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Turning the Spotlight on Good Energy

This post was inspired after reading Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson, (other thoughts here). A large part of the message I took from reading his memoir collared around introducing people to unfamiliar cuisines, namely ‘staple (black) African' food. He also weighed in on Harlem, New York, describing the city’s colors (as in landscape), its mood, his love for the city and other points often missed by those whose only familiarity with the city is in what media captures. This part of his observations got me to thinking about why I read and review books written by other LOUD as I do.

A few people have asked why I support other books the way I do, instead of focusing on my own work... a question I’ve answered before but don’t mind re-answering, perhaps a lot more direct this time.

1. Regardless of whether a book displays a “New York Times Bestseller’ badge on the cover, and irrespective of whether an author has sold (or given away) a few hundred copies to millions of books... reading is still an ‘elite’ wo/man’s sport. Therefore, every self-respecting individual with a stake in the literary industry must do all in his or her power to motivate 'genuine' reading.

2. I motivate genuine reading by SHOUTING OUT books I have read (cover-to-cover) that I found hard to close... what inspired me about Marcus’s raising awareness about least known aspects of the culinary scene.

3. Thankfully I had the inclination, and humbled enough to know my books (alone) weren’t going kindle the energy that needed kindling, in the time it needed kindling on the literary scene. Embracing good energy in books I find (which doesn’t mean everyone will share my perspective of what’s good) does increase a trust among readers who become familiar with the type books I recommend. I dig for books typically full of wisdom, largely unpretentious, full of good energy and fairly quick and easy to read. You know, books I’ve heard many, especially those who’ve given up on reading, asking where are these type books.

At any rate, summing this all up, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of reading. Reading, particularly memoirs containing this good energy helps tone down judgments and increases an awareness and better understanding of the world we live in and people we live among.


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It’s Official! RYCJs Top 10 Favorite Books in 2017

For those who will desire to miss it, (my You Tube video sharing what books enhanced my mood this year), I took time to spell out the list.

In no particular order:

- Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
- Pain Don’t Hurt by Mark ‘Fightshark’ Miller
- Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
- Tha Doggfather by Snoop Dogg
- My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
- My Mistake by Daniel Menaker
- When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
- I Choose to Stay by Salome Thomas-EL
- The Journey Home by Clifton Taulbert
- Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money by Kevin O'Leary

Thank you, Authors. I HIGHLY recommend reading from this list. I've read many phenomenal books this year, and these rose to the top. Every one of the memoirs, not all written in 2017, kick-started my mood, were humorous in spots, touched me to the core, and in my estimation... promises to grow a Smart, Engaged, Literate Society.

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