AALBC.com eNewsletter - September 9th 2008 - Issue 165

AALBC.com Best Selling Books

To view the top 25 selling fiction and nonfiction books for July 1st through August 31st visit: http://aalbc.com/books/julaug_2008.htm


1 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Zane (Editor)
2 - True to the Game III by Teri Woods
3 - An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer
4 -Echoes of a Distant Summer by Guy Johnson
5 - Love Is Never Painless: Three Novellas by Zane, Eileen M. Johnson & V. Anthony Rivers


1 - The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
4 - Satan, I'm Taking Back My Health! by Jawanza Kunjufu
5 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper



Victor McGlothin

Essence bestselling author Victor McGlothin almost lost an athletic scholarship due to poor reading skills. Ultimately, he overcame that obstacle and later completed a Masters degree in Human Relations & Business. After he developed a love for the written word, Victor left a vice president position with a local bank to pursue a career in literature. He now lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two sons. I've always loved telling stories, just ask anyone who knew me in my youth. They'd say, "that Victor sho' can lie!" They were right, I could come up with some whoppers; still can. Now I'm trying to earn a living writing fiction, telling lies. Some things never change. "Oh man, I love my job."

Nella Larsen

Larsen was the first AA woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative writing (1930). Larsen authored two novels. Her first, Quicksand was published in 1928 and her second Passing was published in 1929. For the last thirty years of her life Larsen worked as a nurse in Brooklyn's Bethel Hospital.

Bonnie J. Glover

Glover was born in Florence, Alabama.  However she was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended P.S. 158 where her mother was a para-professional.  She attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyn and Florida A & M University School of Business and Industry (SBI) in Tallahassee, Florida. 

After a series of jobs, the last of which was at the Housing Authority for the City of Tampa, Bonnie was accepted to Stetson University College of Law and she graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree.  Bonnie currently has a mediation practice and writes in between soccer matches, baseball games and whatever other sports her children are involved with at the moment. 

Joel Augustus Rogers

J.A. Rogers immigrated to the United States in 1906 and became a naturalized citizen in 1917. Despite his light complexion and mulatto background, Rogers bitterly discovered that Black people were all treated the same, no matter the complexion. Rogers, however, rejected the dogma of white superiority, even as a child. In a class and color conscious Jamaica, the young Rogers observed, "I had noticed that some of my schoolmates were unmixed blacks and were, some of them, more brilliant than some of the white ones." Rogers grew up around Blacks who were physicians and lawyers--graduates of "the best English and Scottish Universities." This realization that the doctrine of white superiority was contradicted by the talent and expertise of Black intellect inspired Rogers to begin his research into the Black experience.



Thumper is BACK!  Thumper's passionate, pulls-no-punches book review style has not changed.  Check out Thumper's latest book reviews (the following 4 books):
In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Color Line by George Hutchinson

I am a fan of the Harlem Renaissance. By fan, I am referring to the true representation of the word, fanatic. I believe I have read every novel by every author associated with the period, and a few biographies of the Harlem Renaissance authors; Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. I can now add this thoroughly engaging biography of Nella Larsen to the list.  In Search of Nella Larsen: a Biography of the Color Line is a biography of the author of the novel Quicksand and Passing.

Just Too Good to Be True by E. Lynn Harris

The novel is a nice, quick moving drama. The drama is not what I would consider a heavy full blown drama. The drama is a light, no sugar and low fat drama. Yet, I would consider the novel a Calgon-take-me-away novel. I have not read one of those in an awfully long time. I was quickly hooked. The story kept me interested till the end. The novel gave me a much needed change of pace.

I am glad to say that there was the one Harris trademark in the book that was present -- humor. In his past books, there is always, at least, one character or several scenes which are hilarious. Harris did not fail me on this point. He created a character, May Jean, who is a hoot. May Jean has a voice mail message, which is priceless? I�m going to use it myself.

The Skull Cage Key by Michel Marriott

The Skull Cage Key, the science fiction debut thriller by Michel Marriott; takes place in 2041 Harlem, centering on the murders of rich, white people. The novel has the essential elements of an excellent science fiction novel: creation of a futuristic world that is rooted in today's reality and good solid writing. Unfortunately, the novel has one major flaw, the story layout SUCKS! The story, drowning in messy subplots that add extremely little to the major story line and uneven character developments; becomes a jumble of puzzle pieces that form an abstract, Picasso-like portrait where the nose is next the left foot, and the right ear is where a forehead should be.

Cinder by Albert French

Cinder, the latest novel by Albert French, is a sequel to French's 1993 debut novel, Billy. Although it had been a long time since I read Billy, the novel is one of my favorite novels of all time. I was pretty excited to get Cinder for it had been a good number of years since French had published any new works, his last being the 1998 novel I Can�t Wait on God. My excitement soon turned to dread then frustration. Cinder does not suffer from bad writing; Cinder suffers from a lack of conflict and no identity. Frankly, it hurts to write this review, but it is what it is. I wasn�t feeling Cinder AT ALL!


Michelle Obama Addresses Convention: Heartfelt Speech Turns Undecided's Fears into Tears by Lloyd Williams

On February 18th of this year, Michelle Obama said at a rally in Milwaukee that �For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.� Ever since, that quote has haunted her, as the question of her patriotism has remained the subject of speculation by everyone from right-wing pundits and bloggers to the New Yorker Magazine which put a caricature of her on the cover as a wild-eyed, wilder-haired, machine gun-wielding radical in combat fatigues.

Fortunately, on the opening night of the Democratic Convention, Michelle got a national platform to prove all her detractors wrong. And she made the most of that opportunity, passionately delivering a heartfelt speech in which she credited her sacrificing, hard-working parents with her success for having instilled her with traditional Puritanical values.

The Black List - HBO Documentary Profiles Prominent African-Americans

You might have missed the premiere of The Black List, since this fascinating new HBO series premiered on August 25th, the same night Michelle Obama was addressing the Democratic Convention. Fortunately, you can still catch replays of the first installment of the groundbreaking program (check local listings) which features revealing interviews with 23 prominent African-Americans.

The project is the brainchild of still photographer/moviemaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and former NY Times film critic Elvis Mitchell who collaborated to produce an intriguing show far superior to the Black in America special which aired on CNN earlier this summer. For this documentary employed a novel format to provoke soul-searching, thereby eliciting heartfelt answers.

Black in America - Over-Hyped CNN Special Fails to Measure-Up to the Buzz

The CNN special report �Black in America� was such a disappointment that it's not really worthy of a detailed review. The only reason I�m even bothering to do a post mortem on the program is because it had been so hyped by the network that it enticed millions of viewers to tune in on successive nights.

Sanaa Lathan: The Family That Preys Interview

Born in New York City on September 19, 1971, Sanaa McCoy Lathan is a Tony-nominated actress (for A Raisin in the Sun) who has been the recipient of accolades not only for her work on Broadway, but for her equally-powerful performances in movies and on television as well. She might be best known for the romantic comedy Something New, for which she landed an NAACP Image Award nomination last year

Here, she talks about her new movie, The Family That Preys, a dysfunctional family drama co-starring Taraji P. Henson, Alfre Woodard, Kathy Bates, Robin Givens and the film's director, Tyler Perry.

Walter Zacharius - Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kensington Publishing (video)

In July 1994, under Zacharius' leadership, Kensington launched Arabesque books; the first major publisher to introduce a romance line with African American heroes and heroinesKensington publishes the work of Carl Weber, Mary B. Morrison, Gwynne Forster, Mary Monroe and other prominent authors.  Kensington also distributes Urban Books' titles.

At the age of 81, Zacharius penned his debut novel; The Memories We Keep.  He grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, served in World War II from 1943 until 1945 and was with the French when they liberated Paris in August 1944.

America the Beautiful - Scathing Documentary Explores America's Unhealthy Obsession with Beauty

Did you know that Americans spend more money on cosmetics annually, $45 billion, than all of the developing countries combined do on healthcare? What's up with that? Are we really that ugly and in need of makeovers, or is something sinister afoot? According to Darryl Roberts, women have been duped by Madison Avenue into setting unrealistic expectations for themselves.

Darryl is the director of America the Beautiful, a scathing indictment of the beauty industry which systematically dissects the issue from both inside and out.

Herb Boyd (video)

Here Herb Boyd talks about his book; Baldwin's Harlem: A Biography. He also talk about Harlem in general, the New Yorker cover of Michelle and Barack Obama. Herb made his comments during The 3rd book party on the pier which was started by Linda Duggins and sponsored by AALBC.com, Black Expressions Book Club, MosaicBooks.com and Pier 61.

Gloria Reuben - The Raising the Bar Interview

At 18, she won the Miss Black Ontario beauty pageant, although the crown did not come without controversy, as some people questioned whether she was deserving because one of her parents was white.

Here, she talks about her new series, Raising the Bar, which is set to premiere September 1st on TNT, and will air on Mondays at 10 PM EST (check local listings). Her character on the weekly legal drama is attorney Roz Whitman, the head of the New York City Public Defender's Office.

Because of Race: How Americans Debate Harm and Opportunity in Our Schools

Why is it that a half-century after Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark, U.S. Supreme Court case mandating the desegregation of the country's public schools �with all deliberate speed,� the bulk of African-American children are still forced to attend poorly-equipped, predominately-black, inner-city schools where the dropout rate is around 50%? And why do even those fortunate to be enrolled at a supposedly integrated institution still find themselves cordoned off with other kids of color in Special Ed classes or steered onto a non-academic track?

Be a Father to Your Child by April R. Silver (editor)

Be a Father to Your Child amounts to a heartening mix of poetry, prose and pictures which combine to reassure skeptics about the prospects for the black family, the daily dire predictions of the mainstream media notwithstanding. For if these dedicated brothers were able to overcome the odds and avoid the self-destructive paths glorified in the materialistic, violent and misanthropic music videos on which they were weaned during their formative years, there is indeed plenty of promise for this and future generations of African-American dads.

Life is a Game by Jim Copeland 

If you know anyone in need of a little inspiration to get their act together, then let me suggest Life Is a Game, an easy-to-read motivational piece offering some simple, straightforward and sound suggestions. Although only 64 pages long, this handy how-to treatise could help a lost soul kick start a floundering career or find a more appropriate one.

Its author, Jim Copeland, who works as a Special Ed Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice inside the Federal Prison System in Texas, has a Bachelor's in Speech Communications as well as a Master's in Education from Texas A&M. Despite the degrees, Mr. Copeland doles out his worthwhile advice in plain language.

Brandon T. Jackson - The Tropic Thunder Interview

Brandon T. Jackson was born in Detroit on March 7, 1984 to preachers Bishop Wayne T. and Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson. One of seven siblings, he credits his father for his sense of humor, and says some additional inspiration comes from such icons as Sinbad, Martin Lawrence, Will Smith and Chris Tucker.

Here, the 24 year-old role model talks about his latest picture, Tropic Thunder, an action comedy co-starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr.

Terry McMillian - Video

Terry reads from her next book: We learn what happens to Savannah and the crew 15 years later.  We also learn a little about life along the way.  Terry's words are poignant and hilarious at the same time.  Recorded at the National Book Club Conference, Atlanta, GA (Aug 1, 2008). 

Breaking the Code of Silence by Alana Wyatt Smith

Given the phenomenal success of Video Vixen Karrine Steffans� tell-all, it was only a matter of time before other gold-diggers who've slept with a bunch of black celebrities would follow suit. Now, along comes 29 year-old, Canadian Alana Wyatt Smith, whose Breaking the Code of Silence is a bit disappointing, because she brags about her sexual conquest of lots of rappers and pro athletes, but doesn�t name names, except for Dante Smith, aka Mos Def


AALBC.com Recommends

Love Conquers Al screens at URBANWORLD Film Festival

Friday 9/12@ 2:15p & Saturday 9/13 @ 4:15p AMC 34ST. Theatre 9, New York, NY Written & Directed by Kamali Minter.  Starring: Malcolm Barrett, Michele Specht, Kenn Michael, Pam Cook & Eddie Pence.

Kamali Minter is a talented videographer, editor and director.  She videoed and edited a couple of AALBC.com's videos including our Evolution of a Revolutionary Poet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7uCm6bT6Os

Also check out other firms, in the festival, including; The Express (The story of Ernie Davis and Jim Brown), The Real Great Debaters of Wiley College, and Number One With A Bullet

Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jewell Parker Rhodes, a gifted novelist, pens another memorable story. 

Kirkus Reviews says, Rhodes puts "earnest thought into the [New Orlean's] dark history and comes up with a satisfying and eerie story that lies somewhere between the work of Anne Rice and James Lee Burke" "The visceral descriptions of supernatural possessions are matched by equally vivacious sex scenes. A spooky, sexy novel about things that go bump in the night.�

Yellow Moon is part two of the New Orleans trilogy that began with Voodoo Season

I Want To Live! A Teenagers Guide To finding self love

Modern life moves quickly for everyone, and that includes Teens. Many obstacles face our youth daily. Fifteen-year-old Chantel Christie from Seattle, Washington is a twenty-first-century-teen who is making a difference. Chantel is a scholar, singer, model, and actress. She is also the youth ambassador on HIV/AIDSIDS and a YMCA youth spokesperson.

I Want to Live! speaks volumes about what is going on in the teenage world today. From diet and exercise to finding self-love, this guide is the how to for anyone interested in lots of easy to read information about life and health issues.  Profits will be donated to charity.

Who's Renting Space in Your Head?

Who's Renting Space in Your Head?, is the second book in a Bible study series written by C. NaTasha Richburg. This book contains short stories that speak of triumphs, struggles, joy, and pain weaved throughout its pages to capture the essence of the human experience. This urban approach to studying the Bible is catching on as an awesome tool for Christian youth and young adult leaders. Who's Renting Space in Your Head? may be used as a personal or group Bible study, devotional guide or one component of the rites of passage experience.

Street Literature Review (SLR) Magazine

Street Literature Review (SLR) Magazine is the definitive voice of an emerging genre in the book world: Hip Hop literature commonly known as street fiction. The magazine sheds light on the development of the urban drama and the dynamic relation to music and lifestyle. SLR is a full color FREE urban entertainment quarterly which aggressively covers urban books and authors. Targeting both men and women between the ages of 18 to 35, our readership is advantageous to advertisers. SLR is the authority of what's popin� on the Hip Hop Lit scene.

Gather Together in My Name by Tracy Price-Thompson

"The BEST book I've read in the last 5 years!" �Shunda Leigh, Booking Matters Magazine

From the nationally bestselling and Hurston/Wright award-winning author Tracy Price-Thompson comes a heartbreaking story of loyalty and love that goes beyond the ultimate sacrifice.

Coming of age in the heart of crime-ridden Brooklyn, Shyne Blackwood is one in a set of triplets born into poverty and great tragedy. While his brothers are raised to seek a life of promise, Shyne's path veers early on. A street-seasoned hustler, he becomes known as a liar, a thief, and ultimately, a killer.

Keep the Faith: A Memoir by Faith Evans

Keep the Faith is Faith's first person account of life at ground zero of hip-hop's greatest generation. She'll share the truth about the love affair that changed her life, and the innuendo that rocked the hip-hop world to its core. From her passionate and tragically short-lived life with Biggie, Faith will finally lay the true story on the line. We'll get to see the good, the bad and the ugly side of P Diddy; nobody knew either quite as well as Faith.



The Fifth Annual Brother 2 Brother Literary Symposium - October 3 - 4, 2008
Houston, Texas


For the fifth year, the Brother 2 Brother Literary Symposium (B2BLS) is bringing together a collection of nationally published African-American male and female fiction writers who have gathered to identify ways at which they can advance literacy in their communities.

AALBC.com's President, Troy Johnson is a proud participant in this year's Symposium.

5th Annual Essence of Motown Literary Jam Weekend - November 6th - 9th, 2008 - Detroit Sheraton Riverside Hotel, Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, MI - Motown Writers Network & Equity in Partnership presents the 5th Annual Essence of Motown Literary Jam. This 2008 event, the one and only Detroit writing network of its kind hosted by Motown Writers Network and The Michigan Literary Network, will feature national and local authors and events.

Attendees will experience workshops ranging from self-publishing to editing and marketing. Celebrity book signings and social gatherings with other writers and readers will add to the excitement of the event. Some events are free to readers.

The 2008 African American Literary Awards Show - Thursday, September 25, 2008, Harlem, NY

2008 awards banquet will be held at the Harlem Gatehouse, 150 Convent Avenue at West 135th Street, New York, NY. General admission tickets for the awards show and dinner are $75.00 in advance and $85.00 (cash) at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased by mail and must be received by Friday, September 19, 2008.

Check out photos from the 2007 African American Literary Awards Show: http://aalbc.com/events/2007aalas.htm

The Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival - November 7-9, 2008 - Jolly Beach Resort & Spa

Special Offer for Book Clubs!
Bring 5 or more members of your book club to Antigua for the Festival, and we�ll arrange for a private dinner for your group and one of our authors at a premiere Antiguan restaurant.   You choose from a list of participating authors�first come, first served, so act quickly! (AALBC.com members contact Troy Johnson for more information).   The Festival will pay transportation costs and the author's meal tab, and make all necessary arrangements for your party.

All-inclusive Hotel Package $805 per person* Includes:

Accommodation for 4 nights/5 days
Registration for full participation in Festival
All meals and house brand drinks
Transfers from airport to hotel and return
Hotel taxes and service fees
Entertainment on property
based on double occupancy; extra nights $135 per person


AALBC's The Coffee Will Make You Black Online Book Club is Relaunching

After a 22 month hiatus, AALBC.com's, 10 year old, online book club; The Coffee Will Make You Black On-line Reading Group will be re-launching in November of 2008.  We will also start our first off-line chapter of the club; which will be based in Harlem.  Our first meeting will be held in October. 

If you are interested in joining the Harlem based chapter.  Please contact Troy Johnson at troy@aalbc.com or call 866-603-8394 and leave a message.

The reading list will be posted in October.  To review our past selections visit: http://thumperscorner.com/Reading_List.htm


Author, Relentless Aaron, is Removed from National Book Club Conference

Blacks at Harvard a "Culture of Prejudice"?


Visit Daily to get the latest new in the world of books

Robert Giroux, Editor, Publisher and Nurturer of Literary Giants, Is Dead at 94

Fall books preview: These 10 titles are certain to be 'talkers'


Learn more about AALBC.comAll About AALBC.com - Promotional Video

See AALBC.com in action and learn more about our services and features. 

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Troy Johnson
President, AALBC.com LLC


If you receive a text version of this newsletter and would like to read a version with the images included please visit: http://aalbc.com/news_aug2008.htm



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