Book Review: No Crystal Stair

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is a fictional account of the life of Lewis Michaux, the author’s great-uncle. Nelson compiled stories of her uncle from family oral history, interviews, newspaper articles, and photographs and shaped them into this narrative.

Like I said in my Goodreads review, I love reading about little known figures who won’t be covered in history books. Michaux is definitely one of those figures. He takes five books and $100 and starts what will become one of the biggest bookstores in Harlem: the African National Memorial Bookstore.

I also loved the way Nelson juxtaposed the story of Lewis Michaux with his brother, a very big deal preacher named Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux. All in all, the story was really nicely done.

I am also really, really bummed I will never get a chance to visit the bookstore. I mean, really. How amazing would it be to not only go to a place where some of the biggest Civil Rights leaders used to hang out, but to go to a place with such a large collection of books by and about black people? With books that you couldn’t find anywhere else? I would totally have gone to Harlem just to visit this bookstore.

POC Reading Challenge: 2

Source: NetGalley

Book Tour Review: Overbite

I liked Meg Cabot‘s Overbite much more than I liked its predecessor, Insatiable.

For one, the pacing is a lot tighter. Everything moves quickly, making the book easy to read. The plot is simplified: Lucien comes back into Meena’s life just as tourists are disappearing in Manhattan. Overall, the story just works a lot more.

I also love Meena’s brother, and, of course, Alaric. (And I didn’t get that Alaric’s last name being Wulf makes the whole Alaric v. Lucien thing wolf v. vampire until someone on Goodreads pointed it out. I have to turn my brain off sometimes.) I am Team Alaric, obviously.

Meg Cabot still hates vampires, which I am forever grateful for.

Did I mention I love Meena’s brother? He’s really the highlight of this whole book fo rme. His man-crush on Alaric, his new vampire weapon, and his love for Yalena all make me want to squish him. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s literary boyfriend material, but he is, at the very least, one fun character.

Alaric can be my boyfriend, though. He’s great. And I love Jack Bauer (Meena’s dog).

I wish I could engage with Meena more, though. I’m sure if I did, I would’ve really enjoyed this book instead of just thinking it okay.

I definitely approve of the ending, though.

In conclusion: A quick read with some memorable characters and a lean plot. Would make a good beach/pool read.

Source: I received this book for free from the publisher to review.