National Black Book Festival


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Black Kindle Rocks - Tamika Newhouse

I cannot believe, just cannot believe that I missed three, not one, but three author sightings. It’s so rare to see African American authors down here in the “old south,” Charleston.  I just wanted to kick myself for missing them.  Airhead!!!  Three days of missed author sightings.
PEARL CLEAGE - The author of “WHAT LOOKS LIKE CRAZY ON A ORDINARY DAY - $9.78,” “JUST WANNA TESTIFY: A NOVEL - $12.99,” “BABYLON SISTERS: A NOVEL - $11.99,” and many, many more books as well as a playwright, lectured at Claflin University in Organgeburg, South Carolina last week, Thursday, and I missed it.  I have seen her numerous times, but this was held at one of the most famous HBC colleges in the US.  I kept telling myself I was going to visit that college to see it’s history, but never got there.  Now, I’m really disappointed I missed the Pearl and the college.  

SONIA SANCHEZ - Writer, Poet, Playwright and Activist - The author of “SHAKE LOOSE MY SKIN: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS - $9.99,” “I’M BLACK WHEN I’M SINGING, I’M BLUE WHEN I AIN’T AND OTHER PLAYS - $9.99” and many other books, was at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture center in Charleston to celebrate Women’s History Month.  
Then the final straw - TAMIKA NEWHOUSE - A self published bestselling author, who founded and owns Delphine Publications, also visited Charleston last week Saturday for the Sistah Reading Sistah Chocolate Chat.  I really could kick myself.  I met her in Houston two years ago and this sister is one of the biggest producer and promoter of urban books.  She also founded the Baltimore Urban Book Festival, which I hope to go in 2014.  That woman is all over the world spreading her company and the passion to read books.  I admire her since she came from a broken background and pulled herself up and started this publishing company and it’s still going strong, even during this ebook revolution.  
You may not be into Urban/Street Lit and I am not an expert, but I will always give these books a try.  Some of these books say the same old story line over and over again on drugs, ghetto mentality, name calling, etc.  I get a bit tired of it, but I also know that these are the same books I buy in paperback to give to the young adults and to my part time “nuts” at “The Sanctuary” (haven’t talked much about them.  Let’s just say, things remain the same, drama, drama and more drama).  I even give the drug dealers some of these urban/street lit on the corners, just so that I can make some kind of impact on their minds.  Something to get them to think and maybe one day they will get tired and try something new.  I gotta have hope and can’t give up.
How could I have missed three authors in one week.  I tell you how, I worked and worked and worked, got home and was in bed at 8pm to start over again at 4am.  I’m trying to stay on the Dave Ramsey plan, but I tell you, I’m losing steam working two jobs.  I’m losing steam, but I won’t give up as long as GOD is on my side, I just won’t give up.
Here’s a few of Tamika’s books:
THE ULTIMATE NO NO - FREE - - - When Dahlia decides to get even with a man, named Troy, who broke her heart, she thinks of a master plan. To her dismay after asking Nitrah, her best friend to help her get even, she falls in love with Troy. Not only does this cause a huge rift, the ladies must soon face the fact that they both have lied and their secrets will unveil. Troy thinks he has finally found true love with Nitrah but what will happen when he finds out their relationship is based on a lie. This novel includes, love, sex, deceit, and betrayal. Five characters tell the story as they see it. 
THE ULTIMATE QUESTION: WILL LOVE EVER NO ME - $2.99 COOKIE: A FORT WORTH STORY - $2.99 - - - Born Latoya James, when starting high school, Cookie believes this is her time to stand out from underneath her sister’s shadow. Always declared the odd one, she makes it her mission to be noticed by anyone who will pay attention. Reality starts to settle in when she realizes life isn't always peaches and cream. After witnessing the rape of her best friend, and then the death of one of her classmates, she starts to believe life isn’t what she thought it would be. Sex, drugs, catering to her new demons, and hanging out with the older crowd becomes her escape and not even her high school sweetheart can steer her straight. It isn’t until she realizes everyone around her is not who they seem to be when she decides to change her life. But when she experiences an unwanted pregnancy and the death of her mother, Cookie is left to wonder if this is the way her life will always be. Based on a true story, Cookie is a gripping tale of a teen girl who had to grow up sooner than later. Taking place in one of the fastest-growing suburbs of Fort Worth, witness the life of Cookie and her quest to be loved, appreciated, and wanted. You will soon discover life is never what it seems.  I get the impression that this book is based upon Tamika’s life.
KISSES DON’T LIE - $.99 - - - Kyla’s first love, Dean and the one she calls, Mr. Right, Keith, is struggling with her desires and her past when she makes a rare trip back home to Fort Worth. After leaving ten years ago Kyla comes to terms with the one who got away; Dean and their short lived romance comes into full swing. That is until it goes wrong and she is left with wondering if she should work it out with Keith instead. A simple kiss led to many secrets being revealed; and it makes Kyla wish she could take it all back. 
Michael is ready to commit to Brittany and for once he feels he has the right woman by his side. That is until a passionate night turns into an unwanted child. Fighting to keep her heart from being broken; Brittany vows to never be just another notch in a mans belt. Although Michael promises to be there and seals it with a kiss, Brittany still struggles with if she should carry their child. 
When love isn’t enough will each one of them make the right decision? Can they finally trust the one they want the most? After all its better to be slapped by the truth then kissed with a lie. They say kisses don’t lie, right?
Maybe more of a romance than an Urban lit.  You see, not all street lit is filled with drama, sometimes, it’s just a good story.  
Got to get one in for Black History Year
ARNOLD RAMPERSAD - JACKIE ROBINSON: A BIOGRAPHY - $12.99.  The movie “42” comes out on April 12.  It is the story of Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman) and his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under manager Branch Rickey (played by Harrison Ford).  I am not sure and have not been able to find out if this movie is based upon this book, but I don’t think it matters.  
There are many books on Jackie Robinson and my copy was published in 1997, hardcover and I’m glad I kept it.  It is displayed on the top shelf of my bookcase as a reminder over and over again, that if Jackie Robinson and other African Americans before me have and survived so much injustices than I can imagine, that my lot in life is extremely better because of them and I am grateful, honor, and proud.   

Monday, March 25, 2013

Black Kindle - Pat Tucker & Chinua Achebe

Is that a title or what - Pat Tucker - Urban Lit and Chinua Achebe - Literature at it's finest!!!  
I returned all of the books to the library from last month.  Then I turned around to gather more to borrow.  When I got to the register, I was told that I owed $40.00 “Damn, did I owe that much in overdue fees?” I said to myself, not out loud.  I do remember paying on line $2.60, but did not think I owed that much.  Come to find out that this is the yearly fee you pay when you live out of the county.  I live in Berkeley and the library is in Charleston county.  I did remember that, but forgot my year was up.  Oh, well, I will have to wait until payday and see if it is on my “Dave Ramsey” budget. You know I was heartbroken, but I got to stick to the budget to get out of DEBT!!! forever!!!
Now you know what I mean when I say, it is damn, ding, dong hard to stay on this financial plan.  You should only buy “needs” not “wants” and it’s hard when I love to buy books and more books.  That’s why I started using the library more, to get my weekly “drug fix.”  So, I’m forced to go to the local library around the corner from me.  It’s small with an older selection of books.  You won’t find many urban or street lit and not a large selection of African American, but they do have a pretty good selection of books published in the early 90s.  That’s OK, since I will read anything.  Every once in a while, the library will have the newest fiction/non-fiction on the small bookshelf by the entrance, not many copies, but enough. 
Who I don’t like working in the library are the two “old, white women, with dry blue hair flying with a "I'm still living during the confederacy and going to stay in that era attitude.”  I have nothing against anyone being “old.”  I hope I make it that far and father, but these two remind me of “Gone with the wind” characters still living the dream that the confederate will rise again in the South, "give me a break.”  They just don’t get it and on top of moving slow and still using paper to write everything down, their computer knowledge is not much better.  “The old biddies!”  That’s OK, I faced a few times and don’t mind facing them again.  I will get what I want and will ensure they understand that “DC (Me) is in the House” and will not take any crap from them.  I did write a few letters to the county about how they treat minorities and how the selection should be updated and for god sake, get with the program and lend books on the kindle.  
When I went back in there, after my "money failure" the "old biddies" were moved to the back.  There are more computers (boy, do libraries need computers) and a better selection of books.  I have since heard that I was not the only complaint about those women.  Some one must have finally listen.  Until I get my $40.00, will just have to walk to the local library.  That's good thing.  It will help me decrease my smoking and increase my walking.  
On to my books-oh-Rama!!!
I get emails, notices, etc from home (DC) on author sightings, book fairs, etc.  If I’m not able to attend, I get my kid and her dad (who is a professional photographer) to go, take pictures and get me a goodies bag.  They attended the “A Social Affair” with Authors Earl Sewell and Pat Tucker” given by the Sweet Soul Sisters Book Club in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Also promoted by my one of my favorite authors, ZANE.  My package just came in the mail and I got the book autographed by both authors with a goodies bag filled with advertisements, candy, etc.  Can’t wait to start reading it, but first I must catch up with my other reading, just too many damn books and not enough time.  I need to retire and marry and very rich man!!!! so that I can have as much time as I want.  Keep dreaming, huh!

I met Pat Tucker at the National Black Book Festival in Houston 2 years ago and brought her book, Daddy by Default (Zane Presents) - $7.59 - - - The gist of it, when bad and stupid woman try to get away with tricking men with the “baby momma” drama and the kids ain’t even theirs.

PAT TUCKER and EARL SEWELL - A SOCIAL AFFAIR: A NOVEL (ZANE PRESENTS) - $9.73 - - - Bored with her humdrum married life, (Is that the theme of 2013?  Everyone is bored with their marriage?  According to what’s playing on TV.  I have seen so many books, TV shows (don’t have a TV, but do see the comments and such on the Internet, getting down and dirty with damn near 

everyone.  Whoa!! what the hell is going on?) thirty-two-year-old Codi Norman is searching for excitement. After teaming up with her best friend, Katina, Codi discovers that the Internet offers both money and an escape from her earthly life. In cyberspace anything is possible, and that is what Codi loves most.
While online, she meets a charming and handsome man named Quinn Hamilton. Sparks fly and the two begin a torrid affair with unpredictable consequences. But their virtual lives collide with reality when their spouses discover their illicit relationship.
Got to get one in for Black History Year
CHINUA ACHEBE - THINGS FALL APART - $9.99 - - - My GOD, I read this book while in college.  It was required reading and from my understanding, it still is.  He you want to listen to him, go to NPR - Remembering China Achebe and the Importance of Struggle from 1988.  He will be remembered not by what he did, but by what we have learned.
If you don’t remember, here's a clip from Amazon.  “Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Black Kindle - Too many Books from the Library!!!

Now I will get to those books I got at the library.  What in the world was I thinking?  I got books at work, in the car, read a half hour before church starts.  I got books upstairs, downstairs, kitchen, living room and of course about three or four in my bed.  What kind of nut am I!!  So what did I just do when looking for funny pictures of people reading to add to my blog?  Buy another damn book on Amazon.  “Crazy, aren’t I!!” 

“I’m sick, I tell you, I’m sick!!!! Oh, but what an intensifying, awesome, exciting, cool, and awe inspiring feeling it is to delve into the unknown, historical, funny, and insane way people lived and living.  You can’t get that much oomph! from TV or Movie.  
The books I got from the library:
JESSICA FLETCHER & DONALD BAIN - MURDER, SHE WROTE - DOMESTIC MALICE - $10.99 - - - I am a fan of the Murder She Wrote TV series.  It is no longer on TV, but someone years ago gave me a DVD and now I have all them and the four movies.  It's comfort, low key and after many years, I still want Jess and Seth to get together.  It reminds me so much of Della Street and Perry Mason.  You want certain couples together, but you know you like watching or reading the game being played.  
Cabot Cove not so nice council member, Richard Mauser, is against funding a women's shelter.  He thinks, and you know there are plenty of nuts who think the same, that this shelter is just a reason for women to avoid taking care of the home.  Give me a break!  One night while volunteering at the shelter with Edwina, they meet Myriam.  She is battered and beaten and don't want to really accept help because she is afraid that her husband will find out and kill her.  What Myriam does not tell Jessica and Edwina, is that she has been communicating with a few people on her computer at home about the abuse and a few have suggested that she kills her husband.
Well, he is shot dead and she is accused.  Jessica does her usual snopping, with help from Harry McGraw, to find the real killer because Myriam has confessed to the killing.  Is is me or does Jessica drops in on murder cases all the time.  I guess she has to or the story will end, just my like dream of having her and Seth together. 
There are other Jessica Fletcher's books, and I plan on getting them.  The tick though is, I only want to read the ones where the setting is in Cabot Cove.  I just love those creepy, crazy, conniving, crackpot, eccentric people living in Cabot Cove.  They make me laugh!!!
JACKIE COLLINS - THE POWER TRIP - $12.99 - - - Just my luck, after a Library board meeting, I saw about 8 books and borrowed all of them.  I need help.  I know, I know, her books are pure trash, but I love to read her "pure trash" because there is always a plot to kill and the bad guy or girl always get theirs in the end, sometimes.  Another reason I enjoy her books, every type of race, creed or color are part of the plot.  She does not discriminate and I like that.  Every one is a little bit crazy, don't you think!
Married Russian billionaire in love and living with a famous black model.  Salaciously, corrupt and low down, dirty politician, married to a woman who he browbeats and only married her for prestige.  A black UK football player married to a unhappy white wife.  A “George Clooney” type guy who never wants to get married, living with a young lady who will try anything and everything to get him to marry her.  Latin singer, who decided after his marriage was dissolved with one child, comes out of the closet and starts living with a guy who presents himself as a prudish nut, but with some very unconventional tastes and a famous journalist and his best friend, another journalist who is Asian.  
They all meet at an exclusive party on the yacht named after the billionaire's girlfriend and all hell breaks lose, they are being robbed and attacked by pirates.    Oh, I do have to mention that there is a bad guy, who is plotting revenge because his brother was killed by the Russian billionaire.   I read it in 4 fours, 538 pages.  The chapters were very short and most you can skip because you know what's going to happen.  You just want to hurry up and get to the end and I had already figured out the background of these characters;  Powerful, rich and famous with the same old story of how they got to the top with the usual tricks of the trade, dirty dealings, drugs and everything else.  It was an OK book and I always like for the bad guy to get it in the end and Collins does a pretty good job of wraping up all of the the characters.  Which tells you that there will be a part 2 because the bad guy did get away.  This time.
TRACY KIELY - MURDER MOST AUSTEN: A MYSTERY (ELIZABETH PARKER MYSTERIES) - $12.99 - - - It just looked interesting, especially since my kid got me hooked on Austen.
A dedicated Anglophile and Janeite, Elizabeth Parker is hoping the trip to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will distract her from her lack of a job and her uncertain future with her boyfriend, Peter.
On the plane ride to England, she and Aunt Winnie meet Professor Richard Baines, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Austen. His outlandish claims that within each Austen novel there is a sordid secondary story is second only to his odious theory on the true cause of Austen’s death. When Baines is found stabbed to death in his Mr. Darcy costume during the costume ball, it appears that Baines’s theories have finally pushed one Austen fan too far. But Aunt Winnie’s friend becomes the prime suspect, so Aunt Winnie enlists Elizabeth to find the  professor’s real killer. With an ex-wife, a scheming daughter-in-law, and a trophy wife, not to mention a festival’s worth of die-hard Austen fans, there are no shortage of suspects.

This fourth in Tracy Kiely’s charming series is pure delight. If Bath is the number-one Mecca for Jane Austen fans, Murder Most Austen is the perfect read for those who love some laughs and quick wit with their mystery.

I told you I borrowed some books from the library.  I need some help.  
Well, let’s get to at least one “African American author” - 
Got to get one in for Black History Year
Did I read correctly?  
Another set of “brothers” like the Westmoreland men?  
I cannot, cannot wait!!!! Shamalama Ding-Dong!!!
The Granger brothers left behind their family's Virginia estate-and the bad memories it holds-years ago. But their dying grandfather's request brings them home:to a failing business, a legacy of secrets and a deathbed promise to make things right. 
As the eldest brother, attorney Jace Granger is determined to take responsibility for Granger Aeronautics, his family's failing business. But the years of mismanagement seem impossible to untangle. As CEO, he hires a consultant to turn the company around. Smart, sexy Shana Bradford is the right person for the job-and the right woman to turn Jace's world upside down.

But the passion between them is jeopardized when old secrets begin to emerge. A woman from Jace's past suddenly reappears. And an explosive discovery changes everything Jace thinks he knows about his mother-and his father, who was convicted of her murder.  
Jace Granger tried to leave his family history behind once before. But this time he needs to face the past...or risk losing his future.