Book Review | GRIT: THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE by Angela Duckworth (2016)

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A Book Review by Vernitra Jones

Friday, October 19, 2018

I first started listening to GRIT: THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE by psychologist Angela Duckworth back in the spring of 2017 when I was living in New York City. I remember listening to the beginning of the book during my morning jogs/walks at the Riverbank State Park across the street from my apartment on Riverside Drive. In this well-researched work, Duckworth expounds on the life-changing power of dogged determination and follow-through.

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Reading Diary: October 2-13, 2018

TAR BABY + new job + chips & guac for lunch

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I got a new job! I am now an adult services librarian at a public library, and I am liking it. I really enjoyed being a children’s librarian at public libraries in the Houston area and New York City, and now I have the opportunity to explore a different side of the business. At every job I’ve had, I have always been blessed with great teammates, and this job is no different. Things are looking nice!

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[2018, Ep. 8] Currently Reading: May 24, 2018

In this video, I share the three books I’m currently reading:

1) Tar Baby by Toni Morrison

2) In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limit of Computation by William C. Cook

3) The Glamour Factory: Inside Hollywood’s Big Studio System by Ronald C. Davis

Book Review | Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes

garveys choice

Book Review | Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes (2016)

by Vernitra Jones

Some books just get into your heart, and Garvey’s Choice is one of them.

This beautifully and brilliantly written contemporary novel tells the story of an adolescent boy named Garvey who is struggling to find his place. As an overweight introvert with a passion for books and space, Garvey exists far outside the circle of what is considered cool and suffers daily verbal assaults by his peers. Perhaps even more heartbreaking than the rejection from his classmates is the wide emotional distance that exists between him and his dad. In his father’s eyes, real men aspire to athletic greatness, but Garvey’s mind is in the stars and on the smooth Luther Vandross music that soothes his soul. He medicates his feelings with food and nourishes his heart with the honest, warm friendship he shares with his only friend, Joe.

Garvey narrates the story through a series of concise yet emotionally charged poems which reveal his tenderness as well as his evolving strength. Grimes’s poetic language pairs well with her ability to subtly move the story forward, and she skillfully blends moments of pain and joy.

I loved reading this book, and every aspect of Grimes’s writing, from the characterizations to the style to the story, left a major impression on me. After finishing the book, the story sat with me for days, and I am sure to reflect on my reading experience for a long time to come.

I recommend this book to readers of all ages. Although it is categorized as a middle-grade book, I think readers above the middle-grade level will also appreciate and enjoy the story. Also, since there isn’t a major focus on Garvey’s age or grade level, I think this is a great high-low book for high-schoolers, meaning it’s a high-interest but low-readability book, which is great for an older reader who doesn’t want to be intimidated by the text. I would also recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt the pain of not fitting in or anyone who wants to understand that pain. I would also recommend this book to fans of Luther Vandross, who happens to be one of my favorite singers of all time. When you read the book, you’ll understand how he factors into the story!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

[2018, Ep. 6] “Book Review: Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes” (Middle-Grade)

In this episode, I share my thoughts on the amazing middle-grade novel GARVEY’S CHOICE by Nikki Grimes.

Vernitra’s Book Club [2018, Ep. 5] “Reading Vlog: Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes”

In this episode, I vlog about my experience reading the middle-grade novel GARVEY’S CHOICE by Nikki Grimes.

Vernitra’s Book Club [2018, Ep. 4] “Book Review: If This Was Happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth”

In this episode, I share my review of the book IF THIS WAS HAPPINESS: A BIOGRAPHY OF RITA HAYWORTH by Barbara Leaming.

Vernitra’s Book Club [2018, Ep. 3] “January TBR: Morrison, Television, Inspiration, Love Sagas, Comedy, and Confessions”

In this video, I share my January TBR which includes the following books:

THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison

SUCCESSFUL TELEVISION WRITING by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL: GOD’S PEARL GIRL by Fiona Mellett

ROSES by Leila Meacham

BORN STANDING UP: A COMIC’S LIFE by Steve Martin

THE MOTHER OF BLACK HOLLYWOOD by Jenifer Lewis

Vernitra’s Book Club [2018, Ep. 2] “2018: New Year, New Reading Goals”

In this episode, I share the status of my beginning-of-the-year book purge as well as my reading and channel goals for 2018.

Vernitra’s Book Club [2018, Ep. 1] “The Great Book Purge”

In this episode of my booktube channel “Vernitra’s Book Club” on YouTube, I introduce myself and my new channel as well as share my book-purging plans for the new year.