All Articles Tagged "books"
What’s The Rush? Are Male “Relationship Experts” Taking Their Quest To Marry Off Black Women Too Far?
I can’t sit through one more sermon, debate or call-in radio show.
I can’t read another statistic-littered blog post, magazine article or self-help book jacket.
I can’t—and never will—pay good money for a singles conference, get anointed with special herbs and spices, or visit my local soothsayer for answers.
I can’t listen to one more piece of here’s-how-to-snag-a-husband-and-get-your-lonely-tail-down-the-aisle advice, especially from a man.
I’m over it. On behalf of all of us.
There are far, far too many self-proclaimed relationship experts and marriage gurus building their brands and platforms on Black women’s desire to be part of loving, committed couples. Our hope is their business opportunity. Those elements, juxtaposed with this pandemic spirit of scarcity that insists there’s a man shortage, has created a bountiful environment for every half-cocked, wannabe man whisperer.
You’ve got to check out the rest of the Write or Die Chick’s thoughts over on Essence.
What do you think? Have the relationship experts gone too far in their quest to try and “marry off” black women?
For all the jokes everyone had about Cissy Houston “keeping it real” during her interview with Oprah on last week’s episode of Next Chapter, it seems one thing is absolutely true: she and granddaughter Bobbi Kristina are not on the best of terms.
Last Thursday, Bobbi Kristina responded to Cissy’s comments about her having heard that BK didn’t like the idea of her writing the book but not having had the chance to speak to her directly. She took to Twitter:
For those of you who aren’t well-versed in the abbreviated text of teenagers these days (as well as all of the added symbols from Twitter), Bobbi Kristina basically said that neither she nor her boyfriend Nick Gordon (yes, apparently they’re still together) had anything to do with the book and she will not be reading it. Further, it seems that she feels that putting out the book was disrespectful to her mom, Whitney Houston.
The unfortunate truth is that this is a family in shambles. There’s no way to know if they were in this bad of shape prior to Whitney’s death but with the reality show, book deals and interviews, it has certainly pulled them further apart.
Cissy recently did an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show to promote her book and according to Black America Web, when asked what she would say to Bobbi Kristina if she were listening, she replied, “Call your grandmother.”
Do you think if the Houstons pulled back from media outlets, they could have a chance to mourn and possibly come back together as a family?
Today I made a mad ridiculous dash to the library, in the rain, with the remnants of a stubborn cold, all in the name of retrieving a good book.
To be honest, I didn’t even know that it was going to rain, so the situation was a bit more dramatic then it needed to be because I failed to trust in the Weather Channel. Anywho, I’ve spent good money over the past few years buying up books to rack my bookshelf with, but with bookstores charging an arm and a leg for new literature and me having better things to spend my money on (like bills), I decided a library card would be the answer to all my problems. Eh, it actually made things a bit worse. After trekking in the rain for longer than I had expected with my wallet in tow, once I got to the library, I was asked if I had a copy of the lease to my apartment, or a rent check to prove that I actually lived where I said I did. They basically wanted my life story in exchange for a book. I had neither of those things and was pretty pissed off as the lady at the front desk looked at me, dripping water all over the place, and had no sympathy for my trek. As I headed out looking for a taxi, I thought to myself, “See, this is the s**t that makes people want to go buy a Kindle, read everything online and leave this whole book business behind.”
But honestly, that was just an overreaction for the moment. I honestly LOVE books. Tangible books that is. I’m from the old school where as a kid you’d get accelerated reader points, buttons, stickers and pizza for checking out and reading books. I love the smell of a new book. I love throwing a book in my bag and pulling it out on a longer-than-expected train ride. I love physically passing a good read on to a friend, family member or co-worker and have them tell me they loved it. Most importantly, I like to throw the book on my shelf to remind myself that I successfully tackled another complex novel (and to show other people, YES, I can read *winks*). But more and more people seem to be going in the opposite direction, riding the always growing technology wave and opting to do everything, including reading their favorite book of the moment, through some sort of gadget or device.
Amazon just broke a record for Kindle sales on Cyber Monday last year, and if E-readers aren’t enough for people, many are still reading their books on tablets. Hell, even Oprah’s Book Club has gone digital. My sister, the biggest reader I’ve known in life, asked for a Kindle when she received her Master’s last year and I cried on the inside (not really, but you get it). And I was honestly even a bit sad to find out that for my niece’s seventh birthday, she was given a Kindle. I guess her encounters with children’s literary classics like Jambo Means Hello and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, or Dr. Seuss, and Roald Dahl joints will be introduced to her through the Internet. With Borders done and Barnes & Nobles claiming they’re going to start closing more and more of their stores in the next few years, it’s becoming pretty clear that tides are shifting.
I recognize that we’re in a time and place where most people can do everything online (watch movies, watch television, get news, weather, pay bills and more), but for some reason, I think I’d always hoped that small, foldable paperbacks and hardcovers that you take the paper packaging off of before sharing with a friend would continue to be the preferred method of reading. But it seems that convenience is what’s getting people to change it up. I can’t lie, even I find that it’s faster for me to read my bible verses on my phone while on the way to church or in church then to lug my beloved but heavy bible in the green zipper case with me.
But as my mother would say, there will always be a few people who would rather pick up a book as opposed to picking up just another electronic gadget out of the many they already have (that might have a new upgraded version the moment you blink). And despite my beef with my local library, I’ll continue to be part of that group, bunny earring pages and tearing up paperback editions of Junot Diaz and Octavia Butler as long as I still have the opportunity to. With everything already headed online, can we keep just one thing in its original classic format? Probably not…but it never hurts to hold out hope.
When will these movie producers learn? Not every amazing book will become an amazing movie. Some books are just filled with way too much literary genius to be accurately portrayed in a film. Even the books that aren’t literary genius still can be difficult to portray in movie. So why do these film producers even bother? Well, they always seem to think that theirs will be different. Instead, it ends up failing just like the many movie adaptations before it. In these cases, the situation was no different. Here are some movie adaptations that failed to impress not only those who read the books, but probably those who did not even read the books.
Every year, people like to make resolutions so that they can have a better year and be a better person, but it never fails that midway through the year, they realize they aren’t doing any of the things they said they would do. We make the same promises to ourselves and can’t keep most, if any, of them. Let’s have a look at the most popular resolutions people like to make — and fail to keep. Hopefully, you don’t fall into this category.
If you love Frank Ocean’s albums, you might have to let them hold you over for a bit longer. The singer/producer has his eyes set on something else that allows him to be more creative: a novel.
According to CNN, Ocean told The Guardian that storytelling is the most interesting part of making music “so much so that I might not make another album. I might just write a novel next. I don’t know.”
At this point, there’s no need to worry because Ocean is still not only making music for himself but he continues to work with others (there are rumors that he’ll once again be working with Beyonce on her next project). However, his creative mind doesn’t allow him to stop at just music. The Grammy nominated artist continued by saying:
“…But I do think – it would be f*****g legendary if I just made ‘Channel Orange’ last year, then put out a best-selling novel next year, then, you know, designed an arena in Stockholm in 2014! I don’t know! You just do what you can and you have as much fun as possible, and love your life as much as you can … As long as your intentions are solid, and about growth and progression and being productive and not being idle, then you’re doing good in my book.”
There’s no end to what he might do next but his fans are already chomping at the bit for something new so hopefully, he’ll oblige by dropping a haiku, guest feature or another story on his blog as soon as possible.
Looking ahead to 2013, several well-known and newly-famous African-American authors are coming out with new books. Additionally, several books focusing on the black experience are also debuting. Check out some books Madame Noire is excited for in early 2013!
Ayana Mathis, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, December 2012
Ayana Mathis struck gold. Her debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, was chosen by Oprah to be featured for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Published by Knopf, Twelve Tribes was written while Mathis was studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and follows one family through the generations, including the titular Hattie as she participates in the Great Migration to the North from the South.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie has been well received by critics, including The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani and a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and the publication date was pushed up to accommodate Lady O herself.
According to published reports, in a PR blitz to promote Small Business Saturday, President Obama took his daughters to an independently owned bookstore for some holiday shopping. Am I the only one, who thinks that is pretty cool?
No not holiday shopping. Holiday shopping sucks – unless we are talking about the art of book gifting. Yes, I am that person. I love giving and receiving books as presents. But gifting books can be a tricky endeavor. While I am a firm believer that everybody is a reader, it does take a special book to bring that bookworm out of some folks. And all too often, booklovers will end up gifting a book, which they might enjoy, but it offers little to no interest to the special someone they are giving it to. So in the effort to help us bibliophiles during this holiday season, I have searched the bookshelf in my hallway to provide for you a list of 10 great book suggestions to impress even the most finicky of readers in your life.
Back in 1773, Phillis Wheatley, a slave, became the first African American to publish a book. Now a new online social network is hoping to help develop more African-American female writers. Black Girls Write Online Network was recently launched with the goal of supporting black women with writing aspirations with things like networking events and webinars. The group is open to black women who have written a book or want to write a book, as well as anyone who wants to work with them.
According to a press release, Maryland businesswoman Teleah Scott-Williams founded Black Girls Write was started to “provide women with the resources, tools, information, motivation, and networking opportunities to help facilitate their growth as accomplished authors.”
“We have got to support each other. I talk with so many African-American women who erroneously believe that publishing a book takes a lot of money, or they think if they write a book, no one will buy it, or they think they are not good enough to be a successful author,” said Scott-Williams in the press release. “Nothing is further from the truth and Black Girls Write can show these same women how they can write and publish their book professionally and inexpensively.”
Caroline McGill is one author who took the self-publishing route and not only publishes her own books but books by other authors. We wrote about how McGill, who is the president of Synergy Publications, did it. Zane is another contemporary writer who has taken an unconventional route with her incredibly successful erotica novels.
African-American female authors are continuously making the bestseller lists. Among the 2012′s bestselling African-American books from Amazon.com (and compiled by Books of Soul) as of September 2012 were The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, which came in at number one; The Cutting Season by thriller writer Attica Locke; Salvage the Bones by award-winning author Jesmyn Ward; The Cartel 4 by Cash Money’s New York Times bestselling writing duo Ashley and JaQuavis; and Home by the legendary Toni Morrison.
Do you have a book in you?
I was born May 21—last day of Taurus, first day of Gemini and just over a week away from the unofficial start of summer—so naturally, I blossom in warm weather. I’m out and about in sundresses and stilettos, I’m socializing at farmers’ markets, I’m accepting Evites and going to meet-ups. But come October, when the wind starts getting a little bite on it and November, when it is officially too cold to do something as simple as getting the mail without tugging on a coat and hat, I transition into hibernation mode.
I love the change of seasons on the east coast, but that chilly air is the perfect impetus to stay in the house, make sweatpants and fuzzy socks my uniform and get some serious reading done. Here, in no particular order—except for the first one, which is my absolute, all-time favorite—are 50 books that challenge us to think, feel, reflect, understand, stretch ourselves, believe, get mad, find peace, seek resolution.
It is by no means a comprehensive list. I don’t even think we could create one because somewhere, someone is writing a great book right at this very moment that will ultimately deserve a space on many of our must-read rolls. But I hope it at least serves as a jump-off point for some thoughtful, purposeful literary consumption until the springtime thaw (which is March 20, in case you’re counting days).
Check out the list at Essence