In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

03 December, 2013

Books Wild Released in November 2013

1.) Blackberry Wine  by Joanne Harris on 11/5/2013
2.) Two Tiny Claws  by Brett Davis on 11/5/2013
3.) When Duty Calls: A Novel of the Legion of the Damned  by William C. Dietz on 11/5/2013
4.) But Inside I'm Screaming  by Elizabeth Flock  on 11/11/2013
5.) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot on 11/11/2013
5.) What Does Joan Say?: My Seven Years As White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan  by Joan Quigley on 11/11/2013
6.) The City of Falling Angels  by John Berendt on 11/19/2013
7.) The Autumn Castle  by Kim Wilkins on 11/19/2013
8.) Master of Dragons (Mageverse, Book 8)   by Angela Knight  on 11/20/2013
9.) The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires (Dark Ones Novel)   by Katie MacAlister  on 11/20/2013
10.) The Illusion of Separateness: A Novel  by Simon Van Booy on 11/20/2013
11.) Bridge of San Luis Rey, The  by Thornton Wilder  on 11/26/2013
12. The Copenhagen Connection  by Elizabeth Peters  on 11/26/2013 
13.)The War of the Worlds (Tor Classics)   by H. G. Wells on 11/26/201
14.) The Rescue  by Nicholas Sparks on 11/26/2013

02 December, 2013

Books Read in November 2013

1.) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
2.) Two Tiny Claws by Brett Davis
3.) Master of Dragons by Angela Knight
4.) The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires by Katie MacAlister
5.)  The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
6.) The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins
7.) The Illusion of Separateness: A Novel by Simon Van Booy 
8.) The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks 
9.) Zen and the Art of Vampires by Katie MacAlister 
10.) How Long Will I Cry? edited by Miles Harvey

1.) Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
2.) Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
3.) Memory by Louis McMaster Bujo
4.) Dodger by Terry Pratchett

1.) Gaea by Robina Williams

01 December, 2013

Book review: How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence

Title: How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence
Editor: Miles Harvey
Publisher: Big Shoulders Books
Publication Date: 2013

This book is a companion to the play How Long Will I cry? that was produced by the Steppenwolf Theater in 2013.

The final version of this book was a collaborative effort by the creative writing students at DePaul University located in Chicago, IL. It uses collaborative story-telling methods to collect the real stories of people in Chicago whose lives have been touched by violence.

Chicago is still extremely racially divided. recent information given by the country France to it's tourists coming to visit the city tells it's citizens to avoid whole sections on the South and West sides of the city due to the mortality and crime rates.

This book takes stories of many types of people from many areas of the city to talk about the impacts of violence caused by and to the youth of the city of Chicago. Story types range from those of families who have lost children, community member in neighborhoods affected by violence who are working to change the neighborhoods in positive ways, stories told by both current gang members and ex-gang members, and youth who have been affected by the violence in many different types of ways. The stories while mainly focused on the South and West sides of the city also show how ares on the North and Northwest sides of the city are being affected by gang related violence.

This book impacted me in ways that I wasn't expecting. The stories, while predominantly sad, and filled with rage and hopelessness also had hope sprinkled through it's pages. Stories were shared by people who were trying to make a difference after loosing their own loved ones to violence. At the end of the book there is a list of organizations who are trying to work against youth violence in the city and while one could be disheartened by the length of the list, it is amazing to see how many people care about changing the city that I live in.

As a life long resident of Chicago my entire life I was spared  the effects of neighborhood gang violence until my late teens. I grew up in a neighborhood on the Northwest side that was predominantly white, with a strong Irish and Polish element to the families living in it. when I was in high school I attended a magnet school which drew students from all parts of the city, and was very racially diverse. I made friends from outside of my own neighborhood and sadly lost one to gang related violence right after graduation. There were times going out when I knew I had to either go home before a certain time or call for a ride home because it wasn't safe to wait for the CTA where we were.

This book is being given to readers for free through various events to promote awareness of the issue and by request to Big Shoulders Books which is a very big thing. By making the book free it will help get it into the hands of people who might not be able to buy a book, and the publishers encourage readers to pass their copy along to another reader when they finish. I was 1/4th of the way through the copy I was reading before I passed it onto a sociology student at NEIU That I had just met after it sparked a conversation between she and I. I plan on passing this copy on through one of the little free libraries that have popped up on the North/Northwest side of the city to hopefully find a new reader to touch.

Readers who are interested in acquiring their own copy of this book can visit Big Shoulders Books page about the book to request a free copy.