Friday, April 17, 2015

Book News You Can Use 4/17/15


Relax in Paradise Gunter Grass and Edwardo Galeno.

Congratulations to all of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominees, the Pen Award nominees and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards!

Haruki Murakami and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche made this year's Time 100 Most Influential People list.

The American Library Association named the most challenged/banned books of 2014. It also shows that authors of color are the most affected by book banning attempts.

Tavis Smiley has been winning lately.  His latest book, My Journey with Maya (which he talks about here), will become a Broadway play.  Now Death of a King will be adapted for TV.

This looks like an ordinary press release about TVOne's future projects.  But if you scroll down to the end of the movie section of the article, you will find that TWO of ReShonda Tate Billingsley's books will be movies next year. Can someone ask BET what happened to the Let the Church Say Amen movie?  And can we PLEASE turn What's Done In the Dark a movie?

It looks like The Alienist will finally become a TV series.

Watch this documentary about the Henrietta Lacks story.

Reese Witherspoon will be producing the movie adaptation of Luckiest Girl Alive, which was picked up by Lionsgate.

R.L. Stine talks about his new Fear Street book (among other things) in this BuzzFeed article.

James Patterson calls it collaborative writing. I call it a money grab.

The latest VIDA Count shows that books written by minorities are still not being reviewed by major publications. Sigh.

Here are some African-American female writers to follow on social media.

Here is a review about Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma and his book, The Fisherman.

The late chief of Charlie Hebdo slammed Islamophobia in a book he finished two days before he died.

In a new book, a former NFL player said that his mother asked him for $1 million after he was drafted.

Yay to North Carolina Girl Scouts who installed some Little Free Libraries!

Parodies of Uptown Funk and Shake It Off were done in honor of National Library Week.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book News You Can Use 4/10/15


The last few weeks has been a roller coaster.  My grandaunt passed away last Friday, while I was still mourning the loss over a classmate who died suddenly.  I was also fighting something that was going on in my nasal passages (the doctor said a virus, I say it was allergies).  On top of that, the shooting of Walter Scott happened and when the video came out, the whole incident blew up.  I hate that my hometown will now be associated in the same vain as Ferguson, New York City, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Sanford. Thank God local and state law enforcement took quick action on this or it would have been a ton of chaos on the streets.  Ironically, news of the first video came out when I was having dinner with Lisa from Reads for Pleasure (who was in town on vacation), who lives not far from Ferguson.  And it has been a busy month with work and sorority events.

I also decided earlier this week that I was not going to go to Washington again to see Toni Morrison.  The trip would have cost me a few hundred dollars, which is something I couldn't swing right now. Fortunately, my friend VaLinda is going and hopes to bring me back an autographed book.  I love this picture of Toni from the New York Times (and the article that goes with it).  I feel that it should be displayed at every library and museum.  Just because Toni's that awesome. Here's an article about famous Toni quotes and another one about God Help The Child.

Relax in Paradise Ivan Doig.

Congratulations to the finalists for the Carnegie Awards and Translated Book Awards!

Congratulations also go out to the writers who won Guggenheim Fellowships!

There was a dedication ceremony for the stamp honoring Maya Angelou this week. Nikki and Sonia gave words. Oprah was there. So was the First Lady.  But the stamp has one big problem.

Actress Amber Tamblyn has written her third book of poetry, this one about deceased female stars.

Cookie Detective Carter Benjamin Button's mother Taraji P. Henson will be releasing a memoir next year.

UCF Champion Ronda Rousey responds after Wal-Mart decides not to sell her autobiography.  She's better than me because I would have told them to kick rocks.

This article has me looking forward to Attica Locke's new book (even more).

More love was given to Paul Beatty's The Sellout this week, with this article from the New York Times. And Rashid at Old Gold Soul got a chance to meet Paul this week.

Nobody told me that Teja Cole (among other authors) is coming to my alma mater! #gogamecocks

Based of this list, I guess that I was a total bookworm as a child (but I already knew that).

One thing they did forget on that list...Reading Rainbow was must-see TV.  LeVar Burton talks about the future of Reading Rainbow (among other things) in this article.

My college classmate Marcus Amaker dedicated his latest poem to Walter Scott.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Mailbox Monday 4/6/15

More books arrived in the mail last week, so it's time for another edition of Mailbox Monday!

All of today's books come from Harper Books and will be released next month.

Orient
Disclaimer
After The Dance

Which one of these books you look forward to reading?  I'm excited about After The Dance, especially with the Gayes being back in the news due to the Blurred Lines verdict and Marvin's birthday was just a few days ago.  Hit me up in the comments and tell me what you think!

Thanks to Harper Books for the ARCs!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book News You Can Use 4/3/15

What Really Knocks Me Out Is A Book - Book Quote

Congratulations to the winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Awards!

BuzzFeed is launching an emerging writers fellowship.

Will you be in the DC area soon? Sign up to take part in the Maya Angelou stamp dedication.

Speaking of Maya, Tavis Smiley is developing a Broadway play based on his new book that discusses his friendship with the legendary poet.

Here's a review of Stuart Scott's memoir.

Here we go again: Amazon and Harper Collins are negotiating a new contract.  And it may get ugly.

Waiting for Empire to come back?  Here are some book recommendations from the New York Public Library and Book Riot.

Wish I would have been able to attend the Terry McMillian/Bernice McFadden talk in NYC and the Bocas Literary Festival in Trinidad and Tobago.

Paul Beatty has gotten a lot of press for his new book The Sellout.  Here is an article from The Root.

Speaking of The Sellout, this essay compares the book to Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly.

The girl who was in Little Miss Sunshine wrote a book!

Fresh off her Oscar win, Patricia Arquette is writing a memoir.

Tia and Tamara will be writing more tween books.

Deborah Gregory (author of the Cheetah Girls series) will see another one of her book series become a TV show.

Also being adapted for a TV show is a true crime book about a sheriff in Beaufort County (about an hour away from where I live) who patrols the Gullah community.

Public television show Books du Jour will be distributed to more than 300 PBS stations.

Since the Robert Durst case is hot in the streets right now, a true crime book about it will be re-released.

This essays about needing inclusive literature is spot on.

Just discovered the AfroLibrarians blog on Twitter.  Here is a blog post about a reading bucket list.

If you are in the Columbia area tonight, go see Peniel Joseph at Zion Baptist Church.

Here's an inspiring story about a high school book club in Los Angeles.

Happy Easter!

Picture is from Images Buddy.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book News You Can Use 3/27/15

Can we please make this into a movie? Please Hollywood?

Relax in Paradise Ellen Conford and Martyn Goff.

Congratulations to Akhil Sharma for winning the Folio Prize!

Congratulations also go out to Kwame Alexander for winning the Hopkins Poetry Award!  Did you catch him on PBS Newshour yesterday?

The nominees for the Man Booker Prize were announced this week.

The hills are alive...with a new Julie Andrews memoir!

A posthumous Nelson Mandela memoir will be released.

Also releasing a memoir is Elvis Costello.

Ethan Hawke is will be releasing his first book in over ten years.

A new Dr. Seuss museum will be opening in Massachusetts.

A grant is helping to digitalized works of African-American poetry.

Here is an article about poet and Columbia native Terrace Hayes.

If you have not read The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, you need to.  Let this article convince you even more.

New Toni Morrison essay!

Hear this interview with Honorary Soror Paula Williams Madison talking about her new book, Finding Samuel Lowe.

Here is another interview with James Hannaham, who talks about his new book Delicious Foods.

Authors have been announced for the National Book Festival!

Does anyone find it interesting and weird that Pat Conroy has opened a gym?

Looks like Game of Thrones will be running out of material to film soon.

Here is a trailer for The Causal Vacancy.

Fancy Nancy will become an animated TV movie and series for Disney Junior!

Steven Spielberg will be directing the movie version of Ready Player One.

Missouri's governor was already on the $#!& list for Ferguson. Now he's trying to cut funding for libraries.  He better ask the Luv Gov how that worked out for him.

A Sci-Fi anthology honoring Octavia Butler will be released.

Here is a list of 10 classic African-American books who should be made into films.  I agree with the person in the comments who suggested 32 Candles.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An Open Letter to Oprah Regarding Ruby


Dear Oprah,

How are you? Hope everything is well.  How are Stedman and the dogs? And the rest of your family?  And I see Gail on TV, and it looks like she is doing well.

I am here to write to you about your latest book club selection, Ruby.  I have read several of your selections, even when you still have your daily talk show, and found many of them to be good books.  And I will be forever grateful that you featured Edwidge Danticat and the awesomeness that is Pearl Cleage.

So when you named Ruby as your latest book club selection, I was surprised that you picked it.  When Ruby was released last spring, I started reading it.  And I admit that I wasn't impressed and got confused at the part when the main characters visited the voodoo woman.  About 60 pages in, I decided to put it back on my TBR list.  Which it remained until you named it as your book club selection.  So last month, I decided to give the book another chance.

I am glad that I gave this book another chance!  I started from the beginning, got pass the part I was stuck on and read the whole thing in a few days.  Ruby went through a lot in her 40+ years and since she was a prostitute, no one in Liberty, TX wanted to give her the time of day. Except Ephram.  He might have been a little slow physically and emotionally stunted due to the cards that was dealt with him in life, but EPHRAM WAS THE MAN.  To pull Ruby up from her despair and turned her life around...NOW THAT'S LOVE.

I can see why you liked this book so much.  It has a lot of elements that both of us have seen in two of your favorite authors, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.  This book dealt with spirits and the Devil (known as Dybou), child abuse and prostitution, sexual abuse, low self-esteem, how religion can be used for good and bad, the complexities of race, sexuality and redemptive love.  Cynthia Bond isn't Toni or Alice, but she still writes a compelling novel.

I look forward to upcoming discussions about the book on Oprah.com and tomorrow on Super Soul Sunday on OWN.  I also look forward to the sequels to the book and see how Ruby and Ephram develop.  I am happy that you have selected this book and gave another African-American female author a chance.

Best,
Maya

P.S. Since it looks like you will be picking books at least once a year, I think Silver Sparrow will be a great selection for 2016. Or Saint Monkey. Or The Turner House. Or God Help The Child (which you've probably already read by now).

Photo credit: CTV

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book News You Can Use 3/20/15



I found out earlier this week that Toni Morrison was coming to DC the end of April.  The more I thought about it, the more I felt that I could pull the trip off.  I could take off from my full-time job and my part-time job would be closing early that week (finals would be over by then).  I had looked at flights and hotel rooms.  I have even started to ask friends to come along.  All to find out yesterday that the event sold out.  The other two dates of her tour are in Philly and in NYC (which is sold out, but has a waiting list).  My friend Valinda is going to check to see if we can still get in to the DC event since she knows the owner of the bookstore who is hosting. Pray for a miracle.


Saturday, I got a chance to meet motivational speaker Valerie Burton at this year's Charleston Black Expo.  Her speech was great and she was very nice.

Congratulations to all of the Pen Literary Award nominees!

I know this is comparing apples to oranges. But the LA Times Festival of Books looks awesome.  The South Carolina Book Festival...sigh.

And no one told me about Storyweek in Chicago. And that the Virginia Festival of the Book is this weekend.

A new biography on Michelle Obama is coming out in a few weeks. I hope it's better than the one that came out before President Obama was elected.

Tina Campbell of Mary Mary is writing a book. No word if it has tips on how to shoot up your husband's car.

Larry Platt, co-writer of Stuart Scott's memoir, hoped that Stuart would have lived to see the book published.

We know that the story of Robert Durst is hot in the streets.  But did you know Susan Berman (one of his alleged victims) was an author?  I also recently found out that Morris Black (the eccentric Texas victim) once lived in Charleston.

What if Harper Lee had finished that true crime project she was working on?

Here are some interviews of Mat Johnson, Zane and Nikki Giovanni.

Read this insightful essay on African-American children's authors and self-publishing.

Just finished Girl on the Train (like I did)? Here are some recommendations.

The trailer for Paper Towns was released this week.

A Guantanamo detainee has a New York Times best-seller, but can't even get a copy of his own book.

This essay about E. Lynn Harris is everything.

Photocopying in the library: cool. Photocopying a cat in the library: not cool.