Sun Shines - Hard Coming Love - Hard Coming Love (Vinyl, LP, Album)

Following the critical acclaim of his debut album IllmaticNas chose to concentrate his efforts in a more mainstream direction, in contrast to the raw, unpolished and underground tone of his debut.

Despite its significant impact on hip hop at the time, Illmatic did not experience the larger sales of most major releases at the time in hip hop, such as Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle This was due in part to Nas's shy personality and uninvolvement in promoting the record. Nas began to make appearances on other artists' work, including Kool G Rap 's "4,5,6" and Raekwon's "Verbal Intercourse" on his album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…which made Nas the first non- Wu-Tang Clan member to appear on one of its solo recordings.

He began to dub himself as Nas Escobar on these guest appearances. Meanwhile, his excessive spending habits left him with little money, and Nas was forced to ask for a loan to purchase clothes to wear to the Source Awards ceremony in While Illmatic attained gold status in the United States, Stoute convinced Nas to aim his efforts in a more mainstream, commercial direction for his second album, after which Nas enlisted the production team Trackmasterswho were known at the time for their mainstream success.

DreHavoc of Mobb DeepL. In contrast to Illmaticthe album contains a more detailed and elaborate production, [3] while it shares similarity to the G-funk sound, relying heavily on sampled and looped funk grooves. Music critic J. Reynolds wrote that the former has Nas "rapping his way to anarchy in an imagined world where he kicks discipline to the curb and good times rule. One writer cited it as "more of a gangsta, mainstream tune than anything Nas has ever recorded.

Dre about hip hop artists and fans over-concerned with the East Coast-West Coast rivalryand that the two are producing a song that does not revolve around or contribute to the beef. It Was Written was released on July 2,[15] sellingcopies in its first week. It Was Written remains Nas's best-selling album. It Was Written was generally well received by critics. What is this guy thinking? Then it won't. Leo Stanley of AllMusic later praised Nas's lyricism and ghetto-themed vignettes, along with the album's detailed production.

This is Nas's second classic, and should be considered one of the best albums of all time. While later reviews of the album were more positive, the subject matter was still criticized. Reviewers found Nas's violent, fantastical mafioso stories to lack the authentic, emotional qualities of his debut album. While Illmatic is often held as Nas's masterpiece, It Was Written deemed a case of the sophomore slump and the first of his subsequent work to be scrutinized in comparison to the former.

The alliance also resulted in the formation of The Firm, who make their debut on track number eight, "Affirmative Action". It Was Written has been credited, along with Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…with helping usher in the era of the mafioso rap. For me, I just look at it like I studied a masterpiece. I modeled my album after a master piece; and not song for song; not line for line; not beat for beat. It was more-for me it was like mood for mood. The way he set the mood on that album to me was just like incredible.

American reggae and hip hop artist Matisyahu regards It Was Written as one of his influences as well. According to The Washington Post"Matisyahu, too, felt enslaved.

By what? He didn't know. Just felt the chains. The lyrics rocked him. The beat did, too. While It Was Written earned more positive notices from critics over time, its standing also suffered from comparisons to the acclaimed Illmatic. ByIllmatic and It Was Written were both selling at a rate of over 3, copies a week, while Nastradamus was earning an average of little more than 2, copies a week, despite its relative newness.

Information is taken from the album's liner notes. Credits are taken from the liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Hip hop mafioso rap. DJ Premier Dr. Dre Havoc Rashad Smith L. Live Squad Trackmasters. The song is an account on the impact of drugs on Nas's neighborhood with an interpolation of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This " The song is a first-person narrative by Nas from the perspective of a gun and features a jazz fusion sample.

One of Nas's most acclaimed singles, the track samples Whodini's "Friends" and features utopian lyrical themes. Nas Trackmasters. Jones Christopher Martin. Wallace Childs. Jones Andre Young. Trackmasters Rashad Smith. Retrieved on Sail on Facebook. Sail on Bandcamp. Introducing… by Holy Death Trio.

Holy Death Trio on Facebook. Ripple Music website. Fuzz Sagrado by Fuzz Sagrado. Fuzz Sagrado on Facebook. Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp. Wolves in Haze might. Chaos Reigns by Wolves in haze.

Wolves in Haze on Facebook. Majestic Mountain Records store. Sludge heads will want to take note. Anyone else will probably wonder what smells like rotting.

Shi on Facebook. Shi on Bandcamp. Come on now. Be reasonable, Churchburn. Where does the death end and the doom begin? Who gives a shit? Genocidal Rite by Churchburn. Churchburn on Facebook. Translation Loss Records webstore. Have riffs, will plod. Close your eyes, follow it out. Asks nothing, delivers 21 minutes of riffs. Voidscapes by Sonolith.

Sonolith on Facebook. Sonolith on Bandcamp. Earlier this year, the Lisboa mainstays offered up Doom Machine review here through Small Stone Records and Kozmik Artifactz and thereby pushed their own creative limits and songwriting processes — neither of which one would call lacking previously — to newfound heights, turning tragic personal circumstance into triumph of expressive craft.

You know the story there, sadly enough. With crisp audio production and a multi-camera shoot, the four-piece who after this said goodbye to drummer J. More info and the always important purchase link follows the clip below. We really love playing these songs. So we just went ahead, called our friends from The Quartet of Woah! All in all we had a great day among friends, drank a few beers and had some pizza. It turned out this is J. It feels great to have it documented like this and to release it as a freebie!

We really like listening to the raw approach on the songs, with all the fucks up and everything. Hope you all dig it. Produced by WH! Recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Fernando Matias. Raffah — Guitars J. Garcia — Drums. Doom Machine by Miss Lava. Miss Lava on Facebook. Miss Lava on Instagram. Miss Lava on Bandcamp. Small Stone Records on Bandcamp. Small Stone Records website. Kozmik Artifactz on Facebook. Kozmik Artifactz website. Today we pass the halfway point of the Fall Quarterly Review.

That always makes it easier. Still worth marking the halfway point though as we move inexorably toward 70 releases by next Tuesday. Right now, I just wish my kid would take a nap. Will Push be the record of theirs I reach for in the years to come? I admire the ethic that created the album. No worries though. Push by Sons of Alpha Centauri.

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Facebook. Exile on Mainstream Records website. Studio Session July by Doctors of Space. Doctors of Space on Bandcamp. Space Rock Productions website. Psychedelic Source Records on Facebook. Psychedelic Source Records on Bandcamp. Cheers to the Oslo bashers-of-face on that. Currents by KITE. KITE on Facebook. Majestic Mountain Records webstore.

Hope Is Leaving You by Starless. Starless on Facebook. Starless on Bandcamp. Their sixth or seventh LP depending on what one counts, Primordial Arcana sounds like the beginning of a new era for them.

Wolves in the Throne Room on Facebook. Relapse Records website. London heavy rockers Oak perhaps ultimately did themselves a disservice by not putting out a full-length during their time together. If their breakup really is permanent, they leave a lot of potential on the proverbial table. Fin by Oak. Album) of me with a drawing made out of spaghetti we ordered from room service.

Nice quiet dinner and then returned to hotel with David to talk till 1 The "deeper" talk that quickly veered from the topic of sculpture and continued into the early hours of the morning ultimately found its focus in the fat roll of galley proofs resting on the mantelpiece of Haring's suite at the Ritz Hotel.

This was the interview by David Scheff that would appear in Rolling Stone on August 10th, and in which Haring talked with painful frankness about his own illness.

Later in the year, he would march in protest against New York City's "racist" policy with respect to the disease, which allegedly only afflicted perverts, junkies and Afro-Americans. Nonetheless, when the time came to approve Sheff's uncompromising interview, the activist experienced a moment of hesitation. Quite simply, he feared he might not be permitted to work with children again, and this was one of his most cherished activities. Despite such misgivings, on June 17 he sent his approval of the text to the editors of Rolling Stone, and when it appeared the artist experienced an immense, deeply gratifying wave of sympathy.

The sole sour note was a protest against his having been commissioned by Princess Caroline to execute a mural for the maternity ward of the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco - allegedly a potential danger for future generations. In transforming a photographic portrait into a self-portrait with a few brisk strokes, Haring made an emphatic statement about his artistic intentions.

At the same time, he revealed the depth of his own religious sentiment. Though not a practicing Christian in the last years of his life, the artist had a profound sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, and he devoted a considerable part of his energy to social causes.

Attending Sunday School and church had been a regular part of the Harings' family life, and in summer Keith attended the camp run by the United Church of Christ. As a teenager he joined the Jesus Saves movement, read the Bible voraciously and developed "an obsession with the concept of the Second Coming Even at the age of 12, according to Haring's mother, "he began making drawings in which there were Jesus symbols and other types of symbols, like a loop with two dots.

Indeed, the artist once complained to his journal that "Most religions are so hopelessly outdated, and suited to fit the particular problems of earlier times, that they have no power to provide liberation and freedom, Album) no power to give 'meaning' beyond an empty metaphor or moral code.

When he finally decided, while dancing at New York's Paradise Garage, to depict the Ten Commandments within the arches of Bordeaux's Musee d'Art Contemporain for his show there inHaring was at a loss to remember all the commandments: "So the minute I get to Bordeaux, I ask for a bible! Painting an angel along with a mother and child on the coffin of his friend Yves Arman, who died in a car crash, transcended mere decoration to become a ritual act of healing.

Haring's fundamental religiosity, on the other hand, was also influenced by his interest in so-called "primitive" cultures, their myths and rituals and totemic objects - interests that inform the artist's pseudo-African masks, for example. Haring's use of traditional Christian imagery is particularly explicit in Apocalypsehis first collaboration with William Burroughs.

Each composition is a reprise on a collaged image taken from advertising, art history or Catholic theology. In addition to a Christ with a bleeding heart, the series includes an advertisement from the s significantly, the period of Haring's own infancy in which a mother tenderly - and, by implication, Madonna-like - leans over her baby to offer him a milk-bottle.

The explicitly Catholic allusions continue in Haring's next collaboration with Burroughs - the suite of etchings entitled The Valley. Here the imagery includes the torso of a male figure inserting a knife beneath his ribs to duplicate one of Christ's stigmata. This belated "embrace" of Catholic symbology aligns Haring even more closely with other prominent creative rebels: with Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol and Haring's street-wise friend and sometime-collaborator Madonna.

For those three taboo-breaking artists the Catholic religion offered an especially fertile field for rebellion. There is a kind of poetic logic in the fact that Haring's collaborations with Burroughs mark the end of his career, since it began with the mock New York Post headlines inspired by the cut-up technique Burroughs employed in Naked Lunch.

The artist, furthermore, seems to have felt an intuitive sympathy for a surrealistic juxtaposition of images - partly inspired by his own use of hallucinogenic drugs, but also by his acquaintance with the works of Burroughs and the Beat-generation poets.

A sentence from Burroughs' Soft Machine, published inmight almost describe a composition by Haring: "Carl walked a long row of living penis urns whose penis has absorbed the body with vestigial arms and legs breathing through purple fungoid gills Inthe artist told an interviewer that the author was "very into a lot of the world I've depicted, especially in the recent things - sex, mutations, weird science fiction situations. Timothy Leary, self-proclaimed guru of the acid age, remarked of the first Haring-Burroughs collaboration, Apocalypse, that it was "like Dante and Titian getting together.

On March 20,Haring made the following remark in his journal: "I always knew, since I was young, that I would die young. But I thought it would be fast an accident, not a disease.

In fact, a man-made disease like AIDS. Time will tell that I am not scared. I live everyday as if it were the last. I love life. Yet in the same journal entry which included the vigorous assertion of his love for life, Haring composed the following reaction to the news that the policemen accused of killing Michael Stewart had all been acquitted:. I hope in their next life they are tortured like they tortured him. They should be birds captured early in life, put in cages, purchased by a fat, smelly, ugly lady who keeps them in a small dirty cage up near the ceiling while all day she cooks bloody sausages and the blood spatters their cage and the frying fat burns their matted feathers and they can never escape the horrible fumes of her burnt meat.

One day the cage will fall to the ground and a big fat ugly cat will kick them about, play with them like a toy, and slowly kill them and leave their remains to be accidentally stepped on by the big fat pink lady who can't see her own feet because of her huge sagging tits. An eye for an eye Like a Bosch-Burroughs vision, the passage indicates the rage Haring could experience when confronted with social and political injustice.

For an understanding of the artist's oeuvre as a whole, however, it is important to observe that in the journal entry for a single day, remarks of a tender, Christian-like nature - "I'm sure when I die, I won't really die, because I live in many people,"17 - are followed by fulminations of Old Testament rage.

Yet this dichotomy in no sense represents a contradiction; far more, it is symptomatic of the complexity of the artist's vision. It is an underlying duality which make the early works more than naive cartoons, the late ones more than angry odes to man's mortality. Fitted out with the wings necessary to ascend into heaven and the shackles drawing him down into the fire and brimstone of hell, Keith Haring demonstrated an astonishingly precocious grasp of the inherent ambiguities of his generation, of his age.

He was the loving, lusting, break-dancing, quintessential American boy, but also an untiring, uncompromising social critic, and he was doomed to die young of a disease that decimated his generation. I suppose it's some people are sexual but others are not and then of course there are many in between. I'm sure many people get tired or lose interest in sex as they get older and lose self esteem or dare I say it pretend to be pure in mind.

As you might have guessed already I am one of the former as it might not be quite like when I was a teenager and had to stop thinking about sex all the time as it might drive on crazy and yes I get lows but but my continuous sexual highs can last many weeks.

But I think having a strong sex drive is a sign of a healthy mind and I'm sure it helps to keep me young which is another good reason for turning myself into Jojo and seeing myself as more of a player. Of course I should keep it to myself but it's nice to share. Last year I decided that I was going to start reading more and I read books. This year, I wanted to up my game a little bit and do more like a reading marathon and ended up the year reading books, a book for every day.

Even though I am a pretty athletic person, I can't run because it hurts my knees. I am not as graceful and elegant as I would need to be for professional dance and sports has never interested me. But reading is the one thing I can do and I like to do at the gym, on planes, in bed, and in the bathtub primarily.

I didn't read to show off but to escape the reality of our current country's political situation and to learn more about the lives and perspectives of others unlike me. I can say that I really enjoyed the vast majority of the books I've read and don't have any significant regrets for this reading marathon.

I should also note that, although some of these books did come out inmany did not. The following are my favorite books of this year that I read this year regardless of their original publication date. I know I am also probably forgetting some and I feel remiss in that too, but I spent hours writing the following even longer than that reading these and I hope some of you get some good recommendations of books you might also like to read or can connect with me on a book you have read.

Feel free to share your favorites as well! I am highly interested in having conversations about books and finding out about literature I may have had less exposure to living in America.

This book is an astounding work that covers so many different states and personal backgrounds to reflect on race in America. If you like Humans of New York, this is a little like that in the sense that it explores what makes us human but it's a great more complex and thorough than that-maybe a Humans of America.

The fact that Guo and Vulchi were able to travel all across the US to gain an understanding of so many people and how their race has affected their lives is a daring and meaningful venture in and of itself but it's also clear that they make a concerted effort to explore the things these people like and enjoy so that there's a fuller sense to some things they have in common with others.

In addition, the photographs of these people really add to a sense of them. We must change in our country. We must develop more empathy and patience. We must be able to listen to others who we think we share nothing in common with and find the things we do share whilst respecting individual differences.

This is the only way we will be able to heal and move forward. This is a harrowing read, especially because there is truth in the weight of our names as Americans being tied to the deep sins of mistreating other humans. This is also, however a very poetic read, haunting in its lyrical quality and in the way that Luiselli is able to adeptly convey the range of emotions she feels, desperate and distraught but also so very insightful.

You will read these pages wit your heart in your throat, worry that if you are not careful, you may actually end of swallowing it. Can Xue is not understood fully by probably most people and I myself had to read several sentences over again a few times, especially this work, the most esoteric of what I've read three novels and one short story collection this year.

The imagery is especially potent here and you don't really know exactly what is happening in the way the human form can transform. You really don't know quite what could be actually happening This would be a book I would read at the end of the world cuddled under a blanket and remembering the most imaginative humans could be then hoping there were some creatives still left out in the tundra of the world.

Another new author I discovered was Karen Tei Yamashita and, though I also enjoyed reading a collection of her plays entitled Anime Wong, I even more so enjoyed reading this novel. Yamashita is Japanese American but you get more of that specific perspective from her plays. Set between Japan and Brazil, this novel features a very vivid cast of interesting characters not to mention the protagonist that is the rotating ball in front of the Japanese train conductor's head.

This is one of the most unique books I have ever read in my life and it's no surprise that the forward is from one of the most highly intelligent authors in the world, Percival Everett. This novel is a real treat and is a riveting surreal adventure.

I've spent many years not knowing very much at all about the lives of those who live in North Korea, much as the citizens of North Korea have spent their lives knowing not too much about others outside of their country. This non fiction work follows the lives of North Koreans who escape into China and South Korea and manage to be granted refugee status and follows them up until the early s. It's another book that disarms you in its brutality.

Demick records the stories of their lives, how they bought into propaganda, and how they started to gather inklings of the truth while they were in their home country. The depth of the poverty and brainwashing is immense from the time that these people are schoolchildren. Even if they were starving, if someone came by and saw that their picture of Kim Jong-il then Kim Jong-un weren't immaculate, they could be taken and forced into a labor camp.

If they didn't weep loud enough at the death of Kim Jong-il, they were also suspect and no one could trust their neighbors, who could also very likely be government informants. The only media that they had access to was North Korean and Russian propaganda films and even their literature was greatly restricted. In addition, even having a bowl of rice a day was seen as a great luxury. Many starved to death and were happy to have less mouths to feed in their family. The clothing women could wear was also severely limited.

This was and possibly still in many ways is a super Album) society from the point of view of an American especially. I'd be curious if anything has changed and what but really what honestly struck me is how the government deliberately misled their citizens into thinking that they were producing things they weren't and that the rest of the world was under the same amount of hardship.

This is a government who would rather see their people starve than to stoop to accepting aid from abroad. It's eye opening and terrifying for me to think of the people who have suffered and died under these regimes. There has been a real paucity in literature of valuable and unique human perspectives and this work of nonfiction is an incredibly valuable addition to the canon of literature as a whole and adds to our collective human empathy and understanding of the range of experiences one can have while being alive.

Keah Brown is a woman like none other-honest about the world and her own growth as a human, friend, and twin sister, insightful about the racism and ableism in our current present world and humorous in her observations of pop culture. Keah Brown has a different ability level and Album) might say she has a disability. I say she has an ability that most other people do not possess and may not ever possess.

But, it does mean that we would all be wise to learn from her perspective. One of the most astounding books of fiction I read this year was a book that feels incredibly brave and is loosely based on actual incidents that happened in the Rodney King riots of LA. Steph Cha is Korean American but it became widely clear from this novel that she is very invested in promoting healing between the Korean and African American communities. The novel goes back and forth between and and explores racism with a deep and personal delving that made me literally at times gasp out loud.

This is the kind of wholly relevant novel we can all learn something from even despite it being technically fiction. There are still lots of truths to be found here. If you live in America and are even remotely aware of the racist systems and acts of violence that are committed against those in the African and African American communities, you should be appalled.

The fact of the matter is, most of the time these acts are not even classified as terrorism and yet they are just as damaging and politically motivated. This book explores the heartache and mobilization of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the police brutality and death and the systems in place that keep white people especially profiting.

It is shameful. There should be reparations. This is a must read for all humans who want to come to a better understanding of what it takes to make a movement and the real human damage to what has occurred in several cities across America where the blood on our hands cannot ever be washed off. Miriam Toews comes from a Mennonite perspective and often her stories focus on Mennonite life with some personal anecdotes seemingly inserted here and there.

This novel feels much different and offers an important aspect of feminism in terms of exploration of the human female mind after the real life events taking place in Bolivia in when these women were raped consistently by men in their Mennonite community and were basically told by these men that these abuses were not happening and that these women were psychologically unsound.

Most books of this nature explore the deep wounds of being a victim. This book offers a different sort of perspective. While still putting a human face to the damage done by men, it focuses more on the action of these women in discussions and meetings to decide how they will solve this problem going forward. Will they kick out the men? Will they leave completely? If they leave, will they take the children including the male children?

At what age does a male stay behind? These are complex and very real questions and all choices are intellectually explored with great discussion. It made me feel the strength and empowerment of women vs. Well worth the read! This is a daunting read. Ellmann clearly was going for a marathon level of stream of consciousness when she wrote this one. But, there is also the overarching story line of being a mother, a daughter whose mother has passed away of Cancer, remarrying after divorce, and oddly enough being a pie baker.

I do think this book is worth reading, especially if you can get in the groove and feel the pulse of the first person female protagonist but you do need to obviously put in a huge time and emotional commitment. In order to help things flow more smoothly for you if you decide to take up this challenge as a reader, I suggest reading about pages for 11 days straight or 50 pages a day for 21 days straight.

If you do this, you manage to get into a certain groove by page or so. But, I understand being caught in a state of almost helplessness about what my country has become and what I witness in terms of how people act towards each other.

Anyway, a lot of people have abandoned this but it might be the perfect book to add to the next time capsule. Hopefully, things will get better in the new year.

So many of my co-workers went to high school with Gina Rodriguez and always talk about how nice she was to everyone which is literally the opposite of what most people say about you in high school. I found this autobiography brave, brutally honest, and even at times a little funny but mostly I found this to me about the power of perseverance and not giving up no matter what, not just in the struggle for survival, which was very real for Guerrero, but also in the struggle to do what you love and follow your dreams and actually make it.

Guerrero is talented, that is for sure, but she is also a sort of superhero as well in what she has overcome and she has given us all a real gift of letting us glimpse the power of her human spirit. What makes this book more unique than many immigrant fiction or pseudofiction is the exploration of the human mind and exploration of mental health and illness within the protagonist as well as this family unit.

What also makes it worth reading is the sense of a celebration in Nigerian culture vs. There were insights and information in this book that really astounded me, even having lived in this country all my life though, to be fair I have never been to Utah.

I enjoyed all three of these works but I liked The Memory Police by far the best…the concept that you slowly lose the memory of everything around you and hold dear and the including literally parts of yourself-limbs, for instance, and that anyone who still has the ability to remember is not safe but is taken and separated from society at the very least is a really intriguing concept but where the book really succeeds is in its exploration of memories in the sense that they make us human and are truly a part of us.

I really enjoyed the strong sense of mood and contemplation on the nature of existence. This is a mixed sort of book between prose and poetry with some aspects of experimental fiction as well. One cannot help but fall in love a little bit with Guerra as she travels to Mexico, falls in love with an actor, tries to escape persecution from the Cuban government who are constantly monitoring every move she makes, and above all keeps writing as she attempts to discover the truth of the death of her parents as well as gain a sense of her place in the world as a woman, a poet, a human.

Lefteri is British but has worked with immigrants in Athens, which is where this story takes place at least in part. This is a really harrowing fictional account of a Syrian husband and wife who have lost their child and are each coping with it in their own ways the mother soon after goes blind and the father suffers from delusions and hallucinations. This is also a story about the struggle for survival after witnessing the tragedy-the destruction of your home LP everything you love, and the process of immigration to a safer space and country and the real life troubles to be found in these places as well.

Oddly enough, I also learned a great deal about bees from this book but I still feel it is more focused on the desperation that people in Syria must feel and trying to get over incidents that have devastated them and should have never happened in the first place. No thanks! America is a country of great wealth but, unfortunately, until our tax structure changes, it is a wealth owned by the very few whose greed is overpowering I mean, everyone needs a th house while the homeless are dying on the streets, right.

In California, especially the Bay Area, where this nonfiction work concentrates on, this is even more vividly so. The book explores the reasons behind actual murders that took place but also the desperate conditions that drive people to become homeless, the psychologies behind being homeless, and the resources that are available and kind people who have tried to help.

This book is a really difficult read because of the subject matter but it is important that none of us look away and turn our backs on those who struggle. No one should have to live in poverty just so the most affluent people can become more powerful. But, of course, these uber rich are miserable too, you know. Oluo is incredible candid and honest not just about racism within our structures such as our for profit prison industrial system but within our daily interactions.

I can do basic algebra without a calculator and I see the artistic nature of geometry and can read and extrapolate from a variety of graphs but, most of the time, I still prefer art, literature, and music to Mathematics. She touches on the less controversial to the extreme controversial and offers insights into personality and how she herself has changed when she has thought of an argument or a collection of facts in a different context. This book will help you see multiple points of view and have richer discussions about everything from mandatory voting practices to abortion.

Many of the books I have written about have touched me and I have learned a great deal from them but this is one of those books that gave me very concrete ideas about activities to do with children at Chicago Public Schools.

Not all of these activities are written to be done with children but many can be adapted and I have found that giving kids a minute free draw at the end of my Occupational Therapy sessions not only motivates them to complete other challenges but also addresses a visual motor need they might have. I have really enjoyed tremendously seeing kids draw their favorite monster and also as themselves as an animal in particular.

I think drawing can definitely be like dreams…. I loved all the exercises and visual examples in this book! It really can change your life if you let it! I have to admit, I fell in love with the protagonist of this story, Kiran Sharma, who identifies with the deity of Krishna and is trying to find how own way in the world as both a boy who is discovering his own sexuality and the fact that he is gay, as well as a young man coming to terms with his identity as an Indian American boy living in middle America Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kiran is dramatic and perfect and Satyal really succeeds in painting a vivid portrait of growing up with obstacles but still being yourself despite these challenges. There were scenes in this book that made me laugh until I cried but also made me cry until I laughed. Wonderfully written with a true celebration of the human spirit and of the joy in being able to be yourself and learn to love everything that makes you: you!

First and foremost, Ocean Vuong is a poet and even in prose this comes out more than the vast majority of novel writers. You get the sense that each day brings its own struggles and is definitely not easy and that reality is a cruel sort of mistress that keeps revisiting him. But, the poetry above all will make you remember and want to return to this book. This book is about many things-family, tradition, but also feminism and a new generation of women who think and reach beyond their metaphysical borders.

It follows three generations of a family who immigrated to Brooklyn from Palestine and the abuses they suffered at the hands of their men as well as the secrets they covered up.

Most devastating is the way that the grandmother and mother expect though much more so the grandmother the conforming of the younger women to submit to all the male wishes and hide any evidence of their true selves that might appear ungrateful and difficult. This is a family that would rather kill than be seen as dishonorable and, though it is technically fiction, it is shocking in the depth of abuse these women take and how they themselves as humans are taken for granted.

This book was full of surprises for me on virtually every page. It is at times highly poetic and at other times so visceral you might have to put it down but in any case very worthwhile reading and incredibly adept and masterful in its exploration of all of these connections and reconciliation between past and present with a hope for a better and different future. There are many passages here that are profound and all are thought provoking. I have learned a great deal about the political crisis in Sri Lanka in the s from Selvadurai.

If you want to try to understand what was happening between the Tamil and Sinhalese people, this is a topic that Selvadurai visits often as well as coming of age as a man who is gay and being an immigrant in Canada.

Meanwhile, the grandmother manages to distance herself from her actions and convince herself that these people brought these things on themselves with bad karma…by her own standards, she should expect a much worse life in her next one. This involves everything from the idea of magical realism to deep religious beliefs. Could Taina be a postmodern virgin Mary?

Could this be immaculate conception? The other protagonist, a young male, is willing to believe anything she says and fight for her virtue. While this story takes place primarily in Spanish Harlem, it also shows the inherent racism and classism in NYC as a whole while adeptly pulling one into the personalities and tribulations of the characters. Well worth reading! It is about living unsafely as an illegal and being forced into prostitution just to survive, which happens far more frequently than many people might realize.

Women on our own are valuable in terms of our ideas and our empathy but the world will still look at women as a whole and women from African especially as only worthwhile as a body to rape. We learn a lot about the power of the human spirit and it is also in many ways a testament to why all countries should welcome refugees.

It is also valuable in terms of giving ideas on how we can do better in terms of supporting the transition between countries when there is a new language, culture shock, and when families need to keep something similar in place such as even a space to pray in schools. We need to all make sure we are being kind and sensitive and welcoming as well as aware of the probably trauma that refugees have suffered, especially coming from war torn countries.

There were many times reading this book I felt fascinated, wondered about the choices of the characters and what they would do next, and drawn to the mystery surrounding the death that unites all of them from the beginning of the Moroccan American father who owns a restaurant and is suspiciously killed by a hit and run. This is a work of fiction but the way it explores racism and xenophobia is all too real and Lalami really helps the reader sense the loss of humanity when incidents like this take place as well as the complexity of it between the investigation and trial and the level of dishonesty too.

This is a really comprehensive work of nonfiction chronicling the 1, walk of a group of Dreamers and a decade of work beginning with Obama and coming up to the published date of January It makes no qualms about exposing the frustrations and stalemate of the Obama presidency in getting protections but also the horrors of our current political situation for these young and determined humans that are also vulnerable despite their bravery and fierceness.

We get to know the inner workings of their lives and family situations, their education and history of what drives them the most in terms of their advocacy. Munoz also exposes how some movements such as gay rights and marriage are pitted against others like the movement to protect Dreamers and how a single year cut off can arbitrary ruin human lives and mean deportations. These humans deserve so much more than this.

Hanif always brings himself into his writing about music and this is why, even if you are not the biggest Tribe Called Quest Fan, you will still find many reasons to fall in love with this book. That being said, my partner has always loved Tribe and I finally fell in love myself when I saw them perform and was able to photograph them see: www.

Hanif made me love both him and the band even more in the way that he explores their history, why their music is groundbreaking, and their contemporaries as well. Hanif also explores his own love of music and how music was seen in his family. Oh my God the lengths that this man goes to in order to survive civil war in Somalia, escape to Kenya then to the US is insane. My heart was in my throat for the vast majority of this book…a really survival against all odds life story.

It also gives a glimpse at how much tragedy some of our immigrants are carrying with them when they come here and the love and supports we should all give them. I read both Passing and Quicksand by Nella Larsen this year and liked them both quite a bit. Both have a lot to offer in terms of insights into classism and racism but Passing feels a little more vivid to me maybe because it is set between Chicago and NYC whereas much of Quicksand takes place in Denmark.

Both novels are well worth reading though and Passing has both a personal component between these two women with a shared history and that of secrets and racism as one woman is passing for white in trade of an elevated place in society at the time.

In addition to giving us glimpses of both cities init shows a little bit about what it was like both living as a white woman and living as a black woman and the level of anxiety felt by those who tried to keep their race a secret. This is a family that will go to all lengths in order to get citizenship for themselves and others and will fight to be Americans even though America does not treat them as kindly or with justice.

This is also a great deal about the joys of family, of Iranian culture, and also of coming of age and pop culture in America. You really get a sense of her personality in this autobiography and it really makes you again realize how much immigrants have to offer America and how they deserve far better than what they are given most of the time.

That needs to stop. Lindy West is hilarious in her examination of racism, sexism, whole bodyism and all that really needs to change about reality.

I also found the chapters about Adam Sandler and Joan Rivers pretty insightful as well. But also, this book is about family, about overcoming loss, about deep friendships and has a great deal of existentialism and in general bizarre interactions, drug trial and substance abuse, and an analysis of racism in Cape Town as well.

I felt very strongly that I both learned something and gained an attachment to these fictional characters and what they were going through. Set in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, this follows second generation Trinidadian immigrants and the racism they encounter living there in the early s.

This could be another book about class warfare and profit over people but the layers in it are exceptional and what Subramanian does really well is to delve into the different personalities and power in the women in this place ironically called Heaven and illustrate the need for women to stick together. Dinner was even more unexpected and hilarious because it combines the need to be remembered and the power of names with a zombie uprising in the little town of Pringles in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I love the politically astute sense to this and the twists in the plot. Really a very unique book not just about zombies but about the power of human memory. Here are the couple I read this year and enjoyed:. We could give up movies and time but could we give up cats? What if we were terminally ill and this could buy us one more day on Earth…. Bored in the middle of pimply teenagers, she dreams of adventures.

Then one day, while surfing the Dark Net, she meets a pair of tomb robbers. Better known under the pseudonyms of Gang and Bang, they are real celebrities in their environment. Needing a translator during their exchanges with the primitive tribes, they ask her to follow them in their quests across the seas.

Neither one nor two, she abandons her position overnight to go with them. After 5 years in their company plundering ancient treasures around the world and reselling them on the black market, Gabrielle has become a seasoned treasure hunter, avoiding any maneuver to achieve her ends. At the beginning of the year, one of their biggest Russian clients, Vladimir Kouglof, invites them to go in search of one of the 13 crystal skulls, promising them in return more than 3 million Euros.

According to many ancient writings, this one would be on a small lost island on which a primitive tribe still lives. Gang and Bang are already busy on another case, she decides to leave alone.

They will join her later. Listening only to her courage, and above all the lure of profit, Gabrielle pursues this new treasure with the help of a card handed over by Vladimir. Thus she landed in the early morning on the lost island, from the boat of a small fisherman she has paid handsomely. He will wait until her return to a small cove on the north side of the island. Apologies in advance to anyone who peruses this and comes away with thinking that it reads like the plot of yet another badly directed flick.

Real life can appear to be played out that way in the sometimes! Unescapable Boredom has always been a trigger for some of my most peevish muses, and sometimes that has landed me in quite hot water! I had noticed the youth, a typical 13 year old male, with typical, shall we say yearnings, scampering happily about at the reception hall which was our lot to be in on that late night.

He was marrying a rather affluent young Lass he had hitched up with from Wrexham way, and it was in that city, several hours away, that the couple decided to tie the knot, dragging his family, and us I might add, all along with him to travel there. Now Wrexham is a nice enough place to visit, but preferring not to waste the whole weekend away from the stone cottage ,its quiet gardens, me pipe, and a snifter of fine old brandy, I had only booked in for an overnighter So it twas, that on an early, misting Saturday Morn, our entourage left for the long trog to make it in time for the noon wedding.

There are quite a few fine old churches in Wrexham, and the one where the nuptual ceremonies was to be held was, in my personal opinion, the finest. The wedding was upscale smashing, starting with the rather gothic Blackstone church decorated like it was a set up for some fancy magazine photo shoot for an even more posh magazine. The groomsmen wore jet black tuxes, the groom wore a white tux and tails, looking like Fred Astaire complete with top hat and cane but sans rhinestones … and indeed there was a bit of a movie like ambiance hanging over the whole affaire!

The reception venue was held at a fancy hall that had been repurposed from an old eel tinning factory.

Spring Day - Shaka (5) - Spring Day (Vinyl), De Koningin Van Lombardijen - Wim Sonneveld - n Herinnering Aan Wim Sonneveld (Cassette), What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue - Gene Krupa - Mutiny In The Parlor (Vinyl, LP), I Cant Believe That Youre In Love With Me - André Previn His Trio* And Orchestra* - Soft And Swingin, Send Me Your Picture - Various - Aint It The Truth! The Ric & Ron Story Volume 2 (CD), The Fireballs - Bottle Of Wine / Aint That Rain (Vinyl), El beso - Dünedain - Pandemonium (CD, Album), Various - Club Religion (CD), Sucker MCs - Various - B-Boys Revenge - History In The Makin (Vinyl, LP), Arm In Arm - The Boggs - Arm In Arm (Vinyl)