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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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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Photo by Jesse Yelin on Pexels.com

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.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

The jacket states “for the first time Gucci Mane tells his extraordinary story in his own words.”  The first part of the autobiography I feel we really get that. Gucci discusses his family and those relationships from when he was in Alabama and then after his move to Atlanta. Gucci does go into details about his steps to becoming a rap artist and troubles with law. He speaks candidly about his time in solitary confinement and the effects it had on him. He also went it to detail about his drug use and how it effected his body and personality.

Gucci does discuss some beefs and issues he had with people in the music business but I would have loved to read more about his family relationships. He mentions his mother and brother occasionally in passing after the first act but not much. He also mentions a son that we don’t read about again until the last chapter. Gucci talks about meeting Keisha and how they were kind of off again on again due to his drug use but that is basically the only look we get into the relationship. Maybe they didn’t want the book too long and it is definitely and easy read.

Overall I enjoyed the autobiography but I just would have liked Gucci to go deeper. I do recommend this especially if you are a child of hip hop or just enjoy taking a peek into the rap lifestyle.

#MarchMysteryMadness Wrap-Up

I was excited for the #MarchMysteryMadness reading challenge. I have wanted to read more African-American mystery writers and this month gave me an excuse to do just that. I will start with my favorite which was Blanche Among the Talented Tenth. I read the first book in the Blanche White series last year and wasn’t impressed. I wasn’t going to read anymore in the series but I’m glad I gave second book a chance. The second book in the Blanche White series was sooo good. It tackles the topic of colorism, romance and friendships in the black community. A little mystery is also tied in but it doesn’t overwhelm the story and it is tied in slowly. My second favorite was Forty Acres it is about an upcoming black attorney, Martin Grey, who is invited to join a secret society with other black men. They take a trip that exposes Martin to the truth behind their group. I think this would have been better as series because the third act could have used some additional development it just felt rushed to end. I still enjoyed the premise and was a fresh concept. Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles was an easy read but some of the plot just wasn’t believable and the decisions that were made were silly. This is the first book in the Mahalia Watkins series not sure if I will be reading any of the other books but you never. I started The Cutting Season but haven’t been able to finish it I may try to finish it in April. I checked all the copies out from my local library. I listened to Kindred by Octavia Butler this isn’t a traditional mystery but it was definitely terrifying what Dana(the main character) experienced. I’m sure you have heard of Octavia Butler if not please check her out. In Kindred Dana is bouncing between 1976 and a period of time during slavery. That is all I will say but yeah you see why it can could be terrifying. These were my reads for #MarchMysteryMadness. I look forward to participating again next year and finding some new authors to enjoy.

Happy reading!

My favorite reading apps

Overdrive or Libby(by Overdrive) allows you to link your library card and check eBooks or audio books. You can only check out books that your library offers.  They also offer holds if the book is currently checked out. Libby is easier to use on your phone or tablet but they are compatible and sync between devices so you have don’t have to worry about finding where you left off.

RBdigital (previously Zinio) you can also link to your library. Here you have the option of checking out eBooks, magazines and audio books. I hated Zinio but so far RBdigital has been easy to use. The only drawback is it doesn’t sync between devices.

Goodreads allows you to keep track of books you are reading. You can review books and read reviews from other members. The are also groups/book clubs you can join. If you have been looking for a reading community this is it. pexels-photo-12627.jpeg

These are the apps I’m using to help me reach my 2018 reading goals. What are your favorite apps to use for reading?

Week 5 Run Down

My week was quiet spent some time reflecting on my goals for 2018 and my current planner situation as we move into the second month of the year. Here are few other things I dabbled in this week!

Television: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story – Season 2 I remember some details of this but not many. The acting has been wonderful. I knew when I saw Judith Light episode 3 I was in for a treat.

Books: I finished Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. I didn’t quit love this but it held my attention. I hated all of the characters and felt the resolution was meh. This was second time reading a book by Ms. Jones. Right now I’m 50/50 on her but her new book is on the way via Book of the Month subscription.

Podcast: Still Processing, Jenna and Wesleypexels-photo-577769.jpeg came of the gate swinging after their break. I have enjoyed all of the new episodes so far. Even when I don’t always agree they do make you think about things in pop culture a little differently.

Food: I’m finishing up my final week of Whole 30. This has really shown me a lot about my diet and things that I’m okay with not eating on a regular basis. I have slipped up few times but overall I have been committed.

 

Reading Round-Up Jan.2018

I started off the year with good intentions to finish at least one book  a week but once I finished my first book and was ready to dive into my second book I already felt burnt out. Too much pressure I believe to stick to the new year goals. One thing that I knew was missing was me listening to an audio book. The last part of 2017 I was listening to Stephen King’s IT but I was so over the book and I started to hate some of the characters so around mid-December I quit listening. It was easy because I was away from work and that is typically when I listen to my audio books.

The second week of January I downloaded some reading apps (will be writing a review and making suggestions) and got to looking for audio books that would be of interest to me. I downloaded two and I have already finished one of the audio books and half way finished with the second (happy dance). I have adjusted my exceptions that I may not be completing physical copies of books in one week but it may a combination of an audio book and traditional book over 2 weeks. My Goodreads goal is only 26 books a year so I think I will meet that goal if I follow that plan. Now with all of that being said here is what I have completed and attempted this month.

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Completed:

Naughts and Crosses  Malorie Blackman- this a YA novel about Sephy a cross and Callum a naught with reversal of the oppression of the races. The crosses are black people the race that is in power and controls their nation. The naughts are the white race the people that are oppressed. During the novel there is a form civil rights uprising/movement taking place. There are even slurs that the two groups have created for the other race. It is a very interesting read especially with the current social and racial climate here in American and other multi-cultural nations. I recommend this to adults if you like YA or if you want to grab it for teen in your family. Naughts and Crosses is the first book series I’m not sure  if I will continue the series but this first novel does have me interested in reading the others in the series.

Loving Donovan Bernice L McFadden- Campbell and Donovan are the main female and male characters in the book. The book is in three sections the first goes over Campbell’s childhood, the second goes into Donovan’s childhood and the third section is them as adults, their meeting along with series of events that take place after. Both experienced some trauma as children that has affected them as adults and how they go about relationships. I had some feelings about the ending to the book but I do recommend it. I listened audio book the narrator was easy to listen.

Didn’t Finish: 

The Changling Victor LaVelle- this book starts off as a traditional novel to me but midway shifts gears and turns into a something like a magical/fantasy novel. I think that is what took me and made it difficult for me to continue. I love fantasy/sci-fiction but I need that to be that way from the start not a shift midway through. I may try to re-read this because the reviews are great for the book.

Currently:

Silver Sparrow(audio book)  and Purple Hibiscus I will have reviews for these next month.

What did you read this month? How did you feel about your books and have you adjusted your reading goals for 2018?

Journey with me

I’m going on journey to read more, plan more just enjoy life more and want to take you along with me. I will be discussing books I’m currently reading and also reviewing those books. I will  also be showing my planner supplies stash, discuss my setups and how I’m using my planners I use bunch (don’t judge me). There will also be an occasional discussion or review on some beauty stuff because I think I’m a cute middle aged nerd!