AALBC.com eNewsletter - August 31st, 2004
|Celebrating Our Literary Legacy!|
- Tastes Like Chicken: A Novel by
- Cooking With Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics by
RECENT AALBC.COM BOOK REVIEWS & ARTICLES
Me Crazy by Eric Jerome Dickey � Reviewed by Thumper
I was somewhat leery when it came to reading Drive Me Crazy. I was not in the mood for another book like The Other Woman. I knew I was going to read Drive Me Crazy because, well, even with one misstep, Dickey is still my boy. I got the book, read the book flap and could hardly contain my excitement. Ex con, contract hit, threat of physical violence, death, hell, just my cup of tea. Drive Me Crazy lived up to the hype.
Drive Me Crazy is an invigorating, hard to put down
read, simply one of the best books of the year. Dickey is back in my good
graces, hopefully for good.
Interrupted by Van Whitfield � Reviewed by Thumper
Van Whitfield has made me a happy man with his new novel, Daddy Interrupted because Shawn Wayne is back in the house! I am crazy about Shawn Wayne. I am not a big fan of sequel novels, mainly because many authors do not know when to put a period on a storyline and allow their characters to give up the ghosts, but another literary outing of Shawn Wayne is too good to be true. I was squealing like a pig in a field full of truffles. In Daddy Interrupted, Shawn is coming to grip with impending fatherhood, reexamining his past, his present and his future with hilarious and often insightful thoughts. Although I had to take away a few points away from the novel, Daddy Interrupted is a funny, solidly entertaining novel.
Last King by Nichelle Tramble � Reviewed by Thumper
I have been waiting on The Last King for a few years now, ever since I read Tramble's debut novel, The Dying Ground. The wait has well been worth it for The Last King is one incredible novel. Maceo and the whole Redfield family, the mystery, the pacing of the story; all of the elements of an extraordinary book are here and Tramble has the talent and skill to pull it all together.
Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers edited by
Brandon Massey � Reviewed by Thumper
I kid you not, there is not a single story in Dark Dreams that I did not like. However, I did have my favorites....
One of the jewels of the anthology is the story Danger Word, a story of a grandfather trying to keep his grandson safe when man eating Zombie like creatures are on the loose. Danger Word marks the first time husband and wife, Stephen Barnes and Tananarive Due, wrote a story together. Boy, what a story! The story ended just as it reached a fever pitch. Again, I was left wanting more.
The story that literally blew me away was Plaything by Terence Taylor.
Plaything is the story of a man on trial for having sex with a doll. My
goodness gracious, it ain't often that a story can captivate and repulse me
at the same time. Plaything is not a story that caused my hair (what little
there is left) to stand on its end. The story effectively shook me up on two
plateaus, mentally and morally. I have not felt this way since I read
Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Taylor gets the standing O for this one.
Excellent, Plaything is simply excellent.
My Bedroom by Donna Hill � Reviewed by Leah Mullen
Rayne Holland, budding film director, wife and mother appear to have it all. She�s poised to be lauded for her work in the film industry when she�s involved in a terrible accident. Later when Rayne attempts to take her own life and ends up in a mental institution, everyone�including Gayle, Rayne�s best friend and Pauline, her therapist�wants to know what caused the disintegration of a once seemingly strong and accomplished person.
AN AUTHOR YOU SHOULD KNOW
Author of Help I Need a Fan: A Rite of Passage
from Woman to Goddess,
Rashida Aisha Ali is an author, artist, educator and
philanthropist who lectures nationwide catering to female audiences,
conducting workshops, seminars and symposiums on women related topics
such as health and wellness, natural healing with alternative
approaches, sexuality, male/female relationships and matters relating to
the spiritual and metaphysical realm. She is a poet and author of several books on
spirituality, health, romance and lyrical verse including: Inner
Sanctum, The Highest Joy, A song For You, The Healing Power Of God and
Music Color and Medicine-A Healing For The Nations, Lyrical Butterfly
(anthology) and Louisiana Lynching (biography). Her credentials include: Doctor of Divinity, Doctor
of Metaphysics, Master Herbalist, and a member of the Grand Lodge of The
Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.
Rashida Aisha Ali is an author, artist, educator and philanthropist who lectures nationwide catering to female audiences, conducting workshops, seminars and symposiums on women related topics such as health and wellness, natural healing with alternative approaches, sexuality, male/female relationships and matters relating to the spiritual and metaphysical realm.
She is a poet and author of several books on spirituality, health, romance and lyrical verse including: Inner Sanctum, The Highest Joy, A song For You, The Healing Power Of God and Music Color and Medicine-A Healing For The Nations, Lyrical Butterfly (anthology) and Louisiana Lynching (biography).
Her credentials include: Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Metaphysics, Master Herbalist, and a member of the Grand Lodge of The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.
Marion Designs can design anything you may need to create and promote your book including; book covers, business cards, posters, postcards, marketing materials, and logo design. Several of Marion Designs book covers have made the Essence best seller list and are featured on Black Expressions. Marion Designs believes in customer satisfaction. Once they begin working with a client, they will not stop until the customer has something they love and reflects exactly the message they are trying to convey to the consumer.
Had It Coming by Camika Spencer (Five
Women. A Man. And a Plan)
Meet Marcus Brooks. He's gorgeous. He's successful. He's the bestselling author of African American fiction. He's also the most obnoxious male alive....
Meet Raylene, Naomi, Thelma, Gwena, and Latice. They are five women who
belong to a reading group, strong women with strong opinions. They don't
take any grief from anyone (well, not if they can help it), and their
friendships have stood the test of time. One night they meet up with
bestselling author Marcus Brooks. At first they are in awe. Then they are
puzzled. Next they're enraged. How can a man whose books are loved by
millions act like such a dog? Words are exchanged--and more--and they soon
get in way over their heads. The book club takes Marcus captive--and the
longer they hold him, the more complicated things get. Can these five women
rehabilitate the most arrogant author in the world and teach him a few
lessons about life, writing, and women? He Had It Coming is a
wickedly delicious novel, as shocking as it is hilarious--a delightful
send-up of fame and success.
Womanizers by Dwayne S. Joseph
For best friends Mike, Max, and Ahmad, the bonds of friendship, love and respect, are put to the ultimate test as each one of them is forced to take a long, hard look at himself and the woman he loves. They all said their 'I do's,' but did they really understand what it meant?
Mike's a bonafide ladies man. He's smooth, sexy, and he's got all the right moves to make the women drop their drawers and do things that would earn a Triple X rating. There's just one problem-his wife, Mya. Although Mike said 'I do,' he's never been able to say 'I don't.' And to those who know him the best, he's never changed. Mya knew what she was getting into when she slipped his ring on her finger, but she'd always hoped that her love would be enough to quench his desire. But now that she's finally admitted that Mike can never be tamed, who will she turn to for comfort? And how will Mike handle it?
Max is a music mogul in the making. And with his wife, Trina's support, he's bound to succeed. Of course that all depends on what happens with Sharon, who could write a book and give seminars on what it is to be a true ghetto queen. Sharon's the woman he's seeing on the side, when he wants a little "tune-up." She also happens to be his mother-in-law. If that isn't bad enough, Trina and Sharon absolutely can't stand one another. Mix everything together and you've got an out-of-control ride headed straight towards a brick wall.
Ahmad is a born-again virgin only he can't figure out why. No matter what
he does or says, his wife, Shay, refuses to be intimate with him. Ahmad's
tried everything to get Shay to open up to him, but nothing ever works. All
he gets are strong "No's" and lonely, frustrating nights. Shay knows that
she needs to open up soon, before another woman comes along, looking to give
Ahmad the affection that she can't. But what happens when her decision to
confide in him is too late and Mya comes along?
in the Dark: A Tamara Hayle Mystery
Valerie Wilson Wesley�s Tamara Hayle mystery series featuring Newark, New Jersey�s number one private investigator are loved for their smart, sexy protagonist who �has a way with a wisecrack that is positively lethal� (Washington Post). Now in Dying in the Dark, Hayle is entrenched in a sinister investigation that will demand her best detective work yet.
the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis
T. FARRELL has got to get out of Flint, Michigan.
3rd Annual Blackboard Midwest Music & Book Festival - 2004 (September
King Arts Complex
867 Mount Vernon Avenue
Columbus, OH 43203
$17.50 each event/$35 entire 2-days
(No additional registration fee)
This event is an opportunity for literature fans to meet and greet their favorite authors while enjoying wonderful music, food and recognition. Enjoy singers, spoken word performers, live bands, book related vendors, food, giveaways, door prizes and more. Participating authors include; Zane, Carl Weber, Crystal McCrary Anthony & Tonya Lewis Lee, Chris Benson, Travis Hunter, Salome Thomas-El, Parry Brown, Marissa Monteilh, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Victoria Christopher Murray, Donna Hill, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant and many more!
For more information, contact Cherlyn Michaels @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 314.369.6130.
AALBC.com is Honored to Host a Literary Salon Featuring Kenji Jasper and
Thursday, September 23, 6:30pm
the finest writers of his generation, will read from "Seeking Salamanca
Mitchell". Award winning author Glenville Lovell will read from "Love and Death
in Brooklyn". Come meet these authors and other book lovers in an intimate
environment. Both books will be on sale during this event (Cash or checks only
please, credit cards will not be accepted). RSVP (required) by September
Please keep in mind that space is limited. Only respond "yes" if you definitely
plan to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
For more information about these wonderful authors please visit Kenji Jasper http://authors.aalbc.com/kenji.htm & Glenville Lovell http://authors.aalbc.com/glenville.htm
AALBC.com is Pleased to Host a Literary Salon Featuring Colin
Tuesday, October 5, 6:30pm
Colin will read from his recently published novel, "Passing Through". After the reading there will be a Q&A session and book signing. Refreshments will be provided. Books will be available for purchase for $14. (Cash or checks only please, credit cards will not be accepted). RSVP by September 27th (http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=OKBYNQIUPHDURXDKKJZM). Please keep in mind that space is limited. Only respond "yes" if you definitely plan to attend.
Colin Channer is a true renaissance man. Channer is the author of two
bestselling novels, a novella, and a collection of stories. He is founder of the
Calabash International Literary Festival Trust, a registered not-for-profit
entity whose mission is � to transform the literary arts in the Caribbean".
Channer also is the founder and bass player of the reggae band Pipecock Jaxxon.
A dual citizen of Jamaica and the USA, he lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY.
For more information about this exciting author please visit
Our August and September questions have been posted.
& "READ MORE" PRODUCT ON SALE
"Read More" Campaign initiated by the Literary Freedom Project: http://mosaicbooks.com/lfp.htm
Interesting Discussion Board Posts (we discuss other
things besides books)
Closing the achievement gap...
Denzel Blasts Michael Moore?
...and of course there is the subject of books
Chris Hayden's Jihad on Spec Fiction
What ya'll reading now???
AALBC.com SUMMER BOOK REVIEW BRIEFS
It�s All about the Moon When the Sun Ain�t Shining by Ernest Hill. In a story or a young man finding himself at one of a life�s crossroad, Ernest Hill scores another homerun. The novel which takes place in Brownsville, Louisiana (the same place which Hill�s previous novel Cry Me a River) is full of interesting characters, especially the main character Maurice Dupree, and unfolds like a steady, sweet summer breeze. Hill has a firm and comforting touch. I loved the title and the book.
Love and Death in Brooklyn by Glenville Lovell. Love and Death in Brooklyn is the second novel by Lovell featuring Blades Overstreet (Too Beautiful to Die). In this installment, Blades is looking for the murderer of his surrogate father�s son. Discovering the killer is problematic and he will have to deal with the FBI, his past, and his family including an 8 year old daughter he did not know he had. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Lovell succeeds on all levels of a mystery/suspense series: an engaging, likable hero; a well constructed mystery; an assortment of fascinating supporting characters; a truly twisted dysfunctional family. Lovell is proving to be one of our best unknown writers. I�m praying that Blades Overstreet, and Love and Death in Brooklyn will change that.
A History of the African American People by Strom Thurmond as told to Percival Everett and James Kincaid [proposed]. I agree it is a long title for a novel�and it is a novel. The book also happens to be one of the most imaginative and funny novel that I have read in some years. As you all probably know, I love Everett. He is a genius. Besides dropping some of the most beautiful prose that I�ve ever read, possessing a wicked sense of humor, it is the manner in which his characters view their world that places Everett�s novels in the same company as Kurt Vonnegut�s best. In this outing, Everett is joined with James Kincaid and together both create an off beat assortment of characters to provide a fictional behind the curtain glance of the publishing industry when Sen. Strom Thurmond decides he wants to write a non-fiction book on African Americans in America. From the narrative of the book, which is comprised of letters and emails; to its characters, which includes Everett and Kincaid themselves, A History of the African American People is the most original, totally unforgettable novel of the year.
Sins of the Father by Felicia Madlock. As my friend Linda Watkins would have said, (Sins of the Father) would have been a good book if it was written by somebody else. The premise of the novel is what happens when a family man and his wife are killed and the son from this marriage is suddenly alone and made aware that his father had other sons that he had abandoned. The youngest son is taken to a world he doesn�t know, while his older brothers are still dealing with the pain of growing up fatherless. When I started the book, I thought that the drama had great potential. Madlock obviously did not see what I saw for the book fails on all points. Madlock did not capture the grittiness of Chicago�s inner city. She hinted at it but did not fully convey or maintain the hopelessness of it all. The relationships between the brothers were basically ignored. I was looking forward to watching how the brothers related to each other. Instead Madlock mistakenly placed her focus on the subplots and romances, which were half way developed and conclusions were too pat and reached too quickly, instead of exploring the new family dynamics. Madlock was unable to concretely flesh out the characters and plots or make up her mind as to what kind of book she was writing, a novel set in an urbane sitting or a U go girl book. Ultimately, the story suffered because Madlock did not know which table she was eating on.
The Sisters of APF by Zane. The Sisters of APF is the first novel of Zane�s that I read, and although this may come to a complete surprise to some, I loved it. The premise was original enough to catch my interest. I thought the book was pretty well put together. The only negative comment I have to make about the book is that Mary Ann, the lead character, was stiff and unbelievable. I couldn�t stand Mary Ann�s �Miss Goody Two Shoes but underneath it all I�m a nymphomaniac� image. However, the rest of the book was wonderful and sexy. I�m going to have to read more of Zane. � Thumper
I almost tore my mouth out reading author, Asante' Kahari's eighty page Murder Inc. The good boy gone bad-it's payback time predictable plot is as interesting as watching the glue on the spine dry. It's full of typo's, unreliable narration and an over-all mess. In my opinion, the crude, grammatically butchered writing style is an insult to the profession and along with many other titles -an insult to the urban genre. � Linda Watkins
THE COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK ON-LINE READING
August 2004 Selection
The Coffee Will Make You Black reading group is currently reading The Heart of Redness by Zakes Mda
Our chat session is scheduled for Sunday, September 12th, 2004 at 6:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time . If you have already read The Heart of Redness and would like to participate in our on-line chat session; please join us in our chat room http://www.thumperscorner.com/chat/
Visit http://thumperscorner.com/Reading_List.htm to view the rest of The Coffee Will Make You Black on-line reading group's reading list for 2004
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