When They Call You a Terrorist: A #BlackLivesMatter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele #Review @OsopePatrisse @ashabandele @StMartinsPress

When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir cover

When I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Like so many others, I have often watched the news in horror when yet another African-American man or woman (or worse, a child) has been killed without provocation, when they were doing nothing wrong. It was horrible enough when the killer was just a regular citizen, but the horror I felt increased ten-fold when their deaths came at the hands of police officers—someone who is meant to serve and protect all of us, regardless of race. (I guess I’m a bit naive, because I always expect justice to be served, punishment meted out for the guilty party—and I’m stunned when it doesn’t happen.)

I remember suddenly hearing “Black Lives Matter” being talked about on the news, seeing the hashtag on social media, and—almost as quickly—seeing negative opinions about it on Facebook. I wanted to know what Black Lives Matter was about, and—rather than take some random naysayer’s opinion as fact—I looked it up. Their mission statement begins:

The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

The entirety of the mission statement can be read on the Black Lives Matter website.

I won’t pretend to have a deep understanding of what African-American’s daily lives are like when it comes to racism and all that it encompasses. I don’t, and as a white woman,  I can’t—but I am aware of it. And while I will never understand how people can feel that way about someone of a different race, I do want to understand how it impacts the lives of the people targeted by that hatred. I want to understand the anger, the fear, that they feel as a result of being treated in unacceptable—and often terrible—ways.

When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just the story of how Black Lives Matter began. It tells the story of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, sharing significant events that happened throughout her childhood—either to herself or a loved one—that shaped her into the community organizer and social activist she would become.  There are many things she shares about her life, but one part that left me feeling especially heartbroken and outraged was reading about how her mentally ill brother, Monte, was abused while in jail. I won’t go into the details in this review, but suffice to say it’s something I doubt I’ll ever be able to forget.

As I always do when reading a book for review, I wondered what words I would use to describe the book. All the way through, I kept coming back to three words:

Raw.

Emotional.

Powerful.

You can’t help but feel the undercurrents of anger and pain as you read this book. There are many passages where I had to take a moment, stop reading, and reflect on what I’d just read. I wanted to deeply consider the the events that were described. How might I have felt, if the police came to my door—without a warrant, without a reason—and made me stand in my yard, with multiple guns pointed at me and my loved ones, while they spent three or four hours searching my house? Afraid to so much as gesture with my hand as I spoke, for fear they might shoot me? How might I feel, if that happened to me, with a child present who was treated with the same cold disregard as I?

I would feel terrorized. I would feel that they didn’t think my life mattered.

The rallying cry of “Black Lives Matter” will not go down in history as words spoken by terrorists, but rather words spoken by a people who have been made to feel that their lives don’t matter at all—who had the courage to do something about it.

The year has barely begun, but I have a feeling When They Call You a Terrorist will be one of the most important books published in 2018.

If you read only one nonfiction book this year, I urge you to read this book, particularly if you don’t understand what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about. It will open your eyes to a lot of things that—like me—you probably didn’t know about.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.

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Authors: Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

Title: When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Genre: Memoir, Social Activism, Social Justice

Published: January 16th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

About the Book

The emotional and powerful story of one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and how the movement was born.

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

About the Authors

PATRISSE KHAN-CULLORS is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker.

ASHA BANDELE is an award-winning author and journalist. A former features editor for Essence magazine, asha is the author of two collections of poems, the award-winning memoir The Prisoner’s Wife and its follow-up Something Like Beautiful, and the novel Daughter. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen #Review #BlogTour @greerkh @sarahpekkanen ‏@StMartinsPress

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I’m not going to go into any details about the book in my review, which will shorten it a great deal, but believe me—I’m doing everyone who hasn’t read it yet a huge favor.  For maximum reading enjoyment, you REALLY need to not know anything beyond what is said in the cryptic blurb. If you do that, this book is guaranteed to knock you off your feet.

That’s how I read this book. I started it with certain expectations of what might happen, and all I can say is I was never so happy to be so completely wrong about a book in my life. I can say without hesitation that The Wife Between Us is easily one of the best books I have ever read in this genre, if not the best. The characters are crisply written, and you’ll find yourself siding with one or the other early on. The plot is complex, yet easy to follow and the events that take place within the story will keep the story uppermost in your mind during those moments life forces you to (reluctantly) stop reading for a while. Thrilling plot twists and stunning reveals will shatter everything you come to expect from the story, and have you frantically reading to see what happens next.

Don’t miss out on reading the book that is destined to be listed as one of the best releases of 2018. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your TBR immediately!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley.

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Authors: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Title: The Wife Between Us

Genre: Suspense

Published: January 9th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.

You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.

You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.

About the Authors

Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks (Photo by Bill Miles)
Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks (Photo by Bill Miles)

GREER HENDRICKS spent over two decades as an editor. Her writing has been published in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. The Wife Between Us is her first novel.

SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of seven previous novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, her work has been published in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others.

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker #Review @Wendy_Walker @StMartinsPress

Emma in the Night cover

Two sisters disappeared one night. Three years later, only one of them came back. Where happened to the other one? Will she be found?

Emma in the Night is a fascinating story centering around the disappearance of the Tanner sisters—Emma and Cass—and the investigation that takes place after Cass returns alone. Cass tells the police Emma arranged to run away from home—and their abusive mother— to live on a secluded island with a couple who promised to help her. Unbeknownst to Emma, Cass followed her the night she left, and was brought to the island along with her sister when she was discovered. Rather than a sanctuary, the island became a prison, and it took three years for Cass to make her escape. Having gained her freedom at last, Cass asks the police to help save Emma before it’s too late. But forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter felt Cass wasn’t being completely truthful with them, and her investigation leads to a shocking revelation.

I loved this novel! Cass was often an unreliable narrator, and I spent a lot of time trying to read between the lines of what she was saying or doing at the moment. I’m not sure what I expected, but when the big reveal finally came, it knocked me off my feet. That was a twist I definitely didn’t see coming. Highly recommended!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley.

 

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Author: Wendy Walker

Title: Emma in the Night

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: August 8th, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

About the Author

Author Wendy Walker
Wendy Walker

Wendy Walker is a former attorney and investment banker in Fairfield County, Connecticut who began writing while at home raising her three sons. Her debut thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, has become an international bestseller and was optioned for film by Warner Brothers with Reese Witherspoon set to produce. The paperback will be released July 18, 2017, followed by her second thriller, Emma In The Night, on August 8.

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.