Literally, Judging a Book By It’s Cover!

I’m certain that at some point we’ve all heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover”, which is great advice I’ve always tried to stay mindful of, especially regarding people. However, that was not the case when I stumbled upon the books featured here today. As I recall the time I came across them in my haste and excitement at a yard sale, my thoughts were not only that I was getting a great bargain for $1, but I was also intrigued by the covers which sparked my curiosity. In this particular one shown above, my hope was that it would reveal information that may be useful later in life. I’m not sure what I may have been going through at that time. I was obviously still young as well as a bit naïve perhaps. The second book (shown below), well let’s just say by the cover alone you can probably quess what I expected to find inside. Although both were great reads for completely different reasons, initially I was disappointed upon discovering that neither offered what I’d anticipated, resulting in a lesson why not to “literally judge a book by it’s cover”!

Not that I ever actually wanted to kill a boyfriend or think that I would have to, but lets just say I like to be prepared. The book basically revolved around a woman who abducts another female in an attempt at convincing her to help kill the boyfriend. Unfortunatly, circumstances lead to an interesting twist where suddenly the lives of the two women is in jeopardy after becoming best friends. Within the title it actually states “in ten easy steps”. During a time when consumer’s were overwhelmed by marketing strategies that convinced people certain tasks were easily accomplished in “steps”. Losing weight, how to quit smoking and even cooking meals to name a few. I found the book to be most useful by simply leaving it in plain sight on my coffee table. I loved the reaction when ever males visited. Be it friends or relatives on occassion, their responses were always interesting and somewhat humorous. My brother’s especially would say “you’re crazy as hell Toot-Toot” (my childhood nickname). When it came to a male suitor, it was obvious the book made them nervous (my various black widow tattoo’s didn’t help either). Only my brother’s or those close to me would inquire about the book. Others were afraid to ask and acted as if they hadn’t noticed it sitting there, eventhough I couldn’t help but notice their eyes repeatedly glancing at it while continuing to squirm in their seat. Most of them I never heard from again. Seemingly it was the alpha males (or those who thought they were) who were bold enough to ask about it or even go as far as to challenge me with questions that I always met with a witty response. Maybe that’s why I’m single now, lol. I was never surprised at all but did find their reactions as a whole to be extremely entertaining.

While Hung does in fact reference the myths of penis size and the endowment of African American men, it’s also a double entendre as the author writes about the times when black men were literally being hung from trees. I was surprised to find that he opens the book with a letter to Emmett Till, the young boy who was lynched in the 50’s for whistling at a white woman. The author spins a brilliant web to express how sexuality among black males is depicted throughout books, sports, movies as well as pornography. He reaches back to the times of lynching and the Jim Crow era writing about how black men were often disfigured by having their genitals cut off in an attempt of psychologically torture causing them to feel less inferior to other race groups. The author continues by sharing how African American men; when it comes to sexuality are often given the more dominent roles in film mentioning actors such as Denzel Washington as well as famous athletes often reffered to as “mandigo’s”, which according to the Urban dictionary loosely means “big black guy”. Overall Hung was a very enlightening read, offering a perspective I hadn’t given much thought until I began to adjust my mental lens while viewing men of my culture in society, particularly those of a certain social status.

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a “G-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

55 thoughts on “Literally, Judging a Book By It’s Cover!

  1. These both look like great books, Tammy!
    I thought it was fairly humorous that you displayed them in full view and hardly anyone thumbed through them to see what they were about!
    I agree, one should never judge a book by its cover!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So is the first book fiction or a non-fiction manual? 😆 It definitely got my attention and I love that you just left it out there for visitors. Ba ha ha. You have a wonderful sense of humour, Tammy.

    The second book would definitely not have been what I expected either and the cover graphic and title definitely has that marketing touch all over it. But I can see how it’s a wonderful way to subvert expectations by talking about history and societal norms and stereotypes.

    I miss the experience of going into a second hand bookstore based on your post. Will look forward to doing so once this pandemic eases up. 👍🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First, I want to go buy a book with a suggestive title and cover just to put on my table for entertainment value. I am however long past the boyfriend stage so I am thinking perhaps something like How to get rid of a body and then I can imagine it suiting different people depending on my state of mind. Then of course I would need to invite over guests. I can’t remember the last time I had guests. Some effort would be required, but I am sure it would be worth it.
    Second, Hung sounds like a very interesting read that should be included in various American history courses, but that probably won’t happen. Great post. Really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. WOW Tammy, I would have definitely thought that both book covers were indicative of what you would initially think they would be about. I would have come to the very same conclusions that you came to. The second book however really brings the title home. Sad but a historical truth. 😥

    I absolutely love the responses of some of your male suitors. If I saw that first book sitting on your coffee table, if I were a male, I would think twice about turning my back on you, although we know you are a total sweetie…unless you are provoked to anger!!! 😂😜😱 You go queeeeeen! 👑 Great reviews! 👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes me laugh when I think about my mindset then as opposed to now and being able to recognize the growth.
      One of my brothers (the Steve Harvey of the family) still gives me a hard time about the first book. With the warning of not letting his female friends see it, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blessings Sis, this situation w/ the books came up recently which is why I decided to write about it.
        No one ever goes for the traditional literature, poetry or self help books or the spiritual. I don’t get it ❣️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews, I love a click bait or “buy” bait title. I would have loved to see the faces of the folks at the garage sale when you picked up the book. I would laugh and then keep my eye on who’s going and not coming out of your house! LOL
    Hung is definitely unexpected twist, would love to read that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! I’m afraid I always judge books by their cover, and that makes me focus a bit too much on my own ones as well. When I go the self-publishing route, you can be sure that I’ll be pretty darn picky on how mine’s designed. Thankfully my first experience involved a trad publisher, so I had a lot of talents helping me out. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. reading a post, I have learnt another lesson: although it’s not advisable to judge a book by its cover, it may be important at times to just judge a book by its cover.

    I dont know the content of the first book, but I find its title a bit offensive, not because some boyfriends don’t deserve to die based on their wicked actions 😃 towards their girlfriends, but because of the word “kill”—intentional

    Liked by 1 person

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