Get in My Kindle: She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore

Hello, book lovers! I’m actually off from my day job today (yay!), but instead of deep diving into the new book I started yesterday (The Outsider by Stephen King), I’m at the library attempting to bang out formatting and editing work for some authors I work with (although I’m almost done with the first section of The Outsider and my brain is already churning at the skillful structure, the characterization, and the way he’s fleshed out this fictional area in Oklahoma despite the tight focus. I can’t wait to figure out what in the world is going on). I missed Monday’s usual Get in My Kindle, but there are so many great books coming out, I couldn’t miss sharing a new one with you this week. Today, in keeping with the little dip we took into Magical Realism yesterday, I’m sharing a novel described as having “an exhilarating range, magical realism, and history.”

She Would Be King Title: She Would Be King

Author: Wayétu Moore

Release Date: September 11, 2018

Description: Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight when the earth calls him. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: As you might have learned yesterday, I’m not very familiar with magical realism. When anyone said those words to me, the only book I could possibly name was 100 Years of Solitude, which I haven’t read. I’m also not a big fan of historical fiction. It’s not historical fiction’s fault; I just feel like I have to KNOW the history in order to appreciate the fiction, and unless it’s a well-known, interesting event or period in history, chances are I don’t know enough about it to suit me. Nothing about this book’s genres screams “Put me in your kindle, Erica Denise!” So why is it here?

Simply put, the story sounds fascinating. A novel sweeping three countries, with three extraordinary people who possess extraordinary gifts, who meet in a land and somehow bring disparate people together to form a new nation? Intriguing. The fact it pulls together Africans and people of the diaspora and talks about a history I’ve always found myself wondering about raises my interest level.

If you’re playing book bingo or part of a challenge, it’s a perfect storm of checkmarks: diversity, magical realism, historical fiction, a debut novel, a woman writer of color, etc.

I’m a reader who loves to discover a new voice. I’m always looking for debut authors and their works. I search out their interviews to see what they’re passionate about and how they tell a story well before I investigate their books. Through the wonders of the internet, I somehow found myself following Wayétu Moore on Instagram. Her feed is full of posts from her recent trip to visit family in Africa, meeting with people whose ancestors owned her ancestors, and even her recent wedding. She’s shown herself to be a thoughtful writer who knows how to tell a story even in a concise space. I’m looking forward to reading what she does in a longer form.

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Hardback:
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Kindle: 
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Are you a fan of debut novels? Looking to read in a new to you genre? What book outside of your usual reading zone has you intrigued? 

Get in My Kindle: Well Read Black Girl

Happy Monday, fellow book lovers! If you’re a lover of essay collections, today’s Get in My Kindle might be right up your alley. This book will also appeal to those seeking to add more diversity to their reading list.  *Thus far, Get in My Kindle is not a sponsored post, and I haven’t been given an advance reader copy of the book featured. I’m simply sharing the books I’m interested in reading as soon as they come out. 

Title: Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering OurselvesWell Read Black Girl

Author: Glory Edim

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Description: Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves on the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology)

Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club–turned–online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: I’ve been watching what the Well Read Black Girl brand has been doing for quite some time. As a well read black girl myself, I’ve loved using their website and book club to find books recommendations I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. I was very excited to see that founder Glory Edim was putting together a collection with many contemporary authors whose work I admire. When I learned the focus of the collection was on representation in literature and included stories of when these amazing authors first saw themselves in literature, I knew I had to get my hot little hands on it. I’m a reader who loves reading about when others fell in love with books and reading, when they first saw themselves in a story, and when they first became a reader or writer, and the fact that this collection includes stories of women of color gave it a special twist for me. I wonder if any of the books that changed me will make an appearance in the essays, and if my new favorite writers have a personal connection to the works of my favorite classic authors. I’m fascinated by other authors’ influences, so I’m counting the moments until I get to devour this one.

Amazon Associate links:

Paperback:


Kindle version:

Are you a fan of essay collections? Will Well Read Black Girl make your TBR pile? Any other essay collections or diverse literature you’re looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments section!