21 12 / 2011

For our Holiday Social, I created a ballot of Booktini’s 2011 Literary Selections and asked every member to vote on their favorite bookclub read during our Winter/Spring season, and our Summer/Fall season.

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips was the favorite for Winter/Spring. We read it in May, and even though it was sad and gruesome, it was also extremely well written and spellbinding. I can’t wait until Phillips comes out with another book.

The fav of the Summer/Fall season was Demetria L. Lucas’ A Belle In Brooklyn. Her dating stories were quite entertaining and provided for an awesome discussion during our fall retreat in October.

The Darkest Child was then voted as our favorite Literary Selection of 2011.

The voting took place just within the Oakland/Bay Area* chapter. The plan is to next year have an official vote including all members. I think it would be great to spread the word about our favorite books and some how show appreciation to the writers who birthed them.

*Our local chapter is opening membership for 2012. If you’re interested, email booktini@gmail.com for more info.

19 10 / 2011

I actually liked it. And this from a chick who despises relationship books. Even though the title, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go To Girl For Living Your Best Single Life, may have you thinking you’ll walk away with a wealth of knowledge on how to live it up as a single lady, it’s more memoir than guide book. You’ll be inundated with Lucas’ dating life as a twenty something in New York. And DC. And Atlanta…and LA..and Paris. And you will be entertained.

She’s no Carrie Bradshaw, but she has lived an interesting life with a few hilarious dating mishaps and adventures that most sociable Black women may be able to identify with. I commend her for the misleading title. Young women are yearning for guidance in the dating world, so I’m sure they’re snatching this book up in droves, only to see that the most you will really learn is to HAVE FUN, throw caution to the wind, and don’t limit yourself when it comes dating.

After reading this book, I felt like Lucas succeeded where Helena Andrews may have not have hit the ball out of the park with her memoir, Bitch is the New Black. Both books provided two different subject matters (Andrews’ memoir was more about lifestyle and career), but Lucas kept me entertained and turning the page, whereas Andrew’s consistently grabbed my attention but lost it multiple times when sharing stories that were just plain boring (I still enjoyed it overall because of her fresh perspective).

My book club had a loooong, raucous discussion about the book (I had six pages full of discussion questions, and no we did not get to all of them) and in the end, they all agreed that they would read a sequel.

I’d recommend this book for women under 35 (older women may be too far removed and find it juvenile), anyone looking for chick lit, and especially for young women headed to college (I sure wish someone had told me "No letters, no numbers" before I stepped foot on anyone’s campus!)

Grade: B

13 10 / 2011

"When a guy has personality and something to say, he doesn’t have to spend money to be memorable."

A Belle in Brooklyn by Demetria L. Lucas, pg. 130

11 10 / 2011

"I remember talking to a bunch of guys once about what women need to know most about men, and many said that men don’t know it all. They act as if they do, of course. But generally, when a man effs up, it’s not with the intent to do so. Sometimes you’ve just got to tell him what he did or is doing wrong."

from A Belle in Brooklyn by Demetria L. Lucas, pg 116