Thursday, September 30, 2010

Upcoming event: The African-American Literary Festival

A brand-new literary event is happening in Columbia, SC this weekend and the Reading Diva is going!

The African-American Literary Festival will be at the Columbia Conference Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. I glad they picked this day because Carolina's football team is off this weekend, which means no traffic for the two hours I will have to drive. The event is hosted by the SistahFriend Book Club, which has book clubs in various parts of the country.

The event will feature some well-known names in African-American Literature. Authors include Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Mary Monroe, Donna Hill and Marissa Monteilh. There will be author signings and forums, vendors and activities for the little ones.

By Sunday afternoon, I will have pictures and highlights from the festival. I promise I won't take as long as the SC Book Festival.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The post you have all been waiting for....The SC Book Festival!!

Note: There are pictures from this event. They are on my old digital camera, since I bought a new one a few months ago. My old camera is at my parents' house, so I will post them once I get the camera.

I know the SC Book Festival was back at the end of February. But since I am attending two more book festivals before the end of the year, I feel that I need to post about the one I went to before I went to the new one.

So a few things that I remember from the book festival:

There was one guy who was selling a lot of self-published books, mostly African-American themed. But what drew me to his booth like a moth to a flame was the big Obama book he was selling. I collect Obama items, so this was up my ally. It was a long coffee table book of the front covers of African-American newspapers when Obama won. I started to think that I would buy this for myself and a friend that is a bigger Obama collector than I am. And then he told me the price: $70. Then this Chris Rock skit came into my mind. I bought some other books from him, but didn't buy the Obama books. And it didn't look worth $70. But if you want to buy a copy, have at it.

When I got there, I didn't know that a lot of the authors were there on Saturday (due to a work obligation, I attended on Sunday). Several of the authors that I wanted to see had already left Columbia and others were still there, but weren't signing books. When I was talking to a lady about the book signings, it turns out I was talking to Tia McCollors, who is the author of several books, including The Last Woman Standing.

I told Tia I was looking for Tiffany Warren, who is the author of In The Mist of It All. I had purchased the book at Wal-Mart a few days before and wanted her to sign it. She said that Tiffany was still in town and would call her to sign my book. Tiffany was gracious enough to find me and sign my book!

I also meet Heidi Durrow, who wrote The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. This book has gotten rave reviews in the literary circles. She will also be a part of Capital Bookfest in November.

I was able to enjoy this event. I got a chance to meet a lot of people, interact with some of my classmates and teachers (USC's School of Library and Information Science had a booth) and most importantly, got to buy a lot of books! Next year's event will be in May, which will allow the organizers to feature more authors (they will be getting ready for their summer tours). If you happen to be in the Columbia area, please take the opportunity to take part in this literary event.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My thoughts on Getting To Happy

After 16 days, a missed book club meeting, two big class assignments, helping with a play with my sorority, and countless events than one does while decorating a house, I have finally finished Terry McMillan new book Getting To Happy. Since it has been 15 years since I have read Waiting to Exhale (I read twice in high school - including once before I saw the movie), I had to picture the main characters as what they played in the movie. For example: when I read Savannah's part, I thought of Whitney. It helped me keep track who was who. Since I know that some people haven't read the book, I'll give some thoughts about the book without giving it away.

To me, it felt like most of the main characters have not learned anything in the last 15 years.

I think one character was not in the book because of what happen to the person who played him/her (in the Waiting to Exhale movie) in real life. And I'm not talking about Whitney.

Why were the teenage girls, particuarly Sparrow and Taylor, had more sense than the adults?

Towards the end of the book, one of the relationships started way too fast.

Hugs to Tyrek and his family.

One of the characters' issues and how she dealt with it reminded me of what Terry went through a few years ago.

I was disappointed at the end of the book. I was thinking "That's it?" Maybe I thought more would happen. Or maybe it was I waited 5 years for it and this was all I got.

In closing, I thought it was an OK book. Not bad, but could have been better. I was hoping this was going to be really good since The Interruption of Everything was kind of a letdown. Fox has already bought the rights to the movie and the screenplay was recently completed. I hope they do some modifications for the movie and add some to the story like they did to How Stella Got Her Groove Back. But they should have left Waiting to Exhale alone. But that's another blog post.

ETA 2/19/12 Added link in last sentence regarding plans for Getting To Happy Movie and Nippy's passing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

While I was at Kmart...

So, here I'm am, at my local Kmart (and yes, people still shop at Kmart). I happen to glance at the book section and found this.

I know sometimes publishers release books before the date they are suppose to be released, but I just checked Amazon and this book is still due to be released on Tuesday.

I don't know what the deal is, but this may be good for those who can't wait to read the book. If I didn't pre-order it from Amazon and if it wasn't cheaper (they were selling it for $20 and got it for $15 at Amazon), I would have actually bought it. I've waited more than five years for this book, so a few days more won't hurt me. It may benefit some members of my book club. :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I have decided...

not to go to the Eric Jerome Dickey book signing in Columbia. This morning, my body nicely reminded me that I am in my 30s now and I would be pushing it if I decided to go. So after class tonight. I will go home, watch Big Brother and some Gamecock football, and maybe finish Tempted By Trouble. And most importantly, sleep.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On the road again (maybe)

Since September is here, fall book festivals and author appearances are popping up. Since I live in the great state of South Carolina, here are the events that I either want to go, may go or will go.

Tomorrow night(September 2) at 7 p.m., Eric Jerome Dickey will be at the Sandhills Books-A-Million in Columbia. I really want to go to this, because he is one of my favorite authors and one of the very few I haven't met. There are two things that are stopping me. One is that I have an online class from 5-7. But I could be MIA and watch it on video later. But the professor says it's mandatory (emphasis on the an).

This is the second reason:

Even though I am a very proud alumni of the University of South Carolina and love Gamecock football (despite the highs and lows), I know that traffic is going to be hell. And this is the first game. And there will be drunk people on the roads on my way back.

So I'm still thinking about whether I should go. I did drop him a line on Facebook to see if he can come to Charleston at a later time. According to an interview, he's taking a break after Tempted By Trouble (which I am reading now and am mad at myself for leaving the book at work because I really wanted to finish it tonight). So maybe he will come and visit. And get inspired. And mention Meeting Street a lot like he does with Cascade Avenue in Atlanta (and I know where all of those places are because I have cousins who live down the street).

Next weekend (September 10 and 11) is the Charlotte Literary Festival. Confirmed authors include Mary Monroe and former Essence editor Susan Taylor. There will also be a Neo-Soul Festival, featuring Algebra and Dwele.

My problem is that I don't want to go by myself. Unlike Columbia, I don't know Charlotte that well and none of my friends have shown interest in going. So there is a strong possibility that I may pass on this one.

On October 2, it's back to Columbia for SistahFriend Book Club's first African-American Literary Festival. Mary Monroe will also be at this event, as well as Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Donna Hill and Marissa Monteilh.

This time around, I have friends who want to go! Even if people in the book club that I'm in backs out and another friend can't go due to work (just got a promotion at the library), I still plan to go. And I have to be back in Charleston to see Patti and Boyz II Men later that night.

Several months ago, I mentioned the Capital Bookfest that is coming to Charleston on November 6. A lot has happened then since the lineup. The main headliner is Nikki Giovanni (yay!) and more than 50 authors (I think this number is higher than that, so don't quote me) will be in attendance. This time, I just have to roll out of bed and drive myself downtown. :-)

So this is what I am thinking about doing as in terms of satisfying my book addiction. I will also be on the road a lot for my job, but that will not conflict (so far) with my schedule. And maybe sometime soon, I will finally put up my experience at the South Carolina Book Festival. I swear.