Essence Magazine’s Book Features for January 2014

Essence Magazine’s book selections for January 2014, including “Patrik’s Picks,” “A Writer to Watch,” “10 Ways to Gain Financial Freedom,” and “Redefining Realness”:


St. Martin’s Griffin, 1/28/2014, Kindle Edition

St. Martin’s Griffin, 1/28/2014, Paperback

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori L. Tharps

Two world wars, the Civil Rights movement, and a Jheri curl later, Blacks in America continue to have a complex and convoluted relationship with their hair. From the antebellum practice of shaving the head in an attempt to pass as a free person to the 1998 uproar over a White third-grade teacher’s reading of the book Nappy Hair, the issues surrounding Black hair continue to linger as we enter the twenty-first century.Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.Read about:
* Why Black American slaves used items like axle grease and eel skin to straighten their hair.
* How a Mexican chemist straightened Black hair using his formula for turning sheep’s wool into a minklike fur.
* How the Afro evolved from militant style to mainstream fashion trend.
* What prompted the creation of the Jheri curl and the popular style’s fall from grace.
* The story behind Bo Derek’s controversial cornrows and the range of reactions they garnered.

Major figures in the history of Black hair are presented, from early hair-care entrepreneurs Annie Turnbo Malone and Madam C. J. Walker to unintended hair heroes like Angela Davis and Bob Marley. Celebrities, stylists, and cultural critics weigh in on the burgeoning sociopolitical issues surrounding Black hair, from the historically loaded terms good and bad hair, to Black hair in the workplace, to mainstream society’s misrepresentation and misunderstanding of kinky locks.Hair Story is the book that Black Americans can use as a benchmark for tracing a unique aspect of their history, and it’s a book that people of all races will celebrate as the reference guide for understanding Black hair.


Three Ducks in a Row Publishing, 6/19/2013, Kindle Edition

Paperback

Me First: A Deliciously Selfish Take on Life by C. Nicole Mason

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if it revolved around you? Me First: A Deliciously Selfish Take on Life is an unapologetic and hilarious perspective on what it takes to get to the top and to live life on your own terms.

Before making any big decision such as getting into a relationship or choosing a career path—you will start with the most important question: What do I want? The second question you will ask is: How does this decision, action, or choice benefit me directly? If it’s not what you want or does not benefit you directly, don’t do it. At the heart of Me First is the belief that YOU deserve to be happy and fulfilled. Its “Delish-isms” will show you how to become the number one priority in your life and become smarter and more strategic about your relationships, career, health, and finances. Every chapter also contains “Kick Starters” to help you get moving in the right direction. How selfish, right? Absolutely! A deliciously selfish life means taking a step back from the craziness to figure out who you are and what you want, and once you do, to own it. Because the only person holding you back from getting what you want is you.


St. Martin’s Press, 12/31/2013, Hardcover

Paperback

Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks 20 Pounds Lose It Faster! by Ian K. Smith

Using the same principles—meal spacing, snacking, meal replacement and diet confusion—that made his SHRED a major #1 bestseller—Dr. Ian has developed what dieters told him they needed: a quick-acting plan that is safe and easy to follow at home, at work, or on the road.

It’s a program with four week-long cycles:
–Foundation, when you’ll eat four meals and three snacks a day, start shedding pounds and set yourself up for success
–Accelerate, when you’ll kick it up and speed up weight loss
–Shape, the toughest week in the program, and the one that will get your body back by keeping it guessing
–Tenacious, a final sprint that cements your improved eating habits and melts off those last stubborn pounds

The SHRED system never leaves you hungry.  It’s a completely new way to lose weight, stay slender, and feel fantastic about your body, mind and spirit!Includes more than 50 all-new recipes for meal replacing smoothies and soups! 


Knopf, 1/28/2014, Kindle Edition

Hardcover

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

From a breathtaking new voice, a novel about a splintered family in Kenya—a story of power and deceit, unrequited love, survival and sacrifice.

Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge.

In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation. Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever.


Zondervan, 1/26/2010, Kindle Edition

The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom by Michelle Singletary

In her softcover book The Power to Prosper, award-winning writer Michelle Singletary has a field-tested financial challenge for you. For twenty-one days, you will put away your credit cards and buy only what you need for survival. With Michelle’s guidance during this three-week financial fast, you’ll discover how to:
* Break your spending habit
* Handle money with your significant other or your spouse
* Break your bondage to debt with the Debt Dash Plan
* Make smart investments* Be prepared for any contingency with a Life Happens Fund
* Stop worrying about money and find the priceless power of financial peace

As you discover practical ways to achieve financial freedom, you’ll experience something even more amazing … your faith and generosity will increase, too.


Atria Books, 2/4/2014, Kindle Edition

Hardcover

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

An extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen—a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism.

In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person—no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles.

This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn’t until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don’t fit the mold created for you.

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