Book Deals for August 26th

At a departmental event today but there’s always time to be keeping an eye out for good deals! 

In today’s exciting deals: 

The Secret Life of Bees: this is just a must-read. It has a good reputation for good reasons. Please check out! 
The Last Lecture: a depressing book but an amazing book. Read it awhile ago and made me want to go to Carnegie Mellon. One of those books I’ll always remember. Leaves you with a lot to think about and potentially a lot to cry about. 
Happy Reading! 

“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.”

–Josh Jameson


Book Deals for August 21st

It is a little late to be posting this given that the day is almost over but because I am currently reading this book wanted to share:  A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing.

I will forewarn that this book is slow to start but it is written in such a creative way. I did have to pause with reading it for awhile because it took a lot of brain power to get through the chapters, due to the unique language she uses. But I am so glad I picked it back up!

If you are looking for something unique and reminiscent of Clockwork Orange’s creation of an English spinoff language, look no further.

“The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”
― Malcolm XThe Autobiography of Malcolm X

Book Deals for August 17th

In today’s deals:

Mama Day
– This book just jumped out of me because of the description. Then come to find out it is by the same author as “The Women of Brewster House”, which I loved and reviewed not long ago. Definitely seems like a good pick!

A Land More Kind Than Home
– I mainly was interested in this book deal because the setting is in North Carolina, and that is where I now live. I think it is extra meaningful to read books that are set where you live. Makes you feel more connected to the characters, and if the author does a good job, you will be able to imagine the scenario perfectly since you live in the backdrop. Plus it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon!

Gulag: A History
– This is the book I decided to purchase. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning book on a topic that is not discussed enough. The Nazi concentration camps are a large focus of many books, but not often are the concentration camps of the Soviet Union discussed. This is mainly because we turned a blind eye to the crimes our allies committed during WWII.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
– I just really like the title of this book and it seems like a good “feel good” sort of book.


“Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find.”
― Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man’s Fear


Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

This was a very timely read given the threat of North Korea on Guam, a place most people in the U.S. do not even know is a U.S. territory. Although this book does not specifically discuss Guam, it does focus on the imperialism of the U.S. which is very much related to Guam.

It is amazing the amount of things that are not mentioned in the classroom when discussing U.S. history. This book speaks to the imperialist past of the U.S. by highlighting a very specific story that illustrates this seemingly forgotten past.

Ota Benga was kidnapped from his home in the Congo to be put on display at the St. Louis World’s Fair as well as the Bronx Zoo. At the time the science community, specifically the anthropological community, was very focused on displaying the superiority of the white race, relative to African people, specifically ones like Ota Benga (he was a Mbuti pygmy).

Pamela Newkirk did an amazing job researching what she could on the information available on Ota Benga. A lot of the available information was skewed and/or biased given that it was not coming directly from Ota Benga. Nevertheless, she did a wonderful job letting the reader know that this was not necessarily the truth and to be skeptical. I appreciated though that she presented the information available in a matter of fact manner to allow the reader to make their own judgment on the information presented.

The length of the book was perfect. I realize that it is hard with these sort of topics to know how much to put it and what to leave out. Additionally, Pamela integrated details on the African-American community of the time, beyond just the scope of their role in the release of Ota Benga from the Bronx Zoo.

However, what stood out to me the most was the incorporation of the role the St. Louis World’s Fair, zoos, museums and anthropology played in the imperialism of the U.S. It is not often that you happen upon a book that is able to cover such a breadth of topics and so well. Pamela Newkirk not only gave justice to the story of Ota Benga, but successfully used his tragic life story as a means to explain the greater forces at work.

“The presence of Benga and his countrymen– along with the Native American; the Filipinos and Igorot; and the Japanese Ainu–was intended to highlight the United States’ conquests, imperialism, and progress”. – Pamela Newkirk




Book Deals for August 12th 

Really need this rainy weather to abide! Trying to enjoy one of my last weekends before school resumes. A little hard with the rain. 

Anyways, on this rainy Saturday, I have some wonderful books deals: 

Meridian: this book is by the glorious Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple”. 

Confessions of a Sociopath: Given the stigma associated to sociopath, this read could prove to be rather illuminating. 
Delicious Foods: The title within itself gets me. The synopsis is really well done and I was stricken by this statement made “In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them.” 
“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”             – Christopher Morley, Pipefuls

Deals for the day of August 10th

Facebook kindly reminded me that one year ago today I crossed into North Carolina! Not per say the official day of the start of my PhD journey, but close enough.

Anyways for today’s bookdeals Beneath the Lion’s Gaze stood out to me in BookBub’s daily email. Really appreciate all these book deals for novels written by African authors. Important to not limit your reading world to just stories and people you are familiar with.

Check it out!

“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.”
― John Keats

An Ode to Summer

This is feeling is not new. I have experienced this sense of despair with seeing the end of summer near for almost my entire life, however this time it is slightly different. As a PhD student you don’t really have summers “off” anymore. You are still, for the most part, expected to complete research during this time and can manage to get perhaps a few weeks off. Nevertheless at least the evenings are yours to do with what you will, which is something to rejoice in. 

With August here, I know these evenings will soon disappear and it does not have me overjoyed. Already I feel that my time is limited, even with ALL this additional time available to me to devote to things I usually do not have time for. Time is an interesting concept and as I move through my PhD journey I have been learning to respect my time more and more.

You only have so many heartbeats per day. Spend them wisely. 
“Reader’s Bill of Rights

1. The right to not read 

2. The right to skip pages 

3. The right to not finish 

4. The right to reread 

5. The right to read anything 

6. The right to escapism 

7. The right to read anywhere 

8. The right to browse 

9. The right to read out loud 

10. The right to not defend your tastes”

– Daniel Pennac 

Book Deals for August 7th and Kindle First for August

I am now signed up for three different emails a day for book deals. I feel like I am going into dangerous waters here. Hopefully I will not be enticed by too many books per day. Although I always live to regret the books I do not buy when they are on sale. I guess we shall see what this journey holds! At least I can shift through these for everyone and just give you the books I think are worth it.

For today:

  • Island Beneath the Sea
    • I already purchased this book previously but thought I should share here! This book falls right into my criteria of books to read. Really looking forward to seeing what this author will bring to the discussion on the slave trade in the New World.
  • Neverwhere
    • This was on Book Riot’s book deals today. I am personally not purchasing this book because I am no longer aboard the fantasy train. But this author is great, although I realize I have never actually read any of his books!
  • The Heart Echoes
    • This is the book I chose for August’s Kindle First selection. It has become harder and harder to make the decisions with the Kindle Firsts, mainly because the books leave to be desired. I chose this one mainly because it is contemporary fiction and was translated from Swedish. We shall see what it brings!


“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.”
― Voltaire

Book Deals for August 5th

BookBub strikes again with the great deals! Really truly love their email format and appreciate the images and little summaries they offer. BookRiot’s daily email for book deals has a greater list, but the format really leaves to be desired. Some of us definitely judge books by their cover and therefore require little images of the book covers! And then some of us only recognize books by their covers. 

In today’s book deals I got: 

Happiness, Like Water

  •  I’ve been on a reading kick that’s been focused on the African experience and this book is perfect to continue this trend! Currently reading “Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga” which highlights an often forgotten aspect of imperialism and also dives into the atrocious situation that was the Congo when the Beligiums went to ransack it. 

Six of Crows

  • I am not sure how I feel about this book but I’ve seen the cover a multitude of times in book shops and it’s popped up in a bunch of other places as well. We shall see! 


  • Another one of those authors that I just always buy from. Octavia Butler is a true gem. 

    “I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.” –Harold Kushner