Category Archives: New

New comments about books, authors, and other news about publishing and literature

Twisted by N’Tyse

Twisted Vows of Seduction (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 12/10/2013, Paperback

Some secrets aren’t meant to be kept.

In this scandalously provocative soap-drama series, deceit, seduction, and a tempestuous affair intertwines the lives of lascivious lovers who will go above and beyond to keep their sexual trysts a secret, but the curse of temptation will lead to revelations that may result in their own demise.     
Still mourning the death of his lover, Denise, Greg Adams conspires to leave his wife. He believes that Denise has come back to him in the form of a woman named Naomi Brooks, and he can’t forget her. But there’s one problem–his wife is going to honor every line in their wedding vows until death does them part.

Naomi Brooks, a recovering alcoholic, enters into an orchestrated affair to deceive Greg by creating the perfect illusion. Will the plan work or will she find herself a victim in a twisted game?

A long-term torrid affair with her best friend’s husband, Jeff, has scarred Nadine Collins for life. Nadine decides she must take a vow of celibacy to cleanse her spirit. While her journey seems impossible, she can see a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s only one problem–she’s still not over Jeff, now a divorcé living life in the fast lane.

Ménage, an aspiring actress, has her sights set on Hollywood. She will do anything to ensure her rise to the top, including robbing Jeff of all the life insurance money he collected after his wife died. But a blast from the past slows her down. When Jeff comes running to her rescue, it proves to be the perfect setup.

The real twisted games are just beginning.

Twisted Seduction: A Novel (Twisted Series)

Strebor Books, 11/26/2013, Mass Market Paperback

An erotic, drama-laced journey into the lives of two best friends who will stop at nothing to have the man of their dreams—even when the cost of betrayal has a price tag neither of them is ready to pay.

Thirty-two-year-old Denise Jackson seems to have everything a woman could want: a lovely home in the posh Dallas suburbs, a fancy car, a caring husband, and a beautiful nine-year-old daughter. Yet Denise feels incomplete. She pretends to be happily married as she allows her husband and best friend to carry on an affair so that she can get better acquainted with a millionaire client. But when Denise’s husband discovers he isn’t the father of their child, all her carefully built lies come tumbling down.

Twisted Seduction lures readers into an orchestrated web of raw emotion, deceit, infidelity, and sex that makes for an exhilarating read.

The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson



Mass Market Paperback
March 4, 2014
Harlequin

What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!

No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews — and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he’ll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry



Hardcover
April 8, 2014
Ten Speed Press
African, Caribbean, and southern food are all known and loved as vibrant and flavor-packed cuisines. In Afro-Vegan, renowned chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry reworks and remixes the favorite staples, ingredients, and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present wholly new, creative culinary combinations that will amaze vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Blending these colorful cuisines results in delicious recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio, and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, which is based on a Moroccan tagine. Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes pays homage to a popular Brazilian dish while incorporating classic Southern ingredients, and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts combines the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. There’s perfect potluck fare, such as the simple, warming, and intensely flavored Collard Greens and Cabbage with Lots of Garlic, and the Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache, plus a refreshing Roselle-Rooibos Drink that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

With more than 100 modern and delicious dishes that draw on Terry’s personal memories as well as the history of food that has traveled from the African continent, Afro-Vegan takes you on an international food journey. Accompanying the recipes are Terry’s insights about building community around food, along with suggested music tracks from around the world and book recommendations. For anyone interested in improving their well-being, Afro-Vegan‘s groundbreaking recipes offer innovative, plant-based global cuisine that is fresh, healthy, and forges a new direction in vegan cooking.

12th National Black Writers Conference, March 27-30

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference: Reconstructing the Master Narrative sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Thursday, March 27, 2014 to Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on themes related to Reconstructing the Master Narrative.

The National Black Writers Conference offers us an opportunity to present to the public the complexity of the texts produced by Black writers throughout the African Diaspora.

12th National Black Writers Conference

The 2014 NBWC theme of “Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative” builds on previous NBWCs and takes into account the need to expose the general public to the vast range of texts that Black writers throughout the diaspora are producing. Using this theme as the premise of this public gathering of writers, students, literary agents, editors and the general public will have an opportunity to attend panels, roundtables and readings, participate in workshops, and take in performances over the four days of the Conference. The honorees for the Twelfth NBWC are: Maryse Condé, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Derek Walcott, and posthumously to Margaret Burroughs.

The National Black Writers Conference is a public program that will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for expanding their knowledge and reading of Black literature and for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on conference themes and on future trends in the literature of Black writers.

The Conference will also pay tribute to and celebrate Black writers who have made significant contributions to the literary canon and will provide emerging writers with opportunities to improve their writing craft. Conference panels, roundtables, and featured speeches will be streamed and videotaped. Selected proceedings will be published.

The Tiara: 5 Ways to Reign as Queen of Your Castle by Lakia Shauntee Brandenburg



Paperback
December 20, 2013
Perfectly Imperfect Publishing Company
Lakia fulfilled her journey by saying “I do.” Now she’s learning how to effectively communicate with her husband, love him, and keep their intimacy alive. But these lessons were not learned without a little help from an imaginary headpiece. For wives and wives-to-be, Lakia is back to present you with The Tiara, an acronym that details what a wife should do after saying, “I do.” In The Tiara, Lakia reveals five principles that will give a wife the power to strengthen the love, intimacy, and communication that she has with her spouse. Sharing personal stories and providing practical steps for any wife to follow, The Tiara is a must-read if you want to understand how to reign as queen of your castle.

Upcoming Bestsellers for February 2014

A list of the bestselling books to be released in February, just in time for Black History Month.

  1. Queen Sugar: A Novel by Natalie Baszile
    ( Pamela Dorman Books , 2/6/2014 , Hardcover )
    Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction —from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.

     

  2. South Beach Cartel – Part 1 by Nisa Santiago
    ( Melodrama Publishing , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    TRIO OF TERROR Cartier Timmons is infuriated by the tragedy and vengeance inflicted upon her family. She’s making savage rounds through Miami until she can bring her own brand of hood justice to the cartel who messed with hers. After a reunion that seemed like a dream come true, Citi and her mother Ashanti clash heads in a power struggle. Ashanti plays her position as the head chick in charge, and Citi is ostracized from the family. With no money, she’s once again forced to make her way back to the throne. Apple is growing restless in Colombia with Kola and Eduardo. She’s tired of the controlling situation and wants to resume making money. Plus, she can’t let go of the idea of finding her daughter Peaches. The search takes her to Miami, where she runs into her old friend from New York, Cartier. When Apple, Cartier, and Citi meet up, there’s an instant realization that the three can take down their opponents and rule the MIA, inflict pain and taking their spots as the Queen B’s of Miami.

     

  3. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis
    ( Knopf , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial history of slavery and emancipation in Western culture that has been nearly fifty years in the making. David Brion Davis is one of the foremost historians of the twentieth century, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and nearly every award given by the historical profession. Now, with The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, Davis brings his staggeringly ambitious, prizewinning trilogy on slavery in Western culture to a close. Once again, Davis offers original and penetrating insights into what slavery and emancipation meant to Americans. He explores how the Haitian Revolution respectively terrified and inspired white and black Americans, hovering over the antislavery debates like a bloodstained ghost, and he offers a surprising analysis of the complex and misunderstood significance of colonization—the project to move freed slaves back to Africa—to members of both races and all political persuasions. He vividly portrays the dehumanizing impact of slavery, as well as the generally unrecognized importance of freed slaves to abolition. Most of all, Davis presents the age of emancipation as a model for reform and as probably the greatest landmark of willed moral progress in human history.

     

  4. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (Vintage Contemporaries) by Edward Kelsey Moore
    ( Vintage , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat diner in Plainview, Indiana is home away from home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean.  Dubbed The Supremes by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they’ve weathered life’s storms for over four decades and counseled one another through marriage and children, happiness and the blues.  Now, however, they’re about to face their most challenging year yet. Proud, talented Clarice is struggling to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities; beautiful Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair; and fearless Odette is about to embark on the most terrifying battle of her life. With wit, style and sublime talent, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances.

     

  5. A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story by Sister Souljah
    ( Atria/Emily Bestler Books , 2/18/2014 , Paperback )
    At last, mega-bestselling author Sister Souljah delivers the stunning sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever that fans have been eagerly waiting for. Frighteningly fierce, raw, and completely unpredictable, this coming-of-age adventure is woven with emotional intensity. A Deeper Love Inside is written in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s sharp-tongued, quick-witted younger sister. Porsche worships Winter. A natural born hustler, Porsche is also cut from the same cloth as her father, the infamous Ricky Santiaga. Passionate and loyal to the extreme, Porsche refuses to accept her new life in group homes, foster care, and juvenile detention after her wealthy family is torn apart. Porsche — unique, young, and beautiful — cries as much as she fights and uses whatever she has to reclaim her status. Unselfishly, she pushes to get back everything that ever belonged to her loving family.

     

  6. American Cocktail: A Colored Girl in the World by Anita Reynolds
    ( Harvard University Press , 2/24/2014 , Hardcover )
    This is the rollicking, never-before-published memoir of a fascinating woman with an uncanny knack for being in the right place in the most interesting times. Of racially mixed heritage, Anita Reynolds was proudly African American but often passed for Indian, Mexican, or Creole. Actress, dancer, model, literary critic, psychologist, but above all free-spirited provocateur, she was, as her Parisian friends nicknamed her, an American cocktail. One of the first black stars of the silent era, she appeared in Hollywood movies with Rudolph Valentino, attended Charlie Chaplin’s anarchist meetings, and studied dance with Ruth St. Denis. She moved to New York in the 1920s and made a splash with both Harlem Renaissance elites and Greenwich Village bohemians. An émigré in Paris, she fell in with the Left Bank avant garde, befriending Antonin Artaud, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso. Next, she took up residence as a journalist in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and witnessed firsthand the growing menace of fascism. In 1940, as the Nazi panzers closed in on Paris, Reynolds spent the final days before the French capitulation as a Red Cross nurse, afterward making a mad dash for Lisbon to escape on the last ship departing Europe. In prose that perfectly captures the globetrotting nonchalance of its author, American Cocktail presents a stimulating, unforgettable self-portrait of a truly extraordinary woman.

     

  7. Scalawag: A White Southerner’s Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism by Edward H. Peeples
    ( University of Virginia Press , 2/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    Scalawag tells the surprising story of a white working-class boy who became an unlikely civil rights activist. Born in 1935 in Richmond, where he was sent to segregated churches and schools, Ed Peeples was taught the ethos and lore of white supremacy by every adult in his young life. That message came with an equally cruel one—that, as the child of a wage-earning single mother, he was destined for failure.But by age nineteen Peeples became what the whites in his world called a traitor to the race. Pushed by a lone teacher to think critically, Peeples found his way to the black freedom struggle and began a long life of activism. He challenged racism in his U.S. Navy unit and engaged in sit-ins and community organizing. Later, as a university professor, he agitated for good jobs, health care, and decent housing for all, pushed for the creation of African American studies courses at his university, and worked toward equal treatment for women, prison reform, and more. Peeples did most of his human rights work in his native Virginia, and his story reveals how institutional racism pervaded the Upper South as much as the Deep South.Covering fifty years’ participation in the long civil rights movement, Peeples’s gripping story brings to life an unsung activist culture to which countless forgotten individuals contributed, over time expanding their commitment from civil rights to other causes. This engrossing, witty tale of escape from what once seemed certain fate invites readers to reflect on how moral courage can transform a life.

     

  8. Fortune & Fame: A Novel by Victoria Christopher Murray
    ( Touchstone , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )
    Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Rachel Jackson Adams have been through a lot together—from fighting for their husbands to become the head of the American Baptist Coalition to getting mixed up in a terrible murder. Now the frenemies have found themselves the stars of First Ladies, a much-anticipated new reality television show. Jasmine balks at the idea of airing her dirty laundry on national TV, but Rachel sees it as the perfect opportunity to take her brand to the next level. And if Rachel is in, so is Jasmine. All the cast members are women of God—how much drama can there be? Rachel and Jasmine know their own pasts are murky, but they’ll seem like choir girls when the secrets and sins of the others come to light. The two will once again have to form an unholy alliance to go up against these so-called Godly women who see the show as their chance to take them down—at any cost.

     

  9. The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss by Charles W. Eagles
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/1/2014 , Paperback )
    When James Meredith enrolled as the first African American student at the University of Mississippi in 1962, the resulting riots produced more casualties than any other clash of the civil rights era. Eagles shows that the violence resulted from the university’s and the state’s long defiance of the civil rights movement and federal law. Ultimately, the price of such behavior–the price of defiance–was not only the murderous riot that rocked the nation and almost closed the university but also the nation’s enduring scorn for Ole Miss and Mississippi. Eagles paints a remarkable portrait of Meredith himself by describing his unusual family background, his personal values, and his service in the U.S. Air Force, all of which prepared him for his experience at Ole Miss.

     

  10. Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities) by Saladin Ambar
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/10/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1964 Malcolm X was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University. The topic of debate that evening was the infamous phrase from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican Convention speech:Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. At a time when Malcolm was traveling widely and advocating on behalf of blacks in America and other nations, his thirty minute speech at the Oxford Union stands out as one of the great addresses of the civil rights era. Delivered just months before his assassination, the speech followed a period in which Malcolm had traveled throughout Africa and much of the Muslim world. The journey broadened his political thought to encompass decolonization, the revolutions underway in the developing world, and the relationship between American blacks and non-white populations across the globe-including England. Facing off against debaters in one of world’s most elite institutions, he delivered a revolutionary message that tackled a staggering array of issues: the nature of national identity; US foreign policy in the developing world; racial politics at home; the experiences of black immigrants in England; and the nature of power in the contemporary world. It represents a moment when his thought had advanced to its furthest point, shedding the parochial concerns of previous years for an increasingly global and humanist approach to ushering in social change. Set to publish near the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Malcolm X at Oxford Union will reshape our understanding not only of the man himself, but world politics both then and now.

     

  11. Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas by Emory Douglas
    ( Rizzoli , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    A reformatted and reduced price edition of the first book to show the provocative posters and groundbreaking graphics of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, sounded a defiant cry for an end to the institutionalized subjugation of African Americans. The Black Panther newspaper was founded to articulate the party’s message, and artist Emory Douglas became the paper’s art director and later the party’s minister of culture. Douglas’s artistic talents and experience proved a powerful combination: his striking collages of photographs and his own drawings combined to create some of the era’s most iconic images. This landmark book brings together a remarkable lineup of party insiders who detail the crafting of the party’s visual identity.

     

  12. Plantation Church: How African American Religion Was Born in Caribbean Slavery by Noel Leo Erskine
    ( Oxford University Press, USA , 2/6/2014 , Paperback )
    Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the Black Church they are referring to African-American churches in the U.S., but in fact, the majority of African slaves were brought to the Caribbean. It was there, Erskine argues, that the Black religious experience was born. The massive Afro-Caribbean population was able to establish a form of Christianity that preserved African Gods and practices, but fused them with Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba’s Santería. The Black religious experience in the U.S. was markedly different because African Americans were a political and cultural minority. The Plantation Church became a place of solace and resistance that provided its members with a sense of kinship, not only to each other but also to their ancestral past.Despite their common origins, the Caribbean and African American Church are almost never studied together. Plantation Church examines the parallel histories of these two strands of the Black Church, showing where their historical ties remain strong and where different circumstances have led them down unexpectedly divergent paths. The result will be a work that illuminates the histories, theologies, politics, and practices of both branches of the Black Church.

     

  13. Humbled (Urban Books) by Patricia Haley
    ( Urban Books , 2/25/2014 , Paperback )

     

  14. Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford
    ( Albert Whitman & Company , 2/1/2014 , Hardcover )
    Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

     

  15. Willow by Tonya Cherie Hegamin
    ( Candlewick , 2/11/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1848, an educated slave girl faces an inconceivable choice — between bondage and freedom, family and love.On one side of the Mason-Dixon Line lives fifteen-year-old Willow, her master’s favorite servant. She’s been taught to read and has learned to write. She believes her master is good to her and fears the rebel slave runaways. On the other side of the line is seventeen-year-old Cato, a black man, free born. It’s his personal mission to sneak as many fugitive slaves to freedom as he can. Willow’s and Cato’s lives are about to intersect, with life-changing consequences for both of them. Tonya Cherie Hegamin’s moving coming-of-age story is a poignant meditation on the many ways a person can be enslaved, and the force of will needed to be truly emancipated.

     

  16. Game World by C.J. Farley
    ( Black Sheep , 2/4/2014 , Hardcover )
    Dylan Rudee’s life is an epic fail. He’s bullied at school and plagued by seizures, until his videogame skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside a new game. But now actual monsters are trying to kill him. In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve the game’s dangerous mystery in three days.

     

  17. Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
    ( Ecco , 2/4/2014 , Paperback )
    In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor, Bill Cheng’s Southern Cross the Dog is an epic literary debut in which the bonds between three childhood friends are upended by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. In its aftermath, one young man must choose between the lure of the future and the claims of the past. Having lost virtually everything in the fearsome storm—home, family, first love—Robert Chatham embarks on an odyssey that takes him through the deep South, from the desperation of a refugee camp to the fiery and raucous brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the Mississippi hinterland, where he joins a crew hired to clear the swamp and build a dam. Along his journey he encounters piano-playing hustlers, ne’er-do-well Klansmen, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fur trappers, the L’Etangs, whose very existence is threatened by the swamp-clearing around them. The L’Etang brothers are fierce and wild but there is something soft about their cousin Frankie, possibly the only woman capable of penetrating Robert’s darkest places and overturning his conviction that he’s marked by the devil. Teeming with language that renders both the savage beauty and complex humanity of our shared past, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

     

  18. Geographies of Liberation: The Making of an Afro-Arab Political Imaginary (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Alex Lubin
    ( The University of North Carolina Press , 2/10/2014 , Paperback )
    In this absorbing transnational history, Alex Lubin reveals the vital connections between African American political thought and the people and nations of the Middle East. Spanning the 1850s through the present, and set against a backdrop of major political and cultural shifts around the world, the book demonstrates how international geopolitics, including the ascendance of liberal internationalism, established the conditions within which blacks imagined their freedom and, conversely, the ways in which various Middle Eastern groups have understood and used the African American freedom struggle to shape their own political movements. Lubin extends the framework of the black freedom struggle beyond the familiar geographies of the Atlantic world and sheds new light on the linked political, social, and intellectual imaginings of African Americans, Palestinians, Arabs, and Israeli Jews. This history of intellectual exchange, Lubin argues, has forged political connections that extend beyond national and racial boundaries.

     

  19. Harmony Cabins (A Finding Home Novel) by Regina Hart
    ( Dafina , 2/4/2014 , Mass Market Paperback )

     

Bestselling Books in January 2014

The bestselling African American books by or about African Americans, published in January 2014, from Amazon.com.

  1. The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era by Douglas R. Egerton
    ( Bloomsbury Press , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    By 1870, just five years after Confederate surrender and thirteen years after the Dred Scott decision ruled blacks ineligible for citizenship, Congressional action had ended slavery and given the vote to black men. That same year, Hiram Revels and Joseph Hayne Rainey became the first African-American U.S. senator and congressman respectively. In South Carolina, only twenty years after the death of arch-secessionist John C. Calhoun, a black man, Jasper J. Wright, took a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. Not even the most optimistic abolitionists had thought such milestones would occur in their lifetimes. The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States’ most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement. Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance. Tragically, their movement was met by ruthless violence—not just riotous mobs, but also targeted assassination. With stark evidence, Egerton shows that Reconstruction, often cast as a “failure” or a doomed experiment, was rolled back by murderous force. The Wars of Reconstruction is a major and provocative contribution to American history.

     

  2. Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century by Monique W. Morris
    ( New Press, The , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    A comprehensive guide filled with contemporary facts and figures on African Americans—is an essential reference for anyone attempting to fathom the complex state of our nation. With fascinating and often surprising information on everything from incarceration rates, lending practices, and the arts to marriage, voting habits, and green jobs, the contextualized material in this book will better attune readers to telling trends while challenging commonly held, yet often misguided, perceptions. A compilation that at once highlights measures of incredible progress and enumerates the disparate impacts of social policies and practices, this book is a critical tool for advocates, educators, and policy makers. Black Stats offers indispensable information that is sure to enlighten discussions and provoke debates about the quality of Black life in the United States today—and help chart the path to a better future.There are less than a quarter-million Black public school teachers in the U.S.—representing just 7 percent of all teachers in public schools.Approximately half of the Black population in the United States lives in neighborhoods that have no White residents.In the five years before the Great Recession, the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 61 percent.A 2010 study found that 41 percent of Black youth feel that rap music videos should be more political.There are no Black owners or presidents of an NFL franchise team.78 percent of Black Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, compared with 56 percent of White Americans.

     

  3. Still The Baddest Bitch (Bitch Series) by Joy Deja King
    ( A King Production , 1/29/2014 , Paperback )
    Aaliyah Mills Carter has to step up and watch the throne, to prove she has what it takes to be the Baddest Bitch. Chaos has always surrounded her family but now death may have hit too close to home. There are so many questions but not enough answers. Aaliyah is determined to find out if she’s been sleeping with the enemy and has Precious Cummings finally ran out of lives? Find out in Still The Baddest Bitch.

     

  4. How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson
    ( Dial , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    A powerful and thought-provoking Civil Rights era memoir from one of America’s most celebrated poets.   Looking back on her childhood in the 1950s, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems. Readers are given an intimate portrait of her growing self-awareness and artistic inspiration along with a larger view of the world around her: racial tensions, the Cold War era, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement.   A first-person account of African-American history, this is a book to study, discuss, and treasure.

     

  5. Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life by Dr. Joe Brewster
    ( Spiegel & Grau , 1/14/2014 , Paperback )
    Regardless of how wealthy or poor their parents are, all black boys must confront and surmount the “achievement gap”: a divide that shows up not only in our sons’ test scores, but in their social and emotional development, their physical well-being, and their outlook on life. As children, they score as high on cognitive tests as their peers, but at some point, the gap emerges. Why?   This is the question Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michèle Stephenson asked when their own son, Idris, began struggling in a new school. As they filmed his experiences for their award-winning documentary American Promise, they met an array of researchers who had not only identified the reasons for the gap, but had come up with practical, innovative solutions to close it. In Promises Kept, they explain   • how to influence your son’s brain before he’s even born • how to tell the difference between authoritarian and authoritative discipline—and why it matters • how to create an educational program for your son that matches his needs • how to prepare him for explicit and implicit racism in school and in the wider world • how to help your child develop resilience, self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and a positive outlook that will last a lifetime

     

  6. The Logic of American Politics, 6th Edition by Samuel Kernell
    ( CQ Press , 1/10/2014 , Paperback )
    After observing the strains of intense partisanship and divided government, many Americans are wondering what logic, if any, can be found in politics. The new Sixth Edition of The Logic of American Politics reaffirms this best-seller’s place as the most accessible smart book on the market. Consistently praised for its engaging narrative, the book hooks students with great storytelling while arming them with a toolkit of institutional design concepts-command, veto, agenda control, voting rules, delegation.

     

  7. His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute by Maya Angelou
    ( Random House , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    He was a son of Africa who became father to a nation and, for billions of people around the world, a beacon of hope, courage, and perseverance in the face of opposition. Now, acclaimed poet Maya Angelou honors the life and remarkable soul of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel laureate.   In His Day is Done, Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.   This poignant work of gratitude and remembrance offers condolences to the resilient people of South Africa on the loss of their beloved “Madiba” and celebrates a man like no other, whose life and work changed the world.

     

  8. The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson
    ( Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.   Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.   As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past. The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.  

     

  9. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell
    ( Chronicle Books , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

     

  10. Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South by David Beasley
    ( St. Martin’s Press , 1/28/2014 , Hardcover )
    On December 9, 1938, the state of Georgia executed six black men in eighty-one  minutes in  Tattnall Prison’s electric chair. The executions were a record for the state that still stands today. The new prison, built with funds from FDR’s New Deal, as well as the fact that the men were tried and executed rather than lynched were thought to be a sign of progress. They were anything but. While those men were arrested, convicted, sentenced, and executed in as little as six weeks—E. D. Rivers, the governor of the state, oversaw a pardon racket for white killers and criminals, allowed the Ku Klux Klan to infiltrate his administration, and bankrupted the state. Race and wealth were all that determined whether or not a man lived or died. There was no progress. There was no justice.
    David Beasley’s Without Mercy is the harrowing true story of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the violent death throes of the Klan, but most of all it is the story of the stunning injustice of these executions and how they have seared distrust of the legal system into the consciousness of the Deep South, and it is a story that will forever be a testament to the death penalty’s appalling inequality that continues to plague our nation

     

  11. Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America by Tonya Bolden
    ( Harry N. Abrams , 1/7/2014 , Hardcover )
      Sarah Rector was once famously hailed as “the richest black girl in America.” Set against the backdrop of American history, her tale encompasses the creation of Indian Territory, the making of Oklahoma, and the establishment of black towns and oil-rich boomtowns. Rector acquired her fortune at the age of eleven. This is both her story and that of children just like her: one filled with ups and downs amid bizarre goings-on and crimes perpetrated by greedy and corrupt adults. From a trove of primary documents, including court and census records and interviews with family members, author Tonya Bolden painstakingly pieces together the events of Sarah’s life and the lives of those around her.

     

  12. Dirty Divorce part 4 by Miss KP
    ( Life Changing Books , 1/20/2014 , Paperback )
    The Dirty Divorce Trilogy has been a wild ride and readers just can t get enough of the Sanchez family drama. In Dirty Divorce Part 4 the offsprings of Rich Sanchez, Juan and Denie don t disappoint. Juan is determined to become his own man speeding through the fast lane of money, cars, and women. As he dominates the industry his father once ruled, he soon learns that being top dog carries a heavy price tag. While Juan constantly lives trying to dodge his demise, Denie stares death straight in the face as she keeps secrets buried to stay the baddest chick in the DMV. Denie is willing to put others at risk in order to live the life she s become accustomed to. While Juan and Denie grow up repeating the vicious cycle Rich created, someone familiar watches in the shadows for revenge to ruin the Sanchez empire. Relationships are tested, lives are lost, and loyalty goes out the window as the Sanchez family battles to stay on top of the game that ruined them from the start.

     

  13. Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Walter Mosley
    ( Vintage , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    In Little Green, Walter Mosley’s acclaimed detective Easy Rawlins returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of that haven for Los Angeles hippies, the Sunset Strip. He’s soon back in top form, cruising the gloriously psychedelic mean streets of L.A. with his murderous sidekick, Mouse. They’ve been hired to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem.

     

  14. Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms by Nicholas Johnson
    ( Prometheus Books , 1/14/2014 , Paperback )
    Chronicling the under-appreciated black tradition of bearing arms for self-defense, this book presents an array of examples reaching back to the pre—Civil War era that demonstrate a willingness of African American men and women to use firearms when necessary to defend their families and communities. From Frederick Douglass’s advice to keep “a good revolver” handy as defense against slave catchers to the armed self-protection of Monroe, North Carolina, blacks against the KKK chronicled in Robert Williams’s Negroes with Guns, it is clear that owning firearms was commonplace in the black community.     Nicholas Johnson points out that this story has been submerged because it is hard to reconcile with the dominant narrative of nonviolence during the civil rights era. His book, however, resolves that tension by showing how the black tradition of arms maintained and demanded a critical distinction between private self-defense and political violence.      Johnson also addresses the unavoidable issue of young black men with guns and the toll that gun violence takes on many in the inner city. He shows how complicated this issue is by highlighting the surprising diversity of views on gun ownership in the black community. In fact, recent Supreme Court affirmations of the right to bear arms resulted from cases led by black plaintiffs.     Surprising and informative, this well-researched book strips away many stock assumptions of conventional wisdom on the issue of guns and the black freedom struggle.

     

  15. Foreign Gods, Inc. by Okey Ndibe
    ( Soho Press , 1/14/2014 , Hardcover )
    Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery. Ike’s plan is fueled by desperation. Despite a degree in economics from a major American college, his strong accent has barred him from the corporate world. Forced to eke out a living as a cab driver, he is unable to manage the emotional and material needs of a temperamental African American bride and a widowed mother demanding financial support. When he turns to gambling, his mounting losses compound his woes. And so he travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, where he has to deal with old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity. A meditation on the dreams, promises and frustrations of the immigrant life in America; the nature and impact of religious conflicts; an examination of the ways in which modern culture creates or heightens infatuation with the exotic, including the desire to own strange objects and hanker after ineffable illusions; and an exploration of the shifting nature of memory, Foreign Gods is a brilliant work of fiction that illuminates our globally interconnected world like no other.

     

  16. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd
    ( St. Martin’s Griffin , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )
    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.

     

  17. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
    ( Atheneum Books for Young Readers , 1/7/2014 , Hardcover )
    Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice.Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance. Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today—that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

     

  18. Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons by Sylviane A. Diouf
    ( NYU Press , 1/17/2014 , Hardcover )
    Over more than two centuries men, women, and children escaped from slavery to make the Southern wilderness their home. They hid in the mountains of Virginia and the low swamps of South Carolina; they stayed in the neighborhood or paddled their way to secluded places; they buried themselves underground or built comfortable settlements. Known as maroons, they lived on their own or set up communities in swamps or other areas where they were not likely to be discovered. Although well-known, feared, celebrated or demonized at the time, the maroons whose stories are the subject of this book have been forgotten, overlooked by academic research that has focused on the Caribbean and Latin America. Who the American maroons were, what led them to choose this way of life over alternatives, what forms of marronage they created, what their individual and collective lives were like, how they organized themselves to survive, and how their particular story fits into the larger narrative of slave resistance are questions that this book seeks to answer. To survive, the American maroons reinvented themselves, defied slave society, enforced their own definition of freedom and dared create their own alternative to what the country had delineated as being black men and women’s proper place. Audacious, self-confident, autonomous, sometimes self-sufficient, always self-governing; their very existence was a repudiation of the basic tenets of slavery. Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian specializing in the history of the African Diaspora, African Muslims, the slave trade and slavery. She is the author of Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (NYU Press, 2013) and Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America, and the editor of Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies.

     

  19. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin
    ( Roaring Brook Press , 1/21/2014 , Hardcover )
    An astonishing civil rights story from Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin. On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

     

  20. Baby Momma 3 (Urban Books) by Ni’chelle Genovese
    ( Urban Books , 1/28/2014 , Paperback )

     

Crescendo…A Lou Crasher Mystery



Paperback
April 7, 2013
Crescendo is my debut action suspense novel. Take a journeyman drummer, toss in hot dames, wisecracks and a little booze and what do you get? Lou Crasher; the greatest drumming private eye that may not live to see another day!

Lou works at rehearsal studio in Hollywood. It’s business as usual until she, Angela walks in. Lou’s cool goes out the window. When Angela’s musical equipment gets stolen Lou volunteers to get it back. Get the gear, get the girl, Lou thinks. Before he knows it Lou is up to his ears in the P.I. business. An innocent search for equipment leads Lou into a world of armed robberies, vicious jack russell terriers, seductive retired exotic dancers and more.

Crescendo is climatic piece of a song in music and it is also the first rock n’ roll romp in the Lou Crasher series. It is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble online, Pages bookstore in Manhattan Beach and Eso Won Books in Leimert Park Los Angeles.

Crescendo by Jonathan J. Brown

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.

Bestselling Books in November 2013

The bestselling African American books by or about African Americans, published in November 2013.

  1. Saving Face (Mount Faith Series: Book 1) by Brenda Barrett
    (Jamaica Treasures, 2013-11-13, Kindle Edition)
    Edward Carlisle, the president of Mount Faith University is dead. Natasha Rowe and her partner Harry Campbell are asked to go under cover to investigate what appears to be a murder.

     

  2. Cross My Heart (Alex Cross) by James Patterson
    (Little, Brown and Company, 2013-11-25, Kindle Edition)
    James Patterson raises the stakes to their highest level, ever-when Alex Cross becomes the obsession of a genius of menace set on proving that he is the greatest mind in the history of crime.Detective Alex Cross is a family man at heart–nothing matters more to him than his children, his grandmother, and his wife Bree. His love of his family is his anchor, and gives him the strength to confront evil in his work. One man knows this deeply, and uses Alex’s strength as a weapon against him in the most unsettling and unexpected novel of James Patterson’s career.When the ones Cross loves are in danger, he will do anything to protect them. If he does anything to protect them, they will die.CROSS MY HEART is the most powerful Alex Cross novel ever, propelled by the ever-ingenious mind of James Patterson, the world’s #1 bestselling writer.

     

  3. SERGEI (Her Russian Protector #5) by Roxie Rivera
    (Night Works Books, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    After losing her older brother in a violent robbery, wedding gown designer Bianca Bradshaw refuses to date men with criminal ties. She’s never been tempted to cross that line—until Sergei.

     

  4. Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson
    (Blue Rider Press, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    A bare-knuckled, tell-all memoir from Mike Tyson, the onetime heavyweight champion of the world—and a legend both in and out of the ring. Philosopher, Broadway headliner, fighter, felon—Mike Tyson has defied stereotypes, expectations, and a lot of conventional wisdom during his three decades in the public eye. Bullied as a boy in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, Tyson grew up to become one of the most thrilling and ferocious boxers of all time—and the youngest heavyweight champion ever. But his brilliance in the ring was often compromised by reckless behavior. Years of hard partying, violent fights, and criminal proceedings took their toll: by 2003, Tyson had hit rock bottom, a convicted felon, completely broke, the punch line to a thousand bad late-night jokes. Yet he fought his way back; the man who once admitted being addicted “to everything” regained his success, his dignity, and the love of his family. With a triumphant one-man stage show, his unforgettable performances in the Hangover films, and his newfound happiness and stability as a father and husband, Tyson’s story is an inspiring American original. Brutally honest, raw, and often hilarious, Tyson chronicles his tumultuous highs and lows in the same sincere, straightforward manner we have come to expect from this legendary athlete. A singular journey from Brooklyn’s ghettos to worldwide fame to notoriety, and, finally, to a tranquil wisdom, Undisputed Truth is not only a great sports memoir but an autobiography for the ages.

     

  5. Massive Monroe (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Kevin “Massive” Monroe seemed to be on top of the world. Women flocked to him because of his special gift, but that was not always the case. Kevin Monroe was once a young man with a body image problem. Due to the unusually large size of a particular body part Kevin was ridiculed by other boys when he started playing sports in school and was given the nickname of Massive Monroe. Kevin was embarrassed and thought he had a physical defect which caused him to become shy and withdrawn. A woman unexpectedly came into Kevin’s life and convinced him that nothing was wrong with him at all, in fact, what was once a source of embarrassment became a point of pride. The woman that turned his attitude around left his life for years before suddenly returning, but she told Kevin that his future needed to be with someone else. Kevin “Massive” Monroe did things to women that other men never had before, but would that help or hurt him in his quest to find the love of his life?

     

  6. There’s A Thin Line: Book 1-Legal Reichs (Josef and Blair Series) by Ronin Schtihl Daire
    (Trisha A. Lindsey, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Finally, the first book in the finished Josef and Blair Series is available! Blair Aikman is a Female Black Anti-Terrorist Agent, who works for the new Shadow Agency, which has been formed to combat the new threat of terrorism within the borders of the United States. Her directive: Eliminate the threat posed by Robert Lee Dyson, leader of the Aryan Brotherhood Nation, who is determined to join the strength of the thirty major Neo-Nazi Organizations in the U.S.

     

  7. Real Bitches Do Real Things by Keesh Washington
    (Felony Books, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    Los Angeles detective, Matt Figg, has been having a hard time nabbing Kamau and Neeta Bryant, two of America’s most wanted drug kinpins. And when a prominent member of their criminal empire is finally apprehended, prosecutors give her immunity to tell her story. Detective Figg is the expert interrogator.

     

  8. The Pastor’s Lover 2 – The Pastor’s Lover 2 (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-12, Kindle Edition)
    The Pastor’s Lover 2 – Unholy Triangle – Sequel to highly acclaimed The Pastor’s Lover
    Tasha Johnson, the wife of Reverend Kendrick Johnson, found her soul in turmoil after she stopped by the church offices after hours and heard a woman screaming in sexual ecstasy behind the closed door of her husband’s office. Tasha also heard her husband’s voice urging this unknown woman to give herself to him. Tasha ran from the church and eventually ended up in the arms of a most unlikely lover, but that’s not where everything ended. Kendrick, Tasha and Tasha’s secret lover all collided in the most unexpected fashion ever as Kendrick caught them in the act and he was shocked to discover the identity of his wife’s lover. Would Tasha and Pastor Kendrick Johnson’s marriage and church survive the shock waves caused by their unholy love triangle?

     

  9. Rayqelle’s Risk -Book 2- (RATCHET) by Shon Cole Black
    (Clandestine International, 2013-11-13, Kindle Edition)
    Straight from the streets of Miami’s Liberty City. Angell Epps is the daughter of a strict Pentecostal preacher who grows up seeing the world through the rose colored glasses of the church, until she meets Chance, a very handsome and mysterious stranger that threatens to turn her whole world upside down! But where is Rayqelle?

     

  10. Big Girls One Night with a Prince: Short Erotic Romance – Book 3 by Ulriche Kacey Padraige
    (, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    Big Girls One Night with a Prince: Short Erotic Romance.

     

  11. Tiberius – Rap’s Rainmaker (Things You Can’t Tell Mama) by D T Pollard
    (Book Express, 2013-11-18, Kindle Edition)
    T The Rainmaker is the hottest new rapper in hip hop and he is on the mind of every act in the business because they need to work on stepping up their game or get run over. Tiberius Jones burst onto the rap scene with his raw energy and lethal flow. Determined to be the realest rapper in the game he lives above a strip club that he owns in a second floor apartment. In his quest to be number one, T the Rainmaker pulls a stunt that angers one of the biggest names in rap music and leads to a deadly confrontation at an awards show that rocks the rap world to it core. While in the midst of his chaotic career a woman captures Tiberius’ interest, but can he conquer his own suspicions long enough to build a relationship? Tiberius Jones is hiding a surprise he will spring on the public that could either send him down a road of rap royalty or hip hop infamy.

     

  12. Moving To Jamaica: Hey Joe (Culture Shock Series) by Jerry Beller
    (Jamerica Publishing, 2013-11-09, Kindle Edition)
    River Adams is a hot shot congressional staffer, a major mover and shaker on the DC scene with a bright future ahead of him. Shocking his colleagues, friends and family, one day, without warning, he walks away from it all and boards a plane destined for Jamaica.Leaving the rat race behind, River moves to Jamaica. . .Now known as just another white Joe, River attempts to redefine himself and his life as he settles into his new home in Port Antonio far away from the power plays and politics of DC. As he works on his novel, a historical fiction about the Vietnam War era, River finds himself falling deeply in love with the wonders of Jamaica, from the colorful people he interacts with on a daily basis to the heart-stopping majesty and beauty to explore each and every day.River falls in love with nature, Jamaica and Jamaicans. . .As he sheds his old life and embraces the new, River’s natural curiosity and spontaneity becomes an unstoppable force. His philosophers mind combined with a desire to make a difference in the world will soon make his stay in Jamaica far richer than anything the average Joe will ever experience.

     

  13. Big ‘n’ Nothin’ by James Edward Allen
    (G. Meyer Books/Spiritual Traveler Press, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    “Big or nothin’” is the credo of Pepper Hotwell, a professional gangster who specializes in armed robbery. Set in the ghetto of Gary, Indiana and Chicago’s south side in the late 1960s, his story is a raw, desperate, gun-slinging roll-of-the-dice fueled by drugs, sex, ambition, and pure will to survive. As he swashbuckles his way through a series of high profile heists, he demonstrates his willingness to follow his credo to its ultimate conclusion in his quest for the big score.

     

  14. FeMALE TRAITS “The Trilogy” by Lurea C. McFadden
    (Bruce Publishing, 2013-11-10, Kindle Edition)
    – the story of sexy, smart and very married Grace Trufant and her playa lifestyle. She is married to a successful, loving husband but somehow she requires more attention than this fine upstanding man can offer. She plays hard; in fact she is a playa in her own right. But Grace forgets that Game recognizes Game when she runs into Sonia, her husband’s best friend. This is the tale of Grace’s extra-marital love affair, love and support of good friends, and lessons learned along the way.

     

  15. Profiling or Prejudice by Michael Jones
    (Createspace, 2013-11-14, Kindle Edition)
    Profiling or Prejudice is a funny fictional mini-novel based on a short period in the life of Tyrone Jenkins, a college graduate who experiences profiling, prejudice, and stereotyping enough to last him a life time while falling in love with a woman who has a specific agenda all of her own.

     

  16. The Pleasure of pain by Shameek Speight
    (True Glory Publications, 2013-11-15, Kindle Edition)
    In this twisted tale you will be introduced to Tess, Iris, Vanessa, Ebony and Bless who find out that The Pleasure of Pain is a true testament that we always want what we shouldn’t have. Tess is a strong determined business woman by the day and queen of the streets by night. She will stop at nothing to get the life she wants for herself and her three best friends along with her man, even if it means breaking old bonds and creating lifetime enemies. What she doesn’t realize is in the game of cut- throat there are no rules. Bless emerges on the scene after being recently released from prison only to find that things are not the way they were before he got locked up. The worst part is the person he has to fight is the person he least expected would betray him. He is out for blood and hell bent on destroying anyone who gets in his way. Iris is secretly in love with Tess, but plays the friend card in order to get closer to her. She knows that Tess is in love with another man, however that doesn’t stop her from plotting to get Tess’ heart. Vanessa and Ebony are sisters who share the same father and they happen to be Tess’ top lieutenants. Their loyalty and love run deep for Tess and has never been questioned until now… With pleasure there is always a little pain as Tess and her girlfriends will soon find out. Will they break under pressure or will they show why women rule the world?

     

  17. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
    (Little, Brown and Company, 2013-11-05, Hardcover)
    It’s Christmas Eve and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and his children. The tree decorating is barely underway before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. Alex risks everything–and he may not make it back alive on this most sacred of family days. Alex Cross is a hero for our time, and never more so than in this story of family, action, and the deepest moral choices. MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALEX CROSS will be a holiday classic for years to come.

     

  18. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
    (Atria / 37 Ink, 2013-11-19, Hardcover)
    The story that inspired the major motion picture, with an introduction by the bestselling author of Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing, vividly detailed, and utterly unforgettable account of slavery.Solomon Northup was an entrepreneur and dedicated family man, father to three young children, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Alonzo. What little free time he had after long days of manual and farm labor he spent reading books and playing the violin. Though his father was born into slavery, Solomon was born and lived free.In March 1841, two strangers approached Northup, offering him employment as a violinist in a town hundreds of miles away from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. Solomon bid his wife farewell until his return. Only after he was drugged and bound did he realize the strangers were kidnappers—that nefarious brand of criminals in the business of capturing runaway and free blacks for profit. Thus began Northup’s horrific life as a slave.Dehumanized, beaten, and worked mercilessly, Northup suffered all the more, wondering what had become of his family. One owner was savagely cruel and Northup recalls he was “indebted to him for nothing, save undeserved abuse.” Just as he felt the summer of his life fade and all hope nearly lost, he met a kindhearted stranger who changed the course of his life.With its firsthand account of this country’s Peculiar Institution, this is a book no one interested in American history can afford to miss.

     

  19. White Girls by Hilton Als
    (McSweeney’s, 2013-11-12, Hardcover)
    White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker’s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of “white girls,” as Als dubs them—an expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.

     

  20. Animal 2: The Omen by K’wan
    (Cash Money Content, 2013-11-19, Paperback)
    Secrets are revealed, sides are chosen and bodies are dropped…it’s on! After being thought dead, Animal resurfaces on the streets of New York to keep true to his promise, and make it rain blood over Harlem. All those who had wronged him would feel his wrath, including Shai Clark, boss of the New York underworld. However, touching a man like Shai Clark proves to be easier said than done. Using Animal’s soul mate Gu­cci as bait, Shai sets a trap for the young killer. Once again Animal finds himself captured, but this time there would be no trial. He is sentenced to die at the hands of Shai’s executioner, a man known only as Priest. The assassin is ordered to kill Animal, but instead of death he gives him the truth of his shadowed past and how their des­tinies are intertwined. The man ordered to take Animal from the world is also the man who brought him into it. Animal finds himself torn between his hatred for the father who had abandoned him and the man who had taken everything from him. An uneasy truce is formed between father and son to take down a common enemy and finally grant Animal his freedom from the blood debt he’s carried for so many years, but when the ghosts of Animal’s past catch up with him he learns that nothing is what it seems, and everything is subject to corruption, even his love for Gucci.

     

White Girls by Hilton Als


Hardcover
McSweeney’s
November 12, 2013
White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker‘s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of “white girls,” as Als dubs them—an expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.

The Baby in the Window by Alretha Thomas



Diverse Arts Collective
May 22, 2013
Paperback
A magna cum laude graduate of UCLA, Cassandra Harte never took a test she couldn’t ace. So when her home pregnancy test comes back negative, she’s certain the kit’s defective. Failure has never been an option for Cassandra. She has a well-established career, a handsome husband (Nick), and a lovely home. But there’s one thing Cassandra desperately wants that she doesn’t have: A baby.

After trying for months to get pregnant without success, she starts to wonder if she’s finally met a challenge she cannot conquer. Determined to conceive, she creates an ovulation calendar so she can seize that perfect 24-hour window. When that fails, she sends up fervent prayers. But it soon becomes apparent that her inability to become pregnant has nothing to do with timing or faith, and everything to do with Renee, her diabolical, thirteen-year-old stepdaughter.

September’s Bestselling African American Books

Here’s a list of September 2013′s bestselling African American books from Amazon.com.

  1. Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan
    (Viking Adult, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    In her eighth novel, McMillan gives exuberant voice to characters who reveal how we live now – at least as lived in a racially diverse Los Angeles neighborhood. Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan’s inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams—all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can’t be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises. Who Asked You? casts an intimate look at the burdens and blessings of family and speaks to trusting your own judgment even when others don’t agree. McMillan’s signature voice and unforgettable characters bring universal issues to brilliant, vivid life.

     

  2. murderville 3: the black dahlia by ashley & jaquavis
    (cash money content, 2013-09-03, paperback)
    In this final installment of the murderville saga, ashley and jaquavis bring you the grit, treachery, and street perspective that they have become legendary for. This thrilling page-turner introduces the story of the black dahl­ia and her bloodstained ascent to power. After establishing a con­nection with “the five families,” dahlia becomes literally untouch­able. Her brazen tactics and mafia-style antics become infamous as she is set to take over the country’s black market. But there is only one thing still standing in her way – she is a woman. The competi­tion doesn’t respect her so dahlia sets out on a bloody mission to ensure the protection of her new kingdom. Liberty has relocated to her hometown only to get a knock on the door by a man she hasn’t seen in years. She reacquaints herself with the past and gets connected with some of the biggest bosses in the country. When fate brings her face-to-face with dahlia, who will end up victorious? Will dahlia’s newfound power make her invinci­ble? Or, will liberty finally get the revenge she deserves? What hap­pens next is the most shocking ending that ashley & jaquavis have ever created. This is storytelling at its greatest.

     

  3. Destiny’s Surrender by Beverly Jenkins
    (Avon, 2013-09-24, Mass Market Paperback)

     

  4. The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden
    (St. Martin’s Press, 2013-09-24, Hardcover)
    When prestigious plantation owner Cornelius Allen gives his daughter Clarissa’s hand in marriage, she takes with her a gift: Sarah—her slave and her half-sister.  Raised by an educated mother, Clarissa is not a proper southern belle she appears to be with ambitions of loving who she chooses and Sarah equally hides behind the façade of being a docile house slave as she plots to escape. Both women bring these tumultuous secrets and desires with them to their new home, igniting events that spiral into a tale beyond what you ever imagined possible and it will leave you enraptured until the very end. Told through alternating viewpoints of Sarah and Theodora Allen, Cornelius’ wife, Marlen Suyapa Bodden’s The Wedding Gift is an intimate portrait that will leave readers breathless.

     

  5. Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
    (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    From Edgar-nominated author Lyndsay Faye comes the next book in what Gillian Flynn calls “a brilliant new mystery series.” Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal, it’s law enforcement. When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.

     

  6. The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream by Gary Younge
    (Haymarket Books, 2013-09-10, Hardcover)
    MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DELIVERED his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. Fifty years later, the speech endures as a defining moment in the civil rights movement. It continues to be heralded as a beacon in the ongoing struggle for racial equality.This gripping book is rooted in new and important interviews with Clarence Jones, a close friend of and draft speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr., and Joan Baez, a singer at the march, as well as Angela Davis and other leading civil rights leaders. It brings to life the fascinating chronicle behind “The Speech” and other events surrounding the March on Washington. Younge skillfully captures the spirit of that historic day in Washington and offers a new generation of readers a critical modern analysis of why “I Have a Dream” remains America’s favorite speech._________”It was over eighty degrees when Martin Luther King Jr. took the stage at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. King was the last speaker. By the time he reached the podium, many in the crowd had started to leave. Not all those who remained could hear him properly, but those who could stood rapt. ‘Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed,’ said King as though he were wrapping up. ‘Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.’ Then he set his prepared text aside. [Clarence] Jones saw his stance turn from lecturer to preacher. He turned to the person next to him: ‘Those people don’t know it but they’re about to go to church.’ A smattering of applause filled a pause more pregnant than most. ‘So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.’”—from the introduction

     

  7. The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Patricia MacLachlan
    (Albert Whitman & Company, 2013-09-01, Paperback)
    Before they were the Boxcar Children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden lived with their parents at Fair Meadow Farm. Newbery-Award winning author Patricia MacLachlan pays loving tribute to the classic novel by Gertrude Chandler Warner in this story of the Alden children’s origins and the challenges they faced before their boxcar adventures.

     

  8. For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law by Randall Kennedy
    (Pantheon, 2013-09-03, Hardcover)
    In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Fisher v. University of Texas, For Discrimination is at once the definitive reckoning with one of America’s most explosively contentious and divisive issues and a principled work of advocacy for clearly defined justice.  What precisely is affirmative action, and why is it fiercely championed by some and just as fiercely denounced by others? Does it signify a boon or a stigma? Or is it simply reverse discrimination? What are its benefits and costs to American society? What are the exact indicia determining who should or should not be accorded affirmative action? When should affirmative action end, if it must? Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School professor and author of such critically acclaimed and provocative books as Race, Crime, and the Law and the national best-seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, gives us a concise, gimlet-eyed, and deeply personal conspectus of the policy, refusing to shy away from the myriad complexities of an issue that continues to bedevil American race relations. With pellucid reasoning, Kennedy accounts for the slipperiness of the term “affirmative action” as it has been appropriated by ideologues of every stripe; delves into the complex and surprising legal history of the policy; coolly analyzes key arguments pro and con advanced by the left and right, including the so-called color-blind, race-neutral challenge; critiques the impact of Supreme Court decisions on higher education; and ponders the future of affirmative action.

     

  9. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor
    (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013-09-09, Hardcover)
    This searing story of slavery and freedom in the Chesapeake by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian reveals the pivot in the nation’s path between the founding and civil war.Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as “freedom’s swift-winged angels.” In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war. They enabled the British to escalate their onshore attacks and to capture and burn Washington, D.C. Tidewater masters had long dreaded their slaves as “an internal enemy.” By mobilizing that enemy, the war ignited the deepest fears of Chesapeake slaveholders. It also alienated Virginians from a national government that had neglected their defense. Instead they turned south, their interests aligning more and more with their section. In 1820 Thomas Jefferson observed of sectionalism: “Like a firebell in the night [it] awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once the knell of the union.” The notes of alarm in Jefferson’s comment speak of the fear aroused by the recent crisis over slavery in his home state. His vision of a cataclysm to come proved prescient. Jefferson’s startling observation registered a turn in the nation’s course, a pivot from the national purpose of the founding toward the threat of disunion. Drawn from new sources, Alan Taylor’s riveting narrative re-creates the events that inspired black Virginians, haunted slaveholders, and set the nation on a new and dangerous course. 35 illustrations; 4 maps

     

  10. Mafia Princess Part 4 (Stay Rich Or Die Trying) by Joy Deja King
    (A King Production, 2013-09-25, Paperback)
    Semaj is back as the head of the Espreilla Family but she soon learns someone has masterminded a plan to make her relinquish her power. With enemies closing in and death knocking at her door, Semaj believes there is only one man she can completely trust and let her guard down with, the love of her life Qua. But is Qua willing to put the past behind them and do whatever is necessary to protect Semaj? With so much to lose Semaj is determined to Stay Rich Or Die Trying.

     

  11. The Cutting Season: A Novel by Attica Locke
    (Harper Perennial, 2013-09-17, Paperback)
    “The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical novel that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica Locke is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of WenchAttica Locke’s breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.

     

  12. Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior by Mindy Budgor
    (skirt!, 2013-09-10, Hardcover)
    The amazing true adventure story of a young woman who— at 27 years old and undecided as to what to do with her future—takes a spontaneous trip that leads to becoming the first female Maasai warrior and an official member of the tribe.

     

  13. Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
    (Bloomsbury USA, 2013-09-17, Hardcover)
    “We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” —Harriet TubmanIn five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own. Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward’s memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

     

  14. Invasion by Walter Dean Myers
    (Scholastic Press, 2013-09-24, Hardcover)
    Walter Dean Myers brilliantly renders the realities of World War II.Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death’s whisper is everywhere. One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.It’s May 1944. World War II is ramping up, and so are these young recruits, ready and eager. In small towns and big cities all over the globe, people are filled with fear. When Josiah and Marcus come together in what will be the greatest test of their lives, they learn hard lessons about race, friendship, and what it really means to fight. Set on the front lines of the Normandy invasion, this novel, rendered with heart-in-the-throat precision, is a cinematic masterpiece. Here we see the bold terror of war, and also the nuanced havoc that affects a young person’s psyche while living in a barrack, not knowing if today he will end up dead or alive.

     

  15. Kara Walker: Dust Jackets for the Niggerati by Hilton Als
    (Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2013-09-30, Hardcover)
    African-American artist Kara Walker (born 1969) has been acclaimed internationally for her candid investigations of race, sexuality and violence through the lens of reconceived historical tropes. She had her first solo show at The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994 and, at the age of 28 in 1997, was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. This publication documents Dust Jackets for the Niggerati–and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, a major series of graphite drawings and hand-printed texts on paper that grew out of Walker’s attempts to understand how interpersonal and geopolitical powers are asserted through the lives of individuals. In scenes that range from the grotesque to the humorous to the tragic, these works vividly and powerfully explore the themes of transition and migration that run through the African-American experience. The accompanying essays take us through Walker’s saga of American experience–the dual streams of renewal and destruction that trace parallel lines through the last century’s rapid urbanization and the complementary emergence of a “New Negro” identity. Fully illustrated with reproductions of the entire series, and designed by award-winning design studio CoMa with Walker’s close collaboration, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati represents a major contribution to the career of one of our most significant and complex contemporary artists.

     

  16. Primary Lessons by Sarah Bracey White
    (Cavankerry, 2013-09-03, Paperback)
    Ripped from middle-class life in Philadelphia, and transplanted to a single-parent household in the segregated south, Sarah, a precocious black child struggles to be the master of her fate. She refuses to accept the segregation that tries to confine herÑa system her mother accepts as the southern way of life. A brave memoir that testifies to the author’s fiery spirit and sense of self that sustained her through family, social and cultural upheavals.

     

  17. Trinity Falls (A Finding Home Novel) by Regina Hart
    (Kensington Books, 2013-09-03, Kindle Edition)
    “Rich and satisfying.” –LuAnn McLane, author of Whisper’s EdgeEan Fever is burned out by the hectic pace of New York City and his cutthroat law career. Longing for a sense of community, he’s returned to his hometown of Trinity Falls, Ohio. Maybe he can even help save the Town Center from greedy developers looking to destroy its small businesses—like Books & Bakery, owned by Megan McCloud. Megan was once an awkward girl next door, but Ean discovers she’s grown into a strong-willed, beautiful woman… Megan isn’t the only strong-willed McCloud. Her cousin, Ramona, is the town mayor. And as usual, Ramona is trying to take away what Megan wants most. As teenagers, that meant Ean. Now Ramona wants to take away her business. But Megan has learned how to fight. And she soon realizes that Ean is ready to fight with her—and for her. Because when Ean finds himself falling for the woman who’s adored him all along, he’ll have to convince her that he’s not leaving again. At least not without her. Praise for Regina Hart’s Keeping Score“The writing is clever and funny.” –RT Book Reviews “Hart raises issues such as love, trust, commitment, family, work, marriage and dreams.” –APOOO Book Club

     

  18. Last Chance for Justice: How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting the Birmingham Church Bombers by T. K. Thorne
    (Chicago Review Press, 2013-09-01, Hardcover)
    On the morning of September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded outside the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls. Thirty-two years later, stymied by a code of silence and an imperfect and often racist legal system, only one person, Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss, had been convicted in the murders, though a wider conspiracy was suspected. With many key witnesses and two suspects already dead, there seemed little hope of bringing anyone else to justice.            But in 1995 the FBI and local law enforcement reopened the investigation in secret, led by detective Ben Herren of the Birmingham Police Department and special agent Bill Fleming of the FBI. For over a year, Herren and Fleming analyzed the original FBI files on the bombing and activities of the Ku Klux Klan, then began a search for new evidence. Their first interview—with Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry—broke open the case, but not in the way they expected.            Told by a longtime officer of the Birmingham Police Department, Last Chance for Justice is the inside story of one of the most infamous crimes of the civil rights era. T. K. Thorne follows the ups and downs of the investigation, detailing how Herren and Fleming identified new witnesses and unearthed lost evidence. With tenacity, humor, dedication, and some luck, the pair encountered the worst and best in human nature on their journey to find justice, and perhaps closure, for the citizens of Birmingham.

     

  19. Most Wanted by Kiki Swinson
    (Dafina, 2013-09-24, Paperback)

     

  20. Black Yellowdogs: The Most Dangerous Citizen Is Not Armed, But Uninformed by Ben Kinchlow
    (WND Books, 2013-09-10, Kindle Edition)
    It has often been said, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Not true. Ignorance is deadly. Have you ever heard of the phrase forty acres and a mule? Do you know how slavery actually began in America? Did you know the KKK lynched over a thousand white people? Do you know why? Have you ever wondered, “What do African Americans want?” Why they vote Democrat? Did you know that most Blacks DO NOT support Affirmative Action? Who speaks for African-Americans? Does Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and others, really speak for Black America? Who elected these “civil rights leaders?” If you have ever considered, even briefly, any one of these questions, or others, in the area of race relations, then you need your own copy of Black YellowDogs. (What does “black yellowdogs” mean, anyway?) Buy it, read it, mark it up, look up the facts, burn it, or better yet give it to one of your white or black friends and talk about it. Remember, the most dangerous citizen is not armed but uninformed.

     

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Knopf

August 27, 2013
Hardcover

From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè—Claire of the Sea Light—is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life.

But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. As Nozias and others look for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed among the community of men and women whose individual stories connect to Claire, to her parents, and to the town itself. Told with piercing lyricism and the economy of a fable, Claire of the Sea Light is a tightly woven, breathtaking tapestry that explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend, while revealing the mysterious bonds we share with the natural world and with one another. Embracing the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life, it is Edwidge Danticat’s most spellbinding, astonishing book yet.

2013 Los Angeles Black Book Expo

A festive day is expected by all who attend this year’s Los Angeles Black Book Expo (LABBX). This year, the expo celebrates the diversity of the written and spoken word along with promoting emerging authors, poetry performances in our Spoken Worlds pavilion, a children’s corner, engaging panel discussions and workshops with more to come.

The L.A. Black Book Expo will be held Saturday, August 17 from 12 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Featured guests scheduled to appear are Dr. Letitia Wright, host of The Wright Place; Literary agent and editor, Steven Huston; Bassist and author Russel Blake; C.Sade Turnipseed, Founder and Executive Director of Kharafe, Inc; plus a lineup of workshops and speakers.

For the ninth year, the Black Book Expo has been on the rise attracting prominent and celebrity authors across the nation. The mission of the expo is to expose the public to independently published books, encourage reading, and to showcase authors, editors, publishers, scholars, and writers. In addition, sponsors include California Crusader Newspaper, along with media partner KLIQ 1670 AM.

This is a free event and open to all who are ready to come, evolve and experience something great!

For more information please visit www.labbx.org.

Potential sponsors are encouraged to contact the Expo at blackbookexpola@gmail.com.

About the Los Angeles Black Book Expo
The Los Angeles Black Book Expo through their fiscal sponsor, the African Diaspora Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization. On June 2004 the Black Book Expo was created to celebrate the written word, promote literacy and to showcase new and established authors, storytellers, spoken word artists, children’s book authors, emerging writers, publishers, booksellers, editors and book reviewers local and nationwide.

The Magic Poof by Stephen Hodges, illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry

Kindle


Paperback
Seven year old Ange-Marie has always felt different. Who wouldn’t when your best friend is literally attached to you? The Poof is a great ball of curly hair that sits directly on top of Ange-Marie’s head. His magical and playful nature always seems to produce mischief and adventure. In book one of The Magic Poof series, Ange-Marie must decide what to wear for school picture day. But The Poof also wants to look good for picture day! How does Ange-Marie look her best and keep her enchanted and hairy friend a secret? In the end, both The Poof and Ange-Marie find that compromise is the key in any friendship.

Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante

Spiegel & Grau
August 20, 2013
Hardcover

A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family — this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.

MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone — his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country — and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.

Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers — outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.

2013 Leimert Park Village Book Fair

The 2013 Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) will celebrate another year of bringing a world-class, unrivaled literary event to the City of Los Angeles on Saturday, June 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thousands book lovers, families, and fans of all ages will converge on the Vision Theatre backlot in historic Leimert Park to celebrate the written word. There will be over 150 celebrity readings, book signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances and musical performance during this day-long festival.

The Book Fair will pay special tribute to the American novelist, playwright, poet and social critic James A. Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) and the 1960’s: America’s Era of Social Change.

I Have A Story: Getting Started (Volume 1) by Angela Ardis

Paperback:


Kindle:
After receiving hundreds of emails and letters from people asking me how to get started writing their books, I decided to put together a “petite” book series that will do just that.

I Have A Story book series gives potential authors a P.S. version to writing without getting stuck with a barrage of verbiage. As they complete each volume, they will begin to see their ideas come to life on the pages of their soon-to-be publications. Volume One will help you formulate the idea then break it down in an effort to rebuild it as the story you envision.

New Urban Fiction Author Yani Debut Novel, A Thug’s Redemption

Kindle Edition
When Jamal decides to take matters into his own hands by avenging his best friend’s murder, he is forced into the street life, forever in debt to his cousin Samir, one of Philadelphia’s biggest drug lords. After finding love; separating himself from the game, and turning his life around, fate comes into play when a desperate act by his younger brother Shawn, brings back the haunting night from Jamal’s past. Secrets are revealed, and Jamal is forced back into the street life to save his brother as well as himself. In this story about friendship, love, and the dangers of North Philly streets, Jamal will soon learn that mistakes are hard to clean up and they will cost him dearly in the end.


I released her novel, A Thug’s Redemption under my own Anitbeet Productions. Written at the age of 15 while attending University City High-School, my first work of fiction explores inner city youths’ struggle with gun violence claiming the lives of their family and friends, drugs, which plagues their neighborhoods, as well as the on-going battles they each face in their destructive homes. It is an all too familiar tale for anyone who has lived in Philadelphia as well as other inner cities around the country. A Thug’s Redemption takes a look into why so many young Black men are becoming victims of genocide and how gun violence has become the number 1 killer of Black men across the country.

The first installment of this page turning trilogy is a tale of how one young man’s need for revenge causes a ripple effect like a pebble in a pond. Jamal has the unfortunate experience of witnessing his best friend being murdered after a fight between himself and another North Philly teenager ensues. Seeing himself as the blame, he decides to take matters into his own hands by seeking revenge on the culprit. With the help of his cousin Samir, one of Philadelphia’s most notorious and well-connected drug lords, Jamal lays his own life on the line to avenge his best friend and kills the gun-man responsible for the slaying. Jamal finds himself forever in debt to his cousin Samir as an on call street soldier. But the love affair between himself and a fellow classmate, Tamera Harrison, humbles his destructive nature and lures him away from the street life.

When a desperate act by his younger brother Shawn, brings back the haunting night from Jamal’s past, secrets are revealed and he is forced back into the street life to keep his brother from going to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Reverting back to his street mentality ways, Jamal will do whatever it takes to protect the people around him, even if it means killing again.

In recent studies, from 1980-2008 47.4% of Black men were victims of a homicide. Of the 47.4%, 52.5% of them were killed by another Black man. The number of Black children, young Black teens and Black men who were killed by gun violence in Chicago from 1990-2009 was more than 13 times the number of Black men lynched by White men from 1882-1968! Of the amount of deaths in 2008-2009, 45% were young African American males between the ages of 15-19, killed by gun violence.

Although A Thug’s Redemption is a work of fiction, it gives a perspective into situations that contribute to these staggering statistics; the need for revenge, the need for respect, the need to protect love ones and the need for power and money. Though many non-violence advocates believe that better gun laws would stop some of the violence committed against one another, I believe that it truly starts with us, our respect for human life and making better decisions.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa and am an aspiring author who enjoys entrapping my readers inside of my literary world and having them fall in love with the characters while relating to their stories. I have been featured on Yo! Raps website and showcased as author of the week on Authors & Readers Book Corner as well as the Hottest Urban Fiction website. I’ve has also recited my poetry in the past on the local Hip-Hop and R&B radio station, Power 99FM. To learn more about me or to view my press kit, visit www.anitbeetproductions.net.