National Black Book Festival


Monday, June 28, 2010

Continuation of Urban Books

I stayed at that school for a year and half. My job sometimes requires people to volunteer and move temporary within the US or overseas, but I left the books with the school. Luckily, the Director and Assistant Directors actually liked my idea and created a small library of these books to keep the interest of their students, especially the black men. It’s not easy in 2010 to be black and male. Yes, every day or month or week there’s something on the radio, TV, somewhere, harping about how bad they are, but I know a lot of good black men who no one seems to remember. My ex-husband is one of them. We divorced a few years ago and we have one daughter. It was hard for a few years for me to raise my daughter by myself, but I managed. My job relocated me from Washington, DC (My home Oh!!! My home) to Charleston, SC. Man, I got down here and thought I entered some kooky phase of the Civil War. I was mad, broke, and scared. I had a new job in a very old-fashioned, confederate society thinking mentality with women still dyeing their hair blue. It was creepy--no really creepy. Not many black men or women working where I was at, but the few white people I did get to meet were really great people. After some time, it got better. I’m a history buff and learning more and more about South Carolina, I have found so much history about us and what we have done.

There will be times that I will give you some books that may not be up to your esoteric mode, but you may know someone who is. Point being:

Taylor Siluwe - A TASTE FOR CHERRIES - $.99 – Eroticism

Urban Books:
Omar Tyree – FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: A NOVEL - $11.99
Tinisha Nicole Johnson – UNEXPECTED - $2.49
K. C. Hall – A FOOL FOR LOVE - $3.99

Romance Books:
Maureen Smith – RECIPE FOR TEMPTATION - $4.52
Alex Hairston – FOR LOVERS ONLY - $9.99
Yahrah St. John – PLAYING FOR KEEPS - $4.32
Yahrah St. John – THIS TIME FOR REAL - $4.32
Xavier Knight – THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE - $9.99
Posting from Amazon - Ten years ago, Jesse Law were a twenty-year-old with the world at his feet. After surviving a painful, often lonely childhood as the youngest child in a music dynasty, he forged a high-profile career, blazing a path on the charts later followed by the likes of Usher and Justin Timberlake. Those heady times are far in the past now, and Jesse's life is far richer thanks to his emerging values, the love of his wife, Dionne, and a lower-key but fulfilling career as lead singer of the gospel group. As far as he has come, though, Jesse's days are burdened by a shameful reality.
Sandra Kitt – FOR ALL WE KNOW - $5.04

David Corbett – DONE FOR A DIME - $9.99
David Corbet – THE DEVIL’S REDHEAD - $5.59
David has obviously been around for a while. He has a few books out and from what I have read, he’s good. Gritty, drug dealing, about an ex-con’s getting back to his life and back to his girlfriend. It isn’t easy for a black man to come back to real life after prison, he’s got to pay a few friends and get back into the game before it gets him. Here’s a write up from Publishers Weekly from 2002. You see, there are books out there by our brothers who can tell a story with grime and with an intriguing set up that you’ll want to read:

“Corbett thunders out of the gate with this gritty, moving debut about an ex-con's readjustment to freedom and his efforts to reunite with a former lover. Ten years after being sentenced for drug dealing, Dan Abatangelo emerges from prison with one thought in mind: finding Shel Beaudry and rekindling their relationship. Abatangelo is a changed man harder, less patient, and prone to bursts of violence. Despite the advice of friends, who warn him that no good can come from reuniting with Shel, he pushes forward. He eventually finds her living north of San Francisco, beholden to a drug-addled, mentally unstable man named Frank Maas and the crime ring that employs him. When Shel and Abatangelo finally meet, she waffles on returning to him, but before he can convince her, a local drug war breaks out and Shel is taken hostage. Abatangelo responds with a daring rescue mission that takes him deep into his former world and ignites a gruesome chain of violence and death. Corbett, a San Francisco private investigator for more than a decade, brings a wealth of real-world detail to his swift, highly atmospheric narrative. His plotting could sometimes use a little more glue, and a few characters particularly newspaperman Bert Waxman border on caricature. But Corbett's prose dazzles, cutting across the page with passionate force, articulating themes of devotion, lost hope and spiritual renewal in an unforgiving world.”

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Urban Books

If you love to read, then you love to visit book stores for author signings and book fairs. Last week the Charleston County Friends of the Library had their “That Summer Book Fair,” I’m on the board of the Friends of the Library as well as a volunteer at the library. It amazes me how many books there are out there by African Americans who are not getting the play as other types of authors. Sure, we have Michael Baisden, Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey radio personalities, TV and other media who display our works, but it’s not enough. You would be surprise of how many books there are out there by us for us. Not just history, but it appears to be a trend of “Urban” books. Once Terry McMillan brought out the “Black Women is sexy, intelligent and does enjoy sex,” we are not in the “Drug, Sex and not rock and roll” of 50cent, Terry Woods (Name some more). Now, don’t get me wrong, I buy those books by the truck loads to give to young black men.

I use to teach Accounting, internet and English classes at one of these small schools where you pay gazillion amounts of dough to learn a trade and hopefully, and I mean hopefully find a job. One of the English classes was filled with 23 black men. Ages from 18 to 50. Either been in jail or just been floating around with “their boys” with nothing to do and nothing to think about or to aspire to. I knew I was not going to get through to them with the past and present participle, nouns, verbs and all that other crap (according to them). You know what they did in that class? They talked to each other, slouched in their chairs, rolled their eyes, and everything else. Well, I’m not one to give up on any black man in this or any other age, so I did what I do best! I brought them some great books:

Terry Woods –

ALIBI - $9.99 – Daisy Fothergill, stripper, working with organized crime and involved with drugs, is dating a fast talker who dumps her. Now she is seeking refuge and reckoning.

DUTCH - $9.99 – James Bernard Jr. a.k.a. Dutch is the most dangerous criminal in New York. The boy is “bad”.

TRUE TO THE GAME I, II and III – All $9.99 - Terry Woods is one of the best Street-lit writers in the urban community and now the world. She struggled for many years getting her books published and like so many black authors, she started selling these books herself before, finally, someone with intelligence realized how good she was and still is.

K’Wan and 50 Cent –

BLOW (G UNIT BOOK) - $9.00 – This was one of the books I gave to the class and they had no idea that 50 cent (big rapper and movie star) had books.

I made a deal with these guys in class. The class was four days a week for one and a half hour. I told them to listen to me on Monday and lets cover all of the required chapters, take a quiz on Tuesday and the rest of the week read the book (I let them choose) and write me a quick paragraph on Thursday. I figure, I didn’t have a damn thing to lose but my job (This was a part-time position, so if I lost the job, I had a full time job), so my lost was only that these guys would’nt learn that they are valuable, and I was not going to give up on them.

It worked. They did not know “we” (African Americans) wrote books that they understood and they loved it. I brought more and more. Didn’t care if I was broke, because I was getting through to them. I just couldn’t give up.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hey, a free book

I’m not trying to dissuade you from looking on Amazon for yourself; my blog is for those old and new authors. Authors who don’t get a chance sometimes to show their stuff and many of them are good. Sometimes going thru page after page after page can get boring. I break it down with simple reviews of the books and I do read them. You may not like my opinion, but hey, such as life!!!!
Do you also know that if you have a kindle and have/or going to get the iPad, you can load the Kindle App and read on it as well as the iPad. To think, you can download a book, blog, etc. Read on you Kindle, iPad, Nook, or whatever you deem easy, and read, read, read and more reading. I’m having a good time playing around with all of these nerd items, but then again I am a serious Black Women Nerd with good taste.

Let's start:

Brenda Jackson – Irresistible Force. – It’s Free. I mean FREE. Like get it now. NOW!!! This woman can make a grown women cry with passion, lust, very sensual and with stories that are not just real, but possible. Granted many people did not like it because it’s predictable and yes, they have lots of sex, and a plot that’s a bit unreal. Bull crap never happens to me, at least not in real life, but I do have some dynamite, get down and dirty with myself dreams. Ohh, my God (You got to get Usher’s latest OMG. That boy has been in my dreams for a long time).

Now, the Westmoreland’s Men, that’s some quick “nookie” reading. I took a whole weekend and read all 14 of them. A friend of mine was asking me to order these books for her and her mother. What the hell is she ordering these books for? Why is there such an obsession with these men? Damn, I found out. Start with the first one, Delaney’ Desert Sheik - $3.60. I know, I know, Harlequin/Silhouette Romance!!! Please, aren’t’ those the old ones where by the time the girl/guy get together, it’s the end of the book and they are just kissing, yuck!!! Get Ms. Jackson (If you’re nasty), she gets to the point from the beginning. Why wait.

Kimberla Lawson Roby – All of her books are on Kindle. She is a Christian writer and in these, “crap is happening all the damn time days” it’s nice to have a few quick reads Instead of a few and too many quick nookie joints which are not good at all. Don’t get me the hell started. Here’s her list. I will bring my own brand of clarification later.
A Deep Dark Secret - $9.99
Be Careful What You Pray for - $10.99
The Best of Everything - $9.99
One in a Million - $9.99
Changing Faces - $9.99
Love and Lies - $9.99
A Taste of Reality - $9.99 (Do you see a pattern)
Sin No More - $9.99

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

African American Books on the Kindle

I love books!!! Not just mystery, fiction, history, but everything. I love how they can take you to different worlds even on the worst days. I breathe books, like people breath air. I smell them, feel them, walk with them, and talk with, to and at them. Hardbacks, paperbacks, iPad, Kindle, Nook, PC, you name it--I read it, even a ding dong tube of toothpaste.

Now my problem, as I'm sure is yours, is that I'm out of Damn Money!!! And this ding dong economy is pissing me off. I’ve been limiting my book purchases to used book stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army; Library book sales (even though those can be pretty good, but you know you don't ever find a "Black Book" there).

These publishers are cutting off my air supply. I'm not too happy to see prices of $25 to $30 dollars for a book either. Yes, yes, I know, I still should buy Eric Jerome Dickey and Zane at the hardcover price so that they can at least make some money and I’m all for that, but "I'm Damn Broke" and need to limit my buying purchase of these hardcover books and pay a little bit less for my "air." So I have to find a new solution to this dilemma…

You will find out more and more and more about me later, but for now, let’s find some good books at good prices. Books that you read on the plane, train, or bus that really get you hooked.

But who still takes the bus? That is sooooo 70s

Declaring Spinsterhood by Jamie Lynn Braziel. A cost is 99 cents!!! You can’t beat that. Single girl being pressure to get married by family and friends. Ex-boyfriend, who cheats obviously, wants her back and now she got another man to wants her, help me please.

The Bum Magnet – K.L. Brady. Cost is another 99 cents. Run and get it now!!! A black woman has it all but, of course a man. It’s funny to read how she decides to give up men and start working on herself. For 99cents, you did a good laugh at some of the people she meets. It’s it the best way to read a book, meeting people who make you laugh and people you know.

Hit me with any comments or suggestions on doing this better or if you are looking for something in particular, hook a sister up, and I will find it for you.