The Invisible Line was more about the phenomenon of actually crossing the "race line", families changing from black to white, than about "pretending" to be something else. Sharfstein makes some really interesting points about what it means to be black, white, or somewhere in the middle (usually referred to as "mulatto" in the book), and the stories of the three families that he uses illustrate the difficulties in trying to establish a rigid di...

Even though I've heard a lot about how fantastic Beloved is, I never really knew what it was about, even when I decided to bring it home for the read-a-thon a few weekends ago. I knew vaguely that it had to do with slavery and racism in the United States, but somehow I had missed out on the dead-baby-haunting-her-mother's-house part. How did I miss that?

What the synopsis doesn't tell you is that Jay is an African-American man who saves a white woman from drowning in the bayou in a very poor, very black neighbourhood, and that she refuses to say anything to him, his wife, or the boat's driver. It also doesn't tell you that Jay has a history in the Black Power Movement, and that this history is a very important part of the story, its effect on him (and some of the other characters) a key charac...

I'd heard lots of good things about The Book of Negroes, and have contemplated borrowing it from my library at school to read, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so I decided to select it as the first audio book that I would try out. It did not disappoint.

Sentences tells the story of Percy Carey (aka M.F. Grimm) from his perspective, as he lives in the world of American hip-hop and street crews. It's a really good look into the mentality behind the people who get involved in that kind of lifestyle, and why they make the choices that they do.

BTT: Flapper? Or Not a Flapper?
booking through thursday , memes / January 14, 2010

  Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme. Suggested by Prairie Progressive: Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it? I usually read the inside flaps that describe a book (or the back cover, or whatever there is) before I even buy it. I use the content in the flaps/on the cover to decide whether I’m interested in the plot and characters. I’m a sucker for plot and characters – I...

BookSwim – like NetFlix for readers!
products/services / January 13, 2010

I was reading through blogs today, and came across a couple of links for BookSwim, which I’d never heard of before. It looks like a fantastic concept, working pretty much how NetFlix does with movies. Basically, you pay a monthly fee, select books online that you want to read, and a certain number of them are sent to you in the mail. When you’re done with the book(s), you send it/them back. The return shipping is included...

Safe Area Gorazde (Review)
reviews / January 8, 2010

The first experience I had with so-called "comic journalism" was with another of Sacco's books called Palestine. It was enlightening and funny and easy-to-read, even when discussing a rather difficult subject, and so I hoped that I would find other pieces of work just as good.

Breaking Dawn (Review)
reviews / January 4, 2010

I had known even before I read the series that the last book, Breaking Dawn, had caused a whole lot of controversy among the Twilight fans, though I hadn't really known why. Now that I've finished reading them, I decided to go looking to find out why people disliked it; here's a really good summary of most of the major "problems" that some readers have with Meyer's ending to the story. Honestly? I rather liked it.