Why She Wrote - Book Review


 
Talk about Literary classics! 

"Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers", written by Hannah K. Chapman and Lauren Burke and illustrated by Kaley Bales, features eighteen (18) women writers in the 18th-19th centuries whose unique writings became their legacies. ⁣
 ⁣ The book is a combination of prose and illustrations, and it explores 𝘸𝘩𝘺 these women wrote, crucial moments in each writer's life when their writing took a turning point, and how they became such sensations -- some while they still lived, and others posthumously.⁣ ⁣
I loved how reading about these women took me down memory lane to my university days when we studied their works vigorously in my English Lit classes. Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Jane Austen, Mary Anne Evans (alias George Eliot), Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley, Frances E. W. Harper, Louisa May Alcott -- these ladies' works are, to me, the embodiment of what classic literature is all about.⁣

It's evident a lot of research was done to put this book together to what it is now -- a beautiful compilation about the women who took literature to different levels, and whose legacies still live on today. ⁣ ⁣
To anyone looking to read more classics -- this book provides a great introduction. An exceptional read indeed.⁣ ⁣ Many thanks to Chronicle books and Netgalley for my advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review. "Why She Wrote" was published on April 20, 2021 and is available for purchase.⁣ 
 ⁣ ⁣ ᴍʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⁣
ᴍᴀᴛᴜʀɪᴛʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 13+
ɢᴇɴʀᴇ: ᴄʟᴀꜱꜱɪᴄ ᴍᴇᴍᴏɪʀꜱ, ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʀʏ ᴄʟᴀꜱꜱɪᴄꜱ, ɢʀᴀᴘʜɪᴄ ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ⁣
 

ZIKORA - Book Review

 

BACK COVER SYNOPSIS
When Zikora, a DC lawyer from Nigeria, tells her equally high-powered lover that she’s pregnant, he abandons her. But it’s Zikora’s demanding, self-possessed mother, in town for the birth, who makes Zikora feel like a lonely little girl all over again. Stunned by the speed with which her ideal life fell apart, she turns to reflecting on her mother’s painful past and struggle for dignity. Preparing for motherhood, Zikora begins to see more clearly what her own mother wants for her, for her new baby, and for herself.


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One thing that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's books all have in common is they leave you thinking for days. The author gives you room to make your own conclusions and mull over things that were said and unsaid, and in truth, only a skilled writer can pull that off well. ⁣

 'Zikora' is one of such reads -- a really good short story that I enjoyed; however, I wasn't thrilled about the ending because it seemed incomplete to me. ⁣
 
Zikora gets pregnant for her boyfriend whom she thought would be her 'forever' man, but to her utter shock (and mine too), he breaks up with her when she tells him the news, wanting nothing to do with her or their baby. I was mortified for her and thought somehow he'd come around at some point, but he never did.⁣
 ⁣ Zikora and her mother never had a good relationship, but during her pregnancy and after giving birth, she begins to feel a certain appreciation for her mum and a new-found understanding about the actions and decisions her mother made while she was growing up.⁣ 

Even though the story left me wanting more (which made me wistful), there's no denying the author's skilled way of confronting the struggles that women in various life stages -- daughter, new mother, wife -- face. ⁣ ⁣ Adichie is a skilled writer, that's certain!

 ⁣ ᴍʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5⁣ ɢᴇɴʀᴇ: ʟɪᴛᴇʀᴀʀʏ ꜰɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ⁣
ᴍᴀᴛᴜʀɪᴛʏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 13+


Interview with A. P. Knight, Author of 'Donatus Institute: New Beginnings'

 Apr. 19, 2021

I was privileged to invite Author A. P. Knight for an interview to discuss his latest book Donatus Institute: New Beginnings. Enjoy!


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What's your book about, and what inspired you to write it?

Donatus Institute: New Beginnings is the first book of a trilogy, and it tells the story of an 18-year old who learns through deep pain and an expert teacher what in life is worth holding to with all the strength he has.  As for the inspiration of the book, hard times have taught me many important lessons in life.  Creating a story has allowed me to share some of those lessons.

Who is your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?

Given the age of the protagonist, a young adult audience is the most logical.  That said, a wide range of ages have enjoyed the book, from grade-schoolers to grandparents.  So, basically anyone who likes a book that is as thoughtful as it is lighthearted and entertaining will enjoy Donatus Institute: New Beginnings.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?

Life can betray you and rip from you all that was once valuable.  But in such times of utter humility, there is still hope.  Though you may have to fight as you’ve never fought before, there is hope for those who seek it.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The last book I wrote was the final book in the Donatus Institute series, and since it was the final book, all the details had to fit together perfectly.  It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly took careful thought.

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?

I learned that I can actually write a book.  I never had dreams of becoming an author, so the mere fact that I was able to complete the book was a pleasant surprise.  And to think that people actually like the book?  Wow.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  

I suppose I prefer traditional books, but I’m not picky.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?

So far young adult with a crossover appeal to adults is my sweet spot, but I’ve entertained the idea of writing grade school chapter books.  You know, lighthearted books that will entertain a younger audience.

What books and authors have most influenced you?

Maybe this is the wrong thing to say given the times, but I enjoyed Dr. Seuss growing up, and I would say that he has influenced me the most.  He was able to teach good morals in an entertaining way, and I like that.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you?

It’s not important that people know this about me, but maybe they’ll find it interesting: I have post-concussion syndrome.

Do you have any more books in the works?

Maybe an idea or two, but nothing imminent.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yup, I read them, but they don’t affect me too much one way or the other.  I listen to people I trust, not so much to people I don’t know.

How can readers get in touch with or follow you (website, personal blog, social media handle, Goodreads)?

Website: authorapknight.com
Twitter: @Author_APKnight


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Andy isn’t the stereotypical author.  Not only would he prefer a Dr. Seuss book to a classic, but he’d also rather have a ball in his hands than a keyboard under his fingers.  But one day a story popped into his mind that he deemed too important not to write, and a year later the Donatus Institute series was completed.  If you're searching for a clean read that is as stirring as it is inspiring, then the Donatus Institute series is for you.

A Midwesterner to his core, Andy prefers the simple life: shooting hoops, shagging pop flies in the outfield, hanging out with family, and scarfing down heaping bowls of chocolate ice cream.