AALBC.com eNewsletter - January 25th, 2004
|Celebrating Our Literary Legacy!|
RECENT AALBC.COM BOOK REVIEWS
If you looking for a good book, or maybe one to avoid, check out AALBC.com's book reviews.
Haters by Carl Weber
"No one writes drama like Carl Weber. I don't know how he does it. He keeps throwing out books that I swallow whole, with no salt or pepper, while having a crooked smile on my face. Weber keeps the party going with his latest novel Player Haters, a novel of siblings finding, keeping, and losing in the game of love. It is Carl Weber's best novel to date. I enjoyed the hell out of Player Haters." �Read the Rest of Thumper's Review
Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni
"The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni has been grafted to my hands for the last 3 weeks. This anthology is the chronological atlas of her published work from 1968 - 1998. But this goes beyond the simplicity of a gathered collection of publications. Each work is tagged with a biographical timeline; introductions; new after-words from Giovanni; along with title and first line indexes, and illuminating notes about the poems. The effort to put together a first rate book is evident from page one. The liner notes refer to this book as the testimony of Giovanni life�s work. I concur with this assessment and commend the results." �Read the rest of Rondall Brasher's Review
"The Good House is an incredible, mesmerizing, multi-dimensional novel. I lived the novel from beginning to end. This feat is quite an accomplishment for me since The Good House weighs in at almost 600 pages. You all know I'm not a "connoisseur" of the big fat novel. But, when the writing is good, the size of the book does not matter. The Good House is an exciting read that solidifies Due�s growing prominence in the science fiction/horror genre." �Read the Rest of Thumper's Review
Honey Well by Gloria Mallette
"I am completely ecstatic over The Honey Well. I was immediately swept up into the story, which flowed like a pleasant dream. When I heard about the book last year, I was warned that the novel was unlike Mallette�s previously published novels, Shades of Jade and Promises to Keep. I was not lied to. The Honey Well is not a suspense/murder novel. You all have heard me say it in the past, and I will probably say it a thousand more times before I am done, there�s no drama like family drama. The Honey Well proves how right I am." �Read the Rest of Thumper's Review
Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
"Award winning author Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads is a multilayered fantasy full of various meanings, Haitian voodoo, mythology, slavery and European history. The reader will not walk away from this story empty handed." �Read the rest of Linda Watkins' Review
or Nice by Eric Jerome Dickey
"I had a ball with Naughty or Nice. I laughed, got teary eye in a couple of spots, and loudly exclaimed, "I don't believe this" or "I know he didn't" throughout the last half of the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The McBroom sisters were wonderful. Dickey did a fine job creating them. I do not believe there is a male author on this planet that can capture the female voice like Dickey. The novel is smart, funny, and touching. It does not get much better than this." �Read the Rest of Thumper's Review
Poems edited by Kevin Young
"Kevin Young has done it like no one before him. In his edited anthology Blues Poems he further demonstrates how adept his knowledge is of blues, its history, and how pervasive it is in modern poetry. He also puts together a magnificent preface to the book that helps describe and educate readers to the brief history of a form of music that has literally influenced every form of music that we listen to today." �Read the rest of Rondall Brasher's Review
Corner by Brandon Massey
"I love vampire tales with a passion. I'm always on the look out for new, well written, vampire adventures. I was anxious to read Brandon Massey's latest novel, Dark Corner, about vampires in an all black Mississippi town. The novel has both good and bad points. Fortunately, it doesn't have enough bad points that would turn me sour on reading future Brandon Massey novels or stories. Dark Corner is a trim here and a snip there away from being a remarkable novel." �Read the Rest of Thumper's Review
TWO BOOKS FROM ST MARTIN'S PRESS
from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity - and My Journey to
Freedom in America by Francis Bok, Edward Tivnan
Slave Narrative of Francis Bok
"...He look at me and said, "You want to know why no one loves you and why you must sleep with the animals?... I make you sleep with the animals... because you ARE an animal..."
�Escape from Slavery, autobiography of Francis Bok.
In this groundbreaking modern slave narrative, Francis Bok shares his remarkable story of being enslaved for 10 years as a child in Sudan. His memoir is the modern-day counterpart to that of 19th century slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglas: He chronicles his escape, his journey to a new life, and his rise to becoming a key figure in the modern anti-slavery movement, even meeting with the president of the United States.
My Bedroom by
In her richly drawn new novel, Essence bestselling author, Donna Hill explores the strengths, passions and healing of three unforgettable women.
Rayne Holland has the handsome husband, a budding film career and a beautiful five year old daughter. The kind of life any woman would want-especially her best friend, Gayle. Then suddenly, Rayne's seemingly perfect world comes to a tragic, crashing halt. Everyone wants to know why, but the reasons are hidden in the darkest corner of Rayne's mind.
Out of a deep sense of guilt, Gayle tries to help her along the road to recovery, even at the expense of her own marriage, never knowing that part of Rayne's retreat from the world is because of Gayle herself. In pursuit of the answers, Pauline, Rayne's psychologist finds herself immediately drawn to the lovely woman and into the maelstrom of her mind, discovering disturbing similarities between them. Pauline is faced with the most daunting case of her career. If she can save Rayne, she just may save herself, and the unlocked secrets in Rayne's mind may finally free them all.
AUTHORS YOU SHOULD KNOW
"J. A. Rogers devoted
over fifty years of his life to his research. He had not only
looked at the world history but also at the history of people of African
origin, and had shown how their history is an inseparable part of the
history of mankind."
Amiri Baraka is one of the most prolific African American writers of the 20th century. He is an acclaimed poet and the Obie-winning playwright of Dutchman. His long list of writing credits includes: Blues People; Home; Social Essays; Black Fire; Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka / LeRoi Jones and Selected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones. He continues to be active in the struggle against racism and capitalism, to organize artists, and tp participate in the struggle for Black Liberation.
Lion Goes to School
Little Lion Goes to School tells the story of a young Rasta boy struggling to fit in at school where the children tease him for being poor and different. With his father�s help he learns to value who he is, not what he possesses, and that what makes him different also makes him special. The book is written in rhyme and is meant for children 8 and under.
A wonderful site dedicated to romance writers of color. Romance in Color is chock full of information on upcoming books, events, reviews, author information and more.
Black Library Booksellers
THE BLACK LIBRARY was founded in 1993 by Kevin L. Fisher & Lloyd E. Hart, Jr. This organization evolved out of our interest and love of reading, particularly African American literature. Locally, they found a lack of supply and variety of such literature. Therefore, they started gathering African American literature form sources in and outside the greater Boston area. They soon amassed a sizable inventory and were able to serve their friends and associates in the Black community. This naturally evolved into what is now THE BLACK LIBRARY BOOKSELLERS. Read co-founder Lloyd Hart's amazing story.
Our events calendar allows visitors to learn about up coming African American literary events. Visitors may even post their own events and include a link back to their web site. If you don't have a web site AALBC.com can build one for you; simply fill out the form on our web site at http://www.aalbc.com/events/
Here are few up coming events:
Book Festival - New York City - February 21, 2004
This book festival will be an annual book festival held during Black History Month in celebration of African American authors and literature. The book festival will be held on February 21, 2004 at the New York Marriott Financial Center, 85 West Street, New York, New York. Contact information. (888) 268-6504, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mobilemediaaccess.com 85 West Street New York, NY 10006 11am-7pm
Black Writers Conference - Brooklyn, NY - March 25 - 27th, 2004
National Black Writers Conference - Brooklyn, NY Conference activities begin on Friday, March 26th at Medgar Evers College with workshops, readings, storytelling and cultural performances. Panel discussions and testimonials will take place on Saturday, March 27, 2004. Registration fees vary. Discounts are available for early registrants and college students with proper ID. For further information, call (718) 270-6976, visit the website http://www.mec.cuny.edu/nbwc/, or send an email to email@example.com.
Harlem Book Fair 2004 - Harlem, NY - Tuesday, July 20 - Sunday, July 25, 2004
It�s time for the 6th Harlem Book Fair! This, the largest African American book fair of its kind, is expected to draw more than 40,000 New Yorkers and visitors to West 135th Street (from Fifth Avenue to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevards) in Harlem. Over 250 booths will be set up along West 135th Street offering books, story-telling, readings, and opportunities to meet and greet authors on four stages that will feature spoken word poets, celebrities, and music throughout the day. Visit www.qbr.com for program details.
THE COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK ON-LINE READING
January 2004 Selection
The Coffee Will Make You Black reading group is currently reading The First Thing Smoking by Nelson Eubanks
Our chat session is scheduled for Sunday, February 22nd, 2004 at 6:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time . If you have already read The First Thing Smoking, 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
Also check out the Coffee Will Make You Black recently posted Author Chat Transcripts; Featuring Solomon Jones & Glenville Lovell:
Solomon Jones: I wrote a story for the Philadelphia Weekly about a little girl who'd gone missing in a housing project in Philadelphia. She was murdered, and the culprit has never been found. It was and is the type of story that deeply affected everyone involved. While The Bridge is not a retelling of that story, it was certainly inspired by it.
Thumper: I'm sure you are asked this question a lot, or will soon be asked, did you grow up or live in a housing project like The Bridge?
Solomon Jones: No, I didn't. But, interestingly enough, the reviewer for Publisher's Weekly writes at the end of the review, "Jones, who grew up in the projects and knows his subject well, is a talent to watch." Don't know where they got that particular piece of erroneous information, but I think that is a high compliment. It says something about the authenticity of the work.
Thumper: As you already know, I loved Too Beautiful to Die? What made you decide to write a mystery?
glenville: The challenge more than anything. I wanted to see if I could actually write a novel where I had to hold fast to a defined plot. Also, I thought it would allow me greater exposure. Since nobody actually read my first two novels.
Thumper: And that in itself is a crime....
URBAN, STREET, HIP-HOP, GHETTO FICTION - EXPLODES IN POPULARITY
NIki Turner's book A Hustler's Wife was arguably one of the hottest books, by an Black author in 2003. Turner's book as well as Teri Wood's True to the Game both made AALBC.com best seller's list last year. Gangsta by K'wan and Bad Girlz, the latest book by Shannon Holmes are selling like crazy. Major publishers are not missing a beat � virtually all have several "street" titles scheduled for release in 2004. Opinions about the sustainability and even the social impact of this trend are mixed. Either way, a lot a books in this genre have been sold and all indications are that this trend is likely to continue.
From QBR Black Book Review
"There's a new type of fiction taking over the shelves of bookstores and today's best-seller's lists. It takes the drama and romance of ordinary mainstream fiction to a new hard-core level."
�Jossel, Joylynn M., �Hip Hop Fiction: Fashion or Trend?� QBR Black Book Review: Jan/Feb 2004
From NPR's Morning Edition
Readers Embrace 'Ghetto Lit' Genre - Jan. 20, 2004
"A genre of fiction known variously as "street lit," "ghetto lit," "urban lit" or "hip-hop lit" has begun registering impressive sales, catching the attention of the publishing industry. Previously sold as typewritten photocopies on street corners, these pulp-fiction books now appear in slick paperbacks available in bookstores and online. Karen Michel reports." To hear the audio: http://www.npr.org/display_pages/features/feature_1606270.html
From Thumper's Corner - Discussion Board
"Hip Hop Lit, an empowering resource for our people"
From The New York Times
"Between November 2002 and July 2003, Mr. Ptah says, he sold more than 10,000 copies on the street, the subway and at readings that he and Tehut-Nine had set up. That adds up to nearly $100,000 � an astonishing figure for such a self-financed venture."
�Dinitia Smith, "A Hip-Hop Author in Search of a Publisher Finds One on the A Train" The New York Times, January 6, 2004
AALBC.com Best-Selling Books - Jan 1st to Jan 18th 2004
1 - Sister, Sister
2 - Gettin' Buck Wild : Sex Chronicles II
3 - Bad Girlz: A Novel
4 - The Five People You Meet in Heaven
5 - A Call to Conscience: Mlk Unabridged
6 - Baby Momma Drama
7 - Chocolate Flava: The Eroticanoir.com Anthology
8 - Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture
9 - Gangsta
10 - The Known World
From Urban Books Website - Where Drama Meets the Streets
"National bestselling author Carl Weber presents Urban Books, a new line of books focusing on the drama and grit of inner-city life, featuring edgy, and exciting new voices�writers who tell it like it is."
Weber's Urban Books has a distribution deal with Kensington Books.
Visit http://books.aalbc.com/urbanstreet.htm to read more about some of the most popular titles in the genre
AALBC.com DISCUSSION BOARDS
AALBC.com January 2004 Contests have been posted.
Enter to win a copy of both volumes of Dark Matter edited by
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