"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Review: Two new books by the same two friends

Jason Reynolds (author) and Jason Griffin (artist) have been best friends since college days. In 2022 they collaborated on two different projects which led to these two books:

Ain't Burned All the Bright


My Name is Jason. Mine Too. Our Story Our Way 

In My Name is Jason the two men tell their story of leaving college, moving to New York, and living the life of starving artists. They tell this story in poetry and artwork. The back page of the cover sums up the book this way: A poet. An artist. / One black. One white. / Two voices. One journey. Both the art and the poetry capture the mood and the flux of their lives at that time, 25 years ago. Now Reynolds is a published author of over ten book and was the 2020-21 Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Griffin has partnered with Reynolds on other works, has displayed his art around the world, and has created commissioned murals.

A page from My Name is Jason. Mine Too.

Ain't Burned All the Bright was born out of the 2020 pandemic and Black Lives Matter riots. Reynolds was stuck at home, like all of us, and he needed an outlet to express his feelings. He contacted Griffin and the project was born. The book cover flap describes the book this way: Jason Reynolds using three longgggggg sentences, and Jason Griffin, using three hundred pages of a pocket-size moleskin, have mind-melded this fierce-vulnerable-brilliant-terrifying-whatiswrongwithhumans-hopefilled-hopeful-tender-heartbreaking-heartmaking manifesto on what it means not to be able to breathe, and how the people and things at your fingertips are actually the oxygen you most need.

The work is profound and moving. It truly captures our pandemic years -- the pain, loneliness, restlessness, and  our reliance on family members in our inner circles. Since it only has three sentences, even though they are long ones, the art has to carry a lot of the messages. Both my husband and have remarked that we want/need to read books published since the pandemic lock-downs since they will reflect our lived experiences. This is one such book. 

The news is so bad. Why won't anyone change the channel? Sample from Ain't Burned the Bright.

I highly recommend both books to you.


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