Reading List for Turning Pages
November 2016 — Selection
Come Sunday Morning Saga
by Terry E. Hill
Urban Renaissance (Jun 30, 2015)
List Price: $14.95 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 304
Hezekiah T. Cleaveland is the handsome pastor of New Testament Cathedral in Los Angeles. His beautiful wife, Reverend Samantha Cleaveland, is the power behind Hezekiah and his megachurch, running their national television ministry with a firm hand. Jealousy and an unbridled lust for power drive Samantha to devise a plan that would remove the one thing standing between her and the spotlight she desires. During a Sunday morning sermon, a shot rings out in the sanctuary, and Hezekiah is killed. Samantha convinces the congregation that she has set aside her grief for the good of the church, and she is installed as the pastor of New Testament Cathedral. Not everyone is happy about her rise to power.
Hezekiah’s former male lover, the wife of the church’s assistant pastor, and a reporter seeking a hot story to jumpstart his career, are all looking for a way to take down Samantha Cleaveland. They might be underestimating the cunning and dangerous nature of their prey, though. Samantha has a secret that she’s willing to go to any length to protect, and she doesn’t care who she has to destroy in the process. As Samantha continues her shameless pursuit of power, she is trailed by this unlikely band of co-conspirators. Who will emerge victorious?
September 2016 — Selection
Negroland: A Memoir
by Margo Jefferson
Pantheon Books (Sep 08, 2015)
List Price: $25.00 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 256
A New York Times Bestseller
At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac—here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both.
Born in upper-crust black Chicago—her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite—Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”
Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America—Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance.
(With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.)
August 2016 — Selection
Stand Your Ground: A Novel
by Victoria Christopher Murray
Touchstone (Jun 01, 2015)
List Price: $16.00 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 368
From the AALBC.com bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray comes Stand Your Ground, a new novel about two women who are faced with the same tragedy.
A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?
Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?
Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?
#1 national bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s Stand Your Ground is a pulse-pounding meditation on race, motherhood, marriage, and vigilante justice that will have readers spellbound until its shocking end.
July 2016 — Selection
The Ways of White Folks: Stories
by Langston Hughes
Vintage (Sep 12, 1990)
List Price: $14.95 Format: Paperback
Page Count: 272
In these acrid and poignant stories, Hughes depicted black people colliding—sometimes humorously, more often tragically—with whites in the 1920s and ’30s.
From Sacred Fire
If you are not yet familiar with Langston Hughes, then his collection The Ways of White Folks (named in homage to Du Bois's classic The Souls of Black Folk) is the perfect introduction to his mordant wit and unerring eye for detail and his sly and direct prose.
These stories move from poignant to funny, to seething with rage, often within a paragraph. And life, as it is painted here, is bleak and unchanging until death. Hughes's characters inhabit a world where people are mean because they can be, and where hard work is all that is guaranteed; these were the harsh realities for blacks in America in the twenties and thirties. If, as Du Bois contended in his book, "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line," this collection allows Hughes to illustrate that point time and again. He demonstrates to white readers what he and his black readers knew: "White folks is white folks, South or North, North or South." This is the concept he used to structure his seemingly mundane yet tragic tales.
"Cora Unashamed" reveals how lifelong servitude can render the servant almost invisible, even to herself. In "Passing," a mixed-race black passes for white, forever denying his race and family: "I felt like a dog, passing you downtown last night and not speaking to you. You were great, though, didn't give a sign that you even knew me, let alone that I was your son."
From North to South, light to dark, prosperous to dirt poor, all the stories are bound together and made powerful by the fact that they were all regular occurrences at that time in the United States. Within his simple stories, Hughes offered a barbed and trenchant analysis of white behavior and black behavior. Like his poems, the cruel accuracy of The Ways of White Folks is a reminder to Americans of some hard truths about the ridiculous and tragic ways skin color warps our lives.
May 2016 — Selection
Grand Opening: A Family Business Novel
by Carl Weber and Eric Pete
Urban Books (Aug 25, 2015)
List Price: $23.95 Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 304
Before there was the family, there was just the business.
From the minds of New York Times bestselling authors Carl Weber and Eric Pete comes the game-changing prequel to their blockbuster Family Business saga. Travel back to a small Southern town where, before there was Duncan Motors, there were the Duncan brothers: Louis, aka Sweet Lou, a lover of ladies and life . . . and a man you did not want to cross; Lawrence, aka Larry, a screw-up as attracted to trouble as it was to him; and Lavernius, better known as LC, the soft-spoken college boy who simply wanted to sell cars.
But the Duncan brothers weren’t alone at the crossroads. There was also the mysterious and seductive Chippy, a woman who saw a way out of her circumstances and dared to take it.
Witness what changed the course of their lives when ambitions intersected with opportunity that came calling one day in the form of a man named Alejandro Zuniga. Welcome to the familiar, but as you’ve never seen it before.
April 2016 — Selection
Cougars: A Novel
by Earl Sewell
Strebor Books (Feb 28, 2012)
List Price: $7.99 Format: Mass Market Paperback
Page Count: 384
Now in mass market paperback—a forty-something woman, who only dates younger men, mixes romance with her pharmaceutical job when a handsome chemist joins her research team.
Jasmine Sallie is a forty-year-old chemist employed by a pharmaceutical company. She begins an erotic relationship with Travis Adams, a young, sexy, and brilliant chemist who joins her research team. Travis and Jasmine work together to manufacture a drug with the goal of heightening sexual pleasure for women. She and Travis manufacture a product, but the side effects cause disastrous medical problems and even death. Jasmine orders the project to be ceased and the research is shelved. However, Travis secretly continues to do research. Finally, he manufactures a good formula, but the side effects and potential risk for death are significant. Still Travis believes the benefits outweigh the hazards. He calls his new aphrodisiac Cougars.
Travis decides to sell Cougars on the black market. Several women who ingest the drug suddenly and inexplicably die, while others become gravely ill. An investigation starts and Travis is suddenly on the run. Now Jasmine must help authorities hunt Travis down as well as find an antidote for those ailing from the effects of the drug.
March 2016 — Selection
by Trice Hickman
Dafina (Jul 01, 2015)
List Price: $9.95 Format: Paperback
Two couples, two unhappy spouses--one shocking solution…
Five years into her happy marriage, Geneva Mayfield is devastated to find that things have taken a turn for the worse. Her husband, Johnny, is suddenly hard to reach, distant, and works late too often for Geneva not to be suspicious. Is it because she's been pressuring him about having a baby? Feeling lonely and neglected, Geneva bonds with Robert Owens, a colleague who is having marital trouble of his own. Soon, their relationship blossoms into an uncontrollable affair.
Bored with her husband, Robert, and dead set against having a child with him, Vivana Owens is biding her time until she's ready to leave—and she's spending it with Johnny Mayfield. It's just a fling—until Vivana becomes obsessed with Johnny, especially once he tries to win back his wife. But affairs don't end easy—and soon one of the unfaithfuls will end up dead, one will end up in jail, and one just might get away with murder…