Friday, March 4, 2011

All Eyes On: BrownGirl BookSpeaks

Why yes I am bringing my blogger spotlight back, finally! I've been so busy with author interviews and discussion posts and reviews but I want to get back to highlighting some of my favorite bloggers who talk about diverse books.

If you are not already familiar with Terri at BrownGirl BookSpeak, go visit now and sign up for the Quirky Brown Reading Challenge (see my sidebar). Terri's reviews are well thought out and with this new challenge she forces us to question whether or not we are only reading certain parts of the 'Black experience'. Not all of our stories are being told and Terri aims to change that. Sweet =D But she gets even more impressive so read on...

What's BrownGirl BookSpeak all about?

At BrownGirl BookSpeak I share my thoughts primarily on literary fiction and nonfiction by authors of color. BGBS makes a point of not delving into street or urban all...ever. I'm trying to bring attention to more thoughtful literary works especially by authors who often go unnoticed. I started my book blog after about 4 years of trying to blog about everything else in my life except books. My best friend constantly told me I should be blogging about books and I thought that no one would want to read a book blog. Oh was I wrong! Of course, I'm still kicking myself for not getting into this sooner, but here I am.

What 2011 debut book are you most looking forward to? And non-debut?

I am anxiously awaiting Tayari Jones' Silver Sparrow and Mat Johnson's Pym. I'm even more anxious about the debut novel Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna. It looks like it should be 400+ pages of epic goodness.

What are your top five favorite POC books?

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Let the Lion Eat Straw by Ellease Southerland
The Wife of His Youth by Charles Chesnutt
Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

This list could probably use a thorough re-examination.

Ack I've only read one book on that list! And I'm not even familiar with those titles (but at least I've heard of 4 out of the 5 authors).

Talk about yourself =)

Well, I'm quite boring. I'm a homeschool mom to one son who's almost 8. I'm a student as well, studying Sociology and believe it or not, my plan is to become a librarian. My dream career would be working for the Schomburg Center in some capacity. I'm a newbie at crocheting and really enjoying it. I love kicking my husband's butt at Scrabble. And I make a mean green smoothie.

If you could have dinner with two POC characters from any book who would it be and why?

Oh my. First, I'll start with Miss Zora Anderson from Lori Tharps' Substitute Me since she's still fresh on my mind and has me shaking my head. So as not to spoil anything, I'll just say that I need to ask her "WHY?". And for complete and utter contrast, I'd love to have DJ Darky from Paul Beatty's Slumberland present. I just wanna shoot the sh*t with him and hear his ruminations on race and music especially because his perspective is so awesomely hilarious.

Ahhhh I MUST read Substitute Me. I will not get through March without at least starting it because I want to know what's so pressing that you have to ask Zora. LOL DJ Darky sounds like an absolutely hilarious dinner partner. I'm not familiar with Slumberland but I love humorous ruminations on race and music and life in general so it sounds like something I would enjoy =D

Finally any advice to those who want to read POC? And to those who are just starting to blog?

For those wanting to get a little color on their bookshelves, start with your favorite genres and simply look for authors of color who write on those genres. for example, if you like science fiction, check out some Octavia Butler. If you're into crime fiction, check John Ridley. If you like chick lit, check out Alisa Valdes-Roriguez and so on. Just be open.

New bloggers should dive right into the mix. This might sound crazy, but start out scatterbrained. Then see what's working and what's not. From there, get focused and create your niche within the book blogging niche. Don't get caught up in who's doing what on their blog, just do what feels comfortable for you. Know that there's an audience for each of us. And most importantly, don't let it become a chore.

Thanks for doing this =)

Thank you Terri for stopping by! I sincerely hope everyone checks out her fabulous blog, BrownGirl BookSpeaks (how do you home school, read, blog, play scrabble and do everything else? Mom bloggers are my heroes). How cool would it be to work for the Schomberg Center? I would die of happiness!