Chapter #05: Book on the Bright Side
Ah, so many new bookish friends!
Feeling My Shelf is a bi-weekly newsletter about books, life, and well, life with books. Grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and get comfy.
Oh, wow, hello there. It’s a new month, and there are so many new readers around these parts! It feels like only a few months ago that I was writing this newsletter to 10 people. Probably because it was just a few months ago. Happy to see this little community growing!
A few bookish facts about me for the newbies or those who are simply
nosey inquisitive: I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers. I do judge books by their covers. I cannot live without a bookmark. Or a good pun. That’s probably obvious. My favorite genres are YA, Thriller, and Contemporary Romance. My favorite trope is enemies to lovers. And randomly, a book I've pretended to read but actually haven't is Becoming by Michelle Obama. Remember this is a safe space! I did read the first 100 or so pages, but the Obamas truly write some wordy books. Like I need two terms just to read it.
Now that I’ve spoken my truth, let’s dive into some of my recent bookish favorites.
On The Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Sexton’s third novel follows three singing sisters in 1950s San Francisco who make up a group called The Salvations. Their mother, Vivian, is determined to make them stars, despite varying levels of interest on their parts. It’s a family drama all the way. There’s no big splashy scenes or super jaw-dropping twists. Just sisters carving out their own paths and shedding their mother’s expectations. Other themes explored are racism, sexism, and gentrification. Heavy topics, but such an enjoyable, hopeful read. I also really loved the many references to Louisiana (my home state and where the fictional family was from.) Definitely agree with one of the sisters that you can’t eat just anybody‘s gumbo.
From Scratch on Netflix
I love a good book adaptation. But letting you know now, you’ll need tissues. Lots of tissues! Starring Zoe Saldaña, this limited series follows an American art student studying abroad in Italy who meets and falls in love with a Sicilian chef. It’s based on the New York Times best-selling memoir From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home by Tembi Locke, who created the series with her sister Attica Locke. Nestled between the many(!) tear-jerking moments is a sweet love story, good food that makes you want to lick the screen, and lots of Texas references and jokes.
A Virtual Cafe
I Miss My Cafe, is a 2020 discovery that I was somehow(?) reluctant to use until now! Listen: I enjoy eavesdropping on conversations and overpriced lattes as much as the next person, but sometimes I want the ambience that reading in public provides without having to endure that person who likes to talk loudly on the phone.
After a month of reading mostly horror and thriller stories, I’m excited to dive back into romance. Just in time for cuffing season! Jasmine Guillory’s latest book Drunk On Love (one of my most anticipated reads for fall), is a workplace romance set at a Napa Valley vineyard. Guillory’s stories are always the perfect mixture of sweet and heat, so I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy.
ALSO: I want to hear more about what you’ve read and your reading habits, if you care to share. Your recommendations may appear in a future chapter of Feeling My Shelf. Fill out the form here.
Toni Morrison will finally be on a U.S. stamp in 2023. Goosebumps is turning 30. The rom-com is back. Why did it ever leave? The case for throwing a “fail-a-bration.” Why Brenda Meeks from Scary Movie is the true queen of horror. Ashanti’s ‘IRL’ interview offers a master class in standing in your power. When is too soon for a beloved tv series to get a reboot? On From Scratch, grief, joy and the love Black women deserve.