Fiction

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillanI Almost Forgot About You by:Terry McMillan
In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life–great friends, family, and successful career–aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, including quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Georgia’s bravery reminds us that it’s never too late to become the person you want to be, and that taking chances, with your life and your heart, are always worthwhile.

Big-hearted, genuine, and very universal, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. It’s everything you’ve always loved about Terry McMillan.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle),  (Hardcover) or (Paperback)

Homegoing by Yaa GyasiHomegoing by:Yaa Gyasi
A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different tribal villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle’s women’s dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi’s novel moves through histories and geographies and captures—with outstanding economy and force—the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle), (Hardcover) or (Large Paperback)

The Gilded Years by Karin TanabeThe Gilded Years: A Novel by:Karin Tanabe
In 1897, one young woman risks everything to earn a college degree—but the secret she hides could be her undoing. Passing meets The House of Mirth in this captivating reimagining of a remarkable true story.

Since childhood, Anita Hemmings has longed to attend the country’s most exclusive school for women, Vassar College. Now, a bright, beautiful senior in the class of 1897, she is hiding a secret that would have banned her from admission: Anita is the only African-American student ever to attend Vassar. With her olive complexion and dark hair, this daughter of a janitor and descendant of slaves has successfully passed as white, but now finds herself rooming with Louise “Lottie” Taylor, the scion of one of New York’s most prominent families.

Though Anita has kept herself at a distance from her classmates, Lottie’s sphere of influence is inescapable, her energy irresistible, and the two become fast friends. Pulled into her elite world, Anita learns what it’s like to be treated as a wealthy, educated white woman—the person everyone believes her to be—and even finds herself in a heady romance with a moneyed Harvard student. It’s only when Lottie becomes infatuated with Anita’s brother, Frederick, whose skin is almost as light as his sister’s, that the situation becomes particularly perilous. And as Anita’s college graduation looms, those closest to her will be the ones to dangerously threaten her secret.

Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Gilded Age, an era when old money traditions collided with modern ideas, Tanabe has written an unputdownable and emotionally compelling story of hope, sacrifice, and betrayal—and a gripping account of how one woman dared to risk everything for the chance at a better life.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle), (Hardcover), (Paperback),  (Audible)

Non-Fiction

Love Louder by Preston SmilesLove Louder: 33 Ways to Amplify Your Life by:Preston Smiles
Ex-gang member-turned-inspirational messenger Preston Smiles shakes things up in the world of personal development, sharing a uniquely modern, love-based approach on how to live with more excitement, clarity, and confidence.

Preston Smiles, born in Compton and raised in Los Angeles, is no stranger to a life of adventure. As a teen he joined a local gang that was first involved in petty burglary but later escalated into more dangerous crimes. One night when Preston was fifteen, he was faced with a decision to take a routine ride of mischief with the friends or stay home. Intuition told him not to go. Within an hour, everyone in that car was shot. This tragic event shook him to his core and catapulted him to finding higher purpose for himself.

Love Louder presents a positive approach for getting more love and meaning out of life. With the lessons he’s learned through the years, he distills ancient wisdom and new thought teachings into thirty-three timeless tools to living your best life and asks questions such as:

-What do you truly believe you deserve? Are your actions reflecting that?

-What are you a slave to? Facebook? Twitter? Alcohol? Him? Her?

-Do you have the need to be “right” all the time?

Love Louder can help you tackle these everyday challenges and teach you how to live with more excitement, productivity, clarity, and confidence. Full of insights and powerful anecdotes, Preston’s motivational story is a heartwarming read for anyone seeking guidance on overall happiness and fulfillment in life.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase:  (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Black Man, White House by D. L. HughleyBlack Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years by:D. L. Hughley
From legendary comedian D.L. Hughley comes a bitingly funny send-up of the Obama years, as “told” by the key political players on both sides of the aisle.

What do the Clintons, Republicans, fellow Democrats, and Obama’s own family really think of President Barack Obama? Finally, the truth is revealed in this raucously funny “oral history” parody.

There is no more astute—and hilarious—critic of politics, entertainment, and race in America than D. L. Hughley, famed comedian, radio star, and original member of the “Kings of Comedy.” In the vein of Jon Stewart’s America: The Book, Black Man, White House is an acerbic and witty take on Obama’s two terms, looking at the president’s accomplishments and foibles through the imagined eyes of those who saw history unfold.

Hughley draws upon satirical interviews with the most notorious public figures of our day: Mitt Romney (“What’s ‘poverty’? Is that some sort of rap jargon?”); Nancy Pelosi (“I play F**k/Marry/Kill, and there’s a lot more kills than fu**ks in Congress, believe me.”); Rod Blagojevich (“You can’t sell political offices on eBay; I discovered that personally.”); Joe Biden (“I like wrestling.”); and other politicians, media pundits, and buffoons. It is sure to be the most irreverent—and perhaps the most honest—look at American politics today.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

There Goes My Social Life  by Stacey DashThere Goes My Social Life by:Stacey Dash
In 2012, actress Stacey Dash posted a tweet that changed her life. Up until that moment, Dash had lived a typical Hollywood life: Best known for playing Dionne in the 1995 teen classic Clueless, Dash had close friends in the upper echelons of the movie and music industries—and she had an Obama bumper sticker on the back of her BMW. But in 2012, sick of being disappointed by the Obama White House and growing more certain of her conservative beliefs, Dash endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Twitter. The backlash was swift and brutal.

In There Goes My Social Life, Stacey Dash explains how she became a conservative, sharing incredible stories of her rough upbringing in South Bronx and her tumultuous Hollywood career to movingly illustrate her strong opinions about the value of a good education, the importance of family, the inanity of political correctness, and the power of personal responsibility.
Release: 6/6/16
Click to purchase:  (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen KarpKanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big by: Jensen Karp
After the Beastie Boys and Vanilla Ice (but before Eminem), there was “Hot Karl,” the Jewish kid from the LA suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.

When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend’s bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. In Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp will finally tell the true story of his wild ride as “Hot Karl,” the most famous white rapper you’ve never heard of.

On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that “rap is for black people,” and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio show “Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ’00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.

Full of rollicking stories of sex, drugs, and hip hop from his close brush with fame, this hilarious memoir is perfect for the person who reads Rap Genius, impresses friends with “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” at karaoke, and watches rap battles online. If you bought Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, or saw Straight Outta Compton its opening weekend, Kanye West Owes Me $300 is for you. At its heart, Jensen’s memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the world of hip-hop—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Shining by Abdi AdenShining: The Story of a Lucky Man by:Abdi Aden, Robert Hillman
A remarkably warm-hearted, uplifting and inspiring story of one boy’s survival against the odds. Abdi’s world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia’s vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others,heading to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost four months, they arrived in at refugee camps in Kenya – of the group he’d set out with, only five had survived. All alone in the world and desperate to find his family, Abdi couldn’t stay in Kenya, so he turned around and undertook the dangerous journey back to Mogadishu. But the search was fruitless, and eventually Abdi made his way – alone, with no money in his pockets – to Romania, then to Germany, completely dependent on the kindess of strangers. He was just seventeen years old when he arrived in Melbourne. He had no English, no family or friends, no money, no home. Yet, against the odds, he not only survived, he thrived. Abdi went on to complete secondary education and later university. He became a youth worker, was acknowledged with the 2007 Victorian Refugee Recognition Award and was featured in the SBS second series of Go Back to Where You Came From. Despite what he has gone through, Abdi is a most inspiring man, who is constantly thankful for his life and what he has. Everything he has endured and achieved is testament to his quiet strength and courage, his resilience and most of all, his warm-hearted, shining and enduring optimism. ‘Powerful and uplifting’ Bookseller + Publisher ‘Aden’s odyssey belongs to our time … Here is a man who counts his blessings and has an inspiring story to tell.’ Sydney Morning Herald
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Children & Young Adults

Steamboat School by Deborah HopkinsonSteamboat School by:Deborah Hopkinson
Missouri, 1847

When James first started school, his sister practically had to drag him there. The classroom was dark and dreary, and James knew everything outside was more exciting than anything he’d find inside.

But his teacher taught him otherwise.

“We make our own light here,” Reverend Meachum told James.

And through hard work and learning, they did, until their school was shut down by a new law forbidding African American education in Missouri. Determined to continue teaching his students, Reverend John Berry Meachum decided to build a new school—a floating school in the Mississippi River, just outside the boundary of the unjust law.

Based on true events, Ron Husband’s uplifting illustrations bring to life Deborah Hopkinson’s tale of a resourceful, determined teacher; his bright, inquisitive students; and their refusal to accept discrimination based on the color of their skin.
Release: 6/7/16
Click to purchase: (Hardcover)

Justin #1 (Blacktop) by LJ AlongeJustin #1 (Blacktop) by:LJ Alonge
A street smart, action-packed basketball series from debut author LJ Alonge.

Justin has a list of goals stashed under his mattress. Number 1 is “figure out life plans.” Number 5 is “Earn Zen Master rating in WoW.” Nowhere on that list is “Play the crew from Ghosttown,” but that’s the type of trouble that always seems to find him.

The debut title from LJ Alonge’s new basketball series pulses with action on and off the court. With wit, humor, and honesty, Justin unfolds over one hot summer in Oakland, California.
Release: 6/7/16
Ages: 12 And Up, Grades: 7 And Up
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Mass Market Paperback)

Janae #2 (Blacktop) by LJ AlongeJanae #2 (Blacktop) by:LJ Alonge
A street smart, action-packed basketball series from debut author LJ Alonge.

The second title in LJ Alonge’s basketball series explodes with action as the crew takes on a new set of competitors. Shots are missed, tempers flare, and winning takes on a whole new meaning.
Release: 6/7/16
Ages: 12 And Up, Grades: 7 And Up
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Mass Market Paperback)