An Avid Reader’s Perspective
Hello and welcome, OOSA BookClub!
Would you like to share a bit about yourselves?
We are an online book club and reviewing team, dedicated to giving honest reviews. Our mission is to further promote African American literature by taking special interest in new and self-published authors.
What is your favorite thing about reading?
“My favorite thing about reading is being able to escape from the real world and spend time with the characters and their stories. Reading is very relaxing.” – Flashette
When did you fall in love with reading?
“I never know how to answer this question. Obviously you want to date back to your first experience. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved books. I had to be 3, I think. I used to carry the really big picture books with limited words around. I would read them over and over and over again pretending that I was a character in the book. I remember being so caught up in a pretend book world and believing that in books, I could do or be whatever it was I wanted.” – Crystal
What are your favorite genres and why?
“Romance – At the end of the day what woman does not like romance. I am a romantic at heart and a good romance puts a smile on my face and lightens my mood.” – Lashonda
Do you prefer paperback books, e-books or both? Why?
“Although I have an e-reader, I still prefer holding a hard copy of the book in my hands. I rarely use my e-reader, but I keep a stack of books by my nightstand.” – Flashette
What, in your opinion, makes a writer one of ‘the greats?’
“A true love of the craft that shows in the attention to detail in the story. The ability to appeal to different audiences. Consistently producing bodies of work that keep the masses wanting more and talking about it, anticipating the next work.” – Lashonda
What types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than others when reading?
“More and more in books today, we have characters that are over the top and larger than life with perfect minds and flawless bodies. I prefer the more practical characters. Relatable characters. Down to earth and realistic characters. Characters that remind me of myself, a family member, a friend or a co-worker.” – Toni
Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).
“I find myself re-reading ‘Mama’ by Terry McMillan. This takes me back to when I first started reading Black authors and enjoying the stories they tell. I also re-visit novels by J.D. Mason and Bernice McFadden because they helped me get through challenging times in my life.” – Flashette
Has a book ever brought you to tears? If so, what book and why?
“There have been quite a few. The most recent – SILENT CRY by Dywane D. Birch. The book is from the voice of a child with an abusive father and an abused mother. Readers see what abuse does to the children and how it affects their lives. The story was filled with so much information, pain, fear, and hope. While I’ve read plenty of books about abuse, I’ve never read a book that shows how the children handle the abuse that they are experiencing. I felt sad for the children and as the author revealed how the abuse affected them, it made me hurt for them.” – Crystal
Do you ever find yourself more connected with the darker characters/antagonists in the books you read?
“Absolutely! Protagonists and heroines are good, but there’s nothing like a greatly written villain. The kind of villain or antagonist that has readers drawn into them, rooting for their success or hoping they don’t get caught. Characters you love to hate and hate to love. That’s a testament of a true writer – one that can make you like what you shouldn’t.” – Toni
If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have read, who would they be and why?
“I’d love to introduce Lydia Martin from ‘Wife 101’ and First Lady Rawls from ‘Taylor Made’ by Sherryle Kiser Jackson. Both ladies counsel within the church. I believe that these two characters in one setting could learn from the other enhancing their ministries.” – Crystal
What is one book you wish you could see on the big screen? What books, in your opinion, were better as books, not so much movies?
I would love to see ‘Little Black Girl Lost’ by Keith Lee Johnson on the big screen. I would hope that Keith was sitting in the director’s seat to prevent the importance of the story from being compromised.
In my opinion, Terry McMillian’s books were much better as books. I think on the big screen they failed to capture the true bond in the relationships Terry wrote about. For example: ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back.’ Stella and her son Quincy have a wonderful relationship. They talk about everything. In the movie, this relationship is lost as the main focus is put on the love interest.’ – Crystal
Think of your favorite book (or one of your favorites): What songs would you consider the perfect play list for this/these book(s)?
“One of my favorite books for all of last year was A’ndrea Wilson’s ‘Wife 101.’ That book’s playlist would include ‘Pieces of Me’ by Ledisi, ‘Yes’ by Musiq and ‘Spend My Life with You’ by Eric Benet and Tamia.” – Toni
If you could star in the movie adaptation of your favorite book, who would your co-stars be?
“I love Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I’d cast Boris Kodjoe as Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennet.” – Toni
What would you tell younger generations, who don’t realize the importance of reading, or how enthralling books can be?
“The same thing I tell my kids. Find something you love, a comic book, a mystery, a vampire story, and just read. Once you get past the fact that your peers think reading is punishment you will be able to read and see the story play out in your head like a movie. You will find reading is like watching a movie or a TV series. It can be entertaining.” – Lashonda
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