National Black Book Festival


Friday, February 22, 2013

Black Kindle - Christian Flavors!!!

“You know? I really need some help!!! I have lost my ever loving mind.  Went to the library for a board meeting and afterwards, browsed around and took out six books.  I got books at home I have not finished reading like, DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN – TEAM OF RIVALS: THE POLITICAL GENIUS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN - $9.99 - - -Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Saw the movie and love Daniel Day Lewis.  Hope he wins the Oscar, of course he is going to win!!!!).  So far the book is damn good and I’m learning more and more about Lincoln and his “rivals” Edwin M. Stanton, Salmon P. Chase, William H. Seward and Edward Bates.  All of these “rivals” or strange bedfellows were new to me and it’s been fascinating to read.  It’s a very long book, 754 pages, but it’s worth it.  MICHAEL GATES GILL – HOW STARBUCKS SAVED MY LIFE – PAPERBACK -$9.86 - - - How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.  How in the world did I get this book?  This old white guy at the library where I volunteer is always recommending books to me and it was too funny to turn down.  Older white guy, who was part of the elite “white, corporate, Harvard, and materialistic groupeezs", get’s downside, divorced from wife and his mistress, “baby mama” dumps him.  He finds himself dressed in his Brooks Brothers suite, sitting in Starbucks in Manhattan sipping his last expensive Latte`. A young African American girl stops by the table and ask, “Would you like a job?”   That one line is what starts his life over again and a new way of accepting people at their real value.  It propels his life in a completely different direction then the way he was raised and lived.  I’m laughing and enjoying it the hell out it. 
I did finish one book.  The “We are Northwood Book Club,” my church group, met on Feb 4 to discuss DEE HENDERSON – THE NEGOTIATOR (THE O’MALLEY SERIES #1) - $9.39 - - - The Negotiator: 1 (O'Malley).  It is the first in the O’Malley series.  The previous month we read the prequel in the series, DANGER IN THE SHADOWS (PREQUEL TO THE O’MALLEY SERIES) - $9.39 - - - Danger in the Shadows: 0 (O'Malley), which introduced us to Dave Richman, a Christian and FBI agent protecting his sister from a “real nut case,” while she is falling in love with Adam, another good guy with Christian values.  It was a good and fast read of forgiveness and, of course, romance, which made us want to learn more about the O’Malley’s.
The O’Malley’s, 7 or 8, I can’t remember, It’s early and I’ve been at work since 6:00am with not enough coffee in me to deal with these people today.  The O’Malley’s were children orphans who pull together and became a family.   The Negotiator is about Kate, a hostage negotiator who meets Dave Richman at a bank heist while she is negotiating with a “nut case,” and you know the rest.  Conflicts, love, more danger, “nut cases” (I use that word a lot, don’t I), revenge and finding a lost blood brother.  Though it all, Dave keeps his faith and helps Kate find hers. We have come to the conclusion that these books will end the same.  Dangerous situation and falling in love, but the main theme is still forgiveness and keeping faith in GOD.  You can't beat that theory!!
Our next book is, THE GUARDIAN 2 (O’MALLEY) - $9.99 - - - The Guardian: 2 (O'Malley).  A federal judge has been murdered. There is only one witness. And the assassin wants her dead. U.S. Marshal Marcus O’Malley thought he knew the risks of the assignment, but you know he was wrong. 
We started a conversation at the last meeting on how hard it has been to locate another Christian writer like, FRANCINE RIVERS - REDEEMING LOVE $9.99 - - - Redeeming Love: A Novel.  I can read that book over and over again.  It is a love story, but not just any love story.  Angel, sold into prostitution, grows a bitters hatred towards men, and!! OK, I get that part.  She meets Michael Hosea and he does not, does not give up on her.  He prays and prays all the while keeping his heart and faith with GOD.  I just love, love that book and still feels so happy and cry during the last scene when Sara finally comes, on her knees no less, to Hosea.  What a woman and what a man!!!! 
We just about covered all of Francine River’s books last year and for 2013 we are going to try Dee Henderson.  We may change up a bit and I will let you know.  I’ve even got them thinking of reading some African American Christian writers, since I was selected as the leader for 2013.  Man! I’m always volunteering my time somewhere, somehow.  I got a serious sickness, don’t I? 
Well that’s three, so here are the ones I got from the Library on Wednesday.  I should be ashamed of myself, but I can’t help myself!!!
DON MACLEON - How to Find Out Anything: From Extreme Google Searches to Scouring Government Documents, a Guide to Uncovering Anything About Everyone and Everything - $9.99 - - - How to Find Out Anything: From Extreme Google Searches to Scouring Government Documents, a Guide to Uncovering...- - I went to the New Fiction/Non Fiction section and it look interesting.  I went through it quickly and it does cover some items you may have had in the past in searching on Google.  It's OK, but it really could have been a pamphlet not a book.  I would, though, recommend it to teens and older adults who have had limited Internet usage.    

Hey, the winner of the John Newbery Medal - KATHERINE APPLEGATE - THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN - $8.87.  I guess I will get about three copies for the Bring Your Child To Work Day in April.   The One and Only Ivan.

Got to get one in for Black History Year
"Let's stay on the Christian path, shall we?"
WANDA B. CAMPBELL - FIRST SUNDAY IN OCTOBER - $3.99 - - - Another book I got and don't need.  Who cares, I love it!!!!Julia Simone has been thru some very hard times. Her first husband died, leaving her a single parent; her second husband was an abusive man. She has overcome all those difficulties and is now very successful. Julia has everything she could ever want: a beautiful daughter, a loving family, a best friend, and is financially sound. The only thing missing from her life is a true love, but Julia has given up on ever finding that. Besides, she does not have time to get involved with someone.

Rev. Reginald Pennington is a man with a past that would surprise many. He is ashamed of his past, but he is now a different man. He is a man with a purpose, to spread the word of God. He has committed himself to his church, heart and soul. When his path crosses with Julia's, the electricity between them is very evident to everyone but him. He keeps her at arms length, wanting to be with her but telling himself he has no plans to get involved.

Julia and Reggie become fast friends after a business deal between her company and his church. At first, they tell themselves it is merely friendship, and then they become closer and things start to change. Julia's feelings change when Reggie sends mixed signals. Each has a past that they must come to terms with; things for which they must forgive themselves in order to move forward. Life altering events bring surprises and sorrow that test their faith in God, themselves, and each other.   
First Sunday in October

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Black Kindle Rocks - Scandalous - Nicole Dunlap

“The Sanctuary” (Part Time Job at the Asylum) is the same old same old and I’m getting kind of weary writing about them.  There are times I feel like I’m reading an Urban Lit book with more actual drama than I care to continue.  I will, though, keep them in my prayers and do my best to help them when I can. 
I had promised to let you know of four books I’m reading.  I’m so behind on my reading because of the many new projects at my regular job. Recently, I was nominated to become a board member of the Friends of the South Carolina State Library.  I’ve also been nominated as Vice President of memberships for the Charleston Friends of the Library.  I can’t say no, my heart doesn’t know how when it’s this big.  I’m also getting ready for the “Bring Your Child to Work day” in April.  Each month I buy little things to put into the kids’ bags, like candy, Pez candy, crayons and such as well as the books.  Most of the time I get books from our Friends book sale and Amazon.  This year I am hoping again that I can give each kid a Kindle.  Yes, I know, what the hell am I thinking!!!  I just love to see and hear a kid read.  The world in their eyes is overwhelming and beautiful.  Can’t give up that dream, can I?  So, I’m working as much overtime at both jobs to stay on track with my Dave Ramsey Plan and get these books out to these kids. 
Commercial Break:  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can really see a small prism of light, just enough to catch my attention.  The Dave Ramsey Plan works. 
It hurts, Oh! It hurts like hell.  After you start though, keep your faith going and keep your prayers coming.  Keep an accountability, friend, partner, wife, husband, boy or girl friend to help you.  Keep your so called “real friends” at bay.  I’m talking about the jackasses who are always buying things they don’t need and then ask you to do the same thing.  You can get out of debt and stay out.  Once again though, it ain’t freaking easy!!!!
I can’t hang out much with my friends.  I’m going to have to limit Book Fair trips.  Can’t make it to Houston for the National Black Book Festival and may also miss the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta, but as Dave says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”  I’m going to make it and make it BIG!!!
Now on to books (My third love after GOD and my kid).  Remember in December I reviewed NICOLE DUNLAP – MISS NOBODY (SHAW FAMILY SAGA) - - - Miss Nobody: Shaw Family Saga, Book 1, she contacted me on her next book.  It’s seventh heaven to be contacted by authors and a real respect to post their books.  From the last book, Charlene, who gave up her daughter to her Aunt and Uncle in order for her to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, is still haunted by it and beginning to realize how damaged she has caused and how much she will eventually have to face.  Her daughter, Raven, begins her search for the mother who abandoned her, gets pregnant around the same age as her mother was when she had her and has to face the baby’s father whose family secrets may or may not hurt the baby.  The loving Aunt and Uncle, who raised Raven, got some dirty secrets of their own.  You know secrets will surface.  They always do and it’s only a matter of time before all of the secrets begin to unravel and I’m sure there will be more.  Here’s the next book and a synopsis from the author: 
A mother’s love vs A daughter’s revenge.  Charlene Shaw has gone through hell.  She was raped and left for dead, yet she continued on her quest for fame.  She’s a beautiful, desired actress who has found her Mr. Wright.  According to the magazine headlines, her life is perfect. There’s just one thing her heart cries for…her daughter, Raven. This might be her hardest challenge yet building a mother-daughter bond she’s prayed so hard for.
Raven Shaw has been abandoned by love. Her mother preferred Hollywood and her childhood best-friend, now ex-lover, disappeared when she became pregnant. Now, she’s adjusted to a “new” kind of love…motherhood.  She’s determined that her daughter will have everything she didn’t.  The only thing she wants for herself is revenge, even if it means disconnecting from a small piece of her heart that still cares.  Raven’s acts of rage slither into her mindset, overpowering her in the form of nightmares and delusions of skeletons long dead.
After Raven’s scandalous ways, can Charlene mend Raven’s heart or will she be pulled down into the abyss? And then, there’s always the option, Charlene can get a little scandalous too!!!
Check out Nicole's website for more on this and her other books - - -
Got to get one in for Black History Year
BERNICE L. McFADDEN - SUGAR: A NOVEL - $12.99 - - - I finally found my copy of this book.  I looked for it when I read something about it from the NPR website.  Will get to reading it very soon.

Quote from Publisher Weekly, “With her eponymous anti-heroine, debut novelist McFadden breaks the mold of a venerable stereotype. Here, the hooker with a heart of gold is instead a hooker with a past so tarnished no amount of polishing can change her fate. As a baby, Sugar is abandoned by her mother and raised by a trio of prostitutes who run an Arkansas bordello. Turning tricks at age 12, and leaving town four years later to try her luck in St. Louis and then Detroit, brings more degradation, along with an ever-hardening heart. Upon her mother's death in 1955, Sugar is willed a modest home in Bigelow, Ark., but when she moves into town, and supports herself the only way she knows, the female population raises in wrath against her. 

All except Pearl, Sugar's next-door neighbor, who more than a decade ago lost her beloved daughter, Jude, to a vicious rapist/murderer. Pearl is struck by Sugar's uncanny likeness to Jude, and is determined to become Sugar's friend in spite of vocal disapproval. Although the two women are opposites in nearly every way, they bring out the best in each other: Sugar convinces Pearl to loosen up and accompany her to a Saturday night juke joint, and Sugar promises to go to church for two months of Sundays. Hypocritical gossip spreads among the townsfolk and tension grows when it turns out that nearly every married man in Bigelow pays a visit to Sugar, leaving the apparently frigid wives planning to run Sugar out of town. 

Pearl gives it her best shot to transform Sugar, but both women's painful pasts come back to haunt them in a crescendo of violent reenactments, betrayals and surprising revelations leading to a poignant, bittersweet ending. Readers will appreciate Sugar's determination to come to terms with her past and fashion a viable future".

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's still been a few weeks since the “Part Time Job at the Asylum” debacle and the firing of another employee, but all is well.  Except one more item.  On Saturday I noticed that the young man who talks to damn fast and always, always going to the bathroom, had a sling on his arm.  I didn’t ask and did not care.  You see when I arrive at work, I say hello to everyone and start working.  While working, I can hear the inane conversations about nothing new or exciting.  You know, the usual hanging out with friends, being mad at friends, baby mama drama, club drama and looking for money for drugs, nothing out of the ordinary. 
While cleaning up, I bumped by accident into the young man who was sitting on the coffee container that I needed to get too.  They do have a bad habit of sitting their asses on counters where people eat and you wonder why I clean that place with Clorox.  Well, when I bumped into him, I said, “sorry, excuse me.”  He walked back towards the store, away from me and said that he was shot over the weekend coming out of a night club and that is why he is wearing a sling.  “Oh, I said, sorry about bumping into you and I was not aware that you got shot."  How would I know that?  He walked away and went out side and said no more. 
Later I asked one of the girls, “Did he ever go to the hospital.”  According to her he did, but according to everyone else he did not, because he showed his wound like it was a badge of honor and it started bleeding and blistering. Lord!, I was not around when that happened because I would have thrown some Clorox on it.  As I’ve stated before, all is well and all is the same. 
I am in the process of reading four books, but before I get to those books, probably tomorrow since this blog is so long, let me tell you that I saw my favorite, my absolute (I have many absolutes) author, Carl Weber at Books A Million.  I got there two hours early and saved seats for my “BookClubGroupie” members and when he arrived, we all said at the same time, “Didn’t you wear that sweater last year?”  
He had seen us before, especially me, and told us, “I’m not a fashion maven, I like my old clothes.”  It was one of many funny moments.  He did ask if anyone had seen him before and just about all said yes.  I had sent out a massive email two or three times early last month to many people at both jobs as well as friends, but many did not come. 

Very disappointing especially since the other Books A Million is closing in two weeks.  That leaves only one in Charleston and three Barnes and Nobles.  Jackie, the woman in charge of bringing authors to the store, was pissed that all of the radio spots she contracted with, not one station aired it, at least that many people there did not hear it. Also, there was less than 50 people there.  It was very discouraging to see and the way the current store was looking, they are not going to make it much longer either.  We really need to support our black authors more.  Not just buying, but demanding that these books stores have more author signing.  I know they do a lot in New York, maybe it's just here.  Very frustrating indeed!  This hit or miss is not enough and definitely not enough to keep Charleston’s black lit going.  We have got to figure out a way.  
Carl was funny and he confirmed that “FAMILY BUSINESS 2” arrives September 2013.  “TO PARIS WITH LOVE”, the prequel of the character Paris from Family Business” in December 2013 and “CHOIR DIRECTOR 2” in March 2014Also, he is working on a TV show in 2014 based upon the Family Business saga.  If he uses the actors from the YouTube clip on Family Business, it ain’t going to work.  They can’t act worth a lick.  They are too dry and no aggressiveness, but who am I, just a patron of the arts.  You may not be aware, unless you read the book, there’s a connection between the main character in THE MAN IN 3B and Vegas, the character in Family Business (when Carl said his name, all of the women just said “Ahhh, oh lord that man looks good.!"  Don’t know what it is about a buffed man in jail, but he does appear to be very smart and sexy.  “My, my, my,” reminds me of the guy in the Superbowl commercial with the chisel six pack.   "Damn it feels good to be a gangsta!!!
Hey, I got there two hours early and got my book autographed, “my precious, my precious.”  Now, I’m damn happy and I'll put it on the shelf to watch and wait, “my precious.”
The Man in 3B
I thought I let you read my book club groupie’s comments posted on Face book the day after the signing.  The negative comments from Carl got some serious feedback:
Kat - “I'm going to have to disagree with Carl Weber's statement that in the future the only African American authors who will dominate black lit will be Zane, Kimberla, and himself.  I like Carl and all but he's a bit on the self-centered side of life. I sat there and thought of 5 or 6 authors who are prolific writers. I'll go so far to say Daniel Black could out write any of those three any day....and there are others who could very well "dominate" black lit.  On the other side of the coin is that what good writers want to do? Dominate black lit? I wonder what Toni Morrison and Walter Mosley would say about that? Sound off ladies, what do you think? I'm going to stop rambling and go back to work...Toodles...#thingsonmymind”
Veronica - “Also, I don't like how he snubbed Sister Souljah.  I'm hearing good things about her book - “A DEEPER LOVE INSIDE: THE PORSCHE  SANTIAGO STORY - $11.04 - - - A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story.” Carl totally railroaded her.  It reminded me of when we met RM (RM Johnson - “NO ONE IN THE WORLD: A NOVEL - $9.73 - - - No One in the World: A Novel,” by him and E. Lynn Harris after Harris’s death) and he said Omar Tyree - “FLY GIRL” - - - Flyy Girl," (my favorite!!!) is not writing anymore, like Omar not even relevant when in actuality he had a new novel out. These authors can be so dirty.  I'm going to read The Man in 3B and I will probably like it. I doubt it will be my favorite!#dropsthemic”
Me - “The bottom line to me is, I have never cared what one author (black, blue, green, white or whatever), says about another. It's too, too negative and I got better time with my mind then worry about their egos. Every single African American author needs to support every single one of each other. We are losing the way the publishing business is running and they don't have time to dog each other. All of their books are good, great, not so great, but I'm happy to see so many of these authors. I've been around (not that old!!) and I still don't see enough black authors. We need more and more and I'm going to push it like a drug dealer on the street!!!”
I got a lot of “likes” on that comment and I believe in it too!!

Got to get one in for Black History Year
This is a beautiful book inside with pictures of homes from the 18th centuries, large living rooms with stained glass exteriors, Victorian settings, huge bedrooms , apartments, old churches such as the New York Presbyterian, St Philips Church and others.  
There's even a copy of the Harlem Magazine from 1912 that costs 15 cents, amazing, just amazingly beautiful!!! Hardcover $51.77 - - - Harlem: Lost and Found