Official 1st Book Of The Year: Needles For Free: A Manic Episode – by Ryan K Smith

Needles For Free cover

In addition to our seasonal reading list we also have Da Chicken Shack’s 1st Book of the Year. For 2015 we have chosen Needles For Free by Ryan K Smith. This is a very unique story based on true events and written from a manic perspective, inspired by Daniel Keyes’ “Flowers for Aglernod”. The best book of 2015 hands down. We look forward to works by Ryan K. Smith.

Ryan K Smith, grew up in Chester, PA and is staff writer for various newspapers and magazines and a contributing writer to Complex, Ebony and Don Diva.


Have you ever asked yourself, “What is bipolar disorder?” The term “bipolar” gets thrown around haphazardly, but it is a real disorder that effects everyday people. It is also known as manic depression.

‘Needles For Free’ is a journey through an experience bipolar people know all too well: the manic episode, displaying many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The writer takes the reader through mania after a wild incident at a trying time during the main character, Free’s life. He has found himself in the mental ward yet again and keeps a journal. But, is has he really lost it or is actually living in a new reality?


DaChickenShack’s Summer Reading List for Millennials



Alex Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X’s 1965 assassination. The Autobiography is a spiritual narrative that outlines Malcolm X’s philosophy of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A must read.


THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.


1984 by George Orwell

1984, is a dystopian novel by George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation, dictated by a political system under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as “thoughtcrimes”.



Set in the projects of Brooklyn, New York, The Coldest Winter Ever is the story of Winter Santiaga (aptly named because she was born during one of New York’s worst snowstorms), the rebellious, pampered teenage daughter of a notorious drug dealer.

black like me

BLACK LIKE ME by John Howard Griffin

Black Like Me is a nonfiction book by journalist John Howard Griffin first published in 1961. Griffin was a white native of Dallas, Texas and the book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man.


The Alchemist (FULL Audio Book)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a world famous book about manifesting your goals. If you are on the go constantly and you haven’t had a chance to sit down and read this uplifting story about a young worker who goes on a journey to learn how to create gold also known as the science of alchemy you have been doing your life a disservice. Here at Da Chicken Shack every staff member is given a copy of this book upon employment and we would like to spread the positivity worldwide. Take some time and learn this story. Everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Will Smith has credited this story as changing their lives in a positive direction.

A must read/listen for anyone searching for their on treasure.