Recommended Reading | Jonah's Gourd Vine

 What's the last book you read that took you to a different time and place?

zora neale hurston books

Reading Jonah's Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston a few months back transported me to the deep south via 1920-something, thanks to Zora Neale Hurston and her way with vivid imagery + colorful dialect.

While breezing through Jonah's Gourd Vine, I met this super charming preacher named John Pearson who just couldn't seem to leave the ladies alone, much to his wife Lucy's chagrin. Due to his chasing and constant running, I was introduced to so many interesting characters from "over the creek" and miles between Alabama and Florida. And every time I thought John was gonna chill out & get his (I promised not to curse while discussing this book) fool self together, he came with more foolishness. This man was the busiest guy I've met through typed pages in a minute!

Without giving too much away, I just wanted to share that I enjoyed this book so much. Zora Neale Hurston is a gem and no personal library is complete without her work. I made a vow at the beginning of the year to read more from her, so I decided to start with her first published book. If reading about the lives of beautifully flawed black folks in the deep south is your bag (as it def is mine), I recommend that you give Jonah's Gourd Vine a read. I hope you laugh, gasp, and shake your head as much as I did while reading it, too.


Have you read Jonah's Gourd Vine yet? 
What's your favorite Zora Neale Hurston book?

#SoDreDoesVinyl | Shea Butter Baby by Ari Lennox

ari lennox vinyl

Shea Butter Baby celebrated a 4-year anniversary yesterday, but I'll admit it's always been in my rotation since it dropped. We love all things Ari around here, so you know her studio debut album will always get preferential treatment on the spins. 

Vibing with this album always feels like I'm in a cotton candy daydream sequence, draped in pink cashmere, sipping chardonnay in a cloud of spice-tinged smoke. I'm in my own private lounge, and Miss Ari enters stage left, adorned in a white mink fur and endless pearls. She croons the blues front & center, yet her tone seems to fill the room from a faraway place. Her smooth, sticky-sweet voice envelops the space much like the imaginary smoke I'm surrounded by. And as moments pass, Ari sings on about the loneliness that settles in like an uninvited guest once the excitement of buying her new apartment wears off. Even if I don't feel like what she's singing in the moment, I FEEL what she's singing, all the time, if that makes sense. As I've told y'all before--- Ari can sing about bathwater and I'd be with it. But anyways...

My favorites from Shea Butter Baby are "Broke," "Up Late," "I Been," and "Whipped Cream" (if you know me, you know that "Whipped Cream" had a hold on me in 2019 😩). I sometimes add "Pop" to the list, depending on who I'm talking to. Either way, this album rides ALL THE WAY THROUGH for me and I never tire of it. 

Are you an Ari Lennox fan? 
What are your favorite songs from her? 
And do you love Shea Butter Baby as much as I do?
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