National Black Book Festival

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I miss my DC!!!! Home, books, home!!!

Number 110
There are so many issues happening in this world that the politicians are, on purpose in my mind, not really talking about or actually solving.  I do believe there is some kind of plot to distract us from the real issues they aren’t addressing.  Real unemployment, real health care issues, drug crime in Mexico. Then there are US companies continually producing fatty foods and then claiming that they have now produced low-fat, low-cal foods, but it doesn’t’ work.  Did you see the disrespect to the President by sticking your finger in his face as if he is a child?  What the hell was that dirty blond bimbo, craggy looking white woman, the Governor of Arizona thinking?  She looked like a complete reality show slut.  On the other hand, the man was smooth and walked away.  You have to when you run into nuts like that; there is just no point in talking to them. 
I do not like many people at my job and it appears she does not like our President, but I have to work with them, so I have to show some professionalism all the time.  I have slipped a few times and said, “what the hell are you doing,” or “Please go back to your desk, stop fussing, do your job or leave for the day.”  There are also times I want to say “Go to hell and stay there.”  You know you cannot do that on the job, you want to though, but unfortunately you cannot.  It seems the world is getting more and more frustrated at our President, Republicans, and egalitarian nuts, at everyone!  Man, do we need some down time so let’s read some exciting books, go to the movies, and watch the sun come up.  Got Books!!!
ROBYN GANT – THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY (IN LAWS AND PLAY COUSINS) $2.99 - - - The night Nubia Jamison caught her husband-to-be in a compromising position prompted a rage that knew no boundaries. She shut down and sold the successful movie production company they ran together and fled the country, refusing to hear his excuses. Now she is in hiding, but is she hiding something as well?
Her best friend Tracie has undergone a dramatic transformation in order to elude Angelo Gonsales, head of the Internet Crime Division of the FBI. He has discovered her identity, and tracked her location. Will she be convicted of her alleged crimes?
"In-Laws and Play Cousins: Three Sides to Every Story," reunites four childhood friends, brings closure to the unfortunate circumstances and renders bittersweet justice for the true villains.
Do you like eye-catching and brawny gladiators, hideous and treacherous dragons?  Do you remember the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe?  He played a Roman general out for revenge after his family is murdered? Did you get a thrill while watching the fight scenes in the arena?   How about Terry Crews of American Gladiators?  Did you get a kick out of watching him kick but too? 
Do you need something differently sexually charged, romantic and new, instead of the usual vampires and werewolves?  I think I found it while stalking people at the library.  Well, at least for me it was the cover.  I started to read the back cover of the book and went a little further:
ANYA BAST, KRIS STARR, CHARLOTTE, BOYETT COMPO, LENA MATTHEWS (She is the African American writer in this group), N.J. MUNRO and TIELLE ST. CLARE - ELLORA’S CAVEMEN: DREAMS OF THE OASIS VOLUME 4 - $7.69 - - - I picked number 4 because of the cover, the man look good and since I have never read anything like this, what the hell, I’m going to give it a try.  Let me know if you did too.  The book has been out since 2006 and only 8 reviews on Amazon.  Huh, what does that say?   Read the description on Amazon because it’s long and I’m still trying to figure out who and what.  Ok, ok, so I brought the book because of it’s cover, shame on me, just shame on me.
CHERIL N. CLARKE – THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: NEW ORLEANS -$99 Cents - - I have been to New Orleans and this year, besides the Essence Music Festival, there is also the Bayou Soul Writers & Readers Conference -  two days earlier, and I am a big, huge fan of New Orleans.  Here's the link - - http://www.bswconference.com 
In New Orleans, I can get my drink and eat on and on and on.  This is one of many series of stories of a group of friends and their amusing behavior while traveling to different cities to get away from their daily job and labor.  The writer develops the characters right from the beginning and her descriptions of the city before Katrina scene is beautiful.  It’s also a funny.  Hey, I like her style of writing and it was short, endearing, and I’m going back to New Orleans. 
CHERIL N. CLARKE – THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: LAS VEGAS -$99 Cents - - - I just ordered it, so my review will be later.  Here’s an update on the latest “friends who travel.”  The Beautiful People: Las Vegas" returns readers to the lives of four friends whose magnetic personalities and gorgeous good looks rivet our attention. Vanessa, an entrepreneurial executive, reveals shadowed parts of her past and displays talents long ago abandoned; Yen Chu, desperately trying to navigate the waters of self-imposed sobriety, yearns to be disciplined, but doesn't let that prevent her from arranging erotic adventures for her group; party boy Colin, on a quest to have the time of his life, ensures that everyone he meets will have the times of their lives as well; and Donovan, sometimes haughty, and always more conservative than the rest, allows himself to loosen up and succumb to Sin City’s extravagant indulgences.  From glamorous adventures to steamy and sometimes seamy escapades, from the luxury lifestyle to laugh-out-loud humor, Clarke's latest installment of "The Beautiful People" will satisfy the deep cravings of your imagination. (I hope!)
Got to get one in for Black History Year
CONNIE BRISCOE - P. G. COUNTY - $6.99 - - - As someone who grew up in DC and lived in PG County, I grabbed this book and ran when it came out years ago.  There is an upper class, African-American community in PG, Mitchellville, Maryland.  The most affluent and predominantly African American communities in the US.  Yes, I said it, US!!  So, I know when I speak that this book was labled fiction, but the characters, Barbara and her wandering husband (think of the owner of BET, Bob Johnson) and Jolene, a materialist nut and the other woman.  A middle class hair salon owner who lives just outside the fancy community, Pearl, a divorcee, who can’t stand her son’s “white” girlfriend, (think Loretta Devine character and her son in Waiting to Exhale).  Who starts to become attractive to Jolene’s husband, but not on purpose.  As the front cover states, “Peyton Place for the twenty-first century.”  That soap opera did not know that their drama was freaking calm compared to these characters, nothing close.  You know there are secrets and they will surface, they always do and more drama to come.  Reality TV and Lifetime could have used this book instead of some of the crap on TV.  Connie Briscoe is a seriously good story teller and can literally bring the characters to life to the point you start to look around and think, did she write reality TV before it was on TV?  Maybe she saw something we didn’t.  I’m going to bed now to finish reading, KIMBERLA LAWSON ROBY - CASTING THE FIRST STONE - $11.90 - Casting The First Stone.  I had to start from the beginning the "Reverend Curtis Black" drama.  Then I’m going back to re-read P. G. County.  I miss my home DC so much, this will help me remember good and drama times.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I just love authors, they are so giving!

NUMBER 109 
You know, it was a pretty good week for me.  I managed to get lots of things done.  I put two carts of books back on the shelves at the library, wrote down authors names I never heard of or did not know they had a second or third book out.  Cleaned up at my second job with Pine Sol and Clorox that I brought myself.  They have some version of bleach, but it obviously is not working as well as I want it to and part of the kitchen counters still smell and I can’t stand that.  You can enter that place and eat off the floor after I clean.  I know, it’s just my obsession, but I pretend that I’m a customer and I want it clean too.  I know they try to keep up the cleaning, but with so many customers it can get ignored.  That’s why when I arrive, they know to stay out of my way or I will run over them with a cloth filled with soap and wash their mouth out.  That’s another reason that when I travel, I bring my own Clorox and clean up the room.  Have you ever gone to a hotel and the sheets and bathroom were filthy or not up to standards?  Even the most expensive hotels are not as clean as they should be, so I bring my own and spray the hell out of the place then wipe around.  It may sound crazy, but the next time you check into a hotel, look around and see for yourself.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many hotels who do a great job.  

This is a weird topic.  What the hell was I thinking.  On to books.  My daughter went to the book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Union Station in DC to have my book, SINNERS AND SAINTS by VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY and ReSHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY - $9.99 Sinners & Saints signed.  If you recall, their book is on the Top 100 Black Kindle list.  Next Friday, February 3, CARL WEBER AND ERIC PETE - THE FAMILY BUSINESS - $9.99 The Family Business will be at Urban Knowledge Book store in Columbia, SC and I will be there getting 5 books signed for me and my friends.  He is so funny. 
Carl Weber
Victoria Christopher Murray
and the Book Club GrOuPiEs
in Atlanta

The following were nominated for the NAACP Image Award to be shown on TV February 17.  I read two of them and I think you will really enjoy reading and be introduced to new authors.  Just like the Black Kindle blog does.  Give you the best of the best.
My “Romance Woman” writer BRENDA JACKSON - A SILKEN THREAD - $3.74 - A Silken Thread
ELIZABETH NUNEZ - BOUNDARIES - $12.62 - - - In an age of reality TV, a husband and wife cling to Victorian notions of privacy, though doing so threatens the life of the wife. Their daughter, Anna, yearns for her mother's unguarded affection, and eventually learns there is value in restraint. But Anna, a Caribbean American immigrant, finds that lesson harder to accept when, eager to assimilate in her new country, she discovers that a gap yawns between her and American-born citizens.
The head of a specialized imprint at a major publishing house, Anna is soon challenged for her position by an ambitious upstart who accuses her of not really understanding American culture, particularly African American culture. Her job at stake, Anna turns for advice to her boyfriend Paul, a Caribbean American himself, who attempts to convince her that immigrants must accept limitations on their freedom in America.
Told in spare and transcendent prose, Boundaries is a riveting immigrant story, a fascinating look into the world of contemporary book publishing, a beautiful extension of the exploration of family dynamics that began in Nunez's previous novel Anna In-Between, and a heart-warming love story.
ReSHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY - SAY AMEN, AGAIN - $9.99 - Say Amen, Again
TAYARI JONES - SILVER SPARROW - $8.83 - - - A coming-of-age story of sorts, Jone's melodramatic latest (after The Untelling) chronicles the not-quite-parallel lives of Dana Lynn Yarboro and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon in 1980s Atlanta. Both girls-born four months apart-are the daughters of James Witherspoon, a secret bigamist, but only Dana and her mother, Gwen, are aware of his double life. This, Dana surmises, confers "one peculiar advantage" to her and Gwen over Jame's other family, with whom he lives full time, though such knowledge is small comfort in the face of all their disadvantages. Perpetually feeling second best, 15-year-old Dana takes up with an older boy whose treatment of her only confirms her worst expectations about men. Meanwhile, Chaurisse enjoys the easy, uncomplicated comforts of family, and though James has done his utmost to ensure his daughters' paths never cross, the girls, of course, meet, and their friendship sets their worlds toward inevitable (and predictable) collision. Set on its forced trajectory, the novel piles revelation on revelation, growing increasingly histrionic and less believable. For all its concern with the mysteries of the human heart, the book has little to say about the vagaries of what motivates us to love and lie and betray. 
My book group met her at the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta and she is a beautiful an intelligent woman with a great and I mean great book.
NELSON GEORGE - THE PLOT AGAINST HIP HOP - $8.77 - The Plot Against Hip Hop

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY - SISTER CITIZEN: SHAME, STEREOTYPES, AND BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICAN - $15.40 - Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
RUSSELL SIMMONS and CHRIS MORROW - SUPER RICH: A GUIDE TO HAVING IT ALL - $9.99 - Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All - - - 
ELIJAH ANDERSON - THE COSMOPOLITAN CANOPY: RACE AND CIVILITY IN EVERYDAY LIFE - $11.69 - The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life
HILL HARPER - THE WEALTH CURE: PUTTING MONEY IN ITS PLACE - $12.99 - The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place - - -  I gave a review last year and thought it presented some good tips on getting your life on track without having lots of money, but lots of positive thinking.
TOURE` and MICHAEL ERIC DYSON - WHO’S AFRAID OF POST BLACKNESS - $11.99 - Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? - - - Toure` is coming to the Savannah Book Festival and for the 85th Anniversary of Charleston’s first free library for African Americans in May.  
Got to get one in for Black History Year
PAUL JOHNSON - A LOVELY MURDER DOWN SOUTH - $14.95 Paperback - - - This is a real heart wrenching bloody tale of three young ladies coming of age amongst the hustlers, strippers, lesbians, sexual predators and even a serial killer. Atlanta has never looked so good or felt so bad as Lovely Sinclair and her friends Candace and Joy leave broken hearts and dead bodies in their path to the top. "A Lovely Murder Down South" begins a saga that will change how we view the south and elevate urban literature.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm now stalking people at the Library again!!

NUMBER 108 
While volunteering at the library last week, I saw a young black man, probably around 20 years old, walking around.  You know I put on my “Batman/Black Kindle Cape” and walked over and asked if I could help him.  It does help me a little to have my official “volunteer” badge when working because as my daughter tells me all the time, “Mommy, stop walking up to people and saying hi and asking them if they read and if they would like to read.”  I can’t help it.  So, once I confronted the young man and asked what he was looking for he stated, “Oh, I don’t know, something different.”  “Hey, I say, do you like urban like Nikki Turner, Zane, Erick S. Gray, and Wahida Clark?”  You see, I just assumed that since he was a young black man, he wanted to read the “street/urban lit.”  As usual, I made an ass out of myself and him.  He told me, “nah, I’ve read those and tired of them, need something else.”  I was pretty happy in hearing that and proceeded to take him back and forth thru the shelves of the library and gave him some books to browse through.  He was impressed with my knowledge (I am too if you really want to know.  I’m really good!!!) And I was impressed with him.  I’m not trying to down grade urban lit, but there are times, especially with the nasty titles, that it gets old and it does not give us a clue to what our people went thru just to get a book to read and not trash.  What do you think?  Are you tired of Urban/Street Lit?  Or do you see some great stories written and some malevolent stories.  Hit me up with an e-mail and let me know.  Here’s some Urban lit with a few Urban Christian thrown in.
KIKI SWINSON – WIFE EXTRAORDINAIRE - $5.99 - - - Two couples decide to sign up for a show called Trading Wives which is a ghetto version of the reality show Wife Swap. Instead of reaping a whopping $50,000 at the end of the show, this show will only shell out $10,000 after spending seven days in the other wife's household; but before these two couples are able to claim their prize money, one wife doesn’t want to return home, so fist fights will erupt and there will be a lot of bloodshed. In the end who will end up with whom? 
Now, tell me something?  How come the women on the cover of these books have the longest weaves in history?
SEAN A. WRIGHT – A GANGSTERS MELODY – 99 Cents - - - Loving the one who loves the streets is a dangerous game. There's a war brewing. Bodies are piling up. Money is being stacked up. Loyalties are being tested. How will a displaced small town girl handle the pressures of living the big city life and all that comes with it when the trail of murders, drugs and blood-money leads to her doorstep?
K. ELLIOTT – ENTANGLED (REAL IN THE STREETS) - $2.99 - - - Unprotected Sex, Murder, Disloyalty and Payoffs all included in this street-life thriller. Entangled is a Love Story between a Major drug trafficker and a history teacher. The subplots include a Black DEA agent with divided loyalty. He wants to do his job and rid the streets of drugs but on the other hand he knows that the system is corrupt and it targets minorities.
TERESA D. PATTERSON – EX-BOYFRIEND - $2.99 - - - Review from L. Romich “book Nympho”  - After finding her boyfriend, Terrance in bed with another woman, Vicki Holiday decides that she will not accept nor forgive him. So she decides to break the relationship off. Unfortunately, Terrance does not accept the fact that Vicki does not want anything more to do with him.

Terrance soon realizes that old saying "you don't know what you got, until it's gone" is so true. He wants Vicki back and he will stop at nothing to have a second chance with her. He begins by following Vicki around, stalking her, sitting outside her house, spying on her and her friends; he even vandalizes her property and threatens any man that comes near her. Terrance adapts the mindset that, if he cannot have her, nobody will!

The book is a page-turner. The story flowed nicely. Despite it being a page-turner, I would have liked to see more development and suspense with the story and its characters. I also felt as though there could have been more action within the story. All this said, I really enjoyed reading Ms. Patterson`s novels. My favorite novel to date her is, PROJECT QUEEN, now that book was a definite five star read! I eagerly anticipate reading more by Ms. Patterson.
MEESHA MINK & DE’NESHA DIAMOND – DESPERATE HOODWIVES: AN URBAN TALE - $10.99 - - - The title only hints at the freaky-deaky content in the first installment of a street lit series that could also qualify as urban erotic horror. In Atlanta, Bentley Manor is a cage for four young women. Aisha, whose pampered lifestyle takes a big hit after her dealer husband gets locked up, goes to dangerous lengths to keep up her ghetto fab image. Devani is single and, at her mother's direction, plans on tricking NFL star TyrikNiobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd, hold back little in this cautionary tale dripping with sex, vice and yearning.
LEIGH MCKNIGHT – SATISFYING THE WOMAN IN ME - $2.99 - - - Beautiful, well educated Teyona Carter has everything a woman desires; a beautiful home, designer clothes, shoes, fabulous jewelry and loving husband who is an extremely successful doctor who pampers his wife, providing everything she needs, except an orgasm. Teyona’s sexual frustration is at its zenith until a young, sexy and vibrant plumber enters her home to repair a lead in her upstairs bathroom.
MIASHA & LISA WU HARTWELL – WHEN THE CAKE IS MADE - $9.99 - - - Three Women, three disaster weddings, one dress burning ceremony and a connection that is deeper than anyone could imagine.  Sheryl, a battered and broken beauty, finally musters the strength to leave her abusive husband. Now all she needs to do is win custody of their daughter. Remarrying a man who can help her do just that seems to be the answer until her ex shows up at the wedding to show her once and for all who has control. Leslie, a no-nonsense, materialistic, opportunist is fed up with her married boyfriend, Frank. But that doesn't stop her from giving him one more chance. And this time he proves his love for her is real with a proposal and access to his Titanium American Express Card to plan the wedding of her dreams. But in the nine months it took to plan her perfect day, her fiancé was busy making a third baby with his wife. Will Frank join his wife in the labor and delivery room or will he meet Leslie at the altar? Angie, an independent, free spirit, seeks out a man for protection after a dangerous encounter with a stalker. She is set up with Bobby Fuller, the host of a popular wedding show. Although they hit it off, she later realizes that it isn't a man she wants. Too bad this realization comes at the couple's live broad casted wedding ceremony with hundreds in attendance and millions more watching. Written with Miasha’s trademark gripping action combined with the celebrity lifestyle Lisa Wu Hartwell knows all too well, this story exposes the dark side of wealth, fame, and power. A heart-wrenching tale with explosive twists that heighten anticipation of what every page will reveal, When the Cake is Made will have you on the edge of your seat to the very end.
Got to get one in for Black History Year
One of the books I gave the young black man at the library was, NATHAN McCALL - MAKES ME WANNA HOLLER: A YOUNG BLACK MAN IN AMERICA - $11.99 - - - I attended years ago the Free Library Event in Philadelphia.  Of course I bundled up my daughter in the car and drove from DC.  That is where I first met Nathan McCall.  He was sweet and very pleasant, where as the other authors were not so pleasant, but maybe they were tired or frustrated.  It was to me a time where it was still new to many black authors selling their books and trying to get their books sold worldwide.  He impressed me and talked to me and my daughter for an hour or so.  I will always thank him for taking that time to talk to me and I will always buy his books for myself and others.  I will say that parts of this book is disturbing and you may get angry at some of the things he has done in the past, but people make mistakes and can change and grow.  Maybe he has?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Year, New Drama!!

NUMBER 107
Well, I’ll be ding dong.  Didn’t know my “Top 100 Black Kindle List” was going to receive so many comments.  Not bad comments, just, “I didn’t know that list exist.”  “I didn’t know I made the list and thank you,” and the best one was, “why are there old books on this list? Shouldn’t these be only 2011 books?”  I told her no.  This list represents the Past, Present and Future of books by us for us.  We cannot forget the ones who struggled during the worse and best of their lives.  The ones who started Urban/Street Lit, slave narratives, Harlem Renaissance, Blaxploitation (I still love me some Shaft!!!, ‘what a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man!!),  are still struggling to get keeping it strong.  We need more and more black writers to tell their stores.  Not the ones in Urban, but good old fashioned stories of love, liberation, rage, damage, drama in the church.  You name it, we got it, and we are different.  No other race has as many stories to tell of every type of human drama than black folks.  We may not have money or fame, but we got a heart and soul that no got damn body can take away.  We got SOUL!!!  Let’s get to some books.
TRAVIS HUNTER – DARK CHILD (ZANE PRESENTS - $9.99 - - - I was volunteering at the library when I ran across this book.  Always looking for black male writers and after reading the back, I think I’m going to like, I mean love it.  
Urban Brown is a white man who grew up in the dark recesses of the inner city where he was the victim of torment, abuse, abandonment, deception and murder. Urban overcame his horrid past to live a peaceful and prosperous existence in his upper-class community. He has everything a man could ask for: a career, which he loves; a sprawling estate and a drop-dead gorgeous fiancée, Sierra. Then out of the blue, he receives a phone call that changes his life.  Jamillah is Urban’s sister, and unlike her brother, she wasn’t able to overcome the horrors of her past and turned to drugs to ease the pain. Life on the streets is hard enough, but once a baby comes along, she tries to sell him on the black market. Urban won’t hear any of it, and he and Sierra resolve to raise the child as their own. But upon further investigation, Urban realizes that his sister is involved in a dark and sinister scheme to steal black babies from poor girls in small, rural towns and sell them to the highest bidders. As Urban digs deeper and deeper into the kidnapping network, he gets dangerously close to the heart of the matter and is disgusted and disheartened by what he discovers. 
TRAVIS HUNTER – SOMETHING TO DIE FOR: A NOVEL - $9.99 - - - At the start of this touching novel from Hunter, Nasir Lassiter, a once promising college basketball player, returns to his old Atlanta neighborhood after serving five years of a life sentence for a murder he didn't commit. He tries to reconnect with the most important people in his life, but his mom, Marcy, has become a drug addict, while his girlfriend, Ayana, has taken up with Alonzo, a successful businessman. Nasir is especially surprised to discover that he has daughter by Ayana, Brandy. In his quest to learn the truth about the past, Nasir must fight to confirm his love for Ayana and save Brandy from an unexpected threat. Once again Hunter skillfully reveals the heart beneath the tough exterior of an African American man.
SHELIA GOSS – THE KANDIE SHOP (LOVE BITES) – 99 Cents - - - OK, so it’s just a cute and short love story.  Give it a try.  Sweet and sour not only describes Kandie Taylor's latest candy concoction, but it describes her last relationship. She vows to never date another professional athlete.  Trent Lee Davis, former NFL star, finds Kandie intriguing. Will he be able to tackle her barriers?  Can Kandie resist the chocolate-licious urge every time she sees Trent, even though he's an athlete?
MARY MONROE / VICTOR McGLOTHIN – BORROW TROUBLE: “NIGHTMARE IN PARADISE” and “BAD LUCK SHADOW” - $8.69 - - - Monroe (God Don't Like Ugly) and McGlothin (Down on My Knees) each contribute a short novel to this curiously packaged product. Monroe's Nightmare in Paradise features 31-year-old Renee, a second grade teacher and self-proclaimed "Miss Goody Two-Shoes" who, with wild best friend Inez, goes to the Caribbean to "get loose." Frustration with her own meek nature and an admission by Inez—she slept with Renee's husband before they married—propel Renee into a one-night stand that results in her arrest for prostitution. When husband Leon won't pony up the fine, Renee is jailed for three months—plenty of time to decide who stays in her life. Monroe's earnest melodrama suffers, however, from its proximity to McGlothin's dazzling Bad Luck Shadow. Set in 1946, the story's hero is Baltimore Floyd, a dashing scoundrel with charisma to burn. Fleeing Harlem and a gambling debt, Baltimore steals into a neon-lit Kansas City, where he holes up in old love Franchetta's cathouse and plans the take down of a high-stakes card game. McGlothin's tale is sophisticated and sexy, with the plotting and pacing of first-rate noir. 
TIMMOTHY B. McCANN – EMOTIONS - $5.75 Paperback - - - McCannJoi Weston is forced to give up her dreams of a Hollywood career when the Tinseltown powers that be decide she's too long in the tooth to star in a feature film. Frustrated, she moves to Florida, where her husband of 18 years, Phillip, is launching a political career. Despite the couple's occasionally rocky past, Joi trumpets: "I'd never have an affair." Famous last words. Enter slightly younger hunk Michael Brockmier, an aspiring writer with his own identity crisis: unable to get his work published, he becomes part of a scam in which he's the front man for a more talented but reclusive writer. When Joi and Michael meet, passion ensues, threatening Joi's marriage even as it affords the lovers the opportunity to come to terms with their lives. McCann gets the celebrity downside of successful authorship in the current publishing climate right, but scores with little else. Most of the Composition 101 admonishments Michael receives could be leveled at McCann as well. No metaphor goes unmixed, no cliche unused; cardboard secondary characters and Hallmark-ready platitudes round out the list of offenses. A neat ending in which everybody finds redemption may supply instant gratification, but it falls far from offering true satisfaction.
K. ELLIOTT – DILEMMA – 99 cents - - - Tremaine is good for Natalie—well at least on paper—but Natalie has a secret. She craves women and it’s become a feeling she can’t resist.  Natalie meets Jaharie, a beautiful biracial woman, who wants a relationship with a man or a woman. Love is the only thing that matters to her. Natalie is thoroughly intrigued with Jaharie. She wants her, but being with a woman full-time isn’t what Natalie has in her plans and she knows her mother will never approve. She wants a husband, children, a ‘normal’ life, and is on track to acquiring this.

She plans to keep Jaharie a secret until she meets Tamala, a powerful, successful attorney and very attractive Lesbian who wants to take Natalie away from both Jaharie and Tremaine. Tamala has the savvy and financial power to woo Natalie right into her arms. Their relationship works for a while, until a past lover of Tamala’s vows to kill Natalie if she doesn’t stop seeing her. Natalie fears Tamala’s deranged lover but doesn’t leave until she learns a huge secret of hers.
Got to get one in for Black History Year:
SISTER SOULJAH – The Coldest Winter Ever - $7.99 - - - Another classic African American.  If you have never read any of her work, you need to read this one.  I met her last year while she was touring on her latest book, MIDNIGHT  - $7.99 Midnight, with those Pom Poms in her hair and I thought she was taller, with big eyes and soul oozing from her skin.  The girl is black, beautiful and intelligent with funk. 
Hip-hop star, political activist and now writer, Sister Souljah exhibits a raw and true voice (though her prose is rough and unsophisticated) in this cautionary tale protesting drugs and violence among young African-Americans in the inner city. Winter Santiaga, the 17-year-old daughter of big-time drug dealer Ricky Santiaga, is spoiled and pampered, intoxicated by the power of her name and her sexuality. Riding high on the trade, Santiaga moves the family out of the Brooklyn projects to a mansion on Long Island where things start to disintegrate. Winter's mother is shot in the face by competing drug dealers, the FBI arrest Santiaga and confiscate the family's possessions. 
Then, while visiting her father at Rikers Island, Winter discovers her father has a 22-year-old mistress and a baby boy. For the first time, Winter feels anger toward her father and pity for her fallen mother. Being the ruthless hood rat that she is, however, Winter leaves her weakened relatives behind and sets off to regain her stature and reinstate her father. Attracted to power, intolerant of those without it, ill-equipped to deal on her own and predisposed to make all the wrong moves, she deceives and steals from those who help her and yet, somehow, she remains a sympathetic character. Winter's obsession with money, possessions and appearances, her involvement in the drug trade and the parade of men she uses lead her down the wrong path. Sister Souljah herself appears as a "fictional" character who voices her belief that Winter's vices are shared by many, and that greed, drugs and violence devalue the lives of urban youth. Souljah peppers her raunchy and potentially offensive prose with epithets and street lingo, investing her narrative with honesty albeit often at the expense of disciplined writing. But this is a realistic coming-of-age story of debauchery with a grave moral. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Kindle - Top 100 African American Books of 2011 - Part Two

Number 106 
It is also so good to be back at my beloved and scrumptious library.  I know the sweetness of my words sound corny, but I love volunteering there.  I help so many people find great books and so many African Americans find books.  It makes my heart beat a book a minute, slowly and convincingly, feeling, holding and touching a book; many books and more books.  I’m back to working one evening a week and will surely increase it to two or three.  Oh, what love! What joy! What kind of drugs am I on!!!
Here’s the rest of Black Kindle - Top 100 Books by African American.  Damn that felt pretty good:

BLACK KINDLE TOP 100
AUTHOR
NAME OF BOOK
PRICE
QUICK 
SYNOPSIS
LINK TO BUY 
THE BOOK
1
Carl Weber
The Choir Director (2011)
$ 8.99
Lord, have mercy on my soul!!
2
E. Lynn Harris
Invisible Life
$ 10.21

3
Carl Weber
Torn Between Two Lovers (2010)
$ 7.64
Out of the closet, but damn!
4
Kimberla Lawson Roby
Be Careful What You Pray For
$ 9.99
Reverend Curtis Black’s daughter
5
James W. Lewis
Sellout
$ 2.99
Interracial dating with a spin
6
Kimberla Lawson Roby
The Best of Everything
$ 9.99
Reverend Curtis Black’s daughter
7
Terry McMillian
Mama
$ 10.24

8
K'Wan  
Section 8: A Hood Rat Novel
$ 9.99

9
Allison Hobbs
Stealing Candy
$ 7.99

10
Pat G'Orge-Walker
Don't Blame the Devil
$ 1.99

11
Kole Black
The Chance she took
$ 9.99

12
W. E. B. Dubois
The Souls of Black Folk
FREE

13
Moses Miller
The Trifling times of Nathan Jones
$ 9.99

14
Tina Brooks McKiney
Snapped
$ 7.69

15
Dorothy West
The Wedding: A Novel
$ 9.99
It’s considered a classic
16
Brenda Jackson
All of the Westmoreland Men Books 1-5
$ 9.32
I need a Westmoreland man, now!
17
Ashley & Jaquavis
Dirty Money
$ 6.99
First love in the hood!
18
Pamela Samuels-Young
Murder on the down low
$ 5.99
“John Grisham, eat your heart out!!
19
Gloria Naylor
Linden Hills
$ 10.24

20
Brian W. Smith
Mama's lies-Daddy's pain
$ 4.99

21
Rickey Teems ii
Regression
$ 2.99

22
Daniel Black
Perfect Peace
$ 9.99
You would not believe it if I told you
23
Tayari Jones
Silver Sparrow
$ 8.83

24
David Weaver
Bankroll Squad
99 Cents

25
Victoria Christopher Murray
The Deal, the Dance, and The Devil
$ 9.99
How much $ would you take for love!
26
James W. Lewis
A Hard man is good to find
99 Cents
The ending is what will get yah!
27
Omar Tyree
Fly Girl
$ 7.99

28
Carl Weber
The Preacher's Son 
$ 4.47

29
Carl Weber
The First Lady (2007)
$ 6.64
Nair hair removal
30
Dwayne S. Joseph
Home Wrecker
$ 6.99

31
Eric Jerome Dickey
Sister, Sister
$ 7.99
The man can write
32
Gloria Naylor
Bailey's Café
$ 10.21
Classic
33
HoneyB
Married on Mondays
$ 9.99

34
K'Wan and 50 Cent
Blow (G Unit Book)
$ 9.99

35
Ernessa T. Carter
32 Candles Novel
$ 11.99

36
Lutishia Lovely
Mind your own business
$ 7.99

37
Isabel Wilkerson
The Warmth of Other Suns:
The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
$ 12.99
Take your time reading it, it’s worth it
38
Alan Cramer
God Helps Those….
99 Cents

39
Ashley & Jaquavis
Supreme Clientele
$ 6.64

40
James Baldwin
If Beale Street Could Talk
$ 10.51
Classic
41
K. L. Brady
The Bum Magnet
$ 7.99

42
Pamela Samuels-Young
Every reasonable doubt
$ 8.49

43
Michelle Andrea Bowen
Church folk
$ 9.99
Church people are too crazy!
44
Sapphire
The Kid
$ 12.99

45
Stephanie Casher
When love isn't enough
99 Cents
Beautifully written book
46
Stephanie Morris
Staking his claim
$ 4.99
Another beautifully written book
47
Steve Harvey
Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man
$ 9.99
Movie coming out soon
48
Terry McMillian
Waiting to Exhale
$ 9.99
Great movie too!
49
Terry Woods
True to the Game I, II and III
$ 6.99

50
Wahida Clark
Thugs and the women who love them
$ 6.99

51
Valerie Wilson Wesley
Easier to Kill (Tamara Hayle Mystery)
$ 2.86

52
Colson Whitehead
Zone one: A Novel
$ 12.99

53
A.O. Fulmore
Eyes Never Lie
$ 9.99
My book club member. 
 I’m proud of her
54
Alfred Adams, Jr.
Port City
$ 16.95

55
Carl Weber
The Family Business (Family Business Trilogy)
$ 13.49
Cannot, repeat, cannot wait
56
E. N. Joy
She who finds a husband
$ 11.24

57
Vanessa Davis Griggs
The Truth is the Light (Blessed Trinity)
$ 8.09

58
Aliyah Burke
A Little White Lie
$ 1.99

59
Angela Winters
Back on Top
$ 8.59
Soap Opera for Black Folks
60
Dante Feenix
Black Butterfly 
99 Cents

61
Eric Jerome Dickey
Friends and Lovers
$ 10.24

62
Eyone Williams
Lorton Legends 
$ 9.99

63
Fred Raymond Rutledge Jr.
The Lesson
$ 9.99

64
Kayla Perrin
Spring Break
$ 9.99

65
Keli Goff
The GQ Candiate
$ 11.99
Think “Obama”
66
R. M. Johnson
Keeping the Secret
$ 2.99

67
Rachel Howzell
The View from here
99 Cents

68
Ralph Richard Banks
If marriage for white people?: 
How the African American marriage
decline affects everyone
$ 12.99

69
Toure`
Who's afraid of Post-Blackness
$ 11.99

70
Toye Lawson Brown
Nayla's Delimma - The ends of Justice
99 Cents
Children will love this!
71
Traci Bee
Two tears in a bucket
$ 2.99

72
Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker
Millionaire Wives Club: A Novel
$ 11.99

73
Toni Morrison
Beloved
$ 11.99
Classic
74
Virginia DeBerry/Donna Grant
Uptown
$ 11.99

75
Tina Brooks McKinney
All That Drama
$ 7.99

76
Robert Greer
The Devil's Hatband: A Novel
 (CJ Floyd mystery series)
$ 13.95
Murder mystery at it’s best
77
Betty Griffin
A Kiss of A Different Color
$ 3.49
Black/White relationship
78
Carleen Brice
Children of the Waters: A Novel
$ 9.99

79
Cheryl Robinson
When I get where I'm going
$ 9.99

80
Chicki Brown
Have You seen her
$ 2.99

81
Carl Weber
Something on the Side 
$ 6.64
The man can write his butt off!
82
Carl Weber
She Ain't The One 
$ 4.30
The man can write his butt off!
83
Joel B. Reed
Murder in the Choir
 (The Jazz Phillips Mystery Series) Cents
99 Cents

84
Karyn Langhorne
Don't bring home a white boy: 
another other notions that keep 
black women from dating out
$ 11.99

85
Maria McKensie
The Governor's sons 
$ 2.99
Black/White relationship
86
Marissa Monteilh
Hot Boyz
$ 6.99

87
Pearl Cleage
Till You Hear From Me: A Novel
$ 13.99
Classic
88
Kimberla Lawson Roby
The Reverend's Wife 
(A Reverend Curtis Black Novel)
$ 11.99
Can’t wait, he’s back!!
89
Victoria Christopher Murray and 
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Sinners & Saints
$ 9.99
Got my copy
90
RM Johnson
The Harris Family: A Novel
$ 10.99

91
ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Let the Church Say Amen
$ 10.99
Let the church say AMEN!!
92
Kiki Swinson
Wifey
$ 6.99

93
Walter Mosley
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
$ 11.99
Classic
94
J. California Cooper
Homemade Love
$ 11.32
Classic
95
Mary Monroe
Mama Ruby
$ 9.03
Crazy!!!
96
Zane
Addicted
$ 11.99
Oh, yeah, I’m addicted to Zane
97
Michael Baisden
The Maintenance Man: A Novel
$ 10.20

98
K. Elliott
Treasure Hunter
99 Cents

99
Treasure E. Blue
Harlem Girl Lost: A Novel
$ 9.99

100
Zane
Dear G-Spot
$ 11.99
I need a man badly!