Tag Archives: Boredom-Busters

SCL Boredom-Buster #13: “Nobody Called Me Charlie,” by Charles Preston

Good morning, y’all! Today’s Boredom-Buster is:

Nobody called me Charlie: the story of a radical white journalist writing for a Black newspaper in the Civil Rights era, by Charles Preston.

  • In the 1940s, at the height of segregation, Charles Preston became the unlikely newest worker at a black owned-and-operated newspaper. Preston, a white man and, unbeknownst to most of his colleagues, a member of the Communist Party, quickly came face to face with issues of race and injustice that would profoundly impact his life and change the way he understood United States society. This fictionalized account . . . takes on the central question of this nation’s history: can a truly human and humane society be built on a foundation of profound and pervasive racial inequality? Of course, the answer is no. Yet how do we make such a society? Or put another way, how must white people try to live their lives and how must they connect with their black brothers and sisters, personally and politically, to make a world in which the horrible scars of racism are healed once and for all? The answer that shines through Preston’s book–whether he is writing (and reporting) about work, local politics, the civil rights struggle, housing, education, entertainment,travel, sports, business, child-rearing, friendship, or intimate relationships–is that whites must do what he did: give up their whiteness. This is a book you will not forget.” (Source Syndetic Solutions)

Enjoy! And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for our next pick! :)

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SCL Boredom-Buster #12: “Stereotyping Africa: surprising answers to surprising questions”

Here’s some Boredom-Busting food for thought! Check out today’s non-fiction SCL Pick, featuring a FAQs section on many common myths and stereotypes about Africa and Africans:


Stereotyping Africa: surprising answers to surprising questions, by Emmanuel Fru Doh

  • “Characteristically, Africans in any Western country are asked so many different questions about ‘Africa,’ as Westerners love to refer to the many countries that make up that huge continent, as if Africa were a single nation state. So one begins wondering why it is that Africans, on the other hand, do not refer to individual European countries as “Europe” simply, then the trends and consequences of stereotyping begin setting in just as one is getting used to being asked if Africa has a president, or if one can say something in African. It is some of these questions that Emmanuel Fru Doh has collected over the years and has attempted answering them in an effort to shed some light on a continent that is in many ways like the rest of the world, when not better, but which so many love to paint as dark, backward, chaotic, and pathetic.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading!

SCL Boredom-Buster #11: “The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter,” by Peggy Vonsherie Allen

This week the SCL Boredom-Busters series continues with summer reading recommendations in non-fiction, as a complement to the fiction and poetry titles we’ve highlighted thus far. Today’s pick is:

The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter, by Peggy Vonsherie Allen.

  • “This is a true story of the struggle, survival, and ultimate success of a large black family in south Alabama who, in the middle decades of the 20th century, lifted themselves out of poverty to achieve the American dream of property ownership. Descended from slaves and sharecroppers in the Black Belt region, this family of hard-working parents and their thirteen children is mentored by its matriarch, Moa, the author’s beloved great grandmother, who passes on to the family, along with other cultural wealth, her recipe for moonshine. . . Told in clean, straightforward prose, the story radiates the suffocating midday heat of summertime cotton fields and the biting winter wind sifting through porous shanty walls. It conveys the implicit shame in “Colored Only” restrooms, drinking fountains, and eating areas; the beaming satisfaction of a job well done recognized by others; the “yessum” manners required of southern society; and the joyful moments, shared memories, and loving bonds that sustain-and even raise-a proud family.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading! :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #10: “Hard Times Require Furious Dancing,” by Alice Walker

A very happy Friday to you all! We conclude our week of summer reading recommendations in poetry with the following new title:


Hard times require furious dancing, by Alice Walker, and available here at the SCL.

  • “Pulitzer Prize-winning author Walker (‘The Color Purple’) confronts personal and collective challenges in words that dance, sing, and heal, in this new collection of poems.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Missed any of our previous Boredom-Busters posts? Not to worry, here’s a quick recap of this week’s picks:

Enjoy! Next week our Anti-Boredom Month series continues with recommendations in non-fiction…. Until then, we hope you all have a fabulous weekend! :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #9: “Starting today : 100 poems for Obama’s first 100 days”

Today’s boredom-busting SCL pick features yet another innovative poetry project, first published online as a collective artistic response to Barack Obama’s first one hundred days as U.S. President:

Starting today: 100 poems for Obama’s first 100 days, edited by Rachel Zucker & Arielle Greenberg, and available here at the SCL. You can also check out the blog that started it all here.

  • “Starting Today contains 100 poems written during-and responding to-Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. The poems included in this anthology, except for Elizabeth Alexander’s inauguration poem, were all written no more than a day before they appeared on the popular blog “Starting Today: Poems for the First 100 Days” . The result is a work that documents the political and personal events of those crucial days through a variety of contemporary poetic voices, from the ebullient to the admiring, from the pithy to the loquacious. . . Difficult to categorize but easy to enjoy, the poems in Starting Today offer something for every type of poetry reader, from the novice to the seasoned. This smart, timely collection offers a swirling portrait of the American Zeitgeist-a poetic reportage that demonstrates spontaneity, collaboration, immediacy, and accessibility.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading! We hope you’ll tune back in tomorrow for our final poetry recommendation of the month. :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #8: “Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry”

Yesterday‘s SCL summer reading recommendation featured poems resulting from a single author’s writing project – to compose first thing in the morning. Today’s poetry selection comes from across the pond and features myriad poets responding to a single prompt: the word “red.” Check out:


Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry, edited by Kwame Dawes, and available here at the Stone Center Library.

  • “Inspired by the word ‘red,’ this collection of poems written by black British writers–including both established authors and new, exciting poets–explores the subjects and ideas stirred by a single trigger, from the word’s usual associations with blood, violence, passion, and anger, as well as with sensuality and sexuality, to more surprising interpretations such as the link to a particular mood, the quality of light in the sky, the color of skin, and the sound of a song. This remarkable compilation succeeds in generating poems that find an intriguing resonance with each other while also revealing images and themes unique to the individual poets.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Enjoy! And tune in tomorrow as our series of Boredom-Busters continues! :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #7: “Wake-up calls: 66 morning poems”

Good morning, faithful readers!

Last week we kick-started our Boredom-Busters series of summer reading recommendations with selections in fiction. This week, we’ll be highlighting picks in poetry.

Today, the Stone Center Library recommends:

Wake-up calls: 66 morning poems, by Wanda Phipps, and available here at the Library.

  • “A collection of Wanda Phipps’s best poems from her writing project in which she wrote every day right after she awoke, Wake-Up Calls is a fascinating reflection of the many different moods a person can have in the morning and a very personal glimpse into the author’s life (she was moving into a new home at the time). Phipps explores issues of identity and self with a freshness of voice and imagery fortuitously captured in the state between dreaming and fully waking up.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading, and remember to check back in tomorrow for Boredom-Buster #8! Interested in following up on one of our previous selections? Click here for the rest of the series.