Saturday, August 23, 2014


It's been a while since I've intermingled a Youtube post with a blog post.  Not that that's something for me to keep note of–or anybody else for that matter.  Nevertheless, I finally got the opportunity to do so with this tag.  This is the Book Cake Tag.  I was tagged by another Booktuber, Kristinathebookworm.  This was a fun tag to get creative with... plus... everyone loves cake.  With that being said, I'll employee the video, questions, books, and a little concerning my response to each book below.  Please, enjoy!

Cake Book Tag Ingredients:

1.  Flour - A book that was slow at the beginning, but picked up as it moved along?

I chose Toni Morrison's Jazz to fulfill this ingredient.  For the sake of not repeating myself, I'll include what I wrote in a post earlier this year concerning my feelings after reading the book:

"Seems a little off I'm sure.  It's not that I disliked the book, it just wasn't what I'd hoped for.  I've learned that much of Morrison's material post-80's has what I see as a distracting dip in vivid prose and language.  The problem for me is that that "distracting" sometimes lures me away from gathering some sense of the plot of the book, or even the order of the plot.  Add in the multiple themes and narratives in JazzI just didn't leave fully connected with overall story.  However, some of the individual narratives in the book stood so strongly that it was like reading an individual short story inside the book.  Glimpses of pieces of the past that made the two main characters was where I enjoyed the book the most.  In any regard, it's definitely a book that needs a second, focused read."

2.  Margarine - A book that had a really rich and great plot?

Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian immediately came to mind to fulfill this "margarine" question.  There are many rich books out there, but one that pound so many genres of richness is The Historian.  From horror (I actually was creeped out by this book), adventure, mystery, and a touch of romance; it was a book that sailed with reading calories.  In a good way.  I was actually surprised that–as of late–it has gotten so many one-star reviews on Goodreads.  I guess it's a matter of taste.  Nonetheless, what is upsetting is how I can't seem to pick up my copy of Kostova's second book, The Swan Thieves.  Why have I not read you yet!  Why must you sit on bookshelf collecting dust!

3.  Eggs - A book that you thought was going to be bad, but turned out to be quite enjoyable?

That would be Trista Russell's Fly on the Wall.  I picked this book up years ago during a library bookstore browse.  I wanted to try something in close range with authors of African-American relationship books similar to Eric Jerome Dickey's (who I was big on back then).  My hesitation was believing that it was going to be horribly written, sort of like those Street Lit books I experimented with during my bookstore days in Atlanta.  Yesh!  They had great premises, but some bad, bad execution.  Well, to be precise, some bad, bad, BAD grammar and editing.  Like, deplorably bad!  Nonetheless, Fly on the Wall was nothing like that.  It's basically a story that follows a 32-year-old teacher who develops a relationship with one of her students.  And it was a fantastic read.  I read it in a single night.  As I said in the video, everyone I've let borrow the book seemed to have read it quickly too.  It was hard to put down once it got started.

Taken from the blurb...

"His Story: 'I could have any chick at West Dade Senior High, but I went after the one I was told couldn’t be broken, Ms. Patrick, my English teacher and my coach’s ex-wife. It started with me proving something to myself, but ended with me trying to prove to her that I was all the man she’d ever need.' 

Her Story: 'I struggled to treat him like any other student. All I asked was that he arrive to class on time and I encouraged him to complete class assignments. However, the lustful way he looked at me, the intimate things his words implied, and the way his fingers taunted my skin, was powerful enough for me to put my career on the line.' 

The Truth: A thirty-two-year-old teacher entered an inappropriate relationship with a student, but what the headlines didn’t say was that the student, Theo Lakewood, was eighteen (of legal age), extremely handsome, a senior, and a star basketball player at West Dade Senior High, relentlessly pursued her, ceaselessly studied her, and painstakingly seduced her. Of course she could’ve ignored his advances, but she welcomed him with open arms. Only a Fly on the Wall would know exactly how he conquered her. 

Ever wish that you were a Fly on the Wall? Wish no more. Spread your wings and get ready to read all of the juicy forbidden details from behind closed doors with Theo and Paige."

4.  Sugar - A sugary, sweet book?

I chose Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui.  Really, I looked around the shelves and couldn't find anything sugary and sweet.  Every book I own contains either murder or something else horrible and twisted.  I can say that Shanghai Baby qualified as "twisted", but who's counting?  Still, I'll also go out on a limb and say the book is sweet because of all that the main protagonist, Coco, puts up with between her two lovers.  Something I wouldn't have the patience for between a married man and a drug addicted lover.  Amazon summarizes it best:

"Set in the centuries-old port city of Shanghai, the novel follows the days, and nights, of the irrepressibly carnal Coco, who waits tables in a cafĂ© when she meets her first lover, a sensitive Chinese artist. Defying her parents, Coco moves in with her boyfriend and enters a frenzied, orgasmic world of drugs and hedonism. But, helpless to stop her gentle lover's descent into addiction, Coco becomes attracted to a boisterous Westerner, a rich German businessman with a penchant for S/M and seduction. Now, with an entourage of friends ranging from a streetwise madame to a rebellious filmmaker, Coco's forays into in the territory of love and lust cross the borders between two cultures -- awakening her guilt and fears of discovery, yet stimulating her emerging sexual self. Searing a blistering image into the reader's imagination, Shanghai Baby provides an alternative travelogue into the back streets of a city and the hard-core escapades of today's liberated youth. Wei Hui's provocative portrayal of men, women, and cultural transition is an astonishing and brave exposure of the unacknowledged new China, breaking through official rhetoric to show the inroads of the West and a people determined to burst free."

Hmmm... it's been a long time, but suddenly I want to re-read this book?

5.  Icing - A book that covered every single element that you enjoy in a book? 

I won't–but will–say Valerie Wilson Wesley's Tamara Hayle private investigator series covers everything I enjoy in a book.  There's always a lot more to it, you know.  However, as I mentioned in the video, it does cover what I want to write should I give myself the time to write.  Or finish the book I've been working on for two years and haven't gotten past chapter four yet.  Okay, okay.  Let me just make it clear that I enjoy this series for two things: a black woman with a PI license.  Sold.  As of now the series spans eight books, beginning with When Death Comes Stealing.  Former cop turned PI, Tamara Hayle, is called to investigate a series of murders surrounding her ex-husband and his offsprings from past relationships.  A reluctant Tamara takes his case, where she immediately realizes her own son is a target of the killer.  And I have to say, it was a simple but crafty read.  I'll have to write more on this series soon.

6.  Sprinkles - A book that you can turn to when you need a pick-me-up? 

Seeing that I'm not the best at rereading books (unlike when I was a broke teenager and had no choice), I don't reread books that often.  Therefore, I don't exactly have a book that I turn to when I'm down–unless you count something written by authors like Louise Hay or Marianne
Williamson.  Nevertheless, there is a manga artist who I love and worship.  She also created two manga series that taught me everything I know about life, creativity, and following your dreams.  Well... and love to a minutiae degree.  For the sake of not going overboard in this arena, the two manga series I revisit year-round (as well as watch the anime year-round) is Naoko Takeuchi Sailor V and Sailor Moon series.  What better resource to get through life with?

7.  Cherry On Top - All time favorite book of this year?  

That would have to go to Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns.  Having already wrote about the book, I'll provide a link to that post HERE.

Thank you all for joining in on the fun!  Please, share your thoughts in the comments section below if you've read any of these books or want to read them.  Actually, go out and do this tag yourself and share it with everyone!

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