What Did You Think of… Just Above My Head?

What did you

Today we are going to talk about May’s book of the month, Just Above My Head by James Baldwin.  But first, let’s check out this book and see what it is all about.


The stark grief of a brother mourning a brother opens this novel with a stunning, unforgettable experience.  Here, in a monumental saga of love and rage, Baldwin goes back to Harlem, to the church of his groundbreaking novel Go Tell It on the Mountain, to the homosexual passion of Giovanni’s Room, and to the political fire that enflames his nonfiction work.  Here, too, the story of gospel singer Arthur Hall and his family becomes both a journey into another country of the soul and senses–and a living contemporary history of black struggle in this land.

Questions to think about and/or answer:

1 – What about this story rings true to society today?

2 – What did you think of the entire novel?

3 – Why was Julia’s relationship with her mother stranded?  And with her brother?

4 – What do you think happened to Peanut?


“The work of a born storyteller at the height of his powers…  glimpses of family life in Harlem, rapturous music-making in the churches, moments of uneasiness in even the most casual meetings between whites and blacks–scenes that Baldwin seems preternaturally gifted in understanding.”  –The New York Times Book Review

“A fine novel…it seems impossible for [Baldwin] to write with anything other than eloquence.  His great and peculiar power is to re-create the maddening halfway house that the black man finds himself in late-twentieth-century America.”  The New Yorker

Mocha Girls Speak

1035876Mocha Girl Medina

Dear Lawd Jesus!!!!! DamndamndamnJAMES!
It was a song, a poem, an enterprise of faith. I am too attached to this book, the mechanics of Baldwin’s writing, and its content to be very objective in reviewing it.
Suffice it to say, if you have no knowledge of traditional gospel music, you will miss the grace of this text. As a music head & a girl grow’d up in the Chu’ch, this hit home….but beyond that…aaahhh!
I cannot, it is too close to me.
This is one of my favorite books ever and will probably be my favorite Baldwin work. I will be re-reading it immediately, like, starting tomorrow. It. Is. Incredible.

4482714Mocha Girl Meilani

My absolute favorite of Baldwin, or anyone, ever. I haven’t been as moved by literature since the time I read this novel. So painfully incredible and joyous to be lost in these words.

50118967Mocha Girl Jessica

This is my first James Baldwin read, however, I will need to read some of his books before this one. One of the initial books that he became famous for, because from reading this novel I can see that he is a very artistic writer. I just cannot see giving the story more than 3 stars. I like that he developed most of the characters very well and brought me into their world, however, I felt I was brought in quite a bit, but was left hanging at points. I did not like that Hall was the narrator telling the story for others, very intimate details and this made it unrealistic.

Product Details


What did you think of Just Above My Head by James Baldwin?

Big & Stylish

Label 1The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz describes Oscar as, ‘fat and awkward;’ two words not usually used to describe someone fashion-forward or stylish. In this months book, the character loves comic books, fantasy novels and role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, and he doesn’t know how to talk to girls; ALL things hinting at L 7 but in today’s post, we’ve found former nerds that are big and stylish.

Let’s have a look… [Read more…]

June Giveaway Winner

Screen+Shot+2014-06-29+at+9.23.29+AMIt’s winner time again!

We hosted a giveaway on this website from June 6th to June 19th now is the time to announce the winner.
First, let me first say, thank you so much to everyone for stopping by Mocha Girls Read website, commenting and entering the giveaway.
Now on to the winner… *Drumroll*



for winning the Jumping Genres in June Giveaway Hop.  Ashley was sent an  ARC The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor.  Check it out.  You might find yourself jumping into a new genre. 

Stay tune a new monthly giveaway will start soon.

July’s Book of the Month: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Your votes have been counted!
7 days of nominations!
7 days of voting!
And this book won by a landslide.
We have a winner for our July 2016 book of the month.

The Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for July is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Take a minute to see what this book is all about.


In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

About the Author

31w6CB6-QkL._UX250_Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for TheAtlantic.com and the magazine. He is the author of the 2008 memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. His book Between the World and Me, released in 2015, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2015. (read more)

Author’s Page: http://www.ta-nehisi.com/2012/10/shopping-with-carid.html

Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1214964.Ta_Nehisi_Coates

Buy the Book

Congratulations to Ta-Nehisi Coates for being July’s book of the month.  Feel free to leave comments below or at Goodreads.com. We are looking forward to hearing what you all think of this month’s selection.

Keep the pages turning ladies.

Quote it

Michael Jordan