March Book Reviews

Can you believe we are already in April? This is blowing my mind. I have a few things going on in April. I have a challenge with co workers to work out, I have a birthday at the end of this month, and I have a goal of reading 2 books. I know I will get it all done. So! What did I read in March?! See below!

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Good Reads Synopsis:

The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.”  At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.

Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.

With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother’s age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Jayne Allen kept my attention in this book. The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating family, friends, what she thinks is love, and fertility issues. Tabitha is at an all time high navigating becoming Senior reporter until she receives news that her egg reserve is diminishing. This causes her to evaluate her love interest Marc , who informs her he is not ready for marriage or kids.

We watch Tabby navigate her friendships, the in between of that as well as navigating her own family turbulence and coming to terms with her imperfectly perfect family. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The book kept my attention, and I was able to relate to some of the dilemmas the characters navigate through in this first installment Allen’s book series. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Do you plan on reading this book? Comment below and let me know!

Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen

Good Reads Synopsis:

In this highly anticipated second installment in the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series, Tabitha Walker copes with more of life’s challenges and a happy surprise–a baby–with a little help and lots of love from friends old and new.

For Tabitha Walker, her grandmother’s old adage, “Black girls must die exhausted” is becoming all too true. Discovering she’s pregnant–after she was told she may not be able to have biological children–Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of “single mothers by choice.” Between her job, doctor’s appointments, and preparing for the baby, she’s worn out. And that’s before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints from viewers about Tabitha’s natural hair.

When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc–her on and off-again ex-boyfriend–back into her world with surprising demands, and the situation at work begins to threaten her livelihood and her identity, Tabitha must make some tough decisions about her and her baby’s future. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha turns to the women who have always been there for her.

Bolstered by the fierce support of Ms. Gretchen, her grandmother’s best friend, the counsel of her closest friends Laila and Alexis, and the calming presence of her doula Andouele, Tabitha must find a way to navigate motherhood on her own terms. Will she harness the bravery, strength, and self-love she’ll need to keep “the village” together, find her voice at work, and settle things with Marc before the baby arrives?

Shoedooo’s Review:

This is book 2 in the series that Jayne Allen is writing. Once again she did not fail me! The book is about a mid thirties black woman in LA, navigating pregnancy, family, friends, what she thinks is love, for herself and others. Tabitha is a new Senior reporter who is battling viewers who do not like her change in hair on TV. This causes her to evaluate her self, and if she should meet others standards of comfort.

We watch Tabby navigate her pregnancy, Marc her on and off again boyfriend, how he people pleases which brings to light how she does it in her life. Grandma Tabby’s friend who is in her 90’s is hilarious in this book and helps Tabby navigate finding the comfort in who she is no matter who feels uncomfortable about it. Overall I really enjoyed the book and recommend if you like fiction that feels real, to read this book.

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Goodreads Synopsis:

A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

Shoedooo’s Review:

Sally Hepworth did a great job on this book. It is a mystery book, but with a slow burn. The character development to me was good given the setting and circumstances.

We began with main character Lucy at her home with her husband and children being informed her mother -in – law, Diana, is dead. Things begin to unfold from there. As we glimpse from the present to the past from Lucy, and Diana’s view, we learn just how complicated, and secretive each of the characters are.

Lucy wants approval from her mother-in law, and it always out of reach. Nettie desperately wants children, and it affects her in surprising ways. Ollie has a business venture that he keeps hidden from his wife. Diana is rich and practical, which her children seem to despise.

As we untangle the present with the past, we learn who Diana is as well as who each of the characters are and how they play a role in her life. Hepworth did an great job of explaining who Diana is. Learning Diana’s point-of-view, helped me warm to her character and have empathy for her.

Overall, this one drew me in, and kept me engrossed throughout. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to a person who likes great multi-character development. 

So I have read 8/15 books. Can you say I am on a roll? Yes. Will I read more? Yes.

By the way, none of these books were purchased. I choose to read through my local Library on the Libby app within the Harris County Public Library Branches! Check them out!

Book Reviews

I’ve always done book reviews, but never really for a group or anything. Well last year, I set an intention on joining a book club. You see I have always and I mean always loved reading. My amazon kindle has hoards of books that I need to read. My average book reads a year is 15-25. So you can say ,it was natural I wanted to find a place to discuss my book readings.

I secretly would follow the Oprah Book club. That led me to the B&N book club, which led me to Hello Sunshine Reads. These are all phenomenal read groups btw, and I still mostly follow a few of them. But I wanted a more melanated feel for my books, and I found Mocha Girls Read. AH! A place that not only read a vast genre of books like myself, but also readers looked like me! SUCESS! You guys know that wasn’t enough, I wanted a book club I could go to in Houston, and the ones that are out there were there, I just did not know how to find them. So alas! Mocha Girls Read created an online chapter! I am so happy I joined, not only have I found a home, I have found a place to do my reviews! I now have an Instagram page dedicated to my reads called @shoedooo.reads ! Feel free to follow me, I will use it to post reviews what I am reading and follow various readers/authors/lovers of books (not just the melanated ones). I also post my reviews on Goodreads as well. So stay tuned to me posting my reviews here!

Bookclubs I secretly and not so secretly follow:

  • Reese’s Book Club

If you read, what are some club or groups that you know of? Comment below!

2018 So Far

I’M LATE POSTING THIS BECAUSE LIFE!!

There are a few things that I intended on accomplishing this year. I have a list! (The real question is, when do I not have a list?!)

  • Create a Savings Plan
    • I am using the Dave Ramsey methods, and I recommend his book Total Money Make over and the use of his envelope system. This is where you get your power back when it comes to spending and saving money! 51ayznq412bl

 

  • I also upped my 52 weeks savings plan from just saving by what week it was in the year to attempting to take the 5,000.00 52 week money challenge. We will see how this will work out this year. I have faith! If you want to follow it is never too late to save a dollar and some!

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  • Be more committed to fitness
    • I now work out 4-5 times a week. I typically only can dedicate one hour to fitness in my day and I make sure It is worth it. I have a plan and a purpose. I just want to make sure that heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases are kept at bay. I also want legs like I had when I was in track. It is going to happen people! I joke with my friends all the time about how I want to look like edible arraignments LOL. Now even some of them are jumping on that whole snack bandwagon!
    • I follow some pretty inspiring people on the “Gram” @FitfoodieLe @FollowtheLita @MassyArias are a few people who I am truly inspired by. I feel like they offer something I can truly benefit and can learn from.
    • I plan to run 5 or more 5k runs this year as well.
  • Utilize my power in saying No
    • *big sigh* Hi, my name is Sharde and I am a person who seems to over commit myself to everything. I am the go – to in my family, friends, and many others because, well my heart is that big. I sometimes forget about myself in that equation like, how am I going to be at two birthday parties that start within 30 minutes of each other? I have learned to send a “I can’t make it” Or a firm no with zero explanations. I feel empowered and like I am taking care of myself when I use the word no. There has to be a recharge period for me and a reset. If I do not take care of me, how will I be useful to anyone else.
  • Graduate Grad School
    • I do not know if I have really mentioned to anyone BUT! I am in school. Inspiration behind is I intended on accomplishing this in 2014, but God had other plans for me that year. I had my daughter and put the degree on the back burner. I picked it up in the summer last year and I will complete the task this year! So far,  I have been doing great with my studies, and when the time is right, I will make moves that align with my career goals.

So far life has been great this year. I hope to cover some interesting topics on my blog, such as life or responsibility as a single mother, trying to have a fitness regimen while being a single mama, empowering yourself, and learning to go with the flow in those times that things do not go according to our plans.  Hope that someone can take my life lessons and apply them to their life.

Friday!

 

Friday!

 

It is here and I am excited! My plans this weekend are to go apartment hunting, workout, play with my dog, spruce up my house and possibly go to The Heights White Linen night.

It is a neighborhood hosted event where people in the Heights host a night where everyone wears white linen. There is art displays, food, dancing, socializing, and music! It is a huge community event and people come from all over Houston to be apart of this one night! Exciting right?

Today, I am incredibly exhausted. I am already contemplating drinking another cup of coffee. I got caught up last night…..reading a book. Yes, My name is Sharde, and I am a NERD! I love to read and I do not do it as often as I would like to. I however, am back for now, reading, and letting my imagination run wild. I get this intrinsic happiness from reading a book and letting my imagination freely express itself. There is nothing like a book. I was too impatient to wait on the second movie about The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire, so of course I read the book. On my Kindle. Thanks to Amazon Prime, you can borrow best selling books once a month for free!!!! Amazon knows how to please it’s consumers, that is for sure.

 

The book was amazing and I am excited about the up and coming movie. Happy Friday!!!