National Black Book Festival


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Black Kindle - I'm still mentally on my vacation!!!


I’m still late in blogging, but I will catch up, I will catch up.  My life is too exciting to stop now.

My mind-boggling (could not believe the DC traffic could get worse), amazing and exciting vacation is over.  It was worth working seven days a week straight for a few months.  I was going to leave September 13, but instead volunteered at the Day of Caring at North Charleston Elementary school.  This year they decided to not have a parade, so I have no pictures. Sad I know.  I was a bit disappointed too since I usually wear a homemade costume with book covers from head to toe and then dance around a little.  Since this year’s theme was science and the environment, I guess a parade would not have been kosher.  We helped plant flowers and a garden.  Assisted teachers in their classes with clean up, reading books and other needs.  Even though I did not dance around and wear a costume, it was just exciting and nice to be surrounded by the kids. 

So many of those kids I saw did not have enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear.  Kids whose mothers have 2, 3, 4 or 5.  I did meet a mother with 5 kids in that school.  Boy, how does she deal.  I do my best to help by giving away books (now you know one of the reasons I created this blog is to generate money to give out books) and provide food for the backpack program.  Every Friday we fill a kid’s backpack with, we hope, enough food to last thru the weekend.  It is a great program and there are many people throughout the world who give either money or food.  Check the website out and see if you can help in your community.

When I see the face of hunger, my own pit in my stomach starts to cringe.  As I have written before, I was raised by my grandmother.  We lived in a one bedroom apartment with decent furniture and an old huge TV console that did not work.  I slept in the living room on a beat up sofa where sometimes in the middle of the night roaches crawled on my face.  I just brushed them off and went back to sleep.   

My grandmother lived on Medicare and food stamps.  Until years later, after so much paperwork, she was able to receive my grandfather's social security.  It wasn't much, but it was better.  Once a month, she would dress in her finest and take a taxi to the local grocery store while I stayed in and played or read whatever books I could get from the library or school. 
After the run to the store and two weeks would go by, we ran out of food.  Or I thought we were out of food.  She was always able to find something and make a great meal.  One of my favorites was her cakes.  It was moist, not too sweet with homemade chocolate and it literally melted in my mouth. 

Other times, she depended upon the school to feed me breakfast and lunch, which during that time was the most nutritious food around; real cereal, apples, oranges, and cold sweet milk.  There were times they made bacon and eggs.  Not that processed meat of today, but real government cheese and bologna.  Man, I miss that government cheese.  It made the greatest grilled cheese sandwiches with White Wonder Bread. 

The cafeteria staff was always nice to me and gave me once or twice a week an extra carton of milk (a child side) and fruit.  I don't know why, but I always have the best memory hiccups of those women who I always said “thank you so much” each and every time they served me.  They were big, beautiful, round women with a loud and heartily laugh.  I guess they reminded me of my grandmother. 

I’m crying now writing this.  It was never enough food and someone was always giving me extra’s for home.  We may have been poor and I truly understand what those kids and adults are going thru, but the difference is, my grandmother made my life exciting.  Even though her reading level was not as high as mine, she made me feel extremely special and very happy. 

Let me stop now and get to books.  I’m getting too mushy.
ANGELA WINTERS – DC BACK ON TOP - $8.59 – .  Since I was not able to get the second book in the Chase Family series, NEVER ENOUGH: A VIEW PARK NOVEL - $9.59 Never Enough until the following week, I started reading this book. I'm hooked on these girls.  

Mrs. Winters is an captivating drama soap opera writer with some out in out twist and turns in the plots.  I picked this up, as you can see, because of the title.  Anything do with DC, especially a drama, I will buy and read.  This was good and while I was in vacation in my home town of DC, I got the rest of them.

Sherise, wife, mother and an “Erica Kane” schemer, works on Capitol Hill.  She has flirted, screwed, royally and physically to get the top job.  Her husband, Justin, is your average, handsome nice guy who has helped her in the past get the prestigious jobs, but either he is not aware or just don't want to know how dirty his wife plays. 

Erica, a young woman, raising her younger brother after their mother died, is in love with Terrell.  Terrell is a hustler.  When Erica gets a prestigious job at the Pentagon with one of the most powerful political men, Jonah, something tells Terrell and Sherise, her best friend, that her boss, who Sherise is screwing, has more in his back ground than the political games normally played in DC. 

Billie, divorced from her spine-chilling, controlled freak husband, wants to become the lawyer for justice not money.  I don’t like this character too much because she is aware of her crazy husband antics and she continues to have sex with him.  Claims she cannot resist him, even when he starts dating a white girl and uses his kid to blackmail her.  Dumb girl!!

Three women from Southeast DC climb out of the ghetto to great jobs, clothes and connections, but the struggle they cross through to get out and stay out is not based upon what they know is true; and they don't realize or ignore that lies and backstabbing antics have a nasty way of showing up.  The book was fun, fast and just exciting to read.  You do keep turning the pages to see what happens next.  That’s the gist of a great book; you keep coming back and can’t stop until it’s done.

BRENDA JACKSON – STERN (THE WESTMORELANDS) - $3.74 – I’m just a big old fan of Brenda Jackson’s books on the Westmoreland men.  Hey, let's face it, I also like the book jacket.  This book did not get me as excited as her others.  I skipped a few pages because I sorta knew what was coming next.  Stern has been in love with his best friend, JoJo, as friends only.  He does not realize how much until she starts to dress like a beautiful woman.  Blah, blah, blah!!!OK, I get it, move on.

She asks Stern to teacher her how to meet and keep a man.  The man she wants help to impress turns out to be a damn psycho.  How is Stern and his brothers, cousins, all strong, rich African American men, to help her.  How long before Stern takes the plunge  OK, that's a cliche.  Stern, the man who loved JoJo as a friend and now his brothers, cousins; all Westmoreland men who also fell in love with a beautiful woman then married her, are trying to convince him that he is in love?

At least they got married.  You got to give it to Brenda Jackson.  Ain't no tatty catfish business going on in her books.  You get married and stay married. 

Didn't this play out in the movie Baggage Claim with Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Boris Kodjoe and other gorgeous looking African American men?  Yes, so this book ends the same way.  See the movie.  If for nothing else, check out the eye candy.  Damn!!!