AALBC.com eNewsletter - Sept 6th 2007 - Issue Number 153

 


AALBC.com's BESTSELLING BOOKS - JULY AND AUGUST 2007

http://aalbc.com/books/bestsellers.htm
 
Fiction

#1 - Life Doesn't Frighten Meby Maya Angelou, Jean-Michel Basquiat (Illustrator)
#2 - Forever a Hustler's Wife by Nikki Turner
#3 - Beloved by Toni Morrison
#4 -
Thieves' Paradise by Eric Jerome Dickey
#5 -
A Hustler's Wife by Nikki Turner

 

 

Nonfiction

#1 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#2 - The Vixen Diaries by Karrine Steffans
#3 - It's No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal--a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All by by Carmen Bryan
#4 - Diary Of A Lost Girl by Kola Boof
#5 - The Covenant with Black America by Tavis Smiley (Editor)

 

To view the entire bestsellers list visit http://aalbc.com/books/bestsellers.htm
 

AUTHORS YOU SHOULD KNOW
http://aalbc.com/authors/author1.htm

Gloria Mallette - Interviewed by DuEwa M. Frazier
http://aalbc.com/authors/interview_with_gloria_mallette.htm

Your career as an author has spanned over a decade. What has the journey been like for you and how has writing changed your life?

"True, it has been over a decade since my first book, When We Practice to Deceive was published in 1995, however, my true literary journey began when I self-published Shades of Jade in 2000. That five-year span of silence is an indication of how difficult it was to get publishers to give me a chance. I couldn't pay them to publish me which is why I had to self-publish in the first place. I forged ahead knowing only what I'd read in a self-publishing manual and prayed that someone would want to read my book. Thank God a lot of readers wanted to read Shades of Jade. Five months after publishing Shades of Jade, I had a two-book contract with Strivers Row, an imprint of Random House."

 

Howard Zinn
http://aalbc.com/authors/howard_zinn.htm

Howard Zinn has been fighting for progressive causes since the 1930s, when he began organizing workers in the New York City shipyards. He later embarked on an enduring career teaching political science first at Spelman College and then at Boston University.

Over the years, the celebrated firebrand wrote numerous eye-opening books advocating economic and social justice, perhaps most significantly, A People's History of the United States, an incendiary work which turns many of the prevailing myths about America on their heads.

 

Kelly Starling Lyons
http://aalbc.com/authors/kelly_starling_lyons.htm

Lyons is a children's book author and freelance writer, Lyons' mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books including picture book, One Million Men and Me, and chapter book, NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal, have won praise for exploring relationships and black history. Her essays and feature articles have appeared in many publications including Ebony magazine, The News & Observer, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul.

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
http://aalbc.com/authors/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie.htm

Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977.  This young writer has been called the �the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe".  Her first novel Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also long-listed for the Booker Prize.  Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, which won 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction, re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.

 

Mary Monroe
http://aalbc.com/authors/mary_monroe.htm

Monroe, the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the first of her family to graduate high school, had been absent from the literary scene for more than a decade. Then her novel, God Don�t Like Ugly was published in the fall of 2000, was honored with the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and went on to sell more than 250,000 copies.

Mary's Most recent book, Deliver Me From Evil was released on August 28th 2007 by Dafina Books.

 

Percival Everett
http://aalbc.com/authors/percivaleverett.htm

Everett's latest novel is his most lacerating indictment to date, The Water Cure (Graywolf Press, August 21, 2007) follows the gruesome reasoning and execution of revenge in a society that has lost a common moral ground, where rules are meaningless. A master storyteller, Everett draws upon disparate elements of Western philosophy, language theory, and military intelligence reports to create a terrifying story of loss, anger, and helplessness in our modern world. This is a timely and important novel that confronts the dark legacy of the Bush years and the state of America today.

 

RECENT AALBC.COM BOOK REVIEWS, ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS & FILM REVIEWS
http://aalbc.com/reviews/book_reviews.htm

Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler by Azie Faison
http://hiphopbookclub.com/real_gangstaz.htm

Faison was a ninth grade dropout who earned more than $100,000 a week selling cocaine in Harlem, New York, during the peak of America's "War on Drugs" between 1983 and 1990. Faison, along with two partners, was an urban prince with cars, jewels, and people -- in awe of this million-dollar phenomenon -- at his feet. His legacy has been praised by hip-hop's top names in their lyrics, and his life was the basis for the urban cult classic film Paid in Full starring Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, and rapper Cam'ron and produced by Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Films.

In Game Over,
Azie brings forth a powerful memoir of New York's perilous drug underworld and music industry, with an intellect and wisdom to empower and challenge the street culture he knows so very well.

 

Do Me Twice: My Life after Islam A Memoir by Sonsyrea Tate - Reviewed by Book Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/do_me_twice.htm

Until the age of 18, Sonsyrea "Ray-Ray" Tate was essentially raised in the Nation of Islam, although the Black Muslim sect would change its name and philosophy several times over that time span. This could prove to be very confusing for a child who first had it ingrained in her head that all white people were devils, before being taught that they�re not devils, and then, oops, they are in fact devils after all. Her mandated clothing and spiritual rituals also underwent revisions intermittently, which might understandably take a toll when one is expected to follow a flip-flopping path on faith alone.

 

Held by Leslie Haskin - Book Review by Idrissa Uqdah
http://aalbc.com/reviews/held.htm

Held is the author's own personal account of recovery towards healing. She found that recovery meant rebuilding trust with God, then with others and then with herself. She found that recovery is temporary; but that healing is the restoration of wholeness, heart, mind and soul. Healing is forever. But one must recover in order to heal and remain open to God so that He can fix what is broken inside. And while He is fixing what is broken, He will hold you in His loving care. This is the basic message that the author puts forth in the book using prayers and Scriptural references to enhance and make clear her personal story. Reaching out to a hurting world; Haskin does an awesome job of relating to those in need of healing in this book.

 

Why did The City Sun [1984-1996] Matter? by Wayne Dawkins
http://aalbc.com/reviews/whydidthe_nyc_sun_matter.htm

On June, 6 1984, the inaugural City Sun cover story was �Death of a Generation� written by Errol Louis, now an op-ed columnist at the New York Daily News. He reported that 54 percent of New York City's black males age 16 to 19 were unemployed; 14 percent of black men ages 20-plus were jobless, and the city's 42-percent high school dropout rate was extreme at four schools in predominantly black neighborhoods.

The early City Sun formula was an oversize black masthead accessorized with a red streamer that mimicked the city's bare-knuckled tabloids, the Daily News and New York Post, liberal use of wide-angle action photos, an eclectic mix of stories about black New York life, regular Caribbean and Africa news pages, a copious arts and culture section led by critic Armond White and arts writer Fern Gillespie, and an out-of-the box sports section edited by Anthony Carter �Tony� Paige.

 

Mission Accomplished: Wicked Cartoons by America's Most Wanted Political Cartoonist by Khalil Bendib - Book Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/mission_accomplished.htm

Fortunately, Khalil Bendib is an exception to the rule and his work stands in sharp contrast to most of his colleagues. This inventive Muslim-American artist routinely weighs-in with clever, iconoclastic cartoons on subjects ranging from war profiteering to New Orleans to racism to healthcare to the criminal justice system to the Middle East.

Trademark Bendib can be found in his lampooning of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio as "separate but equal" with side-by-side tableaus in which votes are collected in ballot boxes in white precincts, but in trash cans in black neighborhoods. He returns to this theme frequently to illustrate the country's 21st Century form of segregation, such as his drawing of a hospital where a "Whites Only" sign has been replaced by one reading "Insured Only."

Just the sort of honest, hard-hitting cartoons called for in this Orwellian Age where doublespeak and disinformation have become the order of the day.

 

Gone to Where the Bong Trees Grow By L. E. Rainey
http://aalbc.com/authors/gone_to_where.htm

The next time you pick up a picture book written by a contemporary children's author flip through the pages. Take a few minutes to read the storyline and you'll discover an interesting fact--parents are rarely depicted as significant characters in contemporary bedtime stories. It would be fun but, perhaps, a tad bit naive, to pretend that the parents in picture books had followed the lead of the much beloved characters in Edward Lear's classic nursery rhyme the "Owl and the Pussycat"... 

 

What Black Men Think  - Film Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/what_black_men_think.htm

What Black Men Think is highly recommended as an excellent alternative to the mainstream propaganda which would have us internalize the worst beliefs about an unfairly maligned segment of society. Perhaps more importantly, this groundbreaking documentary ought to serve as an overdue wake-up call for young African-American males to take Harriet Tubman's words to heart, and to assume the responsibility of reprogramming their own minds in a positive manner instead of voluntarily internalizing a self-defeating mentality which amounts to little more than the 21st Century's equivalent of slavery.  Excellent (4 stars)

 

An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege - Book Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/an_illuminated_life.htm

Most African-Americans of my generation were raised with whispered rumors about light-skinned relatives who had opted to pass for white. Sadly, due to the United States' virulent strain of racism, this often meant that one might never see or hear from that crossing over sibling, cousin, son or daughter again, given the sick society's strictly-enforced system of segregation For this reason, a book like the aptly titled An Illuminated Life represents a priceless addition to the annals of African-Americana, for it represents a very revealing and detailed biography of a woman who made just such a daring transition. Belle Marian Greener (1883-1950) was born in Washington, DC to parents who were both black. Her father had been the first African-American to graduate from Harvard while her mother hailed from a prominent black family which had been emancipated for generations.

 

Billy Dee Williams - The General Hospital, Night Shift Interview
http://aalbc.com/reviews/billy_dee_williams.htm

William December Williams, Jr. was born on April 6, 1937 in Harlem where he was raised by his parents, William, Sr., a janitor, and Loretta, an elevator operator. Billy Dee, who exhibited considerable promise both as an artist and as an actor early in life, attended Manhattan's prestigious Music and Art High School.

The strikingly-handsome thespian's big break came in 1971 in the acclaimed television movie "Brian's Song" where he played Gayle Sayers opposite James Caan. He immediately followed up that impressive performance with another as Billie Holiday's husband in "Lady Sings the Blues" which co-starred Diana Ross. The two would appear together again years later in "Mahogany."

 

Balls of Fury - Film Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/balls_of_fury.htm

Christopher Walken's vintage performance as Feng is so over the top, it makes you forget the patently political-incorrectness of a white person playing an Asian. The same can be said of scenes where chopsticks are used to grab a guy by his gonads, or where a character speaking Chinglish mixes his �l's and his �r�s.

The film's ensemble also includes Aisha Tyler (http://aalbc.com/reviews/aisha_tyler.htm) as Feng's blowdart wielding henchwoman, along with Reno: 911's Kerri Kenney, veteran character actor David Koechner and Terry Crews, a buff crowd-pleaser who seems to be asked to flex his pecs in his every cameo nowadays. But Balls of Fury is basically a star vehicle which provides a breakout role for 2005 Tony Award-winner Dan Fogler, a gifted comic who comes across like a combination of Johns Belushi and Candy, exhibiting the former's impish, unbounded enthusiasm, and the latter's ever-endearing charm and twinkle in the eye. Excellent (3.5 stars)

 

John Singleton The Illegal Tender Interview with Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/john_singleton.htm

In 1992, the USC film school alumnus became both the youngest person and the first African-American ever to land an Academy Award nomination in the Best Director category for Boyz N the Hood. He also earned another nomination for the picture's screenplay.

He went on to write, produce and direct Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft (2000), and  Baby Boy.   Singleton's additional credits as director include Rosewood (1997); 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers.  John has also enjoyed tremendous success as a producer, financing the independent feature Hustle & Flow (2005) which landed an Oscar for Best Song and a Best Actor nomination for Terrence Howard. 

 

The Sights and Sounds of the Harlem Book Fair 2007
http://aalbc.com/events/harlem_book_fair_2007.htm

If you missed or attended the 2007 Harlem Book Fair, visit this page.  Here you will find commentary, video, links to hundred of photos, blog posts and other information about this year's Harlem Book Fair.

Having experienced the book fair as an advisory board member, panelist, volunteer coordinator, exhibitor, advertising seller, street map maker and even table and chair carrier my impressions are somewhat unique.  My emotions for each years fair range from joy and excitement to downright frustration and anger.  This year was no different.

I truly enjoyed the conversation between Howard Zinn and Walter Mosley.  I made sure I was front row and center for that exchange.  I participated on a panel about book reviews.  The audience's questions and participation was truly enlightening.  The most frustrating part of the day was paying for an advertisement in the Harlem Book Fair Journal and not seeing a single one all day...

Visit the link about to learn more about this year's Harlem Book for click the following link to read about previous Harlem Book Fairs: http://tinyurl.com/2wa7de.

 

The Best of the Web for Black Books
http://aalbc.com/otherwebsites.htm

We've added a few more terrific web sites to the list including The Urban Book Source, also check out the newly revamped Thebacklist.net and other favorites like; TheGRITS.com who are running the GRITS Kidz Book Club and Radio Show and Disilgold Soul who pack more information onto one page than most entire web sites!  All the sites are all have something unique to offer and are worth a visit.

 

Sojourner's Dream - Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
http://aalbc.com/reviews/sojourners_dream.htm

I approached the novel, Sojourner's Dream by first time author Angeline Bandon-Bibum expecting a sweet, sweet romance novel that transcended international cultures between an African American woman and an African man. The novel is a love story about the romance between Sojourner Brown, a shy graduate student at Howard University and Joseph Kalissa, a handsome and accomplished international lawyer from Rwanda but that is where my expectations ended.

What I found was a very detailed storyline filled with the horrors and the atrocities of the civil war in Rwanda in 1959 between two ethnic groups; the Hutu and the Tutsi people. It was an incredible read...

 

Judge Not! by Audrey Forrest Carter - Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
http://aalbc.com/reviews/judge_not.htm

Audrey Forrest Carter has penned a great sequel to her well-received debut novel, The Wages of Sin.  In Judge Not! readers follow the tale of Dr. Laura Bradley-Hutchins as she returns home to Atlanta due to a family crisis.  She is Initially afraid to return to reclaim her children from her cheating and powerful millionaire ex-husband who drugged her and had her falsely admitted to a mental institution. But Laura finds her power and is filled with rage and determination to not only save her children,  but to also extract revenge against her ex-husband, Alex.

 

Resurrecting the Champ - Film Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/resurrecting_the_champ.htm

Hollywood has never been known to let the facts get in the way of an uplifting, overcoming-the-odds bio-pic, and Resurrecting the Champ is no exception. Based on the Los Angeles Times article of the same name written by J.R. Moehringer in 1997, the film revolves around an aspiring journalist who stakes his teetering career on a feature about a homeless ex-boxer while simultaneously learning a valuable lesson about father-son relationships in the process. Poor (� star)

 

From Vacation to Work � Think Before U Return by Kevin Wayne Johnson
http://aalbc.com/authors/from_vacation_to_work.htm

During my 23+ years in the workforce, nineteen with the federal government and four within the setting of corporate America, I have seen friends, peers, associates, and colleagues, at all levels within the organization, encounter multiple problems while at work. I, too, have faced them. In most instances, the affected person feels isolated, alone, trapped, with nowhere to turn. You are NOT alone.

...Keeping pace with these constant changes is a fulltime job in and of itself. Having a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is the assurance that we can overcome all of the pressure and change that is inherent to a typical day at work.

 

Who's Your Caddy? - Film Review by Kam Williams
http://aalbc.com/reviews/whos_your_caddy.htm

In Caddyshack (1980), arguably Rodney Dangerfield's finest hour on film, the late comic stole the show as a nouveau riche tycoon who outraged the old-moneyed members of the exclusive country club he was thinking of buying.

The running joke in that fish-out-of-water classic revolved around his bull-in-a-china closet boorish behavior and bad taste as he offended relatively-uptight members of polite society.

Who's Your Caddy resurrects the same premise, but basically in blackface, relying on the racist notion that you can take a brother out of the ghetto but you can�t take the ghetto out of the brother. The picture stars gangsta� rapper Big Boi (aka Antwon Andre Patton) in the Rodney role, only typecast as C-Note, a mythical hip-hop icon from Atlanta who's "getting his pimp thing together." Poor (0 stars)

 

AALBC.com RECOMMENDS

Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America by Peniel E. Joseph
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805083359/ref=nosim/aalbccom-20

With the rallying cry of "Black Power!" in 1966, a group of black activists such as Stokely Carmichael and Huey P. Newton pioneered a radical new approach to the fight for equality. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour vividly invokes the way in which Black Power redefined black identity and culture and in the process redrew the landscape of race relations. In a series of character driven chapters that move from Malcolm X's Harlem to Nkrumah's Ghana and beyond, we witness the rise of Black Power groups such as the Student Non Violent coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers, and with them, on both coasts of the country, a fundamental change in the way Americans understood the unfinished business of racial equality.

 

 

And A few thoughts - From THUMPER
http://www.thumperscorner.com/discus/messages/1/29431.html

Trouble Loves Company by Angie Daniels - True the book isn't highbrow fiction, but it is packed with fun, interesting characters and low level, highly infectious DRAMA! Just the way I love 'em. Trouble Loves Company is a one day, up all night type of book with enough twists and turns in it-up to the very end-I threw the book across the room when I got done reading it, screaming at the top of my voice. Loved IT! LOVED IT!

A Street Girl Name Desire by Treasure Blue
. Treasure Blue continues and solidifies his position as the true heir to Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines. A book full of gritty realism, violence, drug abuse, and hope; the book is simply off the damn hook!

Chasing Sophea by Gabrielle Pina
- I got hipped to this book by Linda. Oh my goodness, this book is tight! I loved it from beginning to end. A real family drama beautifully written, Chasing Sophea is an unforgettable read.

Something To Die For by Travis Hunter
- I started to put on Parliment's Flashlight and do the cabbage patch when I finished this novel, because Travis Hunter DONE FOUND AN EDITOR! Something To Die For has a nice, pleasant, easy type of flow to it. Hunter stayed on point through out the story. I enjoyed it immensely!

Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani
- Oh My God! Abani is an author to watch out for! Becoming Abigail is a powerful, beautifully written novella. I became submerged with the stoy, as if standing under a warm waterfall whre brathing is almost unimportant. I expect to read more great writings from this most talented author.

It Can Happen to Anyone by Elisabeth Withers.
This CD is TIGHT! If you haven't heard of Withers yet, you have to check her out! She has a smooth alto voice that at times sounds like Gladys Knight. With the exception of a couple of songs that I didn't care for, Sweat and It Can Happen, the CD is a Track to Track hit. I prefer the slower songs on the CD, especially Simple Things and Heartstrings.

I Am by Chrisette Michele. This singer is BAD! She has a real Billie Holiday type grooove going. Now she's being compare by a lot of reviewers to Erykah Badu. I storngly disagree with that, mainly because I never thought that Erykah Badu could really blow and basically took Billie Holiday style because she aint got the pipes or creativity to create her own style. Michele first outing is a near perfect CD. I have no complaints at all. I loved everything on it. I strongly recommend getting the I Am (with Bonus Tracks Version). I am in heaven.

 

 

Inventions by Paul L. Woodring
http://paullwoodring.com/

Inventions weaves the technical and business detail of entrepreneurship between the U.S and Japan with relationships that are complicated by the psychological isolation of a black male in a white world. It is a story of one man's search for identity, for the place he truly belongs and a love that will make him whole.

Author Paul Woodring lives in Del Mar, California with his wife and their two dogs. In 2005, he retired from the position of President of the Hospital Division of a large medical device firm. Paul grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and is an Electrical Engineering graduate of Cleveland State University. Paul has been a creative "intrapreneur" and entrepreneur for all of his professional career. In the mid 1970's, he managed the design of the first multi-computer system that dynamically shared computer program tasks associated with managing electrical power plants.

 

EVENTS
http://events.aalbc.com

Kola Boof in Person - Harlem NY, Sunday September 16th 2007
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Presents:
Kola Boof in Person

Sunday, September 16th from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
at The Schomburg Center
(The Langston Hughes Auditorium)
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037
(212) 491-2200 - Admission is Free

Sudanese-born American novelist and poet Kola Boof will entertain and read from her books including Flesh and the Devil and Diary of a Lost Girl. A question and answer period and reception with book signing will follow.  Visit http://doorofkush.50megs.com/about.html to watch a documentary about the life and work of Kola Boof

 

Divas of Literature Tour 2007
http://www.divasofliterature.com

The Divas of Literature Book Tour features five of the black book market's hottest, bestselling authors on tour in five cities across America: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia metro area. 

Meet the Divas: Renee Daniel Flagler, Mahogany Star, Esther Armah, Naija, Ebony Dawn.  The last two stops on this multi-city road show are: September 8th � Calumet City River Oaks Center, 96 River Oaks Center, Calumet City, IL and September 15th � Atlanta Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA.  Don�t miss the fun. Visit http://www.divasofliterature.com for more information.

 

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Where Will Troy Be Next
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http://aalbc.com/events/aalbc_com_founder_appearances.htm

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Peace,

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