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A girl’s got to read, this all Clutchettes know. So, to help navigate the ever-expanding world of books, Uptown Literati is here to provide a weekly reading list. We’re a fresh, book blog for cool girls and great reads (check us out on our site [uptownliteratti.blogspot.com] and we’ll be dishing on what you need to be reading now: classic tomes, sassy fiction, juicy tell-alls and every type of paperback in between. Happy reading!

Who: African-American award-winning journalist Charlayne-Hunter Gault

AFR203What: New News Out of Africa. Hunter-Gault brings her seasoned experience as a reporter on South Africa’s apartheid era to this optimistic view that Africa is taking its new place in the sun.

Why: With the once-weak economies in Africa suddenly burgeoning, New News takes a close look at Africa’s renaissance. Hunter-Gault paints a strong portrait of the continent, away from the misguided media spotlight that shines on decay and destructive imagery. Hunter-Gault gives beautiful insight into Africa’s growth from years ago, and all the indicators that point to its bright future.

Rating: 4 stars

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Who: 100-percent-fabulous scribe Erica Kennedy

What: Feminista, the magazine writer-cum-novelist’s second book. Like the title implies, Sydney Zamora’s a heroine cut from a familiar female protagonist cloth, but she’s got some hardcore edges. Beautiful and successful, Sydney’s still another man-less gal in the city. A lesbian sister, one crazy matchmaker and a very rich man make for hilarious and thoughtful reading. A warning: the book’s full of literal LOL moments, so beware reading it in a public place.

Why: Kennedy’s smart-mouth prose has been labeled “Bitch Lit,” which is something like chick lit’s snarkier, sassier and sarcastic girlfriend. The increased freedom of the new sub-genre (no damsels in distress here) make the hunt for love much more fun.

Rating: 4 stars

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Who: Portuguese novelist and journalist José Saramago

What: Blindness, a neo-apocalyptic parable with a hypothetical plotline that centers on what would happen to a man if he found himself without a crucial sense—sight—and fending for himself. The challenges that result—disorientation, starvation, abuse, neglect, and savagery—bombard the psyche, leaving little time for reflexes to react before the next assault.

Why: Blindness speaks to our deepest fear (the unknown) and our most shared desire: the will to survive against all odds. It will leave you exhausted and simultaneously exhilarated as you venture with the characters through one dark forest to the next, praying desperately for the end to a pervasive white blindness that seems endless.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Who: Sylvia Plath, noted poet

What: The Bell Jar, Plath’s only novel, is a largely autobiographical account of young Esther Greenwood’s struggle with mental illness. Taking place over a six-month period, this story is crisp and doesn’t bleed emotion, but will nonetheless leave your heart and mind open.

Why: Witnessing Esther fight her way out of college, a passionless relationship and, ultimately, out of the confines that come along with being a woman in the ’50s is at once amazing and devastating; Plath committed suicide shortly after publishing the book. Angsty Julia Stiles is set to star in an upcoming big-screen adaptation of the book.

Rating: 5 stars

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  • Great choices, I love Sylvia Plath!