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Reading Challenge Check in!

This is the end of the third month of the year.  3 Down! 9 To Go! If you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution or joined a reading challenge, we want to hear how you are doing?  Did you start yet?  How close you are you to your goal?  What changes have you made to make it your goal?

My Reading Challenges for 2012 are:

POC (People of Color) Reading Challenge – I have read 4 out of 9 books by people of color

Audiobook Challenge – I have listened to 5 out of 12 audiobooks

Dusty Bookshelf Challenge – I have read 2 out of 10 books on my dusty bookshelf

TBR (To Be Read) Pile Challenge – I have read 5 out of 10 books on my TBR list

Goodreads.com Reading Challenge – I have read/listened to 15 books out of my goal of 35 books for the year

My  personal goal of losing 30 lbs by June – not started yet!  ARGGH!!

If you are like most people (and me) your challenges and resolutions fell off into the waste side around January 20th.  If not sooner!  But there is no reason why you can’t start again today.  There are so many reading challenges that are open all year. Check out Goodreads.com and A Novel Challenge.  At Novel Challenges there is a reading challenge for every kind of book out there. Picture Books, Audio Books, Non Fiction, Thick Books,  Short Stories.  Everything!!

So go to the comments section below and start bragging about your goals and how you are doing with them.  Or let us know you need a cheerleader to help get your motivation a kick-start.

Let’s make 2012 AMAZING!!

Bloggiesta 2012

Yes!  I am going to commit to doing Blogiesta this year!  Never heard of it.  Well, I hadn’t either until a month ago when I saw this cute button on so many sites.  About 100+ have  signed up to this event.  Here is the basics of it.  From March 30, 2012 to April 1, 2012 bloggers commit to completely finishing their Blogging To Do List.  And like all great blogging events there are mini-challenge giveaways and tons of Tweeting.  If you want to join the party, go to It’s All About Books.
If you decide to participate, here’s what you can expect:
  • to spend time that weekend (as much or as little as your schedule allows) working on your blog
  • to create a to do list to share on your blog and link up with other participants
  • to hopefully participant in several mini challenges and learn something new
  • to connect with other participants through blog hopping or twitter
  • to make new blogging friends!
  • to come away at the end of the three days with a spiffed up blog!
If all that sounds like something you’d like to do, please write a post letting us know and link up! OLE!
For the Mocha Girls Read blog
1.  Export post to new site  (there are a million of them.  aarrgghh!!)
2.  Label all the post
3.  Pay for the redirect (Only $12.00)
4.  Launch new site
5.  Add new and update widgets
6.  Fix the site button for other blogs to add to their blogs
7.  Update each page
8.  Update and create review pages from the first 4 books
9.  Complete my weekly posts and memes
10.  Add newsletters to the new site
So here is my to do list for my blog My Little Pocketbooks
1.  Complete my weekly posts and memes
2.  Complete my two unfinished reviews
3.  Add a FTC Disclosure and copyright information
4.   Add blogs to the blogroll
5.  Clean up my Picasa page
6.  Figure out how to link my blog post to Twitter
7.  Update Challenge page.
8. Update old review from January to the new format and rating system
Whew!!  This list is making me freak out!  There is soo much to do.  If I can get the book club site launched then I can work on the other stuff later.
If you are interested in joining us click this LINK and sign up on the linky.

Why I Love Wednesday

Why I Love Wednesdays…Tear Jerkers

Reflections of a Bookaholic

Mocha Girl Alexis from Reflections of a Bookaholic started a Wednesday Meme called Why I Love Wednesday.  What is a Meme you ask?  According to wikipedia…The term “Internet meme” refers to a catchphrase or concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the Internet, largely through Internet-based email, blogs, forums, Imageboards, social networking sites and instant messaging.  Basically, a topic from the meme host (Alexis) is posted on participating blogs with blog authors answering it on their site (here).

The topic this Wednesday is…Tear Jerkers

The first one that came to mind was the death of Rue in The Hunger Games.  Even though I knew it had to happen and I was quietly preparing myself for it, in my heart I didn’t really think it would.  And after seeing the movie, seeing Rue’s cute face and big eyes just made it worse for me.

I’m very hard to catch. And if they can’t catch me, they can’t kill me. So don’t count me out.“―RueRue was the smallest and youngest tribute, from District 11 who was selected to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games. She is described as being small and easily underestimated by other competitors. Rue died in the 74th Hunger Games at the age of 12 when Marvel thrust a spear in her stomach. She had formed an alliance with Katniss Everdeen after warning her about a nest of tracker jackers. Rue decided to trust Katniss only because of the pin she wore over her heart, the famous mockingjay pin. As a memorial of Rue’s death, Katniss covered her in flowers and sang to her, indicating to the Capitol that Rue was not just a piece in their games. –From The Hunger Games Wiki

What book brought you to tears lately?  Any good tear jerkers?

Review: Assata: An Autobiography

Author:  Assata Shakur

Genre:  Autobiography
Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books
Release Date:  November 1, 2001
Paperback: 320 pages
Buy the Book: Amazon
Book Description
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka Jo Anne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local state and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper.  Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder.

This intensely personal and political autobiography bellies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the stare.  With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weakness, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at he hands of government officials.  The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place along side The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.

Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison.  She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

Reviews by Mocha Girl Book Bloggers
My Little Pocketbooks

 

Mocha Girl Tazzy’s Review:  Loved it! A very interesting read! A powerfully strong woman of color!

 

Mocha Girl Sherrill’s Review:  Interesting, enlightening, and thought provoking.

 

 

Did you read Assata: An Autobiography?  What did you think of the book?  Leave your review in the comments.
Please use the 1 click Review as well.  Pick one of the following selections for your overall feeling of this months book.

April’s Book of the Month: Love In the Time of Cholera

In this chronicle of a unique love triangle, the Nobel laureate’s trademark “ironic vision and luminous evocation of South America” persist. “It is a fully mature novel in scope and perspective, flawlessly translated, as rich in ideas as in humanity,” praised Publisher’s Weekly.

After all the books nominations and seven days of voting…Mocha Girls Read April book selection winner is Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Take a minute to see what this book and the author are all about.

Synopsis

Love in the Time of CholeraIn their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Author’s Biography

Author Picture Gabriel Garcia MarquezGabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (born March 6, 1927) is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and is the earliest winner of this prize who is still alive. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics. In 1958, he married Mercedes Barcha; they have two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.

He started as a journalist, and has written many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magical realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them express the theme of solitude. –From Wikipedia

OFFICIAL NOBEL PEACE PRIZE PAGE

2007 Movie Trailer

Congratulations to Gabriel Garcia Marquez for becoming Mocha Girls Read book for the month for April 2012.

Feel free to leave comments and thoughts here as you are reading the book. I’m looking forward to reading this book and hearing what everyone thinks of it.

Keep the pages turning!

♥Mocha Girl Alysia♥

Voting is Closed

Voting for April’s Book is Officially Closed!  Tomorrow our April’s book will be posted for all to see.  :)   I know you are feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve but I promise the wait won’t be that long.

While you are waiting here are a few things you can do.

1.  Click on a button in the menu and read a few Mocha Girl‘s blogs.  They are really good and have great book reviews.

2.  Click on the newsletter and see what we are up to this month.

3.  Like us on Facebook, Twitter or Subscribe to our site to stay up on all the Mocha Girls Read happenings.

 

Quote It!

Guest Post ~Woman: Black. Angry? ~

Today’s guest post is from Mocha Girl MJ.  A Chicago native, MJ Forbes began writing short stories at the age of five. She and a kindergarten friend would write stories and read them to one another over the telephone. MJ continued writing throughout her school days, and won several literary awards. Though it was once only a childhood hobby, MJ later realized the true power of the plume, and began to use writing to give a voice to words which might otherwise have been left unsaid. Her writing brings attention to common issues from a different perspective, allowing the reader to experience a variety of emotions vicariously through her characters. MJ believes that writing is a healing both to the writer and the reader.
“Reading your own feelings from off of a page feels like finally sharing a secret with someone other than yourself. A book won’t judge you if you cry when you shouldn’t or if you laugh when nothing is really funny. Reading provides freedom to acknowledge your emotions, whatever they may be. Writing forces you to do the same.” – MJ Forbes

Woman: Black. Angry?
I typically prefer not to address unfavorable stereotypes beyond an occasional private conversation with girlfriends. But I can’t stand to see an idea so muddled that everyone is talking about it, but few really know what they are actually talking about. Please allow to me provide a touch of clarity on the much debated topic of the misunderstood ‘angry black woman’, which I’ll try to do without belaboring it.
Let’s begin here.

Definition: angry – adjective, feeling or showing anger or strong resentment (usually followed by at, with, or about).

The phrase ‘angry black woman’ is something of a misnomer. It suggests that malcontent is an intrinsic part of the character of a woman who has brown skin and ancestors from Africa. In actuality, this unfortunate syndrome is not race related. It is not genetic. It’s a learned behavior. A reaction, actually. This anger is a defense tactic that has been passed down from mothers, aunts, and grandmothers along with secret family recipes and traditions. Black women are not naturally more aggressive than other human beings. That is why there are no angry black babies.
In fact, as babies, we are all the same. Humans are born with a sense of entitlement. No infant has ever considered whether or not they are entitled to more or less than others. We emerge from our mothers’ wombs with an expectation to have all of our needs met. And we cry furiously until our desires are fulfilled. No, anger is not a color thing. It is a human thing.
Anger not always a bad thing. The difference is in how we channel it. It is often the first step toward change. The problem is that many of us are not taking the second, third, and twentieth steps. But I’ll leave that topic for another discussion. Some women are known to express anger with yelling, finger swinging, and neck jerking. The unfortunate consequence of this is that others cannot see past your emotion to your meaning. Then these expressions are connected with irrationality and even monthly hormonal cycles. Therefore, they are treated as if unimportant or nonexistent. Some women quietly hold anger inside like a heavy stone weighing down their intestines. Poorly managed anger doesn’t do anything for us but encourage cortisol hormones to add inches around our mid-sections, and make wrinkles where we know good and well we should not be cracked. Finally, some women direct anger into calculated action.
An arguable idea: black women have just cause to be angry. Why? We live in a world where despite all of our advances as a species, we still categorize people by their appearance. For black
women, not only are we black, but we have the nerve to be female as well. Therefore, positioned in our spot at the bottom of society’s totem pole, we are often assumed less intelligent and capable. When we demonstrate that we are, in fact, brilliant, creative, and forward moving, the response we receive is often…wait for it… anger. This puts is in a virtually no win situation. That is, if the goal is to win the favor of people who are not black and not women. Perhaps we should make sure that is not our goal.
But we have made so many strides in race relations. That is true. And a great many people, male and female, black and other colors have fought and given their lives for our rights. We should be grateful that we have the freedoms and opportunities that we have, and we should take advantage of them. Through the efforts of these people, laws have changed. What is deemed socially acceptable has changed. People, however, are generally the same. Hatred has been with man since Cain murdered his brother and it is standing nowhere near the exit.
Angry Black womanBut that’s not all. Black women are angry because we are victimized by the media, each other, and ourselves. Some of us are mad that girlfriend bought a house, or started a business. We get indignant when we should be inspired. Far more unfortunate than that is the fact that some of us are mad at other black women for having a shade lighter complexion, or slightly fuller lips and hips than the next. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we should all be holders of our own beauty and grace. Then we may see that the beauty and intelligence of other black women is no threat to ourselves. The world is large enough for many women of beauty, intelligence, talents, shades, backgrounds.
Circumstances have placed us in a box, but guess what ladies – there’s a crack in the side. It has been caused by the weight and pressure of many women before us and next to us pushing against the walls. What are you doing? Are you pushing hard or are you standing around complaining that the crack is too narrow and you will never get through?
I am a black woman and I am not angry. I’m too busy being fabulous and successful and chasing my dreams to be mad at anyone for being mad at me for doing the aforementioned things. I am, however, aware. And I suspect that many other black women are not ‘angry’. I think many of us may have misdirected passion and misunderstood ambition.
I would like to propose a motion, and I’m looking for someone to second it. Black women, let us not pass this idea of inferiority to our daughters. Let us be the last generation of women with any hint of an idea that we accomplish anything ‘in spite’ of ourselves. Let us be so preoccupied with activity that we have less time for anger. One day may this all be a faded scar on the face of society rather than an oozing wound.

Thank you Mocha Girl MJ for this guest post.  Feel free to comment below and if you would like to submit a guest post about Black Women, books or something along those lines, please email me at mochagirl@email.com.