All Articles Tagged "books"

Bookworm Wonders: 10 Must-Reads For Brown Girls

May 3rd, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Our black is beautiful – hair, skin, and all. We shower our girls with praise by complimenting the richness of their cocoa, caramel, or vanilla colored skin. We massage their scalp and nurture their baby curls – from kinky to super wavy. We want our girls to respect and love themselves. We constantly fight the barrage of  criticisms our girls may be exposed to, including negative attention swarming around their hair and skin tone. Our girls need their self-esteem lifted. What better way to celebrate the love of our culture  and promote self love with our girls than through a book that our girls can relate to. Whether your little girl has a growing bookshelf or e-reader, she will want to add these must-reads to her collection.

Don’t Be Ashamed! Tell-All Tea-Spilling Books You Know You Want to Read

April 17th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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Reality shows have made drama junkies of us all. And if 22 minutes a day of shade throwing and tea spilling just isn’t enough, you need to read one of these tell-all tea spillers. These authors have told on everyone from Tupac to Kim Kardashian and most of what’s in their pages is way too hot for TV. So if you need a book for the night stand, look no further.

Confessions of a Video Vixen

Confessions of a Video Vixen

This is the tea spiller that started it all. When Super Head wrote Confessions of a Video Vixen in 2005 she put almost every rapper in the game on blast from LL to Jay-Z.

The book is also about her struggles with homelessness, sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse and it’s so scandalous that it made the New York Times Bestseller list. Before you read the rest you should check out the one that began the trend.

Take Two: Teen Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas To Release Second Memoir

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Anton Oparin /

Anton Oparin /

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas isn’t taking any time off. She has been on a hectic schedule since the Olympic Games in 2012. Besides all the interviews she published her memoirs. Now she has announced she is set to publish a second memoir—yes, part two.

Though not yet 18, she still has lots to talk about it seems, and her second memoir will hit the stores next month, according to publisher Zondervan (via Yahoo).

The 17-year-old, who was a gold medalist in both the team and individual all-around gymnastics competitions, will publish Raising the Bar, the follow-up to her 2012 best-selling memoir Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, on April 30. That book debuted at number four on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List.

This time around, she is taking readers behind-the-scenes look into her life, including color photos, personal stories, and details on the athlete’s present-day life — from walking red carpets and appearing on TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries while also juggling friends, family, and training.

Obviously, it’s not the life of the typical teen. But it will give some insight, says the publisher, into the dedication and responsibilities of an athlete of Douglas’s caliber. Douglas was recently named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

Douglas began training at age six and made history last year when she became the first U.S. gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same games. And she was first African-American to win the individual gold.

Bestselling Buddies? The Daughters Of Lil Wayne and Birdman Team Up To Write ‘Paparazzi Princesses’

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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The young authors with Birdman in 2010. (Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

The young authors with Birdman in 2010. (Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup) via AP IMAGES

Reginae Carter and Bria Williams are following in their fathers footsteps — kind of. The two 14 year-old girls, who are the daughters of business partners and friends Lil Wayne and Birdman, respectively, are entering the public eye with a new book. The young pair teamed up for Paparazzi Princesses, which tells the story of two young girls dealing with unintentional fame as they grow up as the kids of famous parents, reports Rolling Stone (via Yahoo). The book will probably appeal to high schoolers, who are struggling with everything from schoolwork to crushes on boys.

The dads are happy about the new books. “There’s no better feeling than watching Bria and Reginae make this dream come true,” said Birdman in a statement reported by “They took an idea, worked extremely hard, and brought it to life. It’s the kind of story that everybody can feel, and it’s only the start of much bigger things for these two wonderful young ladies.”

Lil Wayne says he is anxious for others to read the book. He said to the site, “Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how me and the Birdman feel. I can’t wait for everybody else to experience their story.”

Karyn Langhorne Folan co-authored the book, which will be out June 4th.

If the book is a success, most likely it won’t just be teens making it popular. According to a recent study, 55 percent of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids aged 12 to 17 — known as YA books — are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44, a group that alone accounted for 28 percent of YA sales,  reports  Publishers Weekly. The adults who buy YA books aren’t buying them  for others — when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78 percent of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading found the study Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age conducted by Bowker Market Research.

Will you pick up a copy?

What’s The Rush? Are Male “Relationship Experts” Taking Their Quest To Marry Off Black Women Too Far?

February 24th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

From Essence

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?

Family Feud? Bobbi Kristina Responds To Cissy Houston’s New Book

February 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"BK Brown pf"

D. Salters/

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?

E-Readers Vs. Paperback Pushers: Is Anybody Still Reading REAL Books Anymore?

January 28th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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"Woman reading a book pf"

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.

Leave It Alone: 10 Books That Should Not Have Been Made Into Movies!

January 7th, 2013 - By Esi Mensah
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Source: Warner Bros

Source: Warner Bros

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.

You Say The Same Thing Every Year… Resolutions We Like To Make But Never Follow

January 2nd, 2013 - By Davisha Davis
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

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.

Is Frank Ocean Switching Channels And Turning His Attention To The NYT Best Sellers List?

December 30th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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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.