Mailbox Monday: March 7

by Notorious Spinks on 03.07.2011

Mailbox Monday w/ Notorious Spinks




Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


My week was okay.  I got a couple of books.  What about you?

Long Shot: My Bipolar Life and the Horses Who Saved Me by Sylvia Harris

Harris struggled for decades with bipolar disorder, which surfaced shortly after she left high school. Her love of horses became her salvation. She first owned a horse at age 12 when her family “was living the American dream on a cul-de-sac in Santa Rosa,” but hard times followed for Harris, along with wild manic episodes. Her illness led to bizarre behavior; at a party she hurled handfuls of chocolate pudding at the walls “as if I were Jackson Pollock (another manic-depressive) throwing paint onto a huge canvas.” Buddhism and medications helped, but her personal life was in disarray until she transitioned from homelessness to horse grooming in Ocala, Fla. Working with horses, riding, and training, she got a jockey’s license, overcoming the problems of being a woman in a male-dominated sport. “Against all odds,” she writes, “at forty years old, I became the first African American woman in Chicago racing history to win a race and only the second in U.S. history.” As the book goes into the homestretch, Harris details how she discovered the healing power of horses and got her life back on track.

Land of Opportunity: One Family’s Quest for the American Dream in the Age of Crack by William M. Adler

This is the story of brothers Billy Joe and Larry Chambers, “crack capitalists” or “ghetto capitalists” now in prison. They came north in the 1980s from Arkansas, where unemployment for young black males approached 50 percent, where many full-time workers qualified for food stamps, and where the per capita income in 1990 was only $6,387. Downtown Detroit was depressed too, and journalist Adler interweaves personal interviews, court records, news accounts, and background chapters reminiscent of Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land (LJ 2/15/91) to show crack distribution as a rational career choice. He enlarges on the business metaphor to show how sources of supply and quality control were insured and how reliable workers were trained, managed, and recruited from the brothers’ hometown. Unlike the individualist cocaine dealer in Robert Sabbag’s Snowblind (1976), the Chamberses are portrayed as well-organized mass-marketing distributors, and this book contributes to the literature on the economics of the narcotics trade.

So what was in your mailbox?  Leave your link and the comments so I can come by and visit.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Hattie Norman June 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

I would like to read Long Shot: Thanx.


Literary Marie March 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Looking forward to your review of “Long Shot.”


Mary March 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Both sound intense! I hope they’re good reads.


Mystica March 8, 2011 at 8:37 am

Interesting reads here. Enjoy.


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