Monday, June 21, 2021

Music Monday (161): Simon Neil, Laura Mvula, Maroon 5, Megan Thee Stallion, Copyright, Kathy Brown


  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: There has been so many new songs lately, and I feel like I can't keep up with it all. I really have to pick and choose what I'm going to talk about and when I'm going to do it. For today, I decided to stick to a familiar artist and a cover by someone who's new to me. 

As I've said before, I'm really excited for Laura Mvula's upcoming album. It's not out yet, but last week she released another song from it. What Matter's is a duet, and it's one of my favorites so far. When I found out who the second artist on the track was (Simon Neil), I stumbled onto this cover he did for Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill.


Adri: Another reprise. It is Never Again by Kathy Brown and Copyright. Last week I mentioned it in my reply to Greg, but I wanted to say it again. Reprises are my favorite because they are extended versions of songs. I really wish more songs had them. And even though this song is already long, as you may know, I love long songs.

Andrea: Hi all! I'm listening to Lost by Maroon 5 and Beautiful Mistakes by Maroon 5 featuring Megan Thee Stallion. Have an amazing week all!


What are you listening to?

Friday, June 18, 2021

ARC Review: She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson

Title: She Memes Well
Series: n/a
Author: Quinta Brunson
Source/Format: Netgalley; eARC
More Details: Nonfiction; Essays
Publisher/Publication Date:
 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; June 15, 2021

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...
From comedian Quinta Brunson comes a deeply personal and funny collection of essays featuring anecdotes about trying to make it when you’re broke, overcoming self-doubt and depression, and how she’s used humor to navigate her career in unusual directions... 

Quinta Brunson is a master of viral Internet content: without any traditional background in media, her humorous videos were the first to break through on Instagram’s platform, receiving millions of views. From there, Brunson’s wryly observant POV attracted the attention of BuzzFeed’s motion picture development department, leading her to produce viral videos there about topics like interracial dating, millennial malaise, and seeing your ex in public. Now, Brunson is bringing her comedic chops to the page in She Memes Well, an earnest, laugh-out-loud collection about her weird road to Internet notoriety. In her debut essay collection, Quinta applies her trademark humor and heart to discuss what it was like to go from student loan debt-broke to “halfway recognizable—‘don’t I know you somewhere?’” level-of-fame. With anecdotes that range from the funny and zany—like her experience trying to find her signature hairstyle—to more grounded material about living with depression, Brunson’s voice is entirely authentic and eminently readable. Perfect for fans of Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair, Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, and Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, She Memes Well will charm and entertain a growing, engaged audience.

It’s been some time since I last read an essay collection. My typical nonfiction reads are science or history based. Yet, I was looking for something I hadn’t read in a while. I remember Quinta Brunson best through her internet content. I’ve seen the memes and I’ve watched the videos, which garnered my interest in her essay collection, She Memes Well.

Essays can come from a deeply personal place, especially when they are autobiographical. She Memes Well falls firmly within that category, and I have to say that it was a good collection of essays. It was a thoughtful exploration of many topics, and the overall reaction I had to it was a positive one. Brunson wrote (at length) about the people and experiences that were integral to her. Often times, this included—but wasn’t limited to—reminiscing about the ups and the downs throughout her life through topics ranging from her early education and childhood to the beginnings of her career.

She Memes Well proved to be the perfect fit for a weekend read. And if you’re a fan of Brunson’s work, I high recommend this one. 

About the author....

QUINTA BRUNSON is an actor, producer, and stand-up comedian. She's been named one of Forbes's "30 Under 30" and has been featured in Vogue,People,Essence, the Hollywood Reporter, and elsewhere for her pioneering work in comedy. She plays a lead role in the HBO sketch series A Black Lady Sketch Show. Born in Philadelphia, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) via Netgalley for this review, thank you! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

ARC Review: The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Title: The Heartbeat of Trees
Series: n/a
Author: Peter Wohlleben
Translator: Jane Billinghurst
Source/Format: Publisher; ARC

More Details: Nonfiction; Science
Publisher/Publication Date: Greystone Books; June 1, 2021

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository     Target

Synopsis from Goodreads...
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees

A powerful return to the forest, where trees have heartbeats and roots are like brains that extend underground. Where the color green calms us, and the forest sharpens our senses. In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world. In an era of cell phone addiction, climate change, and urban life, many of us fear we've lost our connection to nature-but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. Drawing on science and cutting-edge research, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring: the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants, and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna. A perfect book to take with you into the woods, The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest.

One of my most anticipated reads of 2021 was The Heartbeat of Trees. I’ve had my eye on Wohlleben’s other books like The Hidden Life of Trees and The Secret Wisdom of Nature, which I haven’t gotten around to yet. However, that said, I had a chance to read an early copy of The Heartbeat of Trees, and it was a thoroughly engaging read and an incredibly fascinating look at trees. 

Did you know about the sleep behavior studies done on trees? Well, neither did I. There’s much on the subject of trees I had never come across in most of the other nature/environment related books I’ve read prior to The Heartbeat of Trees. Wohlleben concisely wrote about the subject while also making it an engaging and complete narrative, which incorporated personal knowledge and the trips he made—for conservation/forest protection efforts—as well as citing many different studies. The Heartbeat of Trees is, toward the beginning, a look at the ways a person’s senses—like touch, taste, smell, and sight—can interact with the natural landscape around them. While later on, during my favorite parts of the book, Wohlleben dug his heels into the topic and delved into the science behind what makes a tree a tree, the distinction between the different kinds of forests (old-growth and plantation), and the ecosystems that thrive in those environments. The book stressed how delicate those environments were—how long they took to develop—and made a connection between global warming and the state of forests, as well as the strain put on forests by the lumber industry.

There are many passages I would have quoted in this review—as there were many quotable sections—alas my copy of the book is an ARC. Needless to say, The Heartbeat of Trees was an excellent introduction to the subject, and I highly recommend it.

About the author...

Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally-friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests. He is the author of numerous books about trees.

About the translator...

Jane Billinghurst’s career has been in book publishing in the UK, the US, and Canada, as an editor, publisher, writer, and translator. She is the translator of the international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees by German forester Peter Wohlleben.

Disclaimer: this copy of the book was provided by the publisher (Greystone Books) for this review, thank you!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Music Monday (160): Tkay Maidza, Copyright, Usher, Kiana Ledé, and Lil Jon & Ludacris


  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Breana: Lately, there has been a lot of really good new music. And last week, Tkay Maidza released another song. It's called Cashmere, and it's really good. 


Adri: Lately, I've been into Copyright's music. In the coming weeks, I'll probably be talking more about them. But for today, my pick is Wizeman and Wizeman (Reprise) by Copyright featuring Imaani. 

Andrea: This week I'm listening to This Day by Usher featuring Kiana Ledé and Yeah! by Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris. Have an amazing week everyone!

What are you reading this week?

Friday, June 11, 2021

I Listened to Scaled And Icy by Twenty One Pilots

I have been waiting for Scaled and Icy since I heard about it. Twenty One Pilots is currently one of my favorite bands. I was introduced to their music with Blurryface (2015), and its follow-up, Trench (2018), was one of my favorite albums the year it was released. Scaled and Icy is finally here.

It was an enjoyable album to listen to with some of my personal favorites from it being Redecorate, Saturday, Stay Away, No Chances, and Choker just to name a few.

If you’ve listened to a lot of Twenty One Pilots’s music, you can tell the band has a certain style to their music. And while the overall sound of Scaled and Icy isn’t as dark and brooding as some of their earlier music—with a far more pop sound and a certain brightness—it still exists within Twenty One Pilots’s distinctive style. The album feels reflective and experimental, and it arrives right on time for summer.

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