National Black Book Festival


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Black Kindle - Another Adventure!!!

Getting back to my "Dave Ramsey" adventure.  Since I was hanging around Simpsonville, SC, Tommy and I decided to continue our trip and head to Greenville, SC.  It really is about 10 to 15 minutes away, so why not.

I drove around the Haywood Road Area with it’s restaurants and retail stores, then to their downtown area with art galleries.  It was a very nice stroll through a beautiful city with quaint places to see and great food.  I took my time and walked and talked to complete strangers.  My mother thinks that is the worst habit to have, to look up at people in the eye and say hi.  

I think the South Carolina mentality has gotten to me, but I've been that way since I was a kid. Why not say, "Good morning" or "Hi."  My grandmother use to tell me that if "I ain't got no manners, then keep my damn mouth shut."  I got manners.

While sitting at a local restaurant with Tommy on a tight leash, he has a habit of jumping and barking at men.  I think it's because he grew up around women and don't trust men. Sometimes I can't blame him.  I overheard three women sitting next to me talking about books and bookstores. When one of them mentioned, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - $8.34, one of my all time favorites.  My usually self jumped in the conversation with a quote from the book.  The women talking looked at me, which made me think, oh, oh, I done stepped on someones toes again, one of them said, "You must really love that book."  

Well, it was on and I had made three new friends.  Not just new friends, but bookstore owner friends.  They were in Greenville looking for a place to open their bookstore. I got so excited and screamed that people walking in and out of the store, thought I was some nut case in the street or having a heart attack.  I joined their party and we talked and talked until it got dark. Two had to return home in Greenville and the other, Tricia, returned back to the hotel to have dinner with her husband.  They invited me to dinner.  I told them I wish I could join them, but at last, I had Tommy with me.  They said fine, we have our two dogs with us too.  There's a doggie day care down the street, which I proceeded to take Tommy there for a few hours and we had the best conversation and dinner.

I returned home later that evening with the biggest smile on my face.  They, the two women and Tricia, asked me if I wish to help them open the store.  What!!! Really!!!  Are you serious!!! Please don't play with me!!! Are you really, really, serious.  They just kept looking at me and laughing stating over and over again, "Is she a serious book lover or what!"  I am, what I am, A wholehearted, devoted book lover."   

All I did for days after that was smile and smile more.  What an adventure I had and will have over the next few months. I volunteered at the Dave Ramsey show, found a new city to hang out in, and met my destiny, helping to open a bookstore. Something in my spirit is telling me that 2014 will be the best: 

GOD, I need you to help me rewire my body, my heart, my mind, and my relationships so that the rest of my life is the best of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen!!!!

On to what GOD has placed in me - BOOKS and more BOOKS:

Remember when I posted my review of KILLER LIBRARIAN - MARY LOU KIRWIN - $6.83. In our last episode, Karen got dumped by boyfriend on they way to London.  In London, she decides to continue with the trip alone, she meets the good looking owner of the B&B, Caldwell, and of course finds murder.  It's solved and everything ends happily every after, until she returns to London and run into another murder.  I got the second book.  

DEATH OVERDUE - MARY LOU KIRWIN - $9.73 - - - You know once she returned to her humble job as a Librarian, she had dreams of Caldwell and the adventures in London.  Well, lord and behold, Caldwell shows up at her job and asked her if she wanted another adventure - Come back to London and help him open a bookstore.  

What woman would take that risk?  Me for one.  Karen returns to London with Caldwell. Maybe they will get married or not, but she is being cautious taking a short leave of absence from her job to find out. While they are getting to know each other and possibly become business partners in the bookstore, they begin their days of romance, reading books and searching for the perfect place to open their store,  Sally, Caldwell's first girlfriend shows up. Not many people like her any way.  She is also the one who left him with the B&B, returns.  She is also killed by a bookcase.  Get it, "a bookcase."  Well, it is a little unique. What was Sally doing in the library any way?  She is not a reader.

Caldwell is charged with the murder and now Karen has to find the killer.  The book is filled with the usually "Agatha Christie" nut characters, but I love them and enjoyed the book,  It was not as exciting as the first, but, it was still good cozy murder reading.  

Death Overdue (Librarian Mysteries)

In early December, a few of my BookClubGroupies went to see Omar Tyree.  I have followed that author since his very first book, Capital City.  I remember when I met OMAR TYREE at a the Black Expo in Washington, DC.  Not only was he fine, but so intelligent and promoting his book, CAPITAL CITY: THE CHRONICLES OF A D.C. UNDERWORLD - $12.95 paperback.  I fell in love with this book.  It is all about my hometown, at the time it was called "Chocolate City" and the young black men trying to make money fast with the drug game.  That game has changed dramatically.  With all of the urban books out now, that old school world will never be the same again.  Still a great book to give to young women and men. I'm going back to re-read it. 
Capital City

When he came out with FLY GIRL - $6.83, that's when I fell in love with Omar. The story of Tracy from her sixth birthday party in 1977 to her 17th birthday. Tracy grows up in the middle-class Philadelphia suburb of Germantown. The daughter of a pharmacist and a dietitian, she is pretty and intelligent, armed with solid self-esteem and a sassy mouth. Like most of her friends, she's also boy crazy, and readers watch as her physical maturation leads to increasing sexual activity. While experiencing the indulgent, hip-hop 1980s and the insidious effects of the cocaine economy that flourishes in black communities, Tracy must also come to terms with her parents' separation. 

This second book of his, written in a language that I understood living in DC, reminded me of another author, who also spoke to me, Terry McMillan.  The conversations between the young people trying to figure out their sexuality with words and phases that I’m sure you understand, at times made me feel a little left out, but kind of comfortable because I understood what they were saying.  Some books when you read them you don’t quite know how it relates to you, your family and friends.  It does.  It was real and to the point.  Some areas were sketchy and some of the cussing was not needed, but the point came across.  Get the book and remember your past.
Flyy Girl

WELCOME TO DUBAI (The Traveler) - $6.12 - - - I think we have ourselves a new James Bond.  A handsome Black James Bond.  

When I saw Omar Tyree again in December, I was so proud of they way he has developed his writing style and moved on to another entirely different subject.  He is still trying to get one or two of his books made into movies.  He is also struggling, as with most serious fiction writers, to get away from the hard core urban novels.  

You see people, we don't buy enough African American books.  We "borrow" them from our friends.  Read it and say it was "the bomb," but the author does not get any credit. Give the author his/her due.  Buy their books, write a comment on Amazon, Goodreads or my blog.  Help them get and stay on the New York Times Book review and other posting of books.  Buy them at you local small business bookstore.  We have got to keep them going or we will lose out.

Unfortunately at the Books A Million in Columbia, SC for Omar, only 15 people showed up.  I realize that the weather was bad and that this was a strip mall, which means you were outside, but give me a freaking break.  We needed more people there to support him.  I'm glad we made it.  

Here's Amazon's book description.  My review will come up soon:

When American Gary Stevens decides to explore the immaculate tourism haven of Dubai in the Middle East, he finds much more than he bargained for. Plans for a peaceful and harmless visit to the exotic land of seven-star hotels, international culture, food and shopping, quickly change when Gary attracts the attention of a beautiful, rebellious and enticing Muslim woman. Gary stumbles into a violent labor revolt triggered by the death of a poor immigrant construction worker, who falls from one of Dubai’s hundreds of fast-developing buildings.

The exploitation of thousands of disposable immigrant laborers emboldens an Egyptian revolutionary to seek vengeance for the greed and inhumane practices of Dubai’s business elite Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the outspoken wife of Dubai’s youngest and most successful business leaders inspires an insurgence of young Muslim women---they seek empowerment, education and the freedom to pursue true love and romance.

Gary becomes entangled in the uprising when the radicals take hundreds of international tourists hostage at the same hotel where Gary is staying. To make matters worse, these zealots include the older brother of the beautiful Muslim woman who has fallen for Gary.

With nonstop action and cultural intrigue, Welcome to Dubai is the first full book in The Traveler series created by New York Times bestselling author Omar Tyree.