It's not all about music.
(Well, maybe for you, but not neccessarily for us.)
Every now & then we like to change the pace up around here.
Right around Thanksgiving, I set out to try & read at least twenty books before the New Year arrived.
See, I'm an English major by education & profession and I'm fairly enthusiastic about reading, when time permits.
So I decided to make time.
I've got six days left to meet my goal & I'm very close to making it.
What follows are some of the books I read that are worth picking up if the type of thing interests you.
Standing At The Scratch Line and Echoes Of A Distant Summer - Guy Johnson
My brother called me from the joint & suggested I pick these two up. He was on point. Written by the son of Maya Angelou (yeah...I know right. Who bagged Maya?), these books were prolly the best of the batch. Long. Descriptive. Detailed. The follow the path of a violent, bloodthirsty character named King Tremain as he rises from a New Orleans family feud to prominence in the, fights in wars, battles the mob & helps establish a black Oklahoma township all in a search to achieve manhood & respect. The second book follows the path of his grandson as he unwittingly is forced to pick up his grandfather's war with enemies created before his time.
The Harris Men - R.M. Johnson
I read the second book, The Harris Family, first and had to grab this one once I found it available. Well written, the author traces the lives of four young men & their father after he abandons his family and shows the varying paths their lives have followed and the issues they've faced growing up fatherless. Finding out he has cancer and a limited amount of time to live, the father decides to seek out his sons who are now grown men and must decide if and how they will accept him into their lives. I found the second book to be better & more engaging but this sets the scene mentally for the activities that occur in the second book.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time - Mark Haddon
It's somewhat oxymoronic to say a book can be boring & entertaining all in one but this one accomplishes it. Entertaining in that it delves into the world of autistic boy, his life & travels. Boring in that, going into the mind of an autistic person can be befuddling for someone who doesn't suffer from the disease. Perhaps I shouldn't use the word boring because that connotates "don't read it" but do. Dealing with the occassional autistic child myself, I walked away from this book with a whole different understanding of their world, the troubles they face & their amazing understanding & perception of things.
The Lamb: A Novel - The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore
Literally had to laugh at times with this book. Hilarously, it traces the "lost" 33 years of Christ's life from the time from his birth to his death latter years, all told through the perspective of "Levi who is called Biff." There's not alot of words to accurately describe this book but if you have a.) a working knowledge of the Bible, and b.) the ability to accept humor & art as that, then you'll like this book. It's not blasphemous but I'm sure some religious zealot will find fault at Biff's "gospel." I'm not a religious zealot but towards the end it did become kind of sad, because...well, you go in knowing the history of Christ and what will transpire at the end. The ride before you get there, though, is tremendously enthralling & well worth the read.
Dreams Of My Father - Barrack Obama
I've seen the DNC 2004 speech, where Barrack rose to national prominence, and enjoyed his speech & his story so much that I wanted to read more. Born of white mother from Kansas, a Kenyan father and raised in Hawaii...yeah, that's alot. While at times it's sketchy early on, moving from past, to present, by the a third of the way into the book you settle into Barrack's writing style & he seems to settle into his pen. What follows is the interesting story of a young American man as he discovers his identity, and purpose, most striking are his tales of his trip to his father's homeland as an adult and his early social work in the city of Chicago. Worth the read if just to understand the various paths to success that people from all walks of life follow.
Part Of My Soul Went With Him - Winnie Mandela
Want to know what it is to be the wife of famed, worldwide, political entity? Interested in seeing how it is to deal with true adversity, political, social or self-imposed, every day? A collection of memoirs of the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela who grew into a political force of reckoning of her own, this book is splendid as a history lesson as well as a impetus to keep moving forward and promoting social and personal change and growth.
Who's Gonna Take the Weight: Manhood, Race, and Power in America - Kevin Powell
I went into this book hoping to be entertained on an intellectual level & expecting maybe to gain nothing more than perhaps a few sparse ideas. I came out gaining a renewing feeling to learn and alot more than I had bargained. I knew Powell wrote, seeing as how he was the unofficial biographer of Tupac, had been one of the leading writer's for Vibe in it's infancy & appeared on the very first MTV's Real World. What he lacks in penmanship is perhaps Powell's strength, his ability to convey his ideas in adorned enough but plain words. And his ideas are very concise & on-point, relaying the perspective of first generation hip-hop kid, a "Rap City" kid as I commonly call our age group.
Never boring, Powell's collection of essays cover dealing with women, being at the top of the game one day & waking up in the cellars the next day, coming of age and accessing the role the first generation hip-hop audience's role in today's music & society. If you're a member of that audience, and even more, if you're a late twenty/early thirtysomething black male, you will feel as if Powell is holding a personal conversation with you. If you don't fall in that demographic, I still feel comfortable in saying you will learning something and walking away with a few morsels to feed upon as you travel your path.
My next personal goal is to learn as much about saving/stacking cash in legitimate ways ("...yo, sit back relax catchin contacts, sip your cog-nac/
And let's all wash this money through this laundry mat")...so if you got books, info, tips, anything on mutual funds, investing, etc. etc....Martha Stewart me holmes & put me up on game.
While on the topic of reading, agree or disagree, KRS-One drops his two cents asking "Did Stan Tookie Williams really have to die?" in his article "Food For Thought Is Better Than a Meal"
In related news, they dissed the Governator in his hometown. Authorities in Austria removed Schwarzenegger's name off of Austrian soccer stadium.
• Know any other sites worthy of mentioning? Maintain your own site & want to do a link exchange? Email us @ email@example.com because we're always looking to grow.
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• Click some ads. Let us make a little paper if you want to support us spending time here on the daily.
• Tell at least one friend or mention the site on any forums or boards you visit. Put a shoutout to us on your Facebook/Myspace pages. Personally, I want to see us crack 5K visitors per day.
• Come see me/us @ Myspace and be sure to join the group.
Respect due to some of today's contributors...
Crazy Baby @ LikeCrazyBaby
Postscript - More visitors, less comments? More contributions but even more requests? Aiyooo...I'm starting to feel like we're some backpacking, independent artist who gets more love overseas than we do at home! Show some fuckin love folk!
• Gene Harris - In a Special Way (Blue Note)
• I'm Bout It Soundtrack
• Mob Style - Game Of Death
• Rahsaan Patterson - After Hours
• Julie Dexter - Conscious/Dexterity
Tapemasters Inc. & Hasan Insane - Perfect Strangers -(Jay-Z_&_Nas)-2005
DJ Envy & Tapemasters Inc - Purple Codeine 4 (Hosted By David Banner)
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
VA-Mick Boogie & Kanye West-Second Semester (Kanye Essentials Vol. 2)
DJ Smallz & Chris Brown Dirty R&B Pt.10
Playa-Cheers 2 U
Just Ice- The Desolate One(1989)
Jaguar Wright - Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul
Eric Benét-Day In The Life-(1999)
Donnie-The Colored Section-(2002)
Rahsaan Patterson-Where You Are-(1997)
PW for the above three is soultaliban
TLC - Crazy Sexy Cool (1994)
AMG - Bitch Betta Have My Money
Vast Aire - Way of the Fist Vol. 1
Buckshot & 9th Wonder - Chemistry
Opio - Triangulation Station
Boney James - Pure
James Blount- Back To Bedlam
Goapele - Ever Closer
Silkk The Shocker The Best Of-Retail-2005
Master P-The Best Of-Retail-2005
Bang Em And Domination-God Giveth God Taketh Away-Retail-2005
PW for the above three is unlvsac
Beanie Siegel - The B. Coming
M.O.P. - First Family 4 Life
J.R. Writer Files
Talib Kweli - Kweli Confidential (Bootleg)
Dr. Dre - Look Out For Detox (2005)
The Best of Gil Scott-Heron (1991)
7 30 Creations Presents Mary J. Blige - Bigger
PW is 7 30
Funkadelic - Music For Your Mother (The Singles 1968-1976) (Two Discs)
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Blue 70's - Blue Note Got Soul
Part 1 Part 2
Posted by Gotty™ at 12/26/2005 11:09:00 PM