Ebony Magazine’s “Good Reads” for December/January

The book selections from the December 2013 / January 2014 Ebony magazine:



Kindle Edition
Koehler Books, 10/1/2013

Welcome to Dubai (The Traveler) by Omar Tyree

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.



Little, Brown and Company, 10/1/2013
Kindle Edition

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative—and dazzling—book yet.

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland’s Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. In the tradition of Gladwell’s previous bestsellers, David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.



NK Publications/Dream Day Press, 11/4/2013, Hardcover

Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully by Nick Katsoris

Book & Audio Download Narrated by Nia Vardalos & Morgan Freeman
Have you ever been bullied about your name? Has your child come home from school complaining about an interaction with a schoolyard bully? Bullying plagues students in schools around the world, and now Oscar Winners Morgan Freeman, Olympia Dukakis and Oscar Nominee Nia Vardalos lead an all-star cast in the audio narration of the new book, Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully by Nick Katsoris (November 2013: Dream Day Press), which teaches kids that bullying is not cool. Proceeds from the book benefit St. Jude Children s Research Hospital.

In Loukoumi And The Schoolyard Bully, Loukoumi is about to have a baby brother. When her friends discuss what to name him, schoolyard bully, Igor the alligator, ridicules Loukoumi’s name, which Loukoumi explains means sweet in Greek and is a type of jelly candy with powdered sugar on top. During the course of the day, through several common interactions, Igor realizes that he and Loukoumi are more alike than he thought. In the end, he learns that bullying is not cool, and although Loukoumi’s name is different, everyone is really all the same.

The book includes an audio download of the story narrated by Nia Vardalos, Oscar nominated screenwriter and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and author of the bestselling book Instant Mom. Oscar winner Morgan Freeman voices the role of the schoolyard bully, Igor the alligator. Other character voices, reprising their roles from past Loukoumi audio books, include Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis as Marika the monkey, Grammy Winner Gloria Gaynor as Fistiki the Cat, Days of Our Lives star John Aniston as Loukoumi’s Daddy, Tony Nominee Constantine Maroulis as Gus the bear, Actor Frank Dicopoulos as Dean the dog and CBS News anchor Alexis Christoforous as Loukoumi.



Viking Adult, 1/7/2014
Kindle Edition

 
The Secret Life of Bees (Kindle Edition):

The Invention of Wings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.



Penguin Books, 1/7/2014, Kindle Edition

The Secret History of Las Vegas: A Novel by Chris Abani

Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, he’s sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunil’s own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin. Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abani’s most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.



Chicago Review Press, 10/1/2013, Paperback

Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

In this hip, accessible primer to the music, literature, and art of Afrofuturism, author Ytasha Womack introduces readers to the burgeoning community of artists creating Afrofuturist works, the innovators from the past, and the wide range of subjects they explore. From the sci-fi literature of Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and N. K. Jemisin to the musical cosmos of Sun Ra, George Clinton, and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, to the visual and multimedia artists inspired by African Dogon myths and Egyptian deities, the book’s topics range from the “alien” experience of blacks in America to the “wake up” cry that peppers sci-fi literature, sermons, and activism. With a twofold aim to entertain and enlighten, Afrofuturists strive to break down racial, ethnic, and social limitations to empower and free individuals to be themselves.

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