Friday, September 22, 2017

New Books Coming Your Way, September 26, 2017

Unforgivable Love: A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons by Sophfronia Scott
528 p.; Historical fiction

In this vivid reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering stretch has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for Westchester County’s breezier climes, two predators stalk amidst the manicured gardens and fine old homes

Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone. She made up her mind long ago that nobody would decide her fate. To have the pleasure she craves, control is paramount, especially control of the men Mae attracts like moths to a flame.

Valiant Jackson always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Mae for years. The door finally opens for him when Mae strikes a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is engaged to Frank Washington. Frank values her innocence above all else. If successful, Val’s reward will be a night with Mae.

But Val secretly seeks another prize. Elizabeth Townsend is fiercely loyal to her church and her civil rights attorney husband. Certain there is something redeemable in Mr. Jackson. Little does she know that her worst mistake will be Val’s greatest triumph.

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward
160 p.; Poetry

Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.

The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.

From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society’s expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward’s bone resonate to the core of what it means to be human.

Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
320 p.; Short stories

The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives.

Passage: A Novel by Khary Lazarre-White
192 p.; Fiction

Passage tells the story of Warrior, a young black man navigating the snowy winter streets of Harlem and Brooklyn in 1993. Warrior is surrounded by deep family love and a sustaining connection to his history, bonds that arm him as he confronts the urban forces that surround him—both supernatural and human—including some that seek his very destruction.

For Warrior and his peers, the reminders that they, as black men, aren’t meant to be fully free, are everywhere. The high schools are filled with teachers who aren’t qualified and don’t care as much about their students’ welfare as that they pass the state exams. Getting from point A to point B usually means eluding violence, and possibly death, at the hands of the “blue soldiers” and your own brothers. Making it home means accepting that you may open the door to find that someone you love did not have the same good fortune.

Warrior isn’t even safe in his own mind. He’s haunted by the spirits of ancestors and of the demons of the system of oppression. Though the story told in Passage takes place in 1993, there is a striking parallel between Warrior’s experience and the experiences of black male youth today, since nothing has really changed. Every memory in the novel is the memory of thousands of black families. Every conversation is a message both to those still in their youth and those who left their youth behind long ago. Passage is a novel for then and now.

The Perfect Present by Rochelle Alers, Cheris Hodges & Pamela Yaye
352 p.; Romance

A CHRISTMAS LAYOVER by Rochelle Alers
When Navy SEAL Captain Noah Crawford and elementary school teacher Sierra Nelson meet on a plane headed east from San Diego, they’re glad to pass the time in friendly conversation. But when a freak storm grounds them, Sierra offers Noah a place to spend the night—with her extended family, all of whom assume they’re a couple. And as the holiday spirit infuses every moment they spend together, they both begin to wonder if a relationship is a special gift they didn’t expect…

THE CHRISTMAS LESSON by Cheris Hodges
Kayla Matthews isn’t looking forward to heading home this Christmas. Divorced and struggling, nothing has turned out the way she expected—including her childhood friend, DeShawn Carter. Now the high school principal, he’s also the kind of man she’s always dreamed about. But before the holidays are over, Kayla has a chance to reclaim everything she once thought she wanted—or prove to DeShawn that they have a second chance worth celebrating…

CHRISTMAS WITH YOU by Pamela Yaye
Celebrity stylist Maya Malone can’t find anything joyous about the season, not since her ex-fiancĂ© left her on Christmas Eve. But one look at suave, sexy sports agent Marc Cunningham is almost enough to change her mind. Their instant attraction feels like the best sort of present, except for one very large obstacle—Maya’s NFL star big brother, Marc’s new client. It will take more than holiday spirit to convince everyone involved that Marc and Maya’s connection will make the angels sing…


Friday, September 15, 2017

New Books Coming Your Way, September 19, 2017

Encyclopedia of Black Comics by Sheena C. Howard
280 p.; Comics & Graphic Novels

The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, focuses on people of African descent who have published significant works in the United States or have worked across various aspects of the comics industry. The book focuses on creators in the field of comics: inkers, illustrators, artists, writers, editors, Black comic historians, Black comic convention creators, website creators, archivists and academics—as well as individuals who may not fit into any category but have made notable achievements within and/or across Black comic culture.


A Short Life of Pushkin by Robert Chandler
112 p.; Biography

In Robert Chandler’s exquisite biography, literary giant Alexander Pushkin, lauded as the Russian Shakespeare, is examined as writer, lover and public figure. Chandler explores his relationship to politics and provides a fascinating glimpse of the turbulent history Pushkin lived through. The book acts as a succinct guide to anybody trying to understand Russia’s most celebrated literary figure and also illuminates the wider historical and political context of early nineteenth-century Russia.

We're On: A June Jordan Reader edited by Christoph Keller & Jan Heller Levi
500 p.; Literary collection

Poet, activist, and essayist June Jordan is a prolific, significant American writer who pushed the limits of political vision and moral witness, traversing a career of over forty years. With poetry, prose, letters, and more, this reader is a key resource for understanding the scope, complexity, and novelty of this pioneering Black American writer.




From "Poem about Police Violence":

Tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop
everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop
you think the accident rate would lower
subsequently?
 . . .
 I lose consciousness of ugly bestial rabid
and repetitive affront as when they tell me
18 cops in order to subdue one man
18 strangled him to death in the ensuing scuffle (don't
you idolize the diction of the powerful: subdue and
scuffle my oh my) and that the murder
that the killing of Arthur Miller on a Brooklyn
street was just a "justifiable accident" again
(again)
 
People been having accidents all over the globe
so long like that I reckon that the only
suitable insurance is a gun

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
300 p.; Psychology

The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.

My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.
  • Paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system.
  • Offers a step-by-step solution—a healing process—in addition to incisive social commentary.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane & Neil Martinez-Belkin
304 p.; Autobiography

For the first time Gucci Mane tells his story in his own words. It is the captivating life of an artist who forged an unlikely path to stardom and personal rebirth. Gucci Mane began writing his memoir in a maximum-security federal prison. Released in 2016, he emerged radically transformed. He was sober, smiling, focused, and positive—a far cry from the Gucci Mane of years past.

Born in rural Bessemer, Alabama, Radric Delantic Davis became Gucci Mane in East Atlanta, where the rap scene is as vibrant as the dope game. His name was made as a drug dealer first, rapper second. His influential mixtapes and street anthems pioneered the sound of trap music. He inspired and mentored a new generation of artists and producers: Migos, Young Thug, Nicki Minaj, Zaytoven, Mike Will Made-It, Metro Boomin.

Yet every success was followed by setback. Too often, his erratic behavior threatened to end it all. Incarceration, violence, rap beefs, drug addiction. But Gucci Mane has changed, and he’s decided to tell his story.

In his extraordinary autobiography, the legend takes us to his roots in Alabama, the streets of East Atlanta, the trap house, and the studio where he found his voice as a peerless rapper. He reflects on his inimitable career and in the process confronts his dark past—years behind bars, the murder charge, drug addiction, career highs and lows—the making of a trap god. It is one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of music.