Friday, February 6, 2015

A peak into Fairest and Brown Girl Dreaming

Second week of classes, still swamped and it just penetrated into my brain that if this is February, March is next month and there is a deadline that is about to crush me like a ton of bricks. EEK!

I am have managed to memorize most of basic 46 Japanese Hiragana, but haven't done much reading. Still, rather then contemplate my pile of grading for lunch, I am going to type up a quick post.

For Book Beginnings on Friday, here is the start of Fairest by Marissa Meyer (which honestly I found rather off-putting) ...

She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back. White sparks floated in her vision but the mercy of unconsciousness wouldn't come. Her throat was hoarse from screaming.   

Um - 'kay, gonna stop there. If you have been reading the Lunar Chronicles, you have some idea of what is going on - the wrong one probably - but still, in the neighborhood. If you haven't read the Lunar Chronicles, you can't start here.

For non-fiction, and due to the Newbery Honor announcement this week (not the medal winner but one of the runners up), here is the start of Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson ...

I am born on a Tuesday at University Hospital
Columbus, Ohio, 
a country caught 

between Black and White. 

I am born not long from the time
or far away from the place
my great-great-grandparents
worked the deep rich land
dawn til dusk
drank cool water from scooped-out gourds
looked up and followed 
the sky's mirrored constellation 
to freedom. 

I am born as the South explodes, 


I read Brown Girl Dreaming when it was one of the original nominations to the Cybils Elementary/Middle-Grade Nonfiction category and absolutely adored it. I found it profoundly moving and spent a lot of time on my own reflections of family history and my lived experience. Substitute poor for brown and much of what Woodson says speaks directly to me. Then they took it out from our category and moved it to poetry (ARGH!). I have been enjoying watching it rack up awards.

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice here is a bit from around page 56 of Fairest...

A young woman stepped out of the line of thaumaturges, dressed in a maroon-red coat, with glossy raven's-wing hair falling down her back. She was beautiful in the way that all members of the queen's entourage were beautiful, but there was also something admirable in the way she held herself. A confidence that glimmered. Though her station was beneath the head thaumaturge, her posture and faint smile seemed to indicate that she didn't believe herself to be beneath anyone at all. 

Levana liked her immedately. 

And here is something from page 55 of  Brown Girl Dreaming (since page 56 is in the middle of the verse) ...

There is daywork for colored women. 
In the mornings their dark bodies
fill the crosstown buses, 
taking them away 
from Nicholtown
to the other side 
of Greenville
where the white people live. 
Our grandmother tells us this
as she sets a small hat with a topaz pin on her head, 
pulls on white gloves 
over her soft brown hands. 
Two days a week, she joins the women, 
taking on this second job now
that there are four more mouths to feed


And yes, I chose these two books intentionally for contrast. Make of that what you will.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I absolutely need to read both of these books!

    Check out my 56.

  2. You've got me with both of these hook, line, and sinker! My poor book budget is going to be busted. LOL But, I have to have these.
    My 56 -

  3. Both books sound like they're worth reading, although the opening to Fairest was off-putting to me too.
    My Friday post features ROSE’S GIFT.

  4. I love the beginning of The Fairest. I guess that may say something about me. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  5. Fairest has been waiting patiently for me since the 27th of January. After this book I am reading, I will finally get to it.
    Happy weekend!


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