Southern Girl Book Review-“A Belle in Brooklyn”

Elle and Belle!

It’s a hot June night.  I’m driving around downtown DC looking for a parking space.  I’m already late, but I’m hoping to find something close so I can hurry and get in.  Just when I give up and decide to go home, I find a parking space right across the street from my destination.  (God is looking out and WANTS me to attend.) 

I know I’m the last person to walk into the room, but I’m ok with that.  I hear the guest of honor answer one last question and then announce books are for sale and she’ll be signing them, too.  After speaking to a few friends, I grab a copy and wait my turn to speak and get my book autographed.  When I make my way to the table, I gush a little and sound somewhat like a fan (no matter how hard I try not to), but surprise of all surprises, I get a compliment on my necklace! (Thanks “Auntie” Madeline!)  We smile for the camera, I thank her for her time, and make my way to the exit.  I got what I came for, now it’s time to go home, well, after I hit the bar for a signature cocktail made especially for the event.  I had no idea how what was put on these pages would affect my life. 

I was so caught up with A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-To Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life the first time I read it that I don’t think I really comprehended anything.  Demetria Lucas, Relationship Editor for Essence magazine, was talking to ME when she wrote this book.  It wasn’t a self-help book or even an advice book.  It was my girl telling me about her relationship woes-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I knew I wanted to share my thoughts, but I had to read it again to fully appreciate this gem.  I began reading this book again last week, after finishing it the first time in June, not long after I purchased it. 

I appreciate Demetria for sharing her memoir.  If the book is looked at on the surface, one may think it’s the story of this woman who is bragging about the men she’s dated.  But if the time is taken to dig a little deeper, you see the story of a woman who never backed down, stood up for what she wanted, and never compromised herself, just to say she had a may-an.  We can learn from all of Demetria’s experiences-like how to handle the jock on campus, how to handle the hurt of a true love, and even how to handle date rape.  These stories are shared not to boast, but to teach.  And it’s up to the reader to find your own lesson.

What did Elle get from the book?  During Round 1, I laughed, I cringed, and I was slightly jealous a time or two.  😉 With this most recent reading?  I gained insight.  I used her honesty, bluntness, and openness to affect my life, especially with how I interacted with members of the opposite sex.  I am now more open and honest with others, specifically when it comes to the men that I date.  I no longer have a problem stating what I want and staying true to who I am.  This book was spendidly written with a candidness that you feel like Demetria is your homegirl and you all are going to be hitting up brunch at Busboys and Poets on Saturday (if she’s home for the weekend). 

Did you read the book?  Or, if you remember this summer, did you attend the event at The Park?  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have encouraged others to read it.  I’m sure it will look like my favorite books, worn from reading over and over again.  I’m very impressed, and I’m sure when Demetria writes book # 2, I’ll be at the next book signing (and will arrive on time!)  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Way Back Wednesday-Game Change

Happy Hump Day!!!   If you’re like me, you’re just about ready for this week to be over.  Today’s post is going to be a first for me.  I’m going to switch it up a little and do a book review.  The book, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime”, is a background tell-all book about the election of 2008.  I purchased this book last February (for my friends on Facebook, I was clearly wrong thinking I had ordered this last summer), and just finished it Monday night.  (Hey, don’t judge me.)

The first thing you must be thinking is that, “The book must not have been that good.  It took her a whole year to finish it!”  That is SO far from the truth!!!  While I’m a self-proclaimed bookworm, I was a little overwhelmed by the more than 400 pages so there was a lot of picking up/putting down going on.  (Also, most of my reading is inclusive of Eric Jerome Dickey fiction.)  As someone who loves politics and history, I found this book very intriguing.  It tells EVERYTHING that you ever wanted to know about the primary and the general election of 2008 from the people who were there.  You learn how McCain had NO money during the Republican primary and was almost out of the race altogether, how Palin shut down anytime she was prepped by her staff,  and how during the Democratic primary Edwards knew the story about his mistress was coming out and before irreversible damage was done, was trying to make a deal with Clinton and Obama to serve in either one’s cabinet.  You also see the evolution of how the Clintons and Obama started of as bitter enemies and evolved to having a mutual respect for each other.   This book was really good, and I highly suggest you all read it.  It makes for great discussion and gives you insight to all parties involved.  I will admit it was hard for me to keep track of who’s who in each party’s camp (as some new name and position pops up frequently), but I was able to grasp the main points, which I think was most important.  I was also able to reminisce a little about the election of 2000 and the McCain/Bush debate in South Carolina.  (To keep your attention I won’t go into details, but I do remember when a classmate’s father, who was a Congress person in my home state, pulled his support from McCain when the Senator made disparaging remarks about his alma mater.)   McCain and his wife remembered it, too, and weren’t even sure if John should run again based off his experiences in the Palmetto State. 

So, if you read the book, what did you think about it?  If you didn’t read the book, but want to share some thoughts on the election, feel free.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

The Black History Month fact of the day is about Clennon Washington King, Jr.  King was the first African-American man to run for the President of the United States.  In 1960, King was a candidate of Independent Afro-American Party.