Sing, Unburied, Sing by:Jesmyn Ward
A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward.
In Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi’s past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.
Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.
Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.
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To Funk and Die in LA by: Nelson George
To Funk and Die in LA, the fourth book in the D Hunter crime-fiction series, brings the ex-bodyguard to the City of Angels on a stand-alone mission when his grandfather, businessman Daniel “Big Danny” Hunter, is shot dead in a drive-by. Why would someone execute a grocery store owner? D soon finds there was more to Big Danny’s life than selling loaves of bread. The old man, it turns out, was deeply involved with Dr. Funk, a legendary musical innovator who has become a mysterious recluse.
Most of the novel takes place in the LA neighborhoods of Crenshaw, Koreatown, and Pico-Union–areas where black, Asian, and Latino cultures intersect away from the glamour of Hollywood–and echoes of the 1992 riots play a significant role in D’s investigation. In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Walter Mosley, D Hunter rides through the mean streets of Los Angeles seeking truth and not always finding justice.
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Take The Lid Off by:Smokie Norful
Pastor and Grammy-winning musician Smokie Norful inspires readers to go to God and experience more fulfillment, delight, power, and success than they ever dreamed.
According to Smokie Norful, sometimes our lives feel like a pot of rice in his grandmother’s kitchen: hissing, boiling over, about to explode and create panic. The only way to avoid an explosion is to take the lid off–that is, to stop being trapped inside ourselves and instead look to God and his grace to make us all he intends us to be. Taking the lid off, Norful argues, entails four actions: look inward, experiencing the cleansing of forgiveness and the power of the Holy Spirit; look outward, seeking for others to experience the joy of living for God and have the best God has to offer; look upward and marvel at God’s love and strength to accomplish his purposes; and move onward, devising a strategy to accomplish all God has put in our hearts to do.
When we take the lid off by taking these four steps, the pressure goes down, we gain peace and perception, and things work out much better in the end. When we finally take the lid off, we can become the people God has created us to be and do what we were intended to do. We get in touch with the unlimited power of his Spirit, we’re directed by the challenge of his purposes, and we experience the joy of seeing him use us to change lives. All of us need help in taking the lid off in order to trust God, take action, and reach our full potential.
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Temptation: The Aftermath by:Victoria Christopher Murray
The best of friends….
Since they were five years old, Jasmine Cox Larson Bush and Kyla Blake had a bond that could not be broken. They shared secrets, marked milestones, and held each other up through life’s adversities. It was a friendship that they both thought would last forever. But when Jasmine’s jealousy led her to seduce Kyla’s husband, Dr. Jefferson Blake, that bond was severed and their friendship was damaged forever….
The worst of times….
Now, twenty years later, a major tragedy brings the two together when Jefferson, in New York for a medical convention, is shot in an attempted robbery. It’s the love that Jasmine once had for Kyla that sends her rushing to the hospital to be by her friend’s side. Kyla, despondent and distraught, just wants answers….and when a mysterious woman appears, it’s Jasmine who believes that woman may hold the key to what happened to Jefferson.
While Kyla doesn’t believe that this woman has any meaning, Jasmine is not so sure. Will Jasmine uncover a secret that Jefferson is hiding? And when she does find out the truth, what will she do with it? Will she destroy Kyla’s life or will she do anything to protect her friend from the same devastation that she caused her twenty years before?
In a riveting twenty-year anniversary sequel to the bestselling Temptation, Victoria Christopher Murray weaves a tale of what happens once friendships are bonded, then broken and all the consequences of the aftermath.
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Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies by:Dick Gregory
With his trademark acerbic wit, incisive humor, and infectious paranoia, one of our foremost comedians and most politically engaged civil rights activists looks back at 100 key events from the complicated history of black America.
A friend of luminaries including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers, and the forebear of today’s popular black comics, including Larry Wilmore, W. Kamau Bell, Damon Young, and Trevor Noah, Dick Gregory has been a provocative and incisive cultural force for more than fifty years. As an entertainer, he has always kept it indisputably real about race issues in America, fearlessly lacing laughter with hard truths. As a leading activist against injustice, he marched at Selma during the Civil Rights movement, organized student rallies to protest the Vietnam War; sat in at rallies for Native American and feminist rights; fought apartheid in South Africa; and participated in hunger strikes in support of Black Lives Matter.
In this collection of thoughtful, provocative essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience. In his unapologetically candid voice, he moves from African ancestry and surviving the Middle Passage to the creation of the Jheri Curl, the enjoyment of bacon and everything pig, the headline-making shootings of black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement. A captivating journey through time, The Most Defining Moments in Black History According to Dick Gregory explores historical movements such as The Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as cultural touchstones such as Sidney Poitier winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies in the Field and Billie Holiday releasing Strange Fruit.
An engaging look at black life that offers insightful commentary on the intricate history of the African American people, The Most Defining Moments in Black History According to Dick Gregory is an essential, no-holds-bar history lesson that will provoke, enlighten, and entertain.
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Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. by:Danielle S. Allen
So tender yet courageous is this fierce family memoir that it makes mass incarceration nothing less than a new American tragedy.
Michael Alexander Allen, baby cousin of an extended family, was first arrested at fifteen for an attempted carjacking. Tried as an adult and sentenced to thirteen years, Michael served eleven. Three years after his release, he was shot and killed. Why? Why did this gifted young man, who dreamed of being a firefighter and a writer, end up dead? Why did he languish in prison? And why at fifteen was he in an alley in South Central LA, holding a gun while trying to steal someone’s car? “Cuz” means both “cousin” and “because.” Danielle Allen grew up with Michael and, in 2006 when Michael got out of prison, was cousin-on-duty, shouldering the responsibility to support his fresh start while juggling the demands of her own promising academic career. In this Ellisonian story of a young African American man’s coming-of-age in late twentieth-century America, and of the family who will always love Michael, we learn how we lost a generation.
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Picturing Prince: An Intimate Portrait by:Steve Parke
PICTURING PRINCE sees the late icon’s former art director, STEVE PARKE, revealing stunning intimate photographs of the singer from his time working at Paisley Park. At least half of the images in the book are exclusively published here for the first time; most other images in the book are rare to the public eye.
This edition also includes 16 pages of lost photographs, all of which have recently been uncovered by the author from within his extensive archive.
Alongside these remarkable images are fifty engaging, poignant and often funny written vignettes by Parke, which reveal the very human man behind the reclusive superstar: from shooting hoops to renting out movie theatres at 4am; from midnight requests for camels to meaningful conversations that shed light on Prince as a man and artist.
STEVE PARKE started working with Prince in 1988, after a mutual friend showed Prince some of Steve’s photorealistic paintings. He designed everything from album covers and merchandise to sets for Prince’s tours and videos. Somewhere in all of this, he became Paisley Park’s official art director. He began photographing Prince at the request of the star himself, and continued to do so for the next several years. The images in this book are the arresting result of this collaboration.
Kindle Release: 4/6/17
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