The Rest of January Reading

This is going to take too long if I continue to list it book by book. So here is what I read in January:
Healthy Living From the Inside Out by Mariel Hemingway
started 1/6/07 finished 1/14/07
I am a sucker for healthy, holistic living books. Especially when written by people who were not always so healthy. This covers nutrition, fitness, spirituality. I loved this book so much that I begged the publisher for a free copy. (Bookseller perks!)
Hell to Pay by George Pelecanos
started 1/12/07 finished 1/17/07
Hugh Holton was my favorite mystery writer. This Chicago police officer brought the streets of his city alive through the characters in his books. Since his passing in 2001, I have been looking around for someone to fill his shoes. George Pelecanos is one of those currently in rotation. The first book I read by him was King Suckerman which I picked up because I heard that Puff Daddy (as he was called then) had purchased the movie rights. Since then I have slowly been reading all of his works. The streets of D.C. (the streets I grew up on) that he writes about are complicated and dangerous and colorful. If you like the television shows Homicide: Life on the Street & The Wire, then you will love his work.
Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop by Jeff Chang
started 1/14/07 finished 1/23/07
Jeff Chang’s last book, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, is my favorite hip-hop book of all time. I consider it to be the definitive history book on the art form taking into account all of the elements that came into play to make it happen: politics, culture, economics. This book was a little too scholarly. It is an anthology that means well, but I felt they just analyzed hip-hop within an inch of it’s life.
This Year I Will… by M.J. Ryan
started 1/14/07 finished 1/25/07
Another one of the countless self-help books that I read on the road to my transformation (see blog title). Alas, it is also another one that I didn’t utilize fully. But I think I liked it.
The Long Mile: The Shango Mysteries by Clyde Ford
started 1/26/07 finished 2/3/07
The first in a series. I picked it up because of the Shango reference. I read a lot about the Ifa & Santeria traditions and wanted to see how that was used. Very good first book. About a former policeman who gets out of prison and sets out to find out who framed him, clear his name and keep his teenaged son of the streets. Looking forward to reading the next book, Deuce’s Wild, which is sitting on my shelf.
Beyond Temptation by Brenda Jackson
started 1/24/07 finished 1/26/07
Part of the Arabesque African-American romance line. Yes, I read romances. Sometimes you are in the mood for a happy ending. And these aren’t swashbuckling pirates ripping bodices…these are middle and upper-middle class Black folk falling in love, having some sort of conflict or solving some mystery and living happily ever after. Can’t remember exactly what this one was about, but I love all of Brenda Jackson’s books.
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
started 1/26/07 finished 1/31/07
Another book I should have read a long time ago. Loved this. A young girl in a sort of mildly post-apocalyptic America, sets out to create a community based upon a belief system she creates. Loved it! Lots of political and religious themes set in the future but could be totally applicable to today. I got lost in this book.

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