I quarantined alone this whole pandemic. I spent every holiday alone in this living room. Struggling to stay positive, on Easter, my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I selected a pretty, colorful outfit—with heels and dangly earrings, and a crown on my birthday—cooked a feast grand enough for relatives you see only once a year and want to impress, grabbed my selfie-stand and ringlight, set my phone’s timer and acted as Creative Director of my own photoshoot. My food, my smile and I look damn good in the photos. Make no mistake: there were tears before and after. Each. And. Every. Time.
I don’t care if the last episode I watched was the season finale or the series finale, I’m missing the characters, plot twists, great dialogue, writing, cinematography, lighting, bomb outfits, enviable hair styles, steamy sex scenes, stuck-in-your-head soundtrack, relatable themes, podcast recaps, WTF moments, and group text chats about these shows.
No real self-respecting book lover abuses books. By abuse, I mean crack the spine, mark it up, rip pages on purpose or by accident, toss around carelessly, and most definitely do not dog ear pages. Only monsters do that.
I usually don’t like second-person narration, but the memoir also doubles as a letter to his mother, almost a love letter even. Even though she was abusive, he loved and loves her still and wishes to tell her all he experienced and went through growing up as a young Black man in America. Southern America. “I looked like a big, dark, black man since I was an eleven-year-old boy.” As a teen and a passenger in his mother’s car, a police officer pulled her over but asked for his ID, assuming he was an adult. Thank goodness his mother had the wherewithal to know her rights and to inform the cops that the passenger was not only her son, but a minor.
Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date is such a cute romantic novel. Stupid me didn’t realize that it’s actually the first book in the series. Months ago, if not a year ago, I read The Proposal first, my logic being that there must first be a wedding proposal to not only set a wedding date, but need a wedding date, as in a plus one. Nope. If you’re reading this, and also interested in reading the series, The Wedding Date is first. Much to my relief, they don’t have to be read in order. They work as standalone novels you won’t miss anything.
Alexis Monroe and Andrew Nichols’ meet-cute happens when they’re both trapped in a hotel elevator. She’s en route to meet her attorney-sister who’s staying at the Oakland hotel for business, and he’s in town for a wedding.
It’s no wonder Harris’s soul looks back. Through a romance with Sam, a colleague more than ten years her senior, she ran in the same circles as Sam’s best friend James (Jimmy) Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Toni Morrison.
Once this pandemic hit, all that fiscally responsible shit went out the window. I’m sequestering alone. I’m anxious. I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m lonely. Cooking and eating comfort me.
I tiptoed into the podcast-listening world. I went from Soundcloud to Google Music to a now-defunct app that let you earn points per minute listened and now I’ve landed at Spotify. It’s not one of the platforms that let’s your rate or leave reviews, like iTunes or Stitcher, but I like it.