A Piece of Cake: A Memoir
Cupcake Brown


This book is one big *trigger warning *. Cupcake Brown (real name) wrote one of the most fascinating memoirs I have ever read. Born to a mother who died when she was 11, Cupcake finds herself in one horrible foster home after another in 1970’s California. Gangs, sexual abuse, drug addictions, were just some of the horrors she faced.  Simply listing the disturbing circumstances that Ms. Brown faced feels so flat. Her power, being her words, go in to unbelievable detail and make you feel as if you are with her every step of the way. Willpower and unbelievable strength got her through her childhood and adolescents. This is a book that will sit with you for the rest of your life. If ever you should find yourself looking down upon someone in horrible circumstances, hopefully you will refer back to this novel and recall that misfortunes are attracted to some people like icing on a cupcake-Montgomery

Another Country

James Baldwin


This is a passionate novel about love, friendship, hatred, and suffering, and with themes of racism, and bisexuality. Set in late 1950s America we are introduced to the downfall of the character Rufus Scott a jazz drummer, he is suffering from internalized and institutional racism, and finds himself committing violence in a struggle seek some power. The characters are complex and cleverly written people who at times display such intense and real emotions, they are characters I have come to fall in love with. I definitely recommend everyone to read this hauntingly beautiful book-Audrey



 Dolen Perkins


Valdez brings a new face to the idea of slavery. I read it in the 3 hours I was allotted after a Sociology final and became thoroughly enthralled in the life of young Lizzie, the novel’s protagonist–so much so I didn’t pay any mind to the classroom around me. Wench describes the lives of 3 slaves brought by their masters to Tawawa House, a resort in Ohio on the edge between bondage and freedom, for Southern white slave owners to spend time with their black mistresses. Lizzie is under the false impression that her master has feelings for her, that he continues to bring her because he loves her which is far from the truth. She lives disillusioned in docility until the arrival of the spunky Mawu, who inspires the women to begin to live for themselves, regain their African name, and strive for freedom. Never have I read a book that gives a new perspective to the dehumanization and emotional manipulation black women are susceptible to under the gaze of the white male–and it’s such an easy read! Dolen Perkins-Valdez is truly a wordsmith and not only is she super smart (she is a Harvard graduate among other honors), but she makes a point to be a black woman who writes about other black women! Talk about visibility-Kiarra




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February 18, 2014


p.s Although Another Country isn’t written by a women, it is still brilliant! James Baldwin is such a beautiful and clever writer 🙂

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