Sunday, October 25, 2009 6:21 PM
The book titles and descriptions listed below are related to the Poll question. ~Antoinette
The Devil Is a Lie
By: Reshonda Tate Billingsley
Description: The Devil Is a Lie chronicles the devilishly rude awakening in store for Houstonite Nina Lawson after she wins $8 million in the lottery. Not only are family members she hasn't seen in years itching to share the loot, but her fianc?, Rick Henderson, starts counting on his piece before the check's in the bank. Things get even more complicated after Todd, Nina's ex-husband, ends up not being an ex; turns out his hoochie mama girlfriend, Pam, spent the divorce filing fee on a Fendi bag. Pam urges Todd to wrangle a chunk of Nina's dough, and he agrees, though with a near-reasonable motivation: to get his ailing Grams a new heart. The ensuing slapstick is fast moving and hilarious as Billingsley ponders how Nina's impulse to do the right thing gets her in trouble?and yet, somehow, love (and God) provides.
I Wish I Had a Red Dress
By: Pearl Cleage
Description: Cleage again depicts the lives and times of Idlewild, Michigan, once a resort community frequented by well-to-do blacks, now decaying and subject to the same social ills that afflict Detroit. Joyce Mitchell is the social-worker founder of the Sewing Circus and Community Truth Center, dedicated to guiding young women from teenage pregnancies and violent relationships with the "babydaddies" to free and independent adulthood. Joyce herself, five years a widow, longs for enough safety and assurance to wear a red dress, an ultimate symbol of freedom and abandon. When she meets former Detroit cop Nate Anderson, the new counselor at the high school, long-repressed feelings are awakened. She must now negotiate the same relationship terrain as her young friends. Nate is decent, though, trying not to be tarred with the brush used on the ne'er-do-well boyfriends of the Sewing Circus members. A particularly violent boyfriend stalks and threatens the Circus members, however, and that endangers the peace between Joyce and Nate as they struggle with how women can manage their fears and men can protect them from other men. Cleage captures the mores, culture, and rhythm of black urban youth and the romantic tensions between mature black adults as she weaves contemporary issues into a love story. She portrays young people often dismissed by broader society unsentimentally but respectfully, revealing the undercurrents of their strivings to find some security. ~Vanessa Bush
By: Darnella Ford
Description: Vanessa and David Claville are struggling financially and romantically in El Mirage, Arizona. Once David admits that he is no longer in love, he leaves Vanessa to raise their daughter, Kennedy, alone. Kennedy is a pianist blessed with the natural talent Vanessa had as a youngster. Now that they live in a section eight complex, Kennedy's gift seems their only ticket out. Vanessa meets her neighbors: Anese, a young white woman with a teenager, and Yolie, a beautiful Latina woman with a nine-year-old, mentally challenged daughter, Digger. Yolie and Anese tease Vanessa that she can change her present situation if she starts working as an escort. When Vanessa loses her job as a housekeeper, their suggestion does not seem so unreasonable. Each woman has dreams and is willing to make sacrifices to get out of her present situation. Yolie moves to Scottsdale, Anese heads to Vegas, and Kennedy goes to a prestigious music academy. Their poverty united them, and the things they did in the dark tore them apart; a rewarding read is the result. ~Lillian Lewis
Kiss the Sky
By: Farai Chideya
Description: In this uninhibited rock-and-roll soap opera of a novel, Chideya presents a portrait of a suffering artist who sports a r?sum? similar to her own. Black Harvard graduate Sophie ?Sky? Lee makes her living as a music television host in Manhattan, but her first love is making music with her band. Its initial incarnation turned into a disaster when her husband, Ari (now her ex), became a heroin addict, but a reunion concert convinces the band members that it?s worth another try. With the help of a slick new manager who is also her latest love interest, Sky decides it?s time to give herself over to her music. But the same demons that feed her creativity work to undermine her stability as she battles addictions to food and alcohol. The band sets out on tour, with stops along the way in the South, home to her large and loving family, while Sky vents about her weight and her lover. Full of passionate descriptions of performing, drinking, and sexual encounters, this debut is a messy but engaging shout-out to the rock-and-roll life. ~Joanne Wilkinson
A Deep Dark Secret
By: Kimberla Lawson-Roby
Description: On the outside, twelve-year-old Jillian Maxwell is the perfect child. She's helpful with chores around the house, gets straight As in school, has plans for college, and stays out of trouble. She seems to have everything a girl could want: a big, beautiful new home, an adoring little sister, a mother who cares about her, and an attentive stepfather.
But inside, Jillian harbors a terrible secret.
Too frightened to tell, convinced that her friends and loved ones, especially her mother, won't understand?and worse, will blame her?Jillian endures her pain in silence, believing that things will get better. However, as time passes and her dilemma intensifies, the bright, hardworking girl becomes sullen and disinterested in her studies. Then, just when it seems she's on the verge of losing everything, Jillian discovers she has more strength than she ever imagined?and the power to change her fate.
With sensitivity and grace, Kimberla Lawson Roby addresses a very real and serious issue, while delivering the inspiring tale of one family's mission to shed light into the darkest corner of their lives.
Up To No Good
By: Carl Weber
Description: There's always a man around the corner, and church trustee James Black should know--he's usually that very man. The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Something on the Side" introduces a deliciously dysfunctional family in this new page-turning novel filled with intrigue, sex, and surprises. Annotation: The Black family has a few issues to work out. The father, James, is finally ready to put his player days behind him and settle down, but his lover is the same age as his daughter, Jamie, who has problems of her own, as she tries to discover the mystery woman who has been stalking her man. Meanwhile, James's son Darnel catches his fiance in bed with his best friend, Omar, and he finds himself in jail after exacting a brutal vengeance. This is only the beginning of the soap opera, as the family fights to stick together through a series of unbelievable twists and turns, both in the streets and between the sheets.
By: Mary B. Morrison and Noire
Description: New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison pairs with Queen of Urban Erotica Noire to deliver two tantalizing novellas about sex, revenge - and getting what you deserve.
Character of a Man: By, Mary B. Morrison
Seven Stephens seems to have it all - money, mansion and a man - but is taken by surprise when her fiance tells her the wedding is off if she can't lose twenty-five pounds in six weeks. In no time, she's out the door and headed for Punany Paradise for a sensual workout that's both sweet revenge and sweet surrender?
Sugar-Honey-Ice Tee: By, Noire
Blow, Nap, and Tomere are three grimy playahs from the hood. Nicknamed Dirty, Dastardly, and Depraved, these three NFL stars have no problem living up to their names on and off the field. But when they scheme to take out their biggest competition, a promising quarterback, they finally meet their match. Not in a vengeful ball player, but in three wicked and sexy sistahs. And it won't take Sugar, Honey, or Ice Tee long to wreck everything in their path. Because vicious hotties always take whatever they want and ruin whatever they please?
By: Nathan McCall
Description: Forty-year-old Barlowe Reed is a hardworking printer, renting a house in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta. His nephew Tyrone is his only steady companion, now that his erstwhile girlfriend has dumped him. He feels adrift, chafing at the limited opportunities for a black man with less than a high-school education and aggravated by Them?bureaucrats, bosses, ex-girlfriends, but mostly white folks. Wondering about his next step in life?whether he should buy the house he lives in or switch to a higher-paying job?Barlowe discovers that his new next-door neighbors are white. The couple, Sean and Sandy, have joined the ranks of yuppies gentrifying the area. Sandy makes tentative approaches to Barlowe as her husband steams under every negative incident. The neighbors are a microcosm of what is happening throughout the community, as whites assert their desire to change the area and blacks assert their desire for things to remain unchanged. McCall, author of Makes Me Wanna Holler (1994), offers a sensitive look at the dynamics of gentrification. ~Vanessa Bush