#ReadSoulLit 2018 TBR

Whoohoo Black History Month!

I love Black History Month for a multitude of reasons – the display of black excellence, seeing black folk being proud of other black folks accomplishments, the festivities, the food (ugh, yes, the foooooood), and the fact that I was born in this fine month.

Anywho, Didi from @BrownGirlReading hosts this super amazing and awesome photo challenge and YouTube video lineup called #ReadSoulLit and this year I’m actually participating! My video is scheduled for February 10th and I’ll be talking about how I’ve stumbled into reading graphic novels/comics created by primarily black authors/illustrators!

In the meantime however, these are the books that I plan on tackling this month!


Prince of Cats | story by Ron Wimberly | Publisher: Vertigo, 2012 | 152 pages | ISBN: 9781632159267

Prince of CatsSynopsis:
So, I’m your DJ tonight. My name is dπ and, boys and girls, have I got a treat for you. I’ll be cutting from the B-Side of Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare’s greatest hits with a hot little piece of wax called “Gratuitous Ninja.” The outcome is Ninjaupera, post-modern absurdity for the critically pretentious or the laughably subversive.
Either way, enjoy.

Why I Picked This Up:

I was shelving in the stacks one day and was instantly drawn to the super bright colors on the cover. When I read the synopsis on the back I knew I had to read it, I mean, who can resist a hip-hop styled re-telling of Romeo and Juliet? Not me, that’s for sure.


Blokheadz Vol. 1 | story + art by Mark and Mike Davis | Publisher: Pocket | 112 pages | ISBN: 9781416540731

This is the story of young Blak, an aspiring rapper who is blessed with the mystical gift of turning his rhymes into reality. Living in the Monarch Projects of Empire City, Blak must struggle to survive the violence and temptation of the streets — no small feat when he must contend with personal tragedy as well as his own hot-headed temper…both of which threaten to get the best of him. With the support of his crew, the G-Pak, Blak makes life’s toughest decisions while dodging the notorious underworld boss Bloko, his arch-nemesis Vulture, and bitter gang rivalries. Can Blak remain true to himself and his gift? The fate of Empire City hangs in the balance….

Why I Picked This Up:

I’ve been slightly on the hunt for alternative superhero comics (not Marvel / DC) and this one sounded like it would fit into that category perfectly.


Daddy Cool by Donald Goines | story adapted by Don Glut | art by Alfredo Alcala | Publisher: Holloway House, 2006 | 224 pages | ISBN:  9780870679292

Daddy Cool (Graphic)

To his clients, Larry Jackson is known as “Daddy Cool.” Nobody’s better at what he does. Nothing knocks him off his game. With ice in his veins, he’ll pull the trigger or stick a knife deep. All that matters is he gets paid–and that his teenage daughter, Janet, stays clear of the streets. But when Janet is lured into the stable of a young, smooth-talking pimp, Daddy Cool sees red–and goes into action deadly cold and unstoppable. . .

Why I Picked This Up:

This one came to be via “The Blacker The Ink”  and it sounded like an interesting graphic novel to get into. I’ve never read an urban-fiction book’s graphic novel adaption before so this seemed like a pretty decent first.




Daddy Cool | by Donald Goines | Publisher: Holloway House, 2014 | 240 pages | ISBN: 9780758294647

Daddy Cool

To his clients, Larry Jackson is known as “Daddy Cool.” Nobody’s better at what he does. Nothing knocks him off his game. With ice in his veins, he’ll pull the trigger or stick a knife deep. All that matters is he gets paid–and that his teenage daughter, Janet, stays clear of the streets. But when Janet is lured into the stable of a young, smooth-talking pimp, Daddy Cool sees red–and goes into action deadly cold and unstoppable. . .

Why I Picked This Up:

As you can see above, I’m reading the graphic novel adaptation of this book. I’m deeply curious as to how the graphic novel compares to the novel so I figured I might as well read both. I’ll keep y’all posted.


Binti (Binti #1) | by Nnedi Okorafor | Publisher: Tor, 2015 | 90 pages | ISBN: 9780765385253

Binti (Binti, #1)Synopsis:
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive

Why I Picked This Up (along with the rest of the series):

The entire series is finally out and I want to read it from beginning to end in one smooth go!!! I’m super juiced!


Home (Binti #2) | by Nnedi Okorafor | Publisher: Tor, 2017 | 164 pages | ISBN: 9780765393111

Home (Binti, #2)Synopsis:
It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.
And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.
But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.
After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?





The Night Masquerade (Binti #3) | by Nnedi Okorofor | Publisher: Tor, 2018 | 208 pages | ISBN: 9780765393135

The Night Masquerade (Binti, #3)Synopsis:
The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.
Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.
Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene–though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives–and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.


Falling in Love with Hominids | by Nalo Hopkinson | Publisher: Tachyon Publications, 2015 | 222 pages |ISBN: 9781616961985

Falling in Love with HominidsSynopsis:
Falling in Love with Hominids presents over a dozen years of Hopkinson’s new, uncollected fiction, much of which has been unavailable in print. Her singular, vivid tales, which mix the modern with Afro-Caribbean folklore, are occupied by creatures unpredictable and strange: chickens that breathe fire, adults who eat children, and spirits that haunt shopping malls.

Why I Picked This Up:

Who can resist a short story collection that promises a tale about chickens that breath fire?




If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday | by Farah Jasmine Griffith | Publisher: One Word/Ballantine, 2002 | 256 pages | ISBN: 9780345449733

More than four decades after her death, Billie Holiday remains one of the most gifted artists of our time–and also one of the most elusive. Because of who she was and how she chose to live her life, Lady Day has been the subject of both intense adoration and wildly distorted legends. Now at last, Farah Jasmine Griffin, a writer of intellectual authority and superb literary gifts, liberates Billie Holiday from the mythology that has obscured both her life and her art.
An intimate meditation on Holiday’s place in American culture and history, If You Can’t Be Free, Be A Mystery reveals Lady Day in all her complexity, humor and pain–a true jazz virtuoso whose passion and originality made every song she sang hers forever. Celebrated by poets, revered by recording artists from Frank Sinatra to Macy Gray, Billie Holiday is more popular and influential today than ever before. Now, thanks to this marvelous book, Holiday’s many fans can finally understand the singer and the woman they love.

Why I Picked This Up:

Super, duper simple: my Dad actually recommended this to me.


Let me know what you plan on reading this month, if you’re particapting in #ReadSoulLit, or if you’re also super duper hyped about Black Panther hitting the big screen!

Hope you all have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,


December TBR

Eventually I’ll get around to doing an monthly TBR wrap-up.

E v e n t u a l l y . . .

Anywho – these are the books that I intend on reading this fine freezing cold month of December!

Graphic Novels

Old Man Logan Vol. 0

Enter the Wastelands: a Battleworld realm where heroes have been wiped out and villains rule with an iron fist. In the midst of this dystopian chaos, one man may make a difference. A reluctant warrior who was once the greatest mutant of all. A man known as Old Man Logan. Never before has the former Wolverine been needed as much as he is now, but even the best there was at what he did may be outmatched by the evil lurking in nearby realms! Now, Logan must battle the horrors of mutantkind unleashed, the sins of genocidal machines and the rampaging hordes of the undead. And as Logan traverses Battleworld and learns its secrets, he must face the patchwork planet’s thundering police force! He may be old, but Logan’s job is far from finished.


Another one of those graphic novels that a patron recommended to me. Wolverine/Logan is one of those characters who I grew to love through the X-Men movies. I was never a big fan of him in the cartoons, but there’s just something about the way in which Hugh Jackman brought him to life that worked for me. I’m hoping that the comic book version of Wolverine will be more live-actionish than cartoonish – if that makes any sense.

Borrow || Purchase*


Ajax Penumbra 1969

San Francisco, 1969.
The summer of drugs, music, and a new age dawning. A young, earnest Ajax Penumbra has been given his first assignment as a Junior Acquisitions Officer – to find the single surviving copy of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious volume that has brought and lost a great fortune to anyone who has owned it. After a few weeks of rigorous hunting, Penumbra feels no closer to his goal than when he started. But late one night, after another day of dispiriting dead ends, he stumbles upon a 24-hour bookstore and the possibilities before him expand exponentially. With the help of his friend’s homemade computer, an ancient map, and the vast shelves of the 24-hour bookstore, Ajax Penumbra might just find what he’s seeking…


loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore so you best believe I was super hyped when I saw this land on my shelving cart at work. Needless to say, it was an instant checkout moment. I can’t wait to read about the bookstore was like pre-Penumbra.

Borrow || Purchase


How to Find Love in a Bookshop

Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.
There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.
Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

Hmm, are we potentially on a bookstore themed reading binge? Anywho, it’s always been a slightly unrealistic romance fantasy of mine to find love in a bookstore (or library) and this book just sounded like it presented a world in which I would very much like to live in.

Borrow || Purchase


The Shirley Letters

The Shirley Letters, written from the mining camps in 1851 and 1852, are something valuable and rare — a portrait by a woman of an era dominated by men. They offer a vivid picture of gold rush life, from accounts of murders, fearful accidents, bloody deaths, a mob, whippings, a hanging, an attempt at suicide, and a fatal duel to bars lined with that eternal crimson calico which flushes the whole social life of the Golden State, and the rare and welcome luxury of oyster feasts. With the wild grandeur and awful magnificence of the Sierra as background, this classic account presents a picture of the gold rush that is at times humorous, at times empathetic, and always trustworthy.


This is SFPL’s On The Same Page selection for November/December and I’m trying to read as many of the OTSP selections as possible. It also helps that I’ve developed a slight obsession with Gold Rush-era Bay Area history. It sounds like a really awesome reading & I’m looking forward to delving into it!

Borrow || Purchase


Red: The History of a Color

The color red has represented many things, from the life force and the divine to love, lust, and anger. Up through the Middle Ages, red held a place of privilege in the Western world. For many cultures, red was not just one color of many but rather the only color worthy enough to be used for social purposes. In some languages, the word for red was the same as the word for color. The first color developed for painting and dying, red became associated in antiquity with war, wealth, and power. In the medieval period, red held both religious significance, as the color of the blood of Christ and the fires of Hell, and secular meaning, as a symbol of love, glory, and beauty. Yet during the Protestant Reformation, red began to decline in status. Viewed as indecent and immoral and linked to luxury and the excesses of the Catholic Church, red fell out of favor. After the French Revolution, red gained new respect as the color of progressive movements and radical left-wing politics.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Michel Pastoureau, the acclaimed author of Blue, Black, and Green, now masterfully navigates centuries of symbolism and complex meanings to present the fascinating and sometimes controversial history of the color red. Pastoureau illuminates red’s evolution through a diverse selection of captivating images, including the cave paintings of Lascaux, the works of Renaissance masters, and the modern paintings and stained glass of Mark Rothko and Josef Albers.

This book literally fell on my foot at work. I was minding my own business, shelving reserves and this book just took a nose-dive off the shelf right onto my foot. Of course, I had to know what this monster of a book was and when I read the first half of the synopsis I knew that I had to request it for myself. Plus, it just seems fitting to read a book about the color red during December.

Borrow || Purchase

& that’s all folks

That brings to a close my December TBR. It seems like a lot, but honestly, it’s not that bad. Classes are over December 11th which means I’ll have a ton of time to conquer my TBR and to work on some more bookish content for you guys! Let me know what you plan on reading this month or if you’ve read any of the above mentioned books!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,


*I receive a 5% commission from all books purchased through my Book Depository affiliate link.

NonFiction November + General TBR

Huzzah! It’s Nonfiction November which is motivation for me to get around to reading the massive pile of nonfiction books that I tend to accumulate. Nonfiction November is hosted by Olive and Gemma and the whole point is just to encourage people to read more nonfiction than they usually do. The four themes for this year’s challenge are:

1. Home
2. Substance
3. Love
4. Scholarship


Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute

In 1913 the San Francisco Bulletin published a serialized, ghostwritten memoir of a prostitute who went by the moniker Alice Smith. “A Voice from the Underworld” detailed Alice’s humble Midwestern upbringing and her struggle to find aboveboard work, and candidly related the harrowing events she endured after entering “the life.” While prostitute narratives had been published before, never had they been as frank in their discussion of the underworld, including topics such as abortion, police corruption, and the unwritten laws of the brothel. Throughout the series, Alice strongly criticized the society that failed her and so many other women, but, just as acutely, she longed to be welcomed back from the margins. The response to Alice’s story was unprecedented: four thousand letters poured into the Bulletin, many of which were written by other prostitutes ready to share their own stories; and it inspired what may have been the first sex worker rights protest in modern history.
For the first time in print since 1913, Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute presents the memoirs of Alice Smith and a selection of letters responding to her story. An introduction contextualizes “A Voice from the Underworld” amid Progressive Era sensationalistic journalism and shifting ideas of gender roles, and reveals themes in Alice’s story that extend to issues facing sex workers today.

This is my selection for the “Home” challenge. I live in San Francisco, which was once upon a time known as part of the Barbary Coast. I also have a slight obsession with Gold Rush era SF and how prostitutes have been viewed throughout history. Essentially, this book is the perfect combination of two very interesting topics to me.



Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny

A spontaneous decision at age twenty-one transformed small-town Oregon girl Holly Cullen into Holy Madison, Hugh Hefner’s number one girlfriend. But like Alice’s journey into Wonderland, Holly’s plunge down the rabbit hole took her to a world where she discovered that not all was as it seemed. What appeared to be a fairy-tale life inside the Playboy Mansion – which included A-list celebrity parties and Holly’s own number one television show – quickly devolved into an oppressive routine of strict rules, manipulation, and battles with ambitious, backstabbing Bunnies.
Life inside the notorious mansion wasn’t a dream after all, and it quickly became Holly’s nightmare. After losing her identity, her sense of self-worth, and her hope for the future she found herself sitting alone in a bathtub contemplating suicide – but instead of ending her life, Holly chose to take charge of it. Here for the first time, she courageously shares the real story, from the details of her demeaning and controlling relationship to the hard work of healing, a journey that culminated in her own successful television series, a live Las Vegas show, and the joy of motherhood.

It might seem a bit strange that I chose this one for “substance” but hear me out! “Girls Next Door” was the first reality TV show that I actually watched religiously. I was fascinated by the whole Playboy Bunny lifestyle and absolutely loved how calm/down to earth Holly was. When I first heard that she wrote a book I felt as if her time to prove that she has something substantial to say/contribute to the people who desired the Playboy Bunny lifestyle had finally come. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten around to reading the book until now, but I’m super duper looking forward to it.



Public Library Services for the Poor: Doing All We Can

Synopsis: Among public institutions, the library has great potential for helping the poor and disenfranchised. For many, the library is their only source for information, entertainment, language skills, employment help, free computer use, and even safety and shelter. Experts Leslie and Glen Holt, with decades of service to inner-city communities between them, challenge librarians to do more for poor people. While recognizing the financial crunch libraries are under, the authors offer concrete advice about programs and support for this group, showing you how to *Train staff to meet the unique needs of the poor, including youth *Cooperate with other agencies in order to form partnerships and collaborations that enrich library services to the poor and homeless *Find help, financial and other, for your library This groundbreaking work demonstrates how five Key Action Areas adopted by the ALA Council (Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 2lst-Century Literacy) apply especially to this disadvantaged population, and motivates librarians to use creative solutions to meet their needs.

I love libraries and I love the public servant aspect of library work. Honestly, I do believe that if I wasn’t hellbent on becoming some form of librarian I would have considered a career in social work. Anywho, I’m partially reading this because it’s one of my sources for a paper that I’m writing, but I’m still looking forward to it!




Synopsis: When Charlemagne died in 814 CE, he left behind a dominion and a legacy unlike anything seen in Western Europe since the fall of Rome. Distinguished historian and author of The Middle Ages Johannes Fried presents a new biographical study of the legendary Frankish king and emperor, illuminating the life and reign of a ruler who shaped Europe’s destiny in ways few figures, before or since, have equaled.
Living in an age of faith, Charlemagne was above all a Christian king, Fried says. He made his court in Aix-la-Chapelle the center of a religious and intellectual renaissance, enlisting the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin of York to be his personal tutor, and insisting that monks be literate and versed in rhetoric and logic. He erected a magnificent cathedral in his capital, decorating it lavishly while also dutifully attending Mass every morning and evening. And to an extent greater than any ruler before him, Charlemagne enhanced the papacy’s influence, becoming the first king to enact the legal principle that the pope was beyond the reach of temporal justice–a decision with fateful consequences for European politics for centuries afterward.
Though devout, Charlemagne was not saintly. He was a warrior-king, intimately familiar with violence and bloodshed. And he enjoyed worldly pleasures, including physical love. Though there are aspects of his personality we can never know with certainty, Fried paints a compelling portrait of a ruler, a time, and a kingdom that deepens our understanding of the man often called “the father of Europe.”

I absolutely loved Fried’s “The Middle Ages” so when I saw that he wrote a book about Charlemagne how could I possibly resist? Obviously, I chose this one for scholarship since Charlemagne is often thought of when people think of early European scholarship. I don’t exactly plan on finishing this one this month – just because it took me nearly a year to read Fried’s last book, but I do intend on knocking out a decent chunk.




The Name of the Rose

Synopsis: The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon – all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

Whenever ~literary~ people find out that I like to read and that I love medieval history they always ask “Have you read any Umberto Eco?” and when I say no they look at me as if I’ve just lied about my entire life. SO, I’m going to remedy that this month with this novel. I actually started on it last month and so far I’m enjoying the mystery aspect of it.




That brings to a happy close my TBR goals for November. Let me know what you plan on reading this month or if you’ve read any of the books mentioned above!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,






October TBR



Synopsis (from back of novel):
When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.


I haven’t read a “scary” graphic novel in a while. I think the last one that I read was The Field and that one was more ~trippy~ than scary. However, I’ve shelved this one a few times at work, heard the occasional good thing about it from people who’ve checked it out and I’ve decided that October is the perfect month for me to give a read.






Synopsis (from Goodreads):
What has two eyes, a mouth, and wrinkly green skin? Mark’s shrunken head! It’s a present from his Aunt Benna. A gift from the jungle island of Baladora.

And Mark can’t wait to show the kids at school!
But late one night the head starts to glow. Because it’s actually no ordinary head. It gives Mark a strange power. A magical power. A dangerous power…

I haven’t read a Goosebumps book in forever and this one is definitely on my Re-Reading Childhood Favorites list. I think this is the first Goosebumps book that I read and I’m looking forward to seeing if it will still ~creep~ me out.
Also, as a quick sidenote: does anyone know why they changed the original covers of the books? These new covers kinda sorta suck😔




Synopsis (taken from back of novel):
Something dead has been here…

Gabe just got lost – in a pyramid. One minute, his crazy cousin Sari was right ahead of him in the pyramid tunnel. The next minute, she’d disappeared. 
But Gabe isn’t alone. Someone else is in the pyramid, too.
Someone. Or some thing.
Gabe doesn’t believe in the curse of the mummy’s tomb. 
But that doesn’t mean that the curse isn’t real.
Does it?

Ok, see, now these are the covers that I love and remember. I’m pretty sure this was maybe the second or third Goosebumps book that I read and it’s one of the ones that I actually still own so I figured I might as well add it to my October TBR / Childhood Favorites Re-reads.

BORROW || BUY (AbeBooks)




Synopsis (taken from inner flap):
Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is losing his mind. How else to explain the dreams he keeps having—dreams that mirror, with impossible accuracy, the gruesome serial murders taking place all over San Francisco? How else to explain the feelings these dreams provoke in him—not disgust, not horror, but excitement?
As Bryan and his longtime partner, Lawrence “Pookie” Chang, investigate the murders, they learn that things are even stranger than they at first seem. For the victims are all enemies of a seemingly ordinary young boy—a boy who is gripped by the same dreams that haunt Bryan.  Meanwhile, a shadowy vigilante, seemingly armed with superhuman powers, is out there killing the killers.  And Bryan and Pookie’s superiors—from the mayor on down—seem strangely eager to keep the detectives from discovering the truth.

Doubting his own sanity and stripped of his badge, Bryan begins to suspect that he’s stumbled into the crosshairs of a shadow war that has gripped his city for more than a century—a war waged by a race of killers living in San Francisco’s unknown, underground ruins, emerging at night to feed on those who will not be missed. 
And as Bryan learns the truth about his own intimate connections to the killings, he discovers that those who matter most to him are in mortal danger…and that he may be the only man gifted—or cursed—with the power to do battle with the nocturnals. 

Weird murders taking place in San Francisco, uh yes please. Seriously, who doesn’t love to read books that take place in their own city?



Synopsis (taken from back of novel):
When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.
But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

This was the first Stephen King book that I read back in the 7th grade and I’ve re-read this book every single October since. Honestly, it is one of my all time favorite books.




September TBR

A new month means a whole new bunch of books to read!


The Punisher: The Complete Collection Volume One written by Garth Ennis

Synopsis via Goodreads
Experience the gritty and uncompromising Punisher MAX from the very beginning! When a mob hit killed his beloved wife and children, Frank Castle became the Punisher – an unstoppable one-man army waging war on every piece of criminal scum plaguing New York’s streets. But do the Punisher’s origins trace back even further? In 1971 Vietnam, Captain Castle’s platoon faces a Viet Cong attack…and to survive, he must make a grim choice. Then, Punisher’s old partner Microchip, long thought to be a casualty of Castle’s war, resurfaces with a startling offer!

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for misunderstood villains. (Magneto was, and still is, my all time favorite comic book character). Netflix’s Daredevil made me fall in love all over again with Frank Castle. I’ve never read Garth Ennis’ run of The Punisher but thanks to numerous patron’s telling me that it’s one of those “You have to read it” collections I’ve finally picked it up.


Black Panther: The Complete Collection Volume Two

Synopsis (via back of novel)

When T’Challa falls to the one foe he’s never beaten, Killmonger earns the right to become the new Black Panther! Now, only Everett K. Ross can save T’Challa’s life — okay, Ross plus Moon Knight, Brother Voodoo and the Panther God! Still suffering, the deposed Wakandan leader finds himself caught in a cat trap with the Avengers and…Deadpool?! Storm of the X-Men offers comfort as Wakanda finds itself on the verge of war with Lemuria and Atlantis — and Klaw, Malice and Man-Ape threaten to destroy the African Avenger once and for all! Plus: Ross spends a day in Mephisto’s metaphorical shoes, and Captain America recounts his never-before-revealed wartime meeting with the former Black Panther, T’Chaka! Super heroics meet geopolitics as only Priest can mix them

Volume One was dope, so I’m ever so happily moving onto Volume Two. I do need to pick up the pace though when it comes to me reading these since folk have been putting them on hold a lot recently.



Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Marting, Jr.

Synopsis (via Goodreads)

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

I was super excited when I saw this was going to be SFPL’s One City One Book selection for 2017. My knowledge of the Black Panther Party definitely isn’t where I want it to be and it would probably be practically non-existent if I didn’t go to San Francisco State University. I’m super looking forward to attending some of the lectures/programs that are going to be going on around this book!


#TellEveryone: Why We Share & Why It Matters by Alfred Hermida

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters is an unapologetic antidote to the endless handwringing about social media. It is a much-needed alternative to the commentators who blather on about the perils of the Internet and social media. Tell Everyone is a manifesto on the power of social media and the ways in which it can be harnessed for good.
Bringing together journalistic flair and academic rigour, online news pioneer and social media maven Alfred Hermida debunks the idea of Twitter as an echo chamber or Instagram as a place for narcissists. Instead Hermida places our fears about social media in context by showing how we have always been suspicious about new ways to communicate. He takes on the notion of slacktivism to show how individuals come together through social media to push for the common good.
Tell Everyone reveals how social media is becoming the planet’s nervous system. It highlights how we are using social media to amplify the power of individuals, challenge elites and make decisions, from choosing politicians to doing business to raising money for charity. Tell Everyone is a must-read tour of journalistic blunder, corporate PR fiascos, social movements and revolutions

Honestly, the main reason I’m reading this is because I have to write a context review/reflective essay for my Information Communities class and this seemed like the most interesting book out the selection of books we could write about. *shrug*



Black Wave by Michelle Tea

Black WaveIt’s 1999 in San Francisco, and as shockwaves of gentrification sweep through Michelle’s formerly scruffy neighborhood, money troubles, drug-fueled mishaps, and a string of disastrous affairs send her into a tailspin. Desperate to save herself, Michelle sets out to seek a fresh start in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, climate-related disruptions and a string of extinctions are the background noise of impending doom. One day, Michelle wakes up to an official announcement: the world will be ending in exactly one year. Daily life in Los Angeles quickly becomes intensely surreal.
Humans begin to collectively dream of the lives and loves they would have had, if not for the end of the world, and the lines between fantasy and reality become increasingly blurred. As the planet nears its expiration date, Michelle holes up in an abandoned bookstore and calmly begins to write—convinced she’s finally stumbled upon the elusive “universal story”—a novel about a struggling writer facing the end of the world.
Funny, gritty, improbable, and endearing, Black Wave muses on the hallucinatory confusions of addiction, the hope and despair of a barely published writer, notions of destiny, and the porous boundaries between memoir and fiction.

However could I resist a book that starts off in San Francisco? I mean, seriously! I love books that start off in my ever so lovely foggy, overpriced, diverse, techy city. This was another of those books that quite literally fell into my hands at work one day and I made me go “oooooooo”.


Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny – to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture – and eventually death itself.

My roomie sent me an article about how this book is going to be adapted for TV and produced my George R.R. Martin and I sharply inhaled and ran off into the stacks to see if my library had a copy. Alas, it did not so I had to request this one via Link+. I absolutely loved Binti and I’m really looking forward to reading one of her longer works.



& that sums up what I’m planning on reading this month. Let me know what you plan on reading or what you’re currently reading!

August TBR

I haven’t done a monthly TBR post (or video) in forever! Here are the books that I hope to tackle this fine month of August:


Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher by Edward J. Watt

Synopsis (from inner flap):
Sixteen centuries ago the Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia was murdered by a mob of Christians. Ever since, she has been remembered in poems, plays, paintings, and films as a victim of religious intolerance whose death symbolized the end of the classical world. But before she was a symbol Hypatia was a person. As one of antiquity’s best-known female scholars, Hypatia’s immense skills as a philosopher and mathematician redefined the intellectual life of her home city of Alexandria. Her talent as a teacher enabled her to assemble a circle of dedicated male students. Her devotion to public service made her a force for peace and good government in a city that struggled to maintain trust and cooperation between pagans and Christians. These intellectual and political triumphs were all the more astonishing for being accomplished in a climate of gossip, scrutiny, and misogyny.
Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher is a major new account of this remarkable woman the culturally rich and turbulent context in which she lived. Utilizing new techniques for reading ancient letters and mathematical and philosophical commentaries – as well as a number of previously unnoticed early modern sources – Edward J. Watts provides a revelatory narrative of Hypatia’s life, her formidable achievements, the tragic story of the events that led to her murder, and the rich legacy of her life and death.  

If you know me at all you already know all the different reasons as to why this book appealed to me. Early religion, Egypt, a woman of antiquity in a position of intellectual power and control, how in the world could I ever resist?



In The Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe

Synopsis (from back cover):
In this original and trenchant work, Christina Sharpe interrogates literary, visual, cinematic, and quotidian representations of Black life that comprise what she calls the “orthography of the wake.” Activating multiple registers of “wake”—the path behind a ship, keeping watch with the dead, coming to consciousness—Sharpe illustrates how Black lives are swept up and animated by the afterlives of slavery, and she delineates what survives despite such insistent violence and negation. Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of “the wake,” “the ship,” “the hold,” and “the weather,” Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and “wake work” as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t read a lot of black-authored scholarly works. When this book fell (literally) into my hands I was instantly interested by the title and after reading the synopsis I was determined to read the rest of the book.



Talon of God by Wesley Snipes & Ray Norman

Synopsis (from inner flap):
Imagine that everyone you have ever known or loved was forced against their will into a state of demonic possession and spiritual slavery. Imagine an unholy cabal of the world’s richest and most powerful men directing this sinister plan in order to cement their unbridled control of the planet.
Imagine two heroes emerging from that darkness to do battle with the forces of evil.
Set in the mean streets of Chicago, Talon of God is the action-packed adventure centered around the Lauryn Jefferson, a beautiful young doctor who is dragged into a seemingly impossible battle against the invisible forces of Satan’s army and their human agents that are bent on enslaving humanity in a mission to establish the kingdom of hell on Earth.
But Lauryn is a skeptic, and it’s only as she sees a diabolical drug sweep her city and begins to train in the ways of a spirit warrior by the legendary man of God, Talon Hunter, that she discovers her true nature and inner strength. Facing dangerous trials and tests, it’s a true baptism by fire. And if they fail, millions could die. And rivers of blood would flow throughout the land.
Imagine such horror. Such pain. And imagine what it would take to fight against it. For only the strongest and most faithful will survive…
Get ready. Armageddon approaches quickly.

This was an impulse grab. The first time I walked by it I thought “Nah, it can’t be that Wesley Snipes” and I kept it moving. The second time I walked by it I thought “Ok, let me see if it is that Wesley Snipes” and lo and behold, it was. Plus, the synopsis sounded pretty gosh darn interesting (and very Wesley Snipe(ish)).  I’ve read a little bit of it so far and I’ve found it to be pretty enjoyable!



The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

I don’t actually have this book in my possession yet since it’s publication date isn’t until the 15th, but you best believe I have pre-ordered it from a local bookstore! I absolutely love Jemisin’s writing style and I’m so excited to see how this series is going to end. Ugh, the 15th can’t come fast enough!


*Please note that at the time of this post this book has not been released so your local library may not have ordered it yet. However, if you chose to purchase you can pre-order it!


Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay & Ta-Nehisi Coates
Illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez & Roberto Poggi

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Wakanda! Home of the Black Panther, a proud and vibrant nation whose legends and mysteries run deep. Now, delve deep into Wakanda’s lore with a love story where tenderness is matched by brutality! You know them as the Midnight Angels, but for now they are just Ayo and Aneka — young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. But with their king shamed and their queen killed, Ayo and Aneka must take justice into their own hands! They’ve been officers. Rebels. Lovers. But can they be leaders? Plus: the return of former White Tiger, Kasper Cole! As Wakanda burns, Cole can only watch helplessly from halfway around the world. Will he find a new beginning — or meet a painful end?

I really enjoyed Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther series and knowing that some of those characters are being picked up and expanded on in a new run was more than enough reason for me to pick this up.



Deadly Class Vol 5: Carousel by Rick Remender and Illustrated by Wes Craig

Synopsis (from back cover):
The brutal Freshman Finals at Kings Dominion School of the Deadly Arts have created a new status quo. The Student Council has eliminated all its enemies and rules the halls with an iron fist. Into this shark tank comes a new class of kids, fresh blood for a fresh start.
There is Quan, a Vietnamese rockabilly, quick with his knives and a comb. Helmut, an East German metalhead with a hatred for communists. Zenzele, a hammer-swinging refugee of a brutal African civil war, and Tosahwi, a Native American skate punk with a whole nation’s history of violence to pay back.
And then there’s Saya, who alone of her group of friends survived the finals and who stands poised to become the school’s deadliest student. But when her dark past comes back to haunt her, will she ride the torrent of blood she’s unleashed or end up drowning in it?

I had almost forgotten about this series until I was shelving graphic novels a few days ago and came across them. The fourth one had a super insane ending so I’m excited to see where this one goes.



March (volumes 1 – 3) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and Illustrated by Nate Powell

Synopsis (from innner-flap):
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

I feel like this is maybe the second or third time that this series has ended up on a TBR of mine. Hopefully this time I’ll actually get around to reading it because I have consistently heard incredibly great things about it. I actually have the three volumes checked out separately and not as the compilation.



So there we have it, that is the mass of books that I hope to read during this month of August. What do you plan on reading? Let me know in the comments! And if you have a blog post, or a video, where you share your TBR leave that link in the comments too!

Hope you have a wonderful day & read a wonderful book,


All “purchase/buy” links are affiliate links to the Book Depository unless otherwise noted.