Friday, August 21, 2015

Book News You Can Use 8/21/15

Relax in Paradise Julian Bond and Russell Poole.

Congrats to the nominees of the First Novel Prize and the St. Francis College Literary Prize!

Sir Elton is not here for banning LGBT books.

Other writers are not here for Jonathan Franzen's recent comments.

Remember the story about Pat Conroy opening a gym?  A medical scare inspired him to live a healthier life, which eventually lead him to open the gym.

Attica Locke talks about writing for books and for the small screen.

Here is a new review of The Turner House.

This fantasy book written by an African-American man (and with an African-American narrator) sounds interesting.

R.L. Stine says he doesn't like to read nonfiction books.

One writer admitted that she hasn't read most of the classics.  I feel you, sister.

A new children's book claims to get children to sleep in minutes and people say it works.

Soccer star Cari Lloyd will be releasing a memoir.

Ballerina Michaela DePrince's memoir will be adapted for a featured film!

Mat Johnson's Loving Day will be adapted for a comedy on Showtime!

The guy who plays Howard on The Big Bang Theory (and his wife) will be developing shows for Warner Brothers, including a show based on new YA book Legacy of Kings.

Here are some tips on how to read more books.

Literary pillows!

Jackson, we forgive you.

Julian Bond quote is from Colorlines.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mailbox Monday 8/17/15

More books came in the mail, so it's time for another edition of Mailbox Monday!

These books arrived in the mail two weeks ago, but I'm just now getting around writing about them.  All three books are from Harper Books and will be released next month.

The Art of Memoir
Where Everybody Looks Like Me
A Free State

Do you see any books that you may be interested in?  Hit me up in the comments section!  Thanks Harper for the ARCs!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book News You Can Use 8/14/15

Today's Friday Reads is God Help The Child by Toni Morrison.  My book club is meeting for the first time in a while on Sunday and this is the book that was selected.  I'm more than half-way through and I'm still trying to figure out where this book's going.  It seems like several of the members have read it and enjoyed it. At least the place we're having the meeting has awesome food.

Relax in Paradise Ann McGovern, Brook Stephenson and David Nobbs.

A 100-year-old J. R. R. Tolkien book will be published.

Another deceased author that will also have his work published is Truman Capote.  There will also be a book about his friendship with Harper Lee.

Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay TOGETHER in one article, interviewing each other.

Roxane is also working on a Young Adult novel that will be released in 2017.

James McBride's next book will be about James Brown.

Romance writer Beverly Jenkins talks about her frustration when she starting writing historical African-American romance novels.

Naomi Jackson has been getting a lot of press about The Star Side of Bird Hill (here and here).  She also wrote an essay about her feelings regarding the high-profile deaths of African-American women (including one that I knew personally).

The Iceburg Slim biography has also been getting a lot of press (here, here and here).

And one more book that is getting some press (and which I found out about this week) is Bright Lights (here and here).

Nalo Hopkinson's new book got a review in NPR.

The Hairdresser of Harare will finally be released in the United States! Here's a review.

The TV adaptation of Let The Church Say Amen will finally see the light of day on August 29. Here is a preview.

Just Kids and The Notebook are being developed for TV.

A writer talked about her love for the Baby-Sitters Club (and her chance encounter with Ann M. Martin).

One barber is giving away free back-to-school haircuts as long as his clients read to him.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Book News You Can Use 8/7/15

Relax in Paradise Carol Brown Janeaway and Alan Cheuse.

Congrats to the nominees of the African-American Literary Awards Show!

Publishers Weekly has suggestions on what you should read this fall.

NPR was able to compile 100 great romance novels based on listeners' and readers' recommendations.

A bookstore is giving refunds for those who didn't like Go Set A Watchman.

A female author got a rude awaking when she tried to publish a book in her name and a male nom de plume.  Guess who got the most inquiries?

Judy Blume came to the rescue of a man who accidentally gave away his wife's copy of "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."

Steve Hamilton left his publisher a few weeks before his new book came out, based on (what he felt was) lack of publicity for the new book.  Luckily he was able to find a new publisher.

N.K. Jemisim was able to get a review for her new book in the New York Times!

Walter Mosley writes about how Louisiana has influenced his writing.

Someone vandalized the tombstone of Alex Haley's grandmother, Queen.

Holly Black is writing and releasing a Young Adult trilogy.

A popular South African book is coming to the big screen. Hopefully it will make it to the United States!

Uncle Luke has a book. Yes, that Uncle Luke.

Want some literary-inspired art?  Here you go!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Book News You Can Use 7/31/15

Book News out of Charleston this week: A woman wrote a letter to the local paper's editor complaining about a book her daughter (who will be a freshman at one of the local high schools) had to read for English class.  Her complaint was that it was too vulgar and that the book should be off the summer reading list (even though the child could have read another book off the list).  To make a long story short, she got her way and the school pulled the book almost three weeks before school starts.  One, if her daughter doesn't know some of that stuff that's mentioned in the book, she will by the time she graduates.  And if I was a kid or a parent of a kid who read that book and it was pulled from the reading list, I would be ticked.  Just because one parent has a problem with it doesn't mean that other parents feel the same way.  Here are reactions from the local library's YA department and the author of the book.  There is a campaign to raise money to buy copies of the book for students if they want it.  Thank God I have a mother who allowed me to read what I wanted to read as a teen and figured I could handle it.

Relax in Paradise to the undisputed Queen of True Crime, Ann Rule. I made that up but I truly doubt  people will disagree.  Writer Michelle Dean composed a tribute and tells why we true crime fans loved Ann so much.  Investigative Discovery will have a marathon featuring episodes of shows Ann was on tomorrow morning.

Congrats to the winners of the RITA Awards!

Congrats go to the nominees of the Booker Prize!

Congrats to Cheris Hodges for her Jessie Redmon Fauset Award nomination!

There's no link, but congrats also go out to Soror Victoria Christopher Murray for winning the Osceola Award during Delta Sigma Theta's National Convention this week. It goes to a soror that has made significant contributions to the arts.

See Kwame Alexander's Newbery Award acceptance speech here.

Happy 50th Birthday J. K Rowling!

Between her thoughts on the Sandra Bland case and Bill Cosby's (alleged) victims, Roxane Gay has been writing her butt off.

What happens when a African-American children's writer and a former President have a conversation?

Lauren Francis-Sharma and Dolen Perkins-Valdez talk about the tradition of storytelling, among other things, here.

Angela Flournoy talks about her success in the publishing industry.

N.K. Jemisin talks about how it's like to be an African-American female writing fantasy and science fiction.

Here are two stories (here and here) about the new book The Sisters Are Alright.

The author of the new biography about Iceburg Slim gives a synopsis of the writer.

The documentary about Sonia Sanchez will premiere tomorrow in Philadelphia.

The movie adaptation of Room will be released in October.

Michael B. Jordan will star in the movie adaptation of Just Mercy.

Reading Rainbow is coming to Netflix!

I have been enjoying a series of short stories imagining how the Huxtables would react if Cliff died.

This writer talks about how The Baby-Sittters' Club (especially Stacey) help her cope with being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Here's a wonderful story about how a mailman helped a boy get books after the kid asked for junk mail.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Goodbye, South Carolina Book Festival

South Carolina Book Festival in 2012
News came out of Columbia yesterday that the South Carolina Book Festival is no more.  Instead, the state Humanities Council decided that it would be best to do author events across the state.  To be honest with you, I have not been to the state book festival since 2012 when they brought Kimberla Lawson Roby, Zane and Eric Jerome Dickey.  I was in Chicago last year and the other two years they didn't bring people that interested me enough to roll out of bed and drive almost two hours to Columbia.  There were a lot of things I think they did wrong, which lead to the book festival being the thing of the past.
  • Inviting the same people OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I can see them inviting Dorothea Benton Frank every year because she comes out with a new book every year.  But inviting Pat Conroy (and some others) just for the hell of it got old.
  • NOT ENOUGH DIVERSITY.  There were some years (like this one) you can count how many African-American authors they had with one hand.  And Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans? Whatever.  I know the festival was moved it to May from February because they were trying to get more authors before they went to BEA, but it seem like they had more minority authors when it was in February.
  • The Humanities Council also didn't try to expand their audience.  Yeah, it's good catering to middle-aged and older white people and families with small children.  But what about the rest of us?  And they always had the book festival on the same weekend as the Columbia Black Expo except for this year, when it conflicted with the African-American rodeo.  Both of those events were next door at the Colonial Life Arena.  And they hardly ever got any Young Adult authors, which would have drew the teens.  Why do they think YA'LL Fest gets bigger every year?
  • And last (but not least), the loss of two of their biggest sponsors, Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble.  And I know how people feel about Amazon and big book stores.  The Humanities Council made it seem like they dropped the big book stores to support indie book stores in the state.  But one of my friends think it might have been the other way around and the big book stores dropped them.  It's still bad because the box stores (especially BAM) were the ones that brought the few minority authors they were getting.
I hope that the Humanities Council eventually brings back the book festival or that others start their own festivals.  It's sad that they couldn't improve on a wonderful event that many people enjoyed for almost 20 years.  And I hope that the council's future initiatives work out for the benefit of the people of South Carolina.

Book News You Can Use 7/24/15

Relax in Paradise Chenjerai Hove, E. L. Doctorow and Tom Moore.

Prayers go out to Alan Cheuse, who was seriously injured in a car crash.

Congrats to Deborah Johnson for winning the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction!

Is Go Set a Watchman an indictment of the limits of liberalism?

Sebastian Junger is writing a book about how solders deal with stress after returning from wars.

Pledged, a book about how it goes down in (mostly white) sororities, has been recently updated.  Author Alexandra Robbins talks about how some sororities deal with sexual assault claims.

Reshonda Tate Billingsley talks about stereotypes and violence while promoting her new book Mama's Boy.

Edwidge Danicat talks about how she wrote her first Young Adult novel.

Toni Morrison talks about the inspiration behind The Bluest Eye.

Nigerian author Dillibe Onyema talks about the many authors that have come from his home country.

A new book discusses the impact of the late 60s-early 70s PBS show Soul.

Thanks to a lady and her neighbors, Franklin from Peanuts was created.

Here are some diverse fantasy books.

Hey Taylor, try to relate on what Onika was saying by reading these diverse feminism books. Maybe it will also inspire you to squash your beef with Katy.