African Diaspora Reading Challenge Update

In my last post I indicated I would participate in the Brown Girl Speaks African Diaspora Reading Challenge so today I am listing a partial list of the books I plan to read for this challenge.
However before listing my planned readings I thought it would be helpful to list the rules of the challenge, so here they are:

The guidelines:

  • This challenge will run from January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010
  • Crossovers are allowed
  • Fiction and nonfiction hard copies or e-books from any genre (no audiobooks)
  • Participants should visit different geographical regions in their reading (i.e. not all African American or Afro-Brit or Haitian or any one group representing the diaspora)
  • Levels of Participation:
  • Novice: commitment to read four (4) books
  • Versed: commitment to read eight (8) books
  • Scholar: commitment to read twelve (12) books

Initially, my plan was to join at the level of versed, but I have upped the anty to scholar. Why you ask? Well as part of my annual book club reading list at least one of the recommended readings is listed so that leaves me with eleven other works to choose from. While our group reads six books a year that would also leave at least one or two of them open for addition to my challenge list.

Most importantly, I usually find myself reading at least two books at a time, so a challenge of 12 should be a no-brainer. Finally, as I stated earlier, part of my motivation aside from increasing the scope of my reading is to use this challenge as a means to keep me writing on a regular basis.

So without further rambling my list of African Diaspora Reading Challenge books are:

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie is set in Enugu, Nigeria and is the story of 15-year-old Kambili and her life in an abusive household.

Let the Lion Eat the Straw by Ellease Southerland is the story of Abeba Williams. Seeking a way out of poverty, Abeba’s mother leaves her in the care of Mamma Hamblesham as she looks for success in NY. Mamma and Abeba bond and develop a routine that is shattered when Abeba’s mother returns to take her to the big city.

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid offers the reader a view of Kincaid’s homeland Antigua from poverty and corruption to the breath taking beauty of this small Caribbean island.

The Great Negro Plot by Mat Johnson is an historic fiction account of the Negro uprising in New York City in 1741.

These works are listed in no certain order, but I can say that Let the Lion Eat Straw will be the final book, because it is the last book scheduled for my book club and that meeting is in December 2010. The Great Negro Plot is also a book club read and I believe it is scheduled for early summer.

I’m really excited about the challenge and the opportunity to widen my reading horizon. Won’t you join us? If you are interested click here for details.

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Beginning a New Year – New Decade

So we have now ventured into a new year and new decade to boot, what do you plan to do differently in 2010? Have you made a list of resolutions? A list that, for most people anyway, will go by the wayside long before the spring thaw. Or are you like many of us who have made no resolutions other than to try to make this year better than the last, which of course means we have set goals that we will strive to achieve. Is there truly a difference between a resolution and a goal? I wonder.

One of my goals is to make this space an active, living breathing place that people you and others will be interested in visiting on a regular basis. So, let’s hope you find this interesting and will come back for more in the days and weeks ahead.

Another goal is to participate in some very interesting challenges I have come across while perusing the internet. Just today I stopped by Inkygirl:Daily Diversions For Writers where I learned about the 1000 Words A Day Challenge which is similar to NanNoWriMo, but according to Inkygirl is for those of us who start out with a bang and may loose our way. With this challenge if you miss a day, but try again the next day you are still eligible as long as you are actively trying. Even better there is also a 500 Words A Day or 250 Words A Day Challenge. I will work on the 500 Words A Day, what do you think? Want to join me – if so learn more here.

The next challenge on my agenda has to do with my other love – reading. I’m not sure which of my writer idols tweeted about this site, and this challenge but I was very interested to find Brown Girl Speaks and the African Diaspora Reading Challenge. With this challenge I will be able to fulfill two goals at once – read more and write more, because as part of this challenge you have to write a review. Cha-Ching, double the pleasure. To learn more click here.

So with these two goals as well as a plan to redesign this site and post more frequently I should be a very busy woman over the next 361 days!

I hope you will join me on my journey to offer your views, support or just to hang out!

~Til Next Time!

Happy New Year!

WhooHoo! 2010 is here! What a blessing to bid farewell to another year, and thank God for the gift of seeing the beginning of a new year.
My new year’s celebration was a blast! For the third year in a row, the Hubby & I joined friends at a house party! The atmosphere was festive and filled with joy as we ate, drank, danced, laughed and just enjoyed the company of one another!
New this year – I played bartender and what a blast that was. While I’m always pretty observant at gatherings, just sort of people watching, the view from the bar definitely gives you a whole new vantage point.
From the barkeeps stool you can watch and gauge who’s drinking just to get a little buzz and who is actually trying to tie one on, and thankfully most of the folks were being sociable last night.
As is true with life, with all good times there will be sadness. I found out this morning that a beloved cousin passed away this morning and is now our own personal ANGEL. I also learned first hand that with death comes life as we welcomed a new member of the family as well this morning. Life in all of it’s totality is truly an awesome experience.
As the effects of the first day of the new year settle I am convinced it will be a good one. I’ll post tomorrow about some good things to look forward to here on the blog. One of them will be more on books and writing as well as the addition of some other sections. I believe that I will finally utilize this space to delve into reigniting my love of reporting which will include interviews and features on not only books and literature, but also craft related issues and community news.
Join me for the ride, I know it’s going to be a good one! Happy New Year!