Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment, in-house Hood By Air stylist Akeem Smith, one of FADER's stylists to watch, shares his favorite hood-centric fiction and sex-help guides.
A Sexy Part of The Bible
By Kola Boof
This book is the latest novel from author and womanist Kola Boof. Boof's claim to fame was being the mistress of America's bestie Osama Bin Laden. I have been a fan of her writing for years. Despite the title of the book, this novel has nothing to do with the Bible. The book is fiction, but it can easily be mistaken for science fiction– cloning, skin bleaching, alternate worlds become involved, even having nookie with God is in the mix. I'm not sure if I should map out the whole story or not, but I'll just give you a small dosage. The story is about Eternity, a young, African girl, raised by a white scientist transgender mom and arrogant father. The multi-layered, photoshopped images that Boof creates with her words is outstanding. All of the symbolism used depicted the struggle to define one's identity using violence, ancestry, and lived experience as the vehicles. If anyone is interested in African/African American history head over to Boof's Twitter, its extremely educational, self-absorbed and really entertaining.
Harlem Girl Lost
by Treasure Blue
I just had to revisit a hood book, reading a bunch of art books and critical analysis can subconsciously give you a pompous attitude towards other literary works. A true ode to the urban novel formula, The glamorization of the life of drug dealers and prostitution brings me into this ghetto realm that Blue has created. Protagonist Silver Jones, trying the steer away from the poverty and drugs lifestyle she grew up with, somehow ends up falling in love with a drug dealer. With extremely intense vivid sex scenes, a small dosage of social and political commentary, I know this book must be someone's reality out therein the hood. I think anyone that reads this book should read it as literary type rather than for sociological purposes.
Sex and the Single Senior: A Cougar's Search for Love
I'm obsessed with two things: sex and old people. I got familiar with the author Hattie, 72, seeing her in random NYC salvation armies, like the old lady that she is, she never missed a Wednesday 'half off everything' sale. She was also featured on HBO docu-series REAL Sex and TLC's Extreme Cougar Wives. In the book she talks about getting over a bad 25 year marriage, reaching her first orgasm at the age of 52 and all hoots of dating younger men. There are few sex stories in there, they aren't too explicit but definitely create weird, vivid images. Hattie is a spirit animal to many– she discusses her cruising tactics (slicker than any gay guy I know), "faking" orgasmss and her journey to finally feeling comfortable in her own skin. This book is for all ages to read, it gives me hope that I would age gracefully and wont be some old, grumpy, hunchback old man.