A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
At first Jasmine thought this was one of the most boring books ever written. She felt like the writer really loved to over describe things for no reason except for the luxury of it. “I mean,” panted Jasmine in exasperation, “there were entire pages dedicated to a book he was reading.”
But because a woman in the bookstore insisted it was her favorite book she had ever read, Jasmine persisted and slowly got into the pacing of this book. In fact, she began to realize, that maybe it was paced so slowly because it sets the mood of the story which is about a Russian political prisoner held on house arrest in a hotel during the Russian Revolution. The entire book takes place inside the hotel where he is held prisoner for the next few decades .
A quarter of the way through, Jasmine got really into this book, fell in love with the characters and enjoyed watching Alexander Rostov’s personal world grow as the world outside his hotel transformed from Russian aristocracy to a Soviet power.
She gives this book 4 out of 5 paw prints and highly recommends it as long as you’re a patient reader like she is.
Acid For The Children by Flea
Ree Ree found this memoir by the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers so beautiful and truthful that it’s one of her favorite books she’s ever read. Ree Ree goes on to describe it further saying that most of it takes place in Hollywood of the 70’s and 80’s where Flea arrived after moving from Australia with his mom where, due to her drug use and self centeredness he was left to raise himself.
He grew up in the time period of California when every kid from every socio- economic background still went to public school so he was friends with all types –from gang bangers to rich music producers’ kids. This book is a description of his terrible, tragic, wonderful, basketball obsessed, adolescence growing up with no adult supervision and learning life from reading, listening to music, his friends and the power of nature.
He writes about his complicated friendship with the singer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, drug overdoses of his friends and band mates and all the luck and magic he had to survive to be a better person for it.
Ree Ree gives this book 5 out of 5 paw prints and says it is an absolute must read, not just because it’s written artfully but because his story was great. She hopes he will write another memoir about his time with his band and beyond!
On Her Own Ground, The Life and Times of Madam CJ Walker by A’Lelia Bundles
Jasmine was really inspired by the story of Madam CJ Walker, the first self made woman millionaire in America. Born to two former slaves 5 years after the Civil War ended, Jasmine thought this was a great life story about an industrious entrepreneur who was orphaned at 7 and married at fourteen and then widowed at twenty. The backdrop of Walker’s story is post Civil War America so it was a bonus to learn about that time period as you read about this great woman.
Madam CJ Walker made her fortune with her hair care formulas that she invented and traveled around the US selling and teaching others to sell for her. In a time when a lot of black people in America struggled to make ends meet, Madam CJ Walker made it possible for hundreds of black women to become financially independent by joining her team of sales women.
After she had made her fortune and her daughter took over much of the business, she devoted herself to social activism and philanthropy.
Jasmine gives this 4 out of 5 paw prints. It’s a great story and a great read and it has historical photos which Jasmine is a big fan of and feels more biographies should include. It is now a limited series o Netflix!