National Black Book Festival


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Black Kindle is still a Happy Camper!!!


Well, after my weekend of book splurging, it was time to rest and get back on track, especially for my full time job.  There are lots of changes going on and it looks promising, but, boy, does it wear a sister out.  Working two jobs (four if you consider this blog and volunteering at the library putting books back on the shelves), can truly wear one out.  People are always asking me how do I find the time, money, and energy to read and work so many jobs.  I got a system.  A system that has worked since the beginning of time.  

What is more important to you?  Being Debt Free! Being Happy! Being Blessed with what you have! Is watching TV more important than reading for yourself or reading to a child?  Is making a speculator dinner for you or your family important! (I made baked lemon chicken with collard greens and wheat rice (I'm trying to eat right, but that wheat rice was as dull as a piece of card board and it wasn't kicking, so I dumped the brown, very hard and dry, wheat rice and made some 100% natural Rice Pilaf, which was a whole lot better).

Is “The Law of the Garbage Truck,” more important?  What is The Law of The Garbage Truck? This is a quote from “JOEL OSTEEN - EVERY DAY A FRIDAY - HOW TO BE HAPPIER 7 DAYS A WEEK - $7.99 - “Many people are like garbage trucks.  They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it.  And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.”

That's the system,  "What's more important."  Is Stupid TV (some is good), with bad news all day and every day important?  It is OK for someone to “dump their garbage” on you?  Or is it more important to not allow them to take your joy.  That’s the system.  Use your GOD given passion to do what is important to you and your family.  We got 24 hours in a day and I know we can be so happy and content with who we are and what we have.  It’s an old saying and you may be tired of it, but it has always, always, always, worked.  "Now, don't not get me wrong," there will be days and nights where you want to hurt someone or cry your eyes out.  We are only human, but we got to have faith and keep on trying.

Me, I’m forcing myself to be happy every day and finding out that it is easier than I thought.  Last Saturday, for example, I volunteered at the Park Circle Film Society. It’s Charleston’s version of the Cannes Film Festival.  Didn't run into Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.  No one showed up in flowing gowns and definitely no paparazzi were taking pictures of me.  This Film Society show films not shown in local theaters and to educate one about the art of filming.  My job was to take tickets at the door.  Afterwards, I watched the movie, Shadow Dancer, free.  Single mother Collette McVeigh is a Republican living in Belfast with her mother and hardliner IRA brothers. When she is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA bomb plot in London, an MI5 officer (Mac, played by Clive Owen) offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison for 25 years or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. With her son's life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in Mac and return home, but when her brothers' secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself and her family in grave danger.  With Clive Owen (Inside Mann and The Bourne Identity), Andrea Risenborough and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files).  I did not think I would enjoy a movie about the IRA, but I had the best time and it was very enjoyable movie.  If you get a chance, go to you local library and get it.  Now I want to learn a bit more about the IRA.  Got to find some books on the subject.

Stay Happy and Read More books, See more movies and Enjoy life more!!!

V. BROWN - I AM HER, THE MISTRESS (G STREET CHRONICLES PRESENTS) - $4.99 - - - Meet Tyquasia “Ty” Roberts, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She lived in the Pork N Beans projects, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Miami. Contrary to what you may believe, Ty wasn’t your typical around the way girl. She was a good girl turned mistress when she finds out a sickening secret about her boyfriend of 3 years, Benzino, after he gets locked up. Benz is one of the top bosses in the drug game down south. The secret that comes to light that he’d hidden for so many years, could ruin his team's respect for him.
The revelations lead Ty to move and begin a new life in Atlanta, Georgia. There she meets the hottest party promoter/host known in the South, Nasir Cruz. The sexual attraction between the two is mutual. There’s only one little missing piece of information…Nasir is married to Lorraine Cruz, a fashion model who works so much that she’d become clueless to the problems in her marriage, but Lorraine won’t be clueless for long because Ty is about to let it all hang out. The evidence will be so direct and in her face that she’ll have no need to wonder anymore.
When Lorraine becomes fed up, she starts doing her own thing and devises a plan for some get-back, but as you know, everything doesn’t always go as planned. Friends become Foes, Benzino gets released from jail and some people aren’t who they say they are. There’s a bigger connection there than you may think. You'll be left with your mouth hanging wide open, shocked by who is who and what the original plan was from the beginning.

I Am Her, The Mistress (G Street Chronicles Presents)

MARY MONROE - LOST DAUGHTERS (MAMA RUBY) - $9.46 - - - If you are a fan of Mary Monroe - The Upper Room, Mama Ruby (Crazy, just crazy) and God Ain’t Blind, then you will love this one. 

The sequel to The Upper Room -- Maureen Montgomery still can't believe she was able to break away from her dominating Mama Ruby. Her happy, secure life with her husband Mel is more than Maureen ever dared hope for. And helping her pretty teenage daughter Loretta achieve her modeling dreams helps Maureen keep her bizarre childhood and disturbing memories firmly behind her. Until Mel and Loretta run off together, claiming they're in love.

Lost Daughters (Mama Ruby)

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE - AMERICANAH - $13.99 - - - There has been talk about this on book radio stations, NPR and TV, as well as a few written articles.  I just got the book and hope to start reading it before my Book Club Groupies discuss it in September.  They also claim it’s the book of the year.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.

I also forgot that she wrote HALF OF A YELLOW SUN - $11.99 - - -  Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.


Half of a Yellow Sun

JAMES GARNER - VAN HORN - $FREE - - - Aging playboy Earl Bourgeois had devoted the majority of his adult life to marijuana, drinking and women. After decades of eluding his responsibilities, he looked up and found that he was on the verge of destitution and in desperate need of a secure atmosphere to regroup.

After his business savvy nephew Cedric extends an invitation for him to move into his guest house in the affluent Hollywood Hills, Earl eagerly accepts the offer believing that the overture would somehow lead to him fulfilling his lifelong dream of living on a boat in the marina. Shortly after settling in Earl begins wrecking a slew of relationships and finds himself packing his car and fleeing back to New Orleans.

His road trip takes an unforeseen spin when he picks up a peculiar drifter and is further derailed when he is pulled over and detained when authorities find narcotics in his dilapidated car. 

After getting word from his scheming niece that his mother has planned an impending family reunion that he might not be released in time to attend, Earl reflects on his blunders and vows to change his self-indulging ways.

Will Earl make a liar out of the old saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or will he continue leading his seedy lifestyle?

ZORA NEALE HURSTON and LANGSTON HUGHES - THE MULE-BONE: A COMEDY OF NEGRO – Free - - - Two of the most powerful African American writers. There is nothing more to say, just get the book, you will not be disappointed. 

The Mule-Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life in Three Acts

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Black Kindle - Another Book Fair

I was off work for a few days again and I volunteered for another fabulous book sale at the Charleston County Friends of the Library Book Sale.  I always have a good time putting the books in author order, talking to our customers to persuade them to join the Friends of the library for $20.00 a year and buy lots of books other than the ones they were looking for.  

Remember I told you, I'm the one the staff tell the customers to see me if they are looking for a particular book.  The sale started Thursday night and ends today, four days of fun.  There is no other place in the whole wide world I want to be is hanging out at libraries, bookstores or sitting outside (the weather has been so beautiful), with a glass of wine or coffee and 5 or more books to feel, read, smell, and enjoy.  I am blessed beyond blessed.  So many books, so little time and so little money, but this sale has books for one to three dollars.  I didn't even go over my budget.  Dave Ramsey would be proud of me.!!!  

On Saturday night, my Book Club Groupies meet for our monthly meeting.  I set it up this month and asked that since we have not meet on a regular in the last three months, let's just talk about books we have read.  Just about all showed up, and a new member.  We went to a new Sushi place that opened a month ago in my neighborhood.  Instead of driving, I walked there.  I don't know why I don't walk more to the grocery store or library, they are so close.  I think I will start that.  I've walked Tommy my dog just as far, so I might as well keep walking to other places.  Here are all of the books I brought at the sale.  Some to give away and some to read over and over again.  Boy, am I a happy camper!!!

You Don't Even Know Me

The Education of Mary: A Little Miss of Color, 1832

The Boleyn Inheritance
She is my daughter's favorite author.
The Kite Runner
I got his newest book as a gift.  I wanted to go back and re-read his other two:

And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel
A Thousand Splendid Suns

Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and other Wily Characters

Sisters & Lovers
One of my favorite of her is P. G. County.
Reminds me of DC, my home.

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
I'm reading all of the current and former Secretary's of State biographies.

Silent Thunder

Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery

From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans
I remember this book from my college days and
I still have my copy.
Giving it as a gift.  Great book!

iPad 2 For Seniors For Dummies
Hey, we all need help!

A Love of My Own
Harris died a few years ago, but all of his books, especially his first one, INVISIBLE LIFE: A NOVEL - Invisible Life: A Novel is to this day considered classics and always will be.

The Bibliophile's Devotional: 365 Days of Literary Classics
Amazon has it to read for free if you have a prime account

All I Did Was Shoot My Man (Leonid Mcgill Mysteries)

Our Daily Bread Devotional Journal
I will always need something to keep my faith and stay positive

The Atlas of Literature
It is a beautiful book and I'm really enjoying it!

I think that's enough, don't you?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Black Kindle - New books!!

Friday was the last day for my best “work” friend.  He retired.  I don’t usually talk about my full time job.  For one thing, it’s my full time job and I have heard too many stories about people losing their jobs to stupid things said and done.  Besides, it’s really not that interesting where I work at.  Sure, they have drama, politic game playing (obviously not as gritty as the TV show, Scandal, but who knows, there's probably is something going on similar to it).  
We have our usual back stabbing strings of nut cases, craziness abound, psycho bosses and employees and the adjectives could go on forever.  For another reason, it’s not that  funny either.  Besides, I listened the first time someone told me that when you leave work at the end of the day, leave the “job” at the job.  I bet that’s hard.
The Sanctuary on the other hand is funny.  It does not matter when I return the following weekend, the stories I hear have more drama than I can write about.  It can also be a complete drain on my senses with the same old tired antics and negativeness, so most times I stay closed mouth, pray, work and keep on trying to help them; and I just realized too, that I love them and I want to make their lives better.    
My best “work” friend decided to finally retire this year after saying it for many years.  I kept asking him to hang in there until my kid finished high school.  He did.  I asked again until my kid finished college.  He did.  I then asked again for him to stay until my kid graduated graduate school.  He didn’t and then laid the bomb on me -- “Boss, I’m tired and ready to go home and play computer games, play golf, sleep late, read and enjoy my wife.”  What could I say but how happy I was even though I was crying, crying hard inside.  He became my best friend, my buddy, my financial guru, my reading partner and my sparring partner. People at work use to call us “Weezie and George” from the Jefferson because they could hear us arguing about values, religion, guns, books and politics.  Afterwards when it was announced that he was leaving, people all over would send e-mails and calls and asked over and over again, “What, he’s leaving! what is VaLinda going to do?”  
I’ll tell what I’m going to do.  I started at church this past Sunday.   When Pastor Fred asked if anyone wanted to come up to the pulpit and say a special prayer, I did.  I asked GOD to "Please, pretty please bless him and his wife of 40 years with many more happy years.  (I knew his wife just as long as I knew him).  For them to continue to worship each other more than before.  For my friend to play golf three times a week instead of once every two weeks.  For my friend to read more books than he can handle and to keep them safe and happy in your hands forever.  Amen"
Then I cried.  Not a sad cry, but it dawned on me that it was time and that he will be so blessed and happy and so will I when my turn comes.  It’s going to be hard for me over the next few weeks, but I will make it.  He was the one who told me so many times, “Boss, your grandmother raised you right and you raised your daughter right.  You will survive anything because your grandmother taught you how.”  He is right and he added to my lessons of life and I will always, always, always love him for that.  To keep me from crying anymore (“I don’t think I got any tears left”), let’s move to books.  

TARA CONKLIN - THE HOUSE GIRL: A NOVEL - $12.60 - - - Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre–Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.

JULIE KIBLER - CALLING ME HOME: A NOVEL - $10.67 - - - I was in Barnes & Noble, where else would I be, and noticed the cover of this book.  Could not buy it then (Still on the Dave Ramsey diet), but I knew one day I would find it again.  I did while looking for Edward Kesley Moore book.  (I had borrowed it from the library and did not get a chance to finish it).
Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son's irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper--in a town where blacks weren't allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

Calling Me Home: A Novel

EDWARD KESLEY MOORE - $12.99 - - - Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio.  Dubbed “the Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora.

Through marriage, children, happiness, and the blues, these strong, funny women gather each Sunday at the same table at Earl’s diner for delicious food, juicy gossip, occasional tears, and uproarious banter.
SADEQA JOHNSON - LOVE IN A CARRY-ON-BAG - $4.99 - - - The title made me think of the move coming out in September with Taraji P. Henson, Paula Patton, Octavia Spencer, Jill Scott, Derek Luke and Trey Songz called “Baggage Claim.”  A comedy.  Here’s a quick story line.  Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister's wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right. Using her airline connections to "accidentally" meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.  If you need a laugh, just see the preview.  

Don’t ask me why the title of this book made me stop and review trailers all day (I do really love trailers!!), but it did and it has DC in the settling.  My Home and I miss it terribly. 
Here’s what the book is really about: Erica Shaw spends her week babysitting the country s bestselling authors for one of the top publishing companies in New York City. But on Friday nights she escapes to D.C., where her sexy-lipped musician boyfriend, Warren Prince, works and performs. Their connection is fierce, and the couple promises to never miss a weekend together. But when real life walks in an overbearing father, an alcoholic mother, office politics, and a lucrative job contract the couple starts unraveling at the seam. Tempers flare, violence breaks, while new lovers eagerly wait in the wings to claim both of them.
Drenched in the perils of passion and the sweet-sounds of jazz, Johnson dives deep into the world of ambition and the stumbling blocks of family. Clever, fast-paced and sexy, Love in a Carry-On Bag is a modern day love story that marks the healing power of forgiveness and begs the question, how much baggage is really too heavy to carry.

TREASURE BLUE - FLY BETTY (HARLEM GIRL LOST NOVELS) - $9.69 - - - In the multi-billion dollar a year entertainment industry, there is a secret society of women that few are privy to. All of these women are vying for one thing – an opportunity to live a luxurious, lavish lifestyle by snagging a rich and famous singer, rapper or athlete.

Betty Blaise, or Fly Betty to those who truly know her, was not in it to be a wife or even the baby momma of a wealthy public figure – she had her sights set higher, much higher. While most of these women use sex as their weapon of choice, Betty, a senior majoring in psychology, has developed skills she learned from her mother’s diaries that prove much more powerful.

Up until now Betty has lived her life according to her own strict rules and standards, refusing to compromise for anyone, even if it potentially meant shielding herself from true love. But when she encounters a man that she would never have anticipated falling for in a million years, the very tools she used so effectively against men begin to turn against her – and deadly consequences are sure to follow.

JON ACUFF - START: PUNCH FEAR IN THE FACE - ESCAPE AVERAGE - DO WORK THAT MATTERS - $9.99 - - - I was listening to my weekly Dave Ramsey podcast one day last week and he was talking to Jon Acuff about his new book coming out and that before it goes on sale, Dave was offering a special that if you buy Acuff’s book, you would receive some free down loadable books.  You know I jumped on it.  The free books: The 3 Stages of Every Awesome Idea.  The Hater Handbook and some other positive items.  Anything to help me stay happy and positive, I will try it.  I got nothing to lose but a sick and bad attitude.  

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters

Got to get one in for Black History Year
VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY - NEVER SAY NEVER: A NOVEL - $9.73 - - - The book is finally out.  The first 7 chapters were on sale free.  What's with authors using this marketing tool?  I have run into a few books like that.  
When Miriam’s fireman husband, Chauncey, dies while rescuing students from a school fire, Miriam feels like her life is over. How is she going to raise her three children all by herself? How will she survive without the love of her life? Luckily, Miriam’s sister-friend Emily and Emily’s husband, Jamal, are there to comfort her. Jamal and Chauncey grew up together and were best friends; Jamal and Emily know they will do all they can to support Miriam through her grief. Jamal steps in and helps Miriam with the funeral arrangements and with her children, plus he gives her hope that she has a future. But all the time that they spend together—grieving, sharing, and reminiscing—brings the two closer in ways they never planned.