Ti’Asha Oglesby is committed to making reading cool again with her “lit” book club, Book Talks With Tee. A group of fellow readers gather on the first Thursday of every other month to have engaging conversations about the chosen book.
“Our mission really is to engage readers and creatives in energized conversations and organic experiences and that’s just really what we’re committed to.” Oglesby says.
PATTERN sat down with Oglesby to dissect the list of her favorite reads from the book club thus far!
Where The Crawdads Sings
I really wanted to start here because since I was structuring the book club, I had so many moving parts. I wanted to pick a book that makes sense and right at that moment, during the pandemic, Where The Crawdads Sings was the most popular read at the time. The book is about a girl who was isolated and abandoned by her family. She learned to grow up on her own. She falls in love with someone that ends up getting murdered, so the story turns real quick. It definitely was a quick plot twist, to say the least.
I’m not really a thriller reader, but this book has you a little shook in the beginning. From the beginning to the end, it’s pretty intense. I was having nightmares [laughs]. I’m a pretty vivid dreamer and it was coming to life, but it’s a really good story about the reality of immigration and the journey of it all. It’s about a mother and son going from Mexico, and I think they ended up in North Texas, but the journey in which they got there was just extremely wild and dangerous. I definitely think it was eye-opening because sometimes we don’t know all the ups and downs.
The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing Half is probably one of my favorites that we’re read so far. It’s a story about colorism and racism. It’s two twin sisters; one is really light, and one is more brown-skinned. They’re born in like the 1930s, so it was a pretty tough time in America for sure. That was a cool story. It’s just two twin sisters playing two separate lives, and eventually were able to come back. A lot of different types of hardship, you know. There are also some Jim Crow things that are going on in there, too. Highly recommend!
The Last Thing He Told Me
This book starts off pretty good. It’s a story about a stepmother/daughter relationship; how that can be portrayed, especially in books, is always similar. It was hard for me, because I love my stepmom and the daughter definitely hated her stepmom in the beginning. The husband goes missing in the story and the stepmother started to discover more about her husband as he goes missing. Trying to find out what happened with the husband and why he left actually brought the mother and daughter closer together, which I thought was nice.
Seven Days in June
Seven Days in June is fire! It’s a story about when you get the old thing back; like when you’re together and then life happens, and then you rekindle. It was definitely a good, hopeful romance because things were not looking good for either one of them until they were able to rekindle naturally.
Can't Hurt Me
David Goggins is insane. I really didn’t know much about David Goggins. He’s in the military, but he’s also a triathlete and all kinds of other things; a very intense human being to say the least. He really motivates you. When you’re reading this, you’re like, I’m not doing enough. He was just so disciplined and that’s what it really comes down to. It’s really the standard of what you hold yourself to.
Will Smith with Mark Manson
We all know Will Smith, a well-known public figure especially in the Black community. What I loved about this is that Will is an entertainer. He made the book extremely entertaining as well. He really brought the book to life. He has a scene that I specifically remember of him at his childhood church. In the audiobook, you can hear the organ playing in the background, and him being able to change the voice throughout the reading and the dialogue just made it super fun. Also, to see more about his true story, that was good. Again, best audiobook I’ve ever experienced.
Ashley C. Ford
Somebody’s Daughter is probably the most special to us as a club because Ashley Ford actually joined us; which was extremely major. We had the honor of going to Ball State with her. Being able to ask her questions after reading the book was probably one of the most memorable experiences from the club that I really felt made it a very unique thing for everybody who was involved. We have people who didn’t even read the book, but were still able to connect with her. I think her memoir is so real. She was so candid, and so genuine. I’ll never forget it, and I can never thank her enough. It’s super relatable. Even if it’s not her exact story, there are pieces that you can definitely find. Everybody has an entry point to this book.
It Ends With Us
It Ends With Us was the last book that we read and discussed. It was a nice romance novel. Of course, all romance has some conflict so that’s pretty much what happens here. I think there’s a special play on words with the title, It Ends With Us, and what that meant, as far as how the two ended up back together.
Viola is changing my life a little bit right now. That’s our current read. This is her biography and I would also recommend the interview she did with Oprah on Netflix. They go through the book. I watched the interview first, I don’t know if that’s good or not but I love the way she starts the first paragraph of her book. It took me in and it really sets the tone for the whole book. You look at Viola, and you see she’s so successful, and to know how she really got there is crazy!