Best of 2019 – Nonfiction

The best of 2019 continues, I am trying not to take the whole of January 2020 to share everything but I also don’t want to spam anyone. Lesson learned, I will plan better to have these done in December but sometimes that’s hard when you’re trying to finish just one more book.

STAND BY YOUR TRUTH by Rickey Smiley

“No” is a complete sentence that requires no explanation.

“Everyone needs to know how to say that word with confidence and power. People may hate to hear it, but they’ll get over it. And the word “no” will save you a lot of headaches in the meantime.”

“No. No. No. I did not stutter.”

Stand by Your Truth, Rickey Smiley

I’ve been a fan of Rickey Smiley’s comedy for many years. I’ve even seen one of his comedy shows in person. I listen to his radio show, I’ve seen his reality TV show, Rickey Smiley For Real, and I always have a lot of good stomach hurting laughter. I laughed at his matter of fact but truthful approach even to something that’s seemingly simple but sometimes hard to execute.


“Your voice is caught in the traffic between your brain and your mouth.  You can’t even look up.  You find a space on the floor, stare at it until it blurs.  You think of something you love.  Someone who loves you in ways you understand.”

I'm Telling the Truth but I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi


EXCEPTIONAL READING. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. These essays felt like flesh and blood; the constant pretense that’s everythings fine, but it’s not. Ikipi shares in these pages, her life with bipolar II and anxiety. It’s visceral and one I can’t stop recommending. Please see full review linked above.



“When I think ’bout dat time I try not to cry no mo’. My eyes dey stop cryin’ but de tears runnee down inside me all de time.”

There aren’t any words I can use except thank you to Hurston for sharing Cudjo’s history, in his voice.  The tears run down inside of me when I contemplate this time in history.  I had never considered women soldiers who helped capture people, contributing to the illegal slave trade.  African kings who made this possible.

Hurston says its best, the epigraph at the beginning, a quote from her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road, “But the inescapable fact that struck in my craw, was: my people had sold and the white people had bought me…. It impressed upon me the universal nature of greed and glory.”


Published by booksbythecup

Lover of good books and tea

2 thoughts on “Best of 2019 – Nonfiction

  1. The way Cudjo communicated, dick that it sounded both wise and childish (all the words that ended in ee) just tore me right up. After I finished Huston’s book, I bought another about that time period and Lewis called Dreams Africa in Alabama.


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