All Articles Tagged "books"
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
Recently, a new book came out called WTF Are Men Thinking: 250,000 Men Reveal What Women Really Want to Know. One of the survey questions that got the internet buzzing revealed that 62 percent of men expected sex by the fourth date. Madame Noire asked me to address the following questions: When is too soon or too late for a woman to have sex? Does the timeline of when she gives in affect how men see her?
When is too soon or too late for a woman to have sex?
As with most things when it comes to men the answer is, “it depends.” For most men, there is no such thing as too soon to have sex, so perhaps we should differentiate between when men want sex and when men expect sex. Men want sex immediately. I would agree with the survey that most sexually active men probably expect sex around the fourth date. However, just because a man wants or expects sex doesn’t mean he’ll stop talking to you if he doesn’t get sex. If men want sex immediately, which rarely happens for the average guy, then obviously men are used to waiting for sex.
Men are sexual and visual creatures. So are women but if you think the average woman will entertain the sexual advances of a stranger as quickly as the average man, we’ll just have to agree to disagree (but you’re wrong). When a man approaches a woman, he is pretty much saying, “I want to have sex with you.” We can’t see your personality from across the room, so it is likely the physical that caught our attention. If we like nothing else about you the physical attraction still remains. As a frustrated commenter pointed out to me once, women control sex like men control commitment. For whatever reason, women aren’t as stingy with sex as men are with commitment.
Does the timeline of when she gives in affect how men see her?
Honestly? Not really. Most men know about the various rules women have around sex. Thanks to Steve Harvey, the 90-day rule is the most well known. A less well known rule is the fact that women are quicker to have sex with men they don’t like than men they do like. Over the years, women have gotten it in their head that having sex with a man will affect how men see her. This is only a half-truth. Sex is like money, having it only reveals your true nature. Also like money, unless you feel the need to show off and talk about it all the time, no one has to know how little or how much money you possess. Money doesn’t change people and neither does sex. If a man has sex with you and he “changes”, it would be a lot more accurate to say he became himself.
There are only a few times when sex directly affects a man’s impression of a woman: 1) it’s really good; 2) it’s really bad; or 3) you have a one night stand.
As far as most men are concerned, it doesn’t matter if you make him wait 90-seconds, 90-days, or 90-years. Completely independent of sex, most men know what they want from any given woman. If all a man wants from you is sex, then no passage of time in between will change his goal. He may be perfectly content entertaining the physical – seeing as that’s all he ever wanted – but while you thought you were growing together, he was just investing his time in order to get what he wanted. As a side note, this is why you should never tell a man how long you’re going to make him wait. Anyone with a little patience can wait to meet a known deadline.
On the other hand, if a man likes you as a person and he wants to see the relationship develop, then he will wait to have sex with you for as long as it takes. Please note that the key word here is, “with you.” Just because a man is willing to wait to have sex with you, doesn’t mean he’s not having sex at all. There is a big difference between commitment and waiting, and if you assume they’re one in the same, then that is a conversation you should have upfront. I have married friends who had sex with their wives on the first date, because they liked her as a person. Ideally, sex should act as an instrument to strengthen the relationship, but if you think merely withholding sex will create a bond between you two, you’re sorely mistaken.
In closing, sex shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip to regulate a man’s emotions because men’s emotions don’t work that way. In fact, a number of men can completely separate the emotional from the physical. As far as waiting too soon, too late, or any time in between to have sex, men really don’t care. As a woman, if you want to implement a personal timeline, then it should be done for yourself. At best, you’ll weed out the men who only wanted sex because they are far less likely to put in the work necessary to get to know you as a person. However, if you think withholding sex from a man who doesn’t want a relationship from you will suddenly inspire change in him then you will be gravely disappointed more often than not. Instead of placing the focus on sex, you should clearly communicate what you want from a relationship – physical or otherwise – and see if he agrees. As for men, we were ready to have sex when we met you. We’re just patiently waiting for you to catch up.
WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM and on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.
By now most Americans have either seen or heard of Dr. Ian Smith. He’s appeared as a medical contributor on various TV programs, the latest being The Rachael Ray Show” He hosts the nationally syndicated radio show “HealthWatch” on American Urban Radio News. And he doles out medical and diet advice to the stars on VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club.
Besides the broadcast exposure, Smith has authored several best-selling books including The Fat Smash Diet, Extreme Fat Smash Diet and The 4 Day Diet. And he has just completed SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet.
Recently, we talked with Dr. Smith about his career, health and wellness.
MadameNoire: Why did you write SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet?
Ian Smith: I had been working with just a few friends who called me up and were frustrated because they had tried everything, but couldn’t break through their weight-loss plateau. They wanted me to come up with a program specifically for them that would get them shedding pounds again. So, I created SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet. All of them were losing lots of weight on the program. I held it in reserve for some time, then decided to tweet some of it to my followers on Twitter to give them a weight-loss boost. So many people were losing so much weight that my publisher and I decided to publish the book and make it available to everyone this December.
MN: You have had several bestsellers. Why is writing a book a good business move?
IS: I never really looked at it as a business move. My motives were to help people and to continue to do what I have been doing for some time. Being a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, I travel the country speaking about fitness and nutrition and other health issues. So this was really an extension of that. However, dieting is a big business and it is one that unfortunately is not going away. People spend billions of dollars each year on dieting programs, services and products. People like me want dieting to be a shrinking business instead of one that’s growing.
MN: What are the three biggest diet mistakes people make?
IS: 1) Unrealistic expectations. People want to lose too much weight too fast. They set unrealistic goals and when they don’t meet these goals they get upset and frustrated and leave a program that is probably good for them in the long run.
2) Obsession with the scale. People want to weigh themselves every day to see if they are losing weight. Once a week is enough.
3) Starting too early. Weight loss is a journey and often it’s difficult. Too many start a program at the wrong time and when they are not ready or in the best position to succeed. Start when you’re ready and when you have control of your food and exercise environment.