Good Reads : Little Bee


A couple days ago, I photographed my last shoot for the year. Should I repeat that last part again…because…really…I might just sing it. LaaaaaSSsst shoooooo^ooot of da YEEEEEEEAR! Yes, I just sang it Jamaican style. When I walked back to my car, I felt all High School Musical and snapped my fingers and kick-ball-changed into happiness. I love shooting, but I also love times when I can recharge, rethink, and realign my core and strive to become a better photographer. Stepping away from my camera sometimes helps me do this.

These past few weeks have been totally crazy, but whenever I had a free chance, I’d bury myself in a book. I didn’t read as much as I’d like this month, but I’m hoping that changes in December. In fact, last night I hid in my closet and made out with It was like seven minutes in heaven…with my credit card. When I emerged, JD asked what I was doing and I was all, huh…whaaat…oh, nuthin…

JD thinks I have a shopping addiction, but if Amazon is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Oh! Look at these new book ends. And then I died from all the cuteness.

Here are a few recent Good Reads
*Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Okay, so this book? Unreal. Capital U. Capital Nreal. I started it and realized I couldn’t put it down…it was literally glued to my hand and I found myself reading at red lights (just kidding…sorta). It’s narrated by a Nigerian girl (Little Bee) who immigrated to the United Kingdom and chronicled struggles she faced as she tried to escape the brutal murders of her family and village. But it’s not just that. Cleave interweaves another story of an English couple who changes the trajectory of Little Bee’s life and ends, ultimately, with her finding a voice and leaving a legacy. I read this book en route to NYC and finished it in a cab ride to Manhattan. As we crossed into the city, I sobbed…and knew I was changed.
*Fifth Avenue, 5 am by Sam Wasson.
Speaking of NYC, I bought two books at the airport because I needed material for the plane ride home. I’ve never seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but seeing how it took place in Manhattan and I was headed there, I thought this book was apropos. Much to my surprise, it not only read like historical documentation of how the movie was made, but a sociological look at women in the 1950s and the roles Hollywood created them to play. Wasson dissects how Audrey Hepburn ushered in a new type woman…a type of woman who challenged preexisting ideas of gender, sexuality, and power, all while wearing a little black dress.
*Tinkers by Paul Harding.
I bought this book simply because it won the Pulitzer Prize. Ugh, I know. I was THAT girl in the bookstore…but cut me some slack, I was on a time crunch before I boarded my plane. Now here’s the thing about this book: it’s not just well written, it’s SO well written. All these pretty words strung together like fireflies on a lonely clothesline. I enjoyed the read, but I just didn’t get into the story as much as I wanted…and it was shame because I totally wanted to.

I started a new book last night while I was at the dog park with Polo and under the dim lights adjacent to my chair, I struck gold. And it’s only chapter two. Can’t wait to share about later, but until then I hope you’re having a beautiful week and gearing up for kick-ball-changing of your own!

Happy Wednesday!

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  1. Louisa

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Little Bee broke my heart – such a good book 🙂

  2. Samantha

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Oh I’m going to have to have a look at these now! as if i don’t read enough lately… 🙂 and i sympathise – internet shopping can get quite addictive. my poor bank balance 🙁 but happy me!! 🙂

  3. James D

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    When exactly do you sleep? Or are there 48 hours in your day?

  4. Beth T.

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    OMG where did you get those bookends?! I NEED them!! 🙂 too cute and they would go perfectly in my new bedroom! Thanks for the book recs. I have read so many of the books I see on your blog!

  5. Jessica Frey Photography

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Um, I need those book ends! As a proud fur-momma of a Westie, I always get so excited when I see westie ‘stuff’! Super cute….my mom, brother, aunt and I all have ’em – Kayla, Kylie, KC and Ernie. Would LOVE to know where you got them, Amazon?!
    Also AMEN to a season of rest and recuperating!

  6. Annie

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Totally second the Little Bee recommendation. so.incredibly.powerful. Also love Chris Cleave’s first book Incendiary.

  7. natasha

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Ok, totally feel you on this book{Little Bee}. i read it a while ago – I bought it on a whim from a charity shop for 50p!I loved it. I’m a book worm and these posts are some of my favourite 😉 x

  8. KB

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Speaking from my former life as a professional librarian, I love your booktalks.

  9. sherri lynn

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I’m so glad you read Little Bee! It was such a powerful book and one of my favorites. Chris Cleave also wrote Incendiary – not as good as Little Bee but still VERY good.

  10. Rachel Tatem

    November 30th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    How exciting for you! What a great time to have down time. To relax and recharge and get time to spend with family

  11. Kaylee Labor

    November 30th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I also read Tinkers just because it won a Pulitzer. I did enjoy the reading- it was like overdosing on expensive word caviar, but I couldn’t get into it either.

  12. Katie

    November 30th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The author of little bee has another book out as well. I loved little bee but I loved the other book even more. It was actually written first but was hidden in the bookstores until after little bee became popular-then it made the tables

  13. Photo restoration

    November 30th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Wow. Great books! I am anxious to read "Little Bee" which captured my mind all of sudden.
    Excellent and tremendous array of resources shared. Thanks

  14. Carrie K

    November 30th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Please go read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’. Please. Polo will thank you later. 🙂

  15. Andi

    November 30th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    since you enjoyed Fifth Avenue, check out The Rules of Civility…such a smart book…a time piece in 1938 New York city…I could not get enough of this novel and read it in a couple of days. It totally felt like you were watching a Lana Turner and Marlon Brando movie… so good.

  16. angel canary

    November 30th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I love Little Bee! I actually bought that book at the bookstore at the airport and read it on the flight to Cali. when I went to one of your workshops. 😉 Love the book ends too! Adorable!

  17. Andrea Paris

    November 30th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I second your enthusiasm for Little Bee and thought it had the most beautifully written prose I’ve read in a long while. Right from the first paragraph you know this book is different. I love your book reviews and will have to check out Fifth Avenue, 5 am. Thanks to you I read Alice I Have Been and really enjoyed the read.

  18. Debra Eby

    November 30th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Okay, you are now my go-to woman for all things photography and reading. Listened to the Language of Flowers audio book on my trip to Florida, uh-mazing. Hmmm, could you also start helping me with menu planning? 🙂 Seriously woman, lovin’ all of it.

  19. Claudia

    November 30th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    As always; great post!

  20. Stephanie Rose

    November 30th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations! Those book ends are super.

  21. mbran

    November 30th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    How you found time to read…it’s beyond me!! Pretty insightful on ‘Little Bee’…definitely going to give it a good read (when time allows). When around, try ‘Heaven is for Real’, it was a book (for me) where I put many things at halt. Not a lengthy book but enough to get your interest.

  22. Heidi

    November 30th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I love your reading recommendation lists! This is my "summer vacation," so I’m always looking for a good book or two for while the littles are sleeping. Thanks!

  23. michelle

    November 30th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I came for the photography…
    but I stay for the book reviews.

    I LOVE when you recommend books. I got total all over body goosebumps reading about Little Bee. Off to Barnes & Noble. 🙂

  24. LEOLAK

    November 30th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Love the Good Reads posts!!! The bookends are adorable…I remember your tweet when you received them! Cool friends you got there!

  25. Life with Kaishon

    November 30th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    This made me want to go back out into the rainy, dreary night for a book. The Little Bee book!

    Any book that makes you cry in a cab has to be good.

  26. elle Danielle

    December 1st, 2011 at 12:33 am

    I loved Little Bee! Ironically, I also read it, last Summer on a flight to L.A.

  27. i'm kristen

    December 1st, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    ah, nice! i just might have to check "little bee" out 😀

  28. Belinda

    December 1st, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Those bookends are ADORABLE! At least you’re addicted to shopping for cute stuff, it could be worse. 😉

    Love when you share your good reads, I’m always at a loss for what to read and you have good taste!

  29. Shauna

    December 1st, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Jasmine, have you read "Lover’s Dictionary" by David Levithan? It’s not really a book, more like clippings from a journal. (I read it in about an hour and a half.) But it was amazing. I think you’d love it because he writes kind of like you. xoxo

  30. Kate Neal

    December 6th, 2011 at 2:49 am

    I LOVEDDD "Little Bee!" I just read it last year & also couldn’t put it down:o)

  31. Katie

    December 6th, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I read Little Bee a little over a year ago and fell in love with the story. SO beautiful. I love the relationship between the women. After passing it around to some friends and sisters in law it is finally back on my possession. I can’t wait to read it again… After I finish The Book Thief.