Monday, August 27, 2007

A "Bathroom Book" For Your Uninterested Reader

Medium Image Open the Unusual Door: True Life Stories of Challenge, Adventure, and Success by Black Americans, is a great book that will inspire your daughter or son as (s)he begins or returns back to high school. This is a wonderful cross section of excerpts from published autobiographies of people who are still alive,and prominent in society. I remember one of my sons asking me why the school only had biographies of dead people on their reading lists. I looked at the list, and sure enough, the majority of the books were about people who were dead. So we promptly went to the bookstore and searched for an autobiography of a person still living. He chose Journey to Justice by Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who was still alive at the time. So move those bathroom magazines over, and make room for a good book!

From Booklist
Gr. 8-11. Summers offers profiles written by 16 prominent African Americans who made choices that changed the paths of their lives for the better. The subjects include athletes (Derek Jeter, Peter Westbrook, and Chamique Holdsclaw), entertainers (Whoopie Goldberg, Queen Latifa, and Russell Simmons), writers (Susan Fales-Hill, Antwone Fisher, E. Lynn Harris, Lynne Duke, Michael Cottman, and bell hooks), community activists (Sister Souljah and Derek Scott King), a scientist (Neil de Grasse Tyson), and a statesman (Colin Powell). The writing styles and the themes vary greatly, reflecting each author's life experiences and personality. Several individuals dealt with coaches or mentors who pushed them almost beyond the limits of physical and mental endurance; others came to terms with difficult issues of sexuality; still others recount how discovering their life's passion, whether astrophysics or the military, focused their lives and gave them direction. These thoughtful essays will make excellent discussion starters, whether the goal is career guidance, inspiration, or knowledge of contemporary African Americans.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Book By Eric Jerome Dickey

Best-selling writer Eric Jerome Dickey's new novel is Waking with Enemies.

From Publishers Weekly
Picking up where Sleeping with Strangers left off, Dickey's latest novel finds hit man Gideon in London, where another assassin, a mysterious man with a broken nose, is hot on his trail. Gideon's most recent target was a rapper, Big Bad Wolf. The rival rapper who hired Gideon for the hit, Sledge, was recently assassinated, and Gideon assumes he is the latest target. The nonstop narrative follows Gideon as he evades the assassin, searches for the truth about his hooker mother, continues his involvement with tough girl Arizona (who wants Gideon to kill her older sister), tries to figure out who ordered the hit on him and finds time for some explicitly chronicled fantasy sex. Though the revelations about who's behind what are a stretch and the ending is a little too much on the rosy side, there's a lot of fun to be had in watching Gideon work his brutal trade, and the high-octane narrative will have readers burning through page after page. (Aug.)
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Today I read an interview with Mr. Dickey in USA Today , and was intrigued by the books he just bought. Some of them are very different than his works: The Stolen Heart: A Novel of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates (writing as Lauren Kelly); Tropic of Cancer and Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller; I Got Somebody in Staunton: Stories; and Envy: A Novel.

For those of you in Inglewood, CA and Carson, CA, he will be doing a book signing in your area on August 17 and 18.

Click here for details! >>Tour Schedule

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hunger Was A Hit!

So, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? Especially a woman over 40! I just finished reading Hunger by Erica Simone Turnipseed, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I first began the book, I thought it was going to another one of those shallow books; however, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters. So many of the African American works have covers that yell "sex!", that I assumed (wrongly) that the title "hunger" was a sexual reference. While sexual acts are a part of the story line, the meaning of the title is much more complex than sex alone.It's more than a love story. It's a tale of self-actualization, responsibility and maturity. Even a woman over 40 can enjoy and relate, and men, there is a message for you also!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hunger by Erica Simone Turnipseed

I am currently reading "Hunger" by Erica Simone Turnipseed. It's a cross-cultural love story about 30ish people in crises in the aftermath of 9/11. I am finding it harder and harder to read books in which the main character is younger than 30, and to be perfectly honest, if Harper Collins had not sent it to me to review as a part of the Amistad Advisory Board, I doubt I would have read it. This is no criticism of the author and her writing, it just an age thing. Can anyone else relate?