Introducing the 112 Book Club

2 Black History Month Reads

After starting the 112 Books reading challenge, many have asked me to share my reads.  I want to continue my journey and share with others so….ladies and gentleman I present:

The 112 Book Club *throws glitter* *pops champagne*

Since February is also Black History Month, I’d like to kick off the 112 Book Club by introducing 2 books for the month.  Both by authors of color with very compelling, diverse novels:

Darryl Pickney’s latest novel Black Deutschland comes highly recommend in O, The Oprah Magazine.  You know I love me a good Oprah-related recommendation!

Here’s what its about:

Jed–young, gay, black, out of rehab and out of prospects in his hometown of Chicago–flees to the city of his fantasies, a museum of modernism and decadence: Berlin. The paradise that tyranny created, the subsidized city isolated behind the Berlin Wall, is where he’s chosen to become the figure that he so admires, the black American expatriate. Newly sober and nostalgic for the Weimar days of Isherwood and Auden, Jed arrives to chase boys and to escape from what it means to be a black male in America.

But history, both personal and political, can’t be avoided with time or distance. Whether it’s the judgment of the cousin he grew up with and her husband’s bourgeois German family, the lure of white wine in a down-and-out bar, a gang of racists looking for a brawl, or the ravaged visage of Rock Hudson flashing behind the face of every white boy he desperately longs for, the past never stays past even in faraway Berlin. In the age of Reagan and AIDS in a city on the verge of tearing down its walls, he clambers toward some semblance of adulthood amid the outcasts and expats, intellectuals and artists, queers and misfits. And, on occasion, the city keeps its Isherwood promises and the boy he kisses, incredibly, kisses him back.

An intoxicating, provocative novel of appetite, identity, and self-construction, Darryl Pinckney’s Black Deutschland tells the story of an outsider, trapped between a painful past and a tenebrous future, in Europe’s brightest and darkest city.

My 2nd selection is Americanah  -by  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Here’s what it’s about:

A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. 

Both of these books are out of the norm of what I would chose to read.  I’m excited to dive into and share them with you! In order to keep pace of reaching 112 Books in a year, I need to read about 9-10 books a month so this is just a snippet of my February reads.  I’ll share other reads in future posts as well.

I hope you will join me in reading either or both of these novels.  I can’t wait to discuss!

-J

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