Weekend Reads #107: Anger

You ever feel so angry and frustrated that it’s as if the emotions are choking you? That’s how I feel. Angry, frustrated, exhausted, and powerless.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve tried to stay on top of news and politics, but the more updates I consume, the more angry and frustrated I get. I mean… yo! Jacob Blake was shot 7 TIMES!! in his back. By the police. In front of his kids! While walking toward his SUV after trying to break up a fight. What??!!

And a White kid was going around the same area (Kenosha, Wis.) toting a big-ass gun and shooting protesters; he was able to walk by the police with his gun and go home WITHOUT getting shot by the police… or stopped by them. Apparently, he got a bottle of water from them.

This is fucking crazy world. A crazy country.

I won’t even mention what’s going on in politics regarding the antics and some of the shit said at the RNC. I just…

UGH!!!

Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal

There is an assumption in publishing (and in Hollywood, actually) that books by Black authors aren’t universal, that they won’t appeal to a wide (White) audience. I recently read two articles that touch on this topic (one on LitHub and another on Tor.com) and they reminded me of a blog post by notable sci-fi author N.K. Jemisin that I read a couple years ago on why she doesn’t want her books to be placed in the African American section of bookstores and libraries. I reread Jemisin’s blog post this morning and although it was published a decade ago, back in March 2010, it still applies today.

These days, the African American section of bookstores I visit contain sociology books and history books that pertain to Black experiences in America. No longer (it seems) is that section an amalgamation of books by Black authors no matter the genre or whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction; no longer (it seems) is it a place where all books written by Black authors are dumped. But despite this improvement, publishing still has a problem with how it promotes books by Black authors.

To me, it’s recently, within the past year or so, that publishing increased its promotion of books by Black authors somewhat. I may be wrong on the timeframe, but up until then, whenever I saw a recently published novel by a Black author, they were often pushed toward Black audiences only, unlike books by White authors that were promoted to everyone, regardless of race, because of their “wide” appeal.

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Weekend Reads #105: Black Lives Matter

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

I don’t have a discussion post this week. This is just a quick chit-chat because I can hardly think straight right now. There’s so much going on at the moment. So many people are upset and in uproar. I’ve been having conversations about the current political and social climate all week that by end of the day on Thursday, my mind was so wrung out that I couldn’t think straight much less contribute well during a virtual work meeting.

Despite the corona pandemic, as a Black person, I’m happy to be alive at this time. Yes, it is a traumatic time. Yes, I’ve been anxious, depressed, confused, and angry just about everyday, but I am happy to be alive at this time to witness the movements and pushes for change to better Black lives and to see the urge for this change and support for it spread around the world, to see other nations stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Break From the Books: Beenie Man & Bounty Killer #Verzuz battle

I’m taking a break from books and bookish things to talk about the epic event I witnessed this past weekend. An event that I sorely needed during this dull corona time since I’m staying home, as advised, and thus am unable to attend any summer parties or other events. And I’m SO happy this event happened on Memorial Day weekend (in the U.S.) as a replacement (to me) of the events that are cancelled due to corona.

But you must be wondering what event I’m talking about (if you didn’t read this title of this post). Well, it’s the latest episode of Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s Verzuz battle on Instagram. This time it was between two great Jamaican performers, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. Yo!! I was BEYOND excited for this!! I grew up listening to their songs. I was a kid when the competition (the war) between them was fierce, but I still remember the hype around their clashes and I still love their songs.

It was great to see them on stage together again, performing together and entertaining people. OH MY GOSH!! This performance was SO needed and so good. Great songs, nuff jokes, and good vibes. Man, I LOVE IT!!

I had to share it on here. I had to take a break from all di book dem and share this bit of my culture.

There were SO many great moments too!! I loved that they began it by playing the Jamaican national anthem, I loved the back and forth between the artists (like a clash!!), I loved the dancing, I loved the shout-outs (especially when they shout out Rihanna, who was tuning in. That was hilarious!) The part with the police tho!! YO!! That’s how you know a party is good: Babylon come through trying to shut it down. (Lol!)

Oh man! It was great. If you love Jamaican dancehall music, check it out. If you love any music, check it. If you want something entertaining, something hype, check it out. If you love hip-hop, def check it out. Hip-hop was born out of Jamaican dancehall. Just check it out, man, and enjoy it. 🙂

If I had to choose one as the winner, I’d say Bounty Killer took this. He was so entertaining! Beenie Man is my dude. I LOVE his songs and he did great too (him and him belly 😀 ), but Bounty tek it fi mi!

Reflecting on 2019: Life

2019 was a good year. 😀

I saw and did many amazing things and reached goals I thought I wouldn’t. I am proud, glad, and grateful for all I did and accomplished in 2019 and am thankful for all the help I received.

My word for 2019 was Movements, a simple word but it drove everything I did. 2019 was about making significant progress in the things and areas I wanted improve. And I did exactly that. Unfortunately, at times my blog was neglected as other parts of my life became more busy, but I will be back on track in this new year.

I’m so happy with myself right now. 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way, so I intend to relish every moment of this feeling. In fairly recent past years (lol I find that whole phrase funny), I’ve been through personally trying times: moments of deep sadness, anger, and worthlessness. Blogging and reading helped to distract me and prevent me from wallowing in such dark feelings. And sometimes I’d get lucky and stumble on books that were centered on exactly what I was feeling, experiencing, tackling. The book that stands out the most at this moment is Pema Chödrön’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, which I’ve mentioned and recommended many times, especially to those going through a difficult period. That book was very helpful in making me change my internal dialogue and push on through such dark moments.

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#Giveaway Announcement for Wyrd & Wonder Celebration

Hey y’all!! 😀

It’s the first day of Wyrd & Wonder, a month-long celebration of all things fantasy!

I’d hoped to be better prepared for this event by clearing out my review queue, but April got super busy in the middle so that didn’t happen. I am, however, ready to read as many fantasy novels, novellas, and comics as I can get my hands on and publish as many fantasy-related posts as I can manage to do, starting with this post to announce my….

!!!GIVEAWAY!!!

(details below)

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Weekend Reads #91: Books I DNF’d in 2018

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This week’s topic:

Books I DNF’d in 2018

This weekend I’ll discuss the books I did not finish reading in 2018. Some I have given up on totally, while others I’ll revisit at another time. I did a similar post back in 2018 in which I reviewed two of the books included in this post and discussed my stance on not completing a book yet choosing to review or rate them (so I won’t go into all that here). I have quite a few books to mention, so I will give a brief synopsis and quick thoughts on them.

The reason for doing this is that this blog is a record of what I’ve read and I hardly ever mention the books I don’t finish on here, so here are all the ones from 2018.

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Reflecting on 2018: Life

Believe it or not, self-discipline is something I still need to work on. 2018 was dedicated to improving my self-discipline, but I stated the goal and immediately forgot about it. I did try to curb my appetites and refrain from overindulging in things I love, but I wasn’t very successful. I was unable to prevent myself from succumbing to immediate gratification and my bank account often hurt because of it.

Looking forward, I plan to continue working on my self-discipline in 2019. My progress is slow, but I made small achievements toward the later part of 2018 and I’d like to build on them and go further in 2019. However, self-discipline will not be my theme for 2019. Instead, 2019 will be about making major Movements — that is, taking leaps that I’ve been fearful of to achieve my topmost goals.

I foresee, well, hope, that by the end of 2019 I will have achieved at least 2 of my topmost goals, which are huge goals that I’m anxious about. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once I’ve achieved them.

So, cheers to making major Movements in 2019!

Happy New Year,

Z

Weekend Reads #90: I’m Just Procrastinating

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend, but I don’t have a topic this weekend. Just my random thoughts:

Staying committed to a thing from beginning to end is not something I’m good at. I always get distracted somewhere in between and go off on a tangent, never able to find my way back to what I was working on before. That’s why I’m surprised I’ve stuck with this blogging thing for so long. I thought I’d have gotten distracted by something else by now and given it up. But no. I’m still here posting away about whatever catches my fancy.

Why am I writing about this? I don’t know. I just wanted to do a Weekend Reads post. I wanted to share my thoughts on a thing and write something insightful, but nothing was coming so I just wrote whatever popped up in my mind. This is what came out — my lack of commitment to my projects.

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Weekend Reads #89: Let’s Catch Up

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

I haven’t posted anything for this meme in almost 2 months and my blogging has been spotty for the past month, so I thought I’d do a Weekend Reads post to just catch up.

I took an unplanned sorta break for a few weeks. Things got crazy busy for me at work and then my personal life got stressful making it near impossible to rouse myself to blog or do much else other than stay home, read, and watch my favorite shows. Oh, and work. Can’t avoid going to work.

But I’m feeling much better now and am back on the blogging train. Can’t say that all the stressful things have been resolved, but I’m just happy to be feeling back to my old self again and able to hop back on here to post something without feeling a migraine threatening to overpower me.

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