sumofparts: picture of books with text 'books are humanity in print' (books)
[personal profile] sumofparts
I finished my second set of 50, yay and started a new set. Below are some thoughts on the books.

Remainder of second set:
39. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
40. A Gesture Life by Chang-rae Lee
41. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
42. Zone One by Colson Whitehead
43. The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
44. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
45. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
46. Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta
47. The End of East by Jen Sookfong Lee
48. Beijing Confidential by Jan Wong
49. Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre
50. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
New set:
1. Decoded by Jay-Z

Cut for length )
dorothean: detail of painting of Gandalf, Frodo, and Gimli at the Gates of Moria, trying to figure out how to open them (Default)
[personal profile] dorothean
One of the people Barbara Neely thanks at the beginning of Blanche Among the Talented Tenth is hattie gossett, which reminded me that I hadn't read presenting... sister no blues for a while.

I love this collection of poems so much that I get kind of incoherent trying to explain myself, so this is the best I could do for a Goodreads review.

But I thought for this community I would do something different.

gossett introduces each of the four sections of this book with some song lyrics, most of which I wasn't familiar with. I have been able to find youtube videos for most of them and so here's the sister noblues playlist! I've added the song title and link but the section titles and lyrics are as they appear in the book. I think I'll be buying some of these albums next...


won't you stop and take a little time out with me?
just take 5.
just take 5.
stop your busy day and take the time out to see.

- carmen mcrae, take five

I'm a travellin woman
I got a travelling mind.
I'm gonna buy me a ticket
an ease on down the line.

- clara smith, freight train blues (this video of somebody's victrola is all I could find. hattie gossett credits a 1980 album called women's railroad blues)

they say to keep on smilin
when trouble comes in twos
rich folks say to keep on smilin
but poor folks pay the dues

- abbey lincoln/aminata mosaka, in the red. not on youtube now; from her 1961 album straight ahead


mr. backlash, mr. backlash
who do you think I am?
raise my taxes
freeze my wages
and send my son to Vietnam.

- nina simone, backlash blues

the blues are created by the men folk
especially on friday when the eagle flies
and they don't want to give up the money to pay them folks
for them televisions and stereos and thangs
when they git it on friday they want to put it in their pockets and walk around with it.
makes em feel important.
and you know if you ask em about it they may talke to you real real bad.
lock you in the basement for a week for even reminding him he's got bills.
but I got a little song that I always sing cuz it keeps it in my thinking that one money don't stop no show.
he may it slow it down for a minute for a minute
but never ever stop it.
cuz you see
the show must go on.

- esther phillips, I'm gettin' 'long alright. not on youtube now; from her 1970 live album burnin'

you're in trouble
can't you see?
baby you ain't fooling me
with your smooth talk.

- evelyn champagne king, smooth talk


how I made it over
coming on over
all these years.
you know my soul looks back in wonder:
how did I make it over?

- mahalia jackson, how I got over

you never git nothing by bein an angel child.
you better change yo ways and get real wild.
I'm gonna tell you something, wouldn't tell you no lie.
wild women are the only kind that ever git by.
wild women don't have to worry, they don't have no blues.

- ida cox, wild women don't have the blues (to 1:27)

I got a lot
a lot of what I got
and what I got is
all mine.

- ethel sweet mama stringbean waters, come up and see me sometime

no more pleadin.
no more cryin.
cuz I believe that I do hold up half the sky.

- linda tillery, freedom time

in a special kind of womanly way.

- linda tillery, womanly way. not on youtube now; from her 1977 self-titled album


just pick up your paper
turn on your tv.

- roberta flack, trying times. not on youtube now; from her 1969 album first take

there's no savior
in the struggle
for freedom time.

- linda tillery, freedom time again

I know we can make it.
I know we can work it out.
if we wanna
yes we can can.

- the pointer sisters, yes we can

pharaoh's army
all of them men got drowned in the sea one day.
oh yes they did.

- aretha franklin, mary don't you weep

straight ahead
the road is winding.

- abbey lincoln aminata mosaka, straight ahead
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
The audio version of Joplin's Ghost is published by Griot Audio, which specializes in contemporary African-American fiction. Well narrated by Lizan Mitchell. Joplin's Ghost is part well-researched historical novel (following Scott Joplin's life) and part modern novel (following the character of Phoenix Smalls, an up and coming R&B star).

I really admired the research. I liked the way the plots were woven together. The writing was smooth. Some of the characters and their interactions are satisfyingly complex.

Most musical styles owe a lot to music that came before, and the best musicians honor their influences and musical ancestry. That's one of the primary themes of this book and I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Another theme is the difficulty of living a musician's / performer's life, and Due does a great job comparing/contrasting Joplin's struggles with those of Phoenix.

And oh yeah, it's a ghost story. I didn't really warm up to the ghost story part of the novel; I kept arguing with what was happening. That might be due to my relative inexperience with the ghost story genre.

(X-posted to my journal)
vass: iTunes screencap, caption "iDork" (iDork)
[personal profile] vass
We already have a sister community for films, [ profile] 12films_poc. How about one for music? I know that my musical knowledge is a bit more whitebread than I'd like, and I'd like to expand my range.

Is anyone else interested? Maybe starting next year?


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