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> **The Book Recommendation Thread**, Since Yendor was too lazy to start it...
Mary Poppins
Posted: May 19 2006, 10:51 AM
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Post all your good book recommendations here. maryluvs_smile.gif


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Phillip
Posted: May 19 2006, 10:58 AM
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Coming-of-age story of a black girl in 1960's Chicago. Jean ``Stevie'' Stevenson is a child of the working poor. Her father is a hospital janitor, her mother is a bank teller, and Grandma owns a popular South Side chicken-stand. Sixth-grader Stevie, meanwhile, is tired of her mother's rules, her refusal to countenance ``black English,'' her attempts to make Stevie a dreaded ``L7'' (square). Stevie's dream is to be popular and cool, and her wish is granted when ``all the way cool'' Carla invites her to a party. Soon Stevie has had her first period, her first kiss (from sexy Yusef), and is learning that cool is not necessarily kind, for that dog Yusef has his classmates spy while the two show themselves to each other. All this is fresh and authentic. The trouble starts with Stevie's arrival at high school, which coincides with the ``black is beautiful'' period (it's 1967). Here, the flow is disrupted by obvious setups intended to make points about race and sexual orientation. Stevie and Carla happen on their white art-teacher having a date with a black man--puppets miming the interracial experimentation of the period. At school, the sympathetic Nurse Horn puts Stevie in a quandary: Is it possible to be friends with a white woman, who may even be ``funny'' (lesbian)? The question overshadows Stevie's almost consummated relationship with Sean, a straight-arrow senior, and although the good nurse answers it in best Ann Landers style (``because you have a schoolgirl crush on me doesn't make you a homosexual''), Stevie ends up dwarfed by her author's agenda. Sinclair's story works fine when she gives her characters room to breathe. A fair-to-middling debut.
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Mary Poppins
Posted: May 19 2006, 10:59 AM
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Here are some of the books I read that were so damn good:

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

ANYTHING by James Patterson (especially the Alex Cross series)
The Simple Truth - David Baldacci
A Time To Kill, The Pelican Brief, and The Chamber - John Grisham
DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

Ghetto Ass Books

The Coldest Winter Ever - Sista Soulja
B-More Careful - Shannon Holmes
Let That Be The Reason - Vikki Stringer
True To The Game - Teri Woods

Horror

It - Stephen King
Phantoms - Dean Koontz
Nightshade - John Saul

Miscellanous

White Oleander - Can't think of the name of the author
Backroads - Tawni O'Dell
The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
Memories of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

NonFiction

Rich Dad Poor Dad
Witsec (history of the Witness Protection Program)


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Phillip
Posted: May 19 2006, 11:00 AM
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A novel about a bisexual black woman's pilgrim's progress through the 1970s can be said to conform to the aesthetic of Norman Rockwell, this is it. Jean Stevenson, aka Stevie, the heroine of Coffee Will Make You Black, leaves her native Chicago for college in an unnamed Midwestern city. In Sinclair's cursory treatment of those years, Stevie settles in with a mixed group of friends and takes her first female lover. A graduation trip to San Francisco results in an extended stay, and she meets Traci, an attractive feminist, and moves into her extra bedroom. After the women become lovers, Traci guides Stevie through the worlds of sex, drugs and gay politics. When the relationship dissolves, Stevie moves in with Sterling, a gay drag queen. Now employed, and with new friends, she continues to explore her sexuality through affairs with Sterling's brother and a female co-worker. When her grandmother takes ill, Stevie gains some much-needed insight, leading to a resolution that ends the novel on a happy note. With the exception of Stevie and Traci, Sinclair's characters are all types: effeminate gays, militant black nationalists, etc. Stevie narrates all this with good humor. She's engaging enough, but the sunny earnestness of it all will make some readers long for at least some of the layered wit that Armistead Maupin brought to me-generation San Francisco in Tales of the City. There's a lot of self-exploration here, but it's much wider than it is deep: Sinclair surrounds everything with a nostalgic haze that does justice to neither the personal nor the political aspects of her themes of feminism, sexuality and race. Author tour.
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Phillip
Posted: May 19 2006, 11:02 AM
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I am not young, or thin, or white, or beautiful," says the narrator of Sinclair's worldly-wise and entertaining new novel. Gun-shy after several catastrophic relationships, Chicago deejay Daphne (Dee Dee) Dupree is an outwardly successful African-American woman aching for self-realization. Sassy from the safety of her broadcasting booth, the heavy-set 41-year-old jauntily offers her weight as the cause of a recent breakup ("The brotha didn't 'preciate my meat"). In reality, Dee Dee struggles with the shame of being fat and bulimic. She yearns for mature love and the self-confidence she's sure will accompany finding the right man. Meanwhile, relationships she's relied on as stable fall into flux: the 20-year marriage of her high school friends Sarita and Phil is falling apart; her best friend, Sharon, has come bursting out of the closet, an enthusiastic lesbian at 40; Jade, her belly-dancing instructor and fellow deejay, is on the cusp of ending an unhappy marriage. Dee Dee's only constant is her cat, Langston. The mixed blessing of a sexual harassment suit at work brings union mediator Skylar into her life. Attraction notwithstanding, their romance is tentative and obstructed; his (white) ex-wife is trying to reconcile with him and his eight-year-old daughter relentlessly blocks her father's new interest. In the course of sorting all this out, Dee Dee takes stock and faces some long repressed childhood memories. Refreshingly upbeat and robustly spiritual, the novel steers clear of sentimental inspirational writing by means of its frank and funny dialogue, and follows Sinclair's (Coffee Will Make You Black; Ain't Gonna Be the Same Fool Twice) earlier successes admirably. Paperback rights to Avon; author tour.
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lovemarisol
Posted: May 19 2006, 11:40 AM
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I don't read much but I did really like "Tears for Water" by Alicia Keys. She had some excellent poems in there.


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Johan
Posted: Jun 2 2006, 09:45 AM
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E. Lynn Harris' new book "I Say a little prayer"

I highly recommend this book. I just finished reading it yesterday, and I must say... maryluvs_thumbup.gif


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Josh
Posted: Jun 2 2006, 01:50 PM
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Patrick Suskind - Perfume : The Story of a Murderer

Even though I hate that in the English translation they added that part in the parenthesis. maryluvs_smh.gif


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shaimaryj
Posted: Jun 16 2006, 03:34 AM
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I read this book last year and it was REALLY REALLY good...especially if you like the murder mystery type books....It takes place during the Harlem Renaissance and deals with murder, deception, family secrets, race issues, the whole lightskin/darkskin mentality, sex, and everything else under the sun, lol...This is from Amazon:

Walker's highly competent murder mystery, set during the Harlem Renaissance, features exotic locales, an odd supporting cast, worthy subplots and a baffling set of clues. At the center of this carefully constructed tale of murder, deception and betrayal is a twisty whodunit based on the efforts of David McKay, a young black attorney from one of Harlem's most respected families, to find out how his level-headed sister Lilian really died. Why would Lilian, a reclusive, conservative, sensible young woman, hang out in dives, hobnob with gangsters and become pregnant before her suspicious suicide? Like a character in a Nero Wolfe caper, David visits Lilian's haunts and quizzes her new friends, unraveling a host of dark secrets about her while also learning about the Harlem art world and nightlife. Walker slyly taunts and teases readers with her shrewdly rendered characters: Gem, the twin sister with a heart of glass; Lilian's husband, Jameson Sweet, a conniving gigolo; Rachel, an old flame of David's; Neila Harding, the bestselling author with a yen for David; and mysterious crime boss Adrian Snyder. Although the ending could have packed a stronger punch, and the prose is overworked in places ("the sun hung low in the sky with a dull, metallic gleam, like a watch dangling from a banker's pocket"), it's entertaining to watch the various pieces of Walker's puzzle come together.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Code Orange
Posted: Jun 17 2006, 07:17 PM
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I read this book in my Language Arts methods class. I am a fan of realistic fiction and if you are, this book is highly recommended. It just one you can't put down cause you want to know what will happen next.



Synopsis:

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...



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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Aug 29 2006, 01:35 PM
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maryluvs_laughing.gif I just saw this thread.

I been telling you about this book for a while now. I have never read a book and got so wrapped up in a character like this one.


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"She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb wub.gif
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"Mine is a story of craving; an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered." So begins the story of Dolores Price, the unconventional heroine of Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. Dolores is a class-A emotional basket case, and why shouldn't she be? She's suffered almost every abuse and familial travesty that exists: Her father is a violent, philandering liar; her mother has the mental and emotional consistency of Jell-O; and the men in her life are probably the gender's most loathsome creatures. But Dolores is no quitter; she battles her woes with a sense of self-indulgence and gluttony rivaled only by Henry VIII. Hers is a dysfunctional Wonder Years, where growing up in the golden era was anything but ideal. While most kids her age were dealing with the monumental importance of the latest Beatles single and how college turned an older sibling into a long-haired hippie, Dolores was grappling with such issues as divorce, rape, and mental illness. Whether you're disgusted by her antics or moved by her pathetic ploys, you'll be drawn into Dolores's warped, hilarious, Mallomar-munching world.


I've read this book 3 times. maryluvs_thumbup.gif
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Alek Wek
Posted: Aug 29 2006, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE (Juicy P. Bush @ May 19 2006, 09:46 AM)


Ghetto Ass Books

The Coldest Winter Ever - Sista Soulja
B-More Careful - Shannon Holmes




love them...
I also love FINDING FISH by Antwon Fisher


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...and somehow I am still not as creepy as most of the stan's on here
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Rhapsody In Blue
Posted: Oct 2 2006, 09:00 AM
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Originally released in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro continues to resonate today, raising questions that readers are still trying to answer. The impact of slavery on the Black psyche is explored and questions are raised about our education system, such as what and who African Americans are educated for, the difference between education and training, and which of these African Americans are receiving. Woodson provides solutions to these challenges, but these require more study, discipline, and an Afrocentric worldview. This new edition contains a biographical profile of the author, a new introduction, and study questions.

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Fourteen stories deal with the interaction of Blacks and whites in 1930s America, including the stories of an ailing musician, a moonlighting student, and a clever charlatan.



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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Jun 16 2008, 10:09 AM
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QUOTE (Jefferson St. Joe @ Aug 29 2006, 01:35 PM)
maryluvs_laughing.gif I just saw this thread.

I been telling you about this book  for a while now.  I have never read a book and got so wrapped up in a character like this one.


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"She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb  wub.gif


I've read this book 3 times. maryluvs_thumbup.gif

*Bump* maryluvs_whistling.gif
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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Mar 2 2009, 10:54 AM
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QUOTE (Mrs. So Flyy @ May 19 2006, 10:49 AM)
Angels & Demons - Dan Brown


maryluvs_thumbup.gif I finally got a chance to read this. I actually liked this one better than "The Davinci Code". There was a lot more action and suspense and what seemed like 100 different twist in the last few chapters.

I hope the movie can keep true to the book.
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Mary Poppins
Posted: Mar 3 2009, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (Jefferson St. Joe @ Mar 2 2009, 09:44 AM)
QUOTE (Mrs. So Flyy @ May 19 2006, 10:49 AM)
Angels & Demons - Dan Brown


maryluvs_thumbup.gif I finally got a chance to read this. I actually liked this one better than "The Davinci Code". There was a lot more action and suspense and what seemed like 100 different twist in the last few chapters.

I hope the movie can keep true to the book.

I liked this one better than The DaVinci Code too! maryluvs_thumbup.gif


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