary plot was also interesting even though slightly predictable.

The Untelling– this is my second Tayari Jones novel and why I like her books I don’t love them. This story was an easy read and I loved the mother daughter conflict issue in the book, but this story just didn’t move me.

Kindred Graphic Novel– I loved Kindred so I wanted to read the graphic novel also. The story is the same you just have the graphic drawing to compliment the story. If you prefer grapic novels to books give this a try to get into the story of Kindred.

Crazy Rich Asian: I wanted to read this ahead of the movie coming out. I enjoyed this book but I wasn’t wowed about it. I never felt a strong connection to the main characters. I actually enjoyed Astrid’s storyvline more. Not sure if I will continue with the series.

An American Marriage: this novel was all the buzz earlier this year. I decided to wait to read it because I saw so many mixed reviews. As I said with the Untelling I like Ms. Jones books but they always seem to fall short somewhere for me. An American was definitely a good, easy read but there was still something missing. Celestial’s voice was incomplete and I didn’t get to know her as well as I would have liked. The ending was wrapped up so that you have closure with these characters. The best part of the book were the letters between Roy and Celestial. The book is worth a read

Audio:

Upstate -this story has been on my mind since I finished the book. I chose the audio version because I heard that Chadwick Bozeman was a narrator and he did an awesome job. The female narrator also did a wonderful job. The last few chapters of this book had me in tears. This a 5 star book for me.

Around the Way Girl -I wanted to love this memoir but Taraji sounded like she had a cold so the narration was distracting at time. Her stories were good the best ones were in relation to her father. Some of the later stories just weren’t as compelling but still an enjoyable listen overall.

Parable of Sower – another wonderful Octavia Butler novel. The story is told from the journals Lauren Olamina. It is dystopian tale that takes place in California. That is all I will say except read it!

 

#24in48 Readathon

I am attempting my first readathon this weekend July 21-22. Who knows how it will go because even though I don’t have anything planned something always comes up. I hauled a few of books from library earlier this week so that is where I will be picking my books from. Here are my choices:

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett I believe this is a cozy mystery that is the first in a series about actress Dayna Anderson.

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson this is a YA book about a tween named Jade and that’s all I know.

Lazaretto by Diane McKinney Whetstone I know nothing about this book but the cover is beautiful and makes me want to read this.

If you interested in participating in the 24 in 48 Readathon I will leave the link you can still sign-up! Happy reading!

Day 1 of #24in48 readathon, I stayed last night to finish a book I was already reading on my kindle so I could start today fresh. But I did spend one hour of the readathon finishing The Commitment by Nia Forrester. Today I will be reading Piecing Me Together because I have been on a romance roll and need a break. While I’m out running my errand I will continue to listen to Parable of Talents by Octavia Butler. Enjoy your Saturday!

Update this was a fail I have not touched a book since Friday night oh well I will try again next time.