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AALBC.com's Bestselling Books
AALBC.com's Bestselling Books Lists
We've just published three new bestselling books lists.
Brooks taught at many institutions and succeeded Carl Sandburg as poet laureate of Illinois (1968). Her verse narrative Annie Allen (1949) won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to an African-American woman (1950). She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1985 to 1986.
Be sure you check out the video of an interview with Gwendolyn Brooks and poet E. Ethelbert Miller in 1986 it is a pleasure to watch.
Candice Dow is a native of Baltimore, MD and graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Johns Hopkins University. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a Senior Software Engineer. It was her lifelong dream to write a novel and after toying with the idea for over five years, Candice made a commitment to herself to finish, Caught in the Mix; a story she had sporadically worked on.
Shortly after, Candice retained a literary agent and within two months was offered a two-book deal from Kensington Publishing. In 2005, she stepped out on faith and quit her six-figure job, one month prior to the release of her debut novel, Caught in the Mix. Her latest novel The Ex-Wife was published by Grand Central Publishing on January 29, 2013.
Lewis was listed, by Forbes, among the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth estimated at $400 million. He also was the first African American to build a billion dollar company, Beatrice Foods.
Black Classic Press, Inc. is reprinting "Lewis' memoir, “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun”: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire. Twenty 20 years after his untimely passing at the age of 50, Lewis' accomplishments are still extraordinary and inspirational.
Tim Wise is one of the most prominent anti-racist essayists, educators and activists in the US. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, Tavis Smiley, Tom Joyner and Michael Eric Dyson. His essays are published on Alternet, Counterpunch, Z-net, Black Commentator, the Black Agenda Report and the Daily Kos.
From 1999 to 2003, Wise served as an adviser to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute and in the early '90s was Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, the largest of the many groups responsible for the political defeat of neo-Nazi, David Duke. His most recent book is Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Publishers, January 10, 2012)
An accomplished classically-trained pianist, she also was a guitarist, music composer (copyrighted instrumentals and lyrics, including more than 40 Christian rap songs deliberately written in the vernacular of youth, particularly urban youth, for whom she felt a particular burden), artist and dancer. Some of her music included her pseudonyms “NiteLyte” and “AjiaJade”.
A prolific author, Stephanie completed 4 novels, poetry, essays and other prose, including several installments of “fan fiction.” Like the numerous unfinished stories that she wrote, the story of her eternal life will never end. She maintained an “A” average in all of her college coursework until she could no longer continue due to a malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Stephanie was called home on March 25, 2010.
Ashley immigrated to New York from Jamaica at the age of twelve, only to be confronted with the harsh realities of urban life. But he found his inspiration for a better life after stumbling upon a chess book and becoming hypnotized by the game. He would eventually break the chess world's color lines by becoming the first African-American International Grandmaster in 1999.
Through his company, Ashley-Parr LLC, Ashley designed a chess curriculum currently used in a study funded by the Department of Education to explore the effects of chess on executive functioning in 4th and 5th graders. Ashley was named 2003 Grandmaster of the Year by the US Chess Federation and has won many awards for his work bringing chess to under-served communities.
Also check out a similarly inspiring documentary, about chess called, Brooklyn Castle
Most romances sugarcoat the challenges of love and commitment, but this new novel, What Love Feels Like, by F.Y. Dawn (AuthorHouse, October 31, 2012), shows the high cost of trust and fidelity among two couples struggling in a world of lust and temptation. Marlon, an executive chef of an upscale Italian eatery, is married to Alicia, a beauty on erotic simmer who wants more excitement. She knows her hubby, who is a Christian, says he’ll stand by her no matter what, but if she strays, he’s gone. Restless, Alicia goes to a gay club and dances with a woman determined to shake her out of her straight-laced mindset.
Dawn, very sensitive to capture the emotions of both genders, accurately portrays Alicia’s obsession with Meme, their mutual interests and desires, and ultimately the shattering of this wife’s inhibition.
One of the most captivating personalities on the Motown roster during its glory days, singer Mary Wells was a force of nature: complex, independent, and resourceful. With this new book about Wells, Pater Benjaminson (Chicago Review Press, November 1, 2012), journalist and author of The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard, wants to do a good job of telling the Detroit native’s turbulent story from start to finish. It’s an impressive work, with interviews from family, friends, husbands, and lovers giving the readers the juicy parts.
Looking back, Mary regretted departing Motown and Gordy confessed he slighted the singer. Mary’s favorite drug was heroin. It bankrupted her just when he would get a leg up in the business. Never a healthy person, she pushed herself past her limits, touring almost nonstop. When Mary died in 1982 at 49 of throat cancer, her funeral was well-attended with many celebrities and her four children.
Journey to the Woman I've Come to Love (CreateSpace, January 3, 2013) arrives like a breath of fresh air. The book is basically a collection of unpretentious black & white portraits of about a hundred accomplished women from all walks of life, including actress Halle Berry, choreographer Judith Jamison, poet Nikki Giovanni and singer Toni Braxton, to name a few.
The author, award-winning photojournalist Miki Turner, posed just one question to each of her subjects, namely, “At what point did you fall in love with yourself?” Their revealing responses range from “When I became a mother” (author Terry McMillan) to “When my appendix ruptured” (Donzaleigh Abernathy) to “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went on the air bald” (ABC-TV’s Robin Roberts). Myrlie Evers-Williams Civil rights icon Myrlie Evers-Williams’ watershed moment arrived when she somehow summoned the strength to attend a rally the morning after her husband Medgar was assassinated.
Born in 1987, Jonathan Anthony Burkett has lived a young life that reads like fiction: vicious beatings by his mother, a mental breakdown in elementary school, homelessness, seizures and hallucinations from a brain disorder brought on by stress and anxiety, and finally brain surgery that would either help him or kill him.
Neglected but Undefeated (Jonathan Anthony Burkett Publications, February 1, 2013) is a heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful memoir of a young life full of bad times. “There have been so many wrong routes that I’ve taken in my existence because of the confusion and neglect that my mother has shown, because she saw another man when she looked at me. ...I need to let it all out to be able to move toward a better life like my psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselors, and the ladies in my anger management classes told me.”
Professor Anthony Asadullah Samad has long been a brother with his finger on the pulse, not only as a Professor of Political Science and African-American Studies, but as a nationally-syndicated columnist and author of several best-selling books. In his latest work, Real Eyez: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture (Kabili Press, December 18, 2012), Dr. Samad again turns his attention to the plight of blacks in America, but with present-day prerogatives in mind.
A sobering and enlightened take on the state of 21st Century African-Americana courtesy by a fearless firebrand who has never been afraid to speak truth to power.
Gabrielle Douglas became a household name during the Olympic Games in London last summer after she won a couple of gold medals in gymnastics. Regrettably, much of the media coverage accompanying Gabby’s historic feat came in the form of superficial sound bites which focused on her bad hair day and on her mother’s having recently declared bankruptcy.
But lost in the media circus surrounding the poised, pretty 16 year-old was the story of the host of challenges she had overcome en route to being crowned the best in the world. The trials began in infancy when she contracted a life-threatening illness called Branched Chain Ketoaciduria. (Zondervan, November 27, 2012)
By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Over the last 20 years, the channels for discovering new books, especially books by first-time and emerging authors, have shrunk or disappeared. Newspapers and magazines dedicate mere slivers of arts sections to book reviews — if at all. Those papers like the New York Times that do devote more space to book coverage rarely review debut authors. Likewise, bookstores prefer to invite already established, bestselling, or celebrity writers to do readings and signings. That leaves Oprah — and the Queen of Talk has endorsed only 72 books since she started her eponymous book club in 1996, including the two she has recommended since her 2.0 reboot. Read the full article at Madamenoire.com
Directed by Moussa Toure, the fact-based drama revolves around 30 Senegalese peasants, 29 men and 1 woman (Mame Astou Diallo), who make a break for Spain by sea in search of a better life. Because of their country’s bad economy, even the fishing industry is dying, which means some ship owners have turned to using their vessels to smuggle needy refugees to Europe.
The story was inspired by the over 30,000 souls who attempted the transoceanic voyage between 2005 and 2010, and it is dedicated to the 5,000 of them that perished in the financial freedom flotillas. The captain of the Pirogue at the center of the adventure is Baye Laye (Souleymane Seye Ndiaye), a married man who requests that his wife be paid his fee of a million Francs before his departure on the dangerous journey.
Wesley Cook, aka Mumia Abu-Jamal, was born on April 24, 1954 in the City of Brotherly Love. There, he founded a branch of the Black Panthers at the age of 15 after being kicked by a cop at a rally for segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace. After attending college in Vermont, he returned to Philly to pursue a career in journalism. He proceeded to provide a voice for the voiceless as a politically-progressive reporter while simultaneously moonlighting as a cab driver, until the fateful night in 1981 when he and his brother William crossed paths with a police officer named Daniel Faulkner.
A film that wisely leaves the damning evidence on the back burner in favor of focusing on everything about Mumia Abu-Jamal except for what exactly transpired at the corner of 13th and Locust in the wee hours of December 9, 1981.
Directed by two-time, Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow (for The Hurt Locker), Zero Dark Thirty (military speak for 12:30 AM) is a riveting, super-realistic account of the decade-long search for bin Laden. Bigelow has again collaborated with Oscar-winning scriptwriter Mark Boal (also for The Hurt Locker), with the pair apparently gaining access to classified materials in preparing the project.
Whether a convenient, cinematic contrivance or an accurate portrayal of what transpired, Zero Dark Thirty’s version of history certainly makes for a very convincing piece of patriotic storytelling. Credit Jessica Chastain for imbuing her character, Maya, with a compelling combination of vulnerability, sagacity and steely resolve in a memorable, Oscar-quality performance.
Movie 43 is a shallow shocksploitation flick which revels in raunchy lowbrow humor. What is supposed to elevate this terminally-crude comedy above your typical bottom-feeder is its A-list cast topped by Academy Award-winners Halle Berry and Kate Winslet, as well as Oscar-nominees Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard.
However, the picture fails miserably in this regard, as it merely ends-up dragging the entire ensemble into the mud. This scatterplot sketch flick features a dozen directors, including Peter Farrelly (There’s Something about Mary), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour trilogy), Bob Odenkirk (The Brothers Solomon), to name a few.
"Spook is a biannual literary magazine conceived by minority writers and artists, a sort of literary arts mixtape (think The Paris Review meets Wax Poetics, or better yet: a Lucille Clifton verse set to a Madlib beat).
Ada Howard is the wife of the preacher at Nashville's Full Love Baptist Tabernacle. With a whole congregation to help tend to, plus the kids at the daycare where she works, two grown daughters, and two ailing parents, Ada's busy taking care of a lot of people. She hardly has time to take care of herself. And her husband's been so busy lately she's suspicious some other woman may be taking care of him ...
Then it comes: the announcement of her 25-year reunion in twelve months' time, signed with a wink by her old flame. Ada gets to thinking about the thrills of young love lost, and the 100 or so pounds she's gained, and she decides it's high time for a Health and Beauty Revival. So she starts laying down some rules. The first rule is: Don't Keep Doing What You've Always Been Doing. And so begins a long journey on the way to less weight and more love. And so begins a long journey... Ada's Rules is an action plan to change a body and a life -- but it's also about falling back in love with the life you've got.
Toni Morrison's latest novel Home (Vintage, January 1, 2013), is now available in paperback and achieved the following honors;
A New York Times Notable Book
A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction
A Best Book of the Year: NPR, AV Club, St. Louis Dispatch
Home tells the story of Frank Money who, "... joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, his shattered life has no purpose until he hears that Cee is in danger."
Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons - A Dialogue with America's Young Leaders (Amber Communications Group, October 15, 2012) by Gregory Reed, Esq., CEO and Founder of Keeper of the Word Foundation has compiled a collection of letters, accompanied with President Obama's responses, features the voices of today's young leaders and their mission to be heard.
From these letters, we learn that these young citizens are committed to their country and the world. From President Obama we learn the importance of listening to one another, and of perseverance. We learn in desperate times, we must have faith and know that we are empowered to change the circumstances and conditions of our lives and the destiny of America for the better. The personal thoughts of the writers are a rare and private glimpse into the dialogue between our nation's youth and a sitting president in office.
It began on Freak Day—that day no one could explain, when strangers and family members alike went crazy and started biting one another. Some thought the outbreak was caused by a flu shot, others that it was a diet drug gone terribly wrong. All anyone knew is that once you were bitten and went to sleep, you woke up a freak.
A Social Affair: A Novel
A Social Affair (Strebor Books, February 5, 2013) by Pat Tucker, Earl Sewell is A cautionary tale about finding love online and the trouble that comes with cheating,
Bored with her humdrum married life, thirty-two-year-old Codi Norman is searching for excitement. After teaming up with her best friend, Katina, Codi discovers that the Internet offers both money and an escape from her earthly life. In cyberspace anything is possible, and that is what Codi loves most.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. A teacher in astronomy and astrophysics at Princeton, the author of ten books, and a frequent guest on late night TV.
Sandra Kitt, the author of nearly 40 published novels worked for many years with Dr. Tyson as the Managing Director of the research library in astronomy and astrophysics at the Hayden. Sandra was able to get the notoriously busy Dr. Tyson to agree to a sit-down conversation where he weighed in, with humor, on writing, the Mars Mission, intellectual curiosity, Isaac Asimov, and Higgs Boson (The God Particle).
Ten years ago, Caroline Jhingory lost 150 pounds. She has maintained it to this day without gastric bypass surgery, fad diets or commercial weight loss programs. As a means to share her mindful eating and healthy lifestyle choices, Caroline created this unique-eating manual that provides comprehensive support, fitness tips and motivation to others wanting to conquer the battle of obesity.
Caroline Jhingory's weight loss story has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, TODAY Show, NBC Washington, the Huffington Post, and in PEOPLE, Essence and SHAPE magazines. Here Jhingory is interviewed by The Book Look's Charisse Carney-Nunes.
Meagan Good stars in NBC's midseason drama "Deception" as Joanna Padget Locasto, a San Francisco narcotics detective with childhood ties to a notoriously secretive and powerful New York family, the Bowers. When her childhood best friend, Vivian Bowers, is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Joanna is enlisted by the FBI to help to find the killer, agreeing to go undercover into the opulent lifestyle she thought she'd left behind.
Meagan was recently married to DeVon Franklin, an executive for Columbia Pictures who is also a preacher and motivational speaker. Here, she talks about her new show, “Deception”.
Multi-talented Marlon Wayans graduated from the prestigious High School of Performing Arts in New York and Howard University’s Film School. He is best known for getting his start in Hollywood as a cast member of the Emmy Award-winning comedy series, In Living Color. Marlon then went on to create executive produce and star in The Wayans Bros on the WB.
Together with brothers, Keenen and Shawn Wayans, and producer Rick Alvarez, he formed the successful production company, Wayans Brothers Entertainment. Some of his noteworthy credits include: the record breaking Scary Movie, White Chicks, and Norbit. Here, he talks about his latest film, A Haunted House, a spoof of the Paranormal Activity franchise in which he stars with Essence Atkins.
Born in Petersburg, Virginia on November 28, 1984, Tremaine Aldon Neverson, AKA Trey Songz, has undeniably become one of music’s hottest R&B artists today thanks to an impressive streak of hit singles like “2 Reasons,” “Can’t Help But Wait,” “Successful” (featuring Drake), “I Invented Sex,” “Neighbors Know My Name,” the platinum-certified “Say Aah” and “Heart Attack,” which was recently nominated for a Grammy in the Best R&B Song category.
Here, the versatile entertainer talks about his latest film, Texas Chainsaw 3D, where he co-stars as Ryan opposite Alexandra Daddario.
JF: I didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction like some people did to the language and the violence. My stepfather was a history teacher at Lincoln High School in Dallas. So, I was already familiar with the N-word and the brutality of slavery. What I was drawn to was the love story between Django and Broomhilda and how he defends and gets the girl in the end. I thought it was just an amazing and courageous project. Read the full Interview.
A free, full day, Master’s Class workshop on fiction writing, will be held on Saturday February 23rd 8:30am to 4:00pm at The Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University.
Instructor, Tony Lindsay is the author of seven novels and has a MFA in Creative Writing from Chicago State University, Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Illinois – Chicago. He teaches at Chicago State University, South Suburban College, and Westwood College.
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With words that edify, entertain, and provoke thought, Strength Like Yours gives its reader a personal eye view into the life and times of a modern-day black man with sensibilities that are solid, traditional, innovative, urban, culturally and spiritually conscious, and always real.