It was February 11, 2012, the night before the Grammy Awards, when the world of music was rocked with the news of the death of Whitney Houston (the most awarded female artist of all time). Many saw her as this generation’s Billie Holiday, others will always remember her as the once-in-a-lifetime voice that was literally snatched from this world too soon. That is the view of her mom, Cissy Houston, who debuts her book, Remembering Whitney this week. And it leads our Hit List. Also on the list is a memoir by a black man raised in Germany during the Nazi regime. He talks about survival and identity. There’s also a book about “black” hair and a children’s book about a boy with a strange face.
Since the beginning of time the sins of the world rested firmly on the head of one woman: Eve. Since then, throughout time women have been vilified and subjugated and that one bitten apple has been at the center of much of the misogyny. Edith Deen uses the same bible to tell quite a different story of the role of women that expands beyond Eve, Jezebel and Mary. And it couldn’t come at a better time as women and their rights are under attack both in the United States and abroad. Political men continue to debate over what a women will be allowed to do with her body, woman are ganged raped and murdered in public while protesting for their human rights. Most of which is rooted and justified by an inaccurate twisted version of a religious text it is time we go to the source and learn for ourselves the important roles that three hundred woman played in the best selling book of all time.
Author of more than 30 books including The Vampire Chroniclesand The Mayfair Witch series, Rice is known as the grand dame of the supernatural. She had moved away from the genre for a while as she committed more of her writing to honor her faith, but she’s back. In this new series she’s moved from vampires to focus on their only natural enemy: Werewolves. In The Wolf Gift, reporter Reuben Golding is on assignment when he meets and is seduced by a beautiful young woman. What would have been the perfect night of passion takes a horrific turn when they are both violently attacked and mauled by a beast. Reuben survives but at what cost? Who will answer all the questions he has about the new world that he has been thrust into and more importantly, is he good or evil? And does he have a choice?
Imagine growing up in Nazi Germany at the height of Hitler’s reign and his quest for an Aryan nation, and you are not only not blonde-haired and blue-eyed, but are brown-skinned and kinky-haired. This was the life of Hans Massaquoi. Now imagine being a black boy during the Hitler regime and wanting to be a part of Hitler’s dream. He was the son of a German nurse and the Liberian general counsul to Germany, who left Germany during the rise of The Third Reich. Massaquoi bought into the anti-Semitism until he discovered that his brown skin was also a target. While he escaped extermination, he found refuge in books by Jules Verne and James Fennimore Cooper and stories about the likes of Jesse Owens and Joe Louis. Massaquoi died a couple of weeks ago in Florida at the age of 87, but his story of self discovery lives beyond that period in our world history.
Ladies, while the world would like to have you believe that your hair is a strange type of anti-matter from another world, the truth is it is your crowning glory, because it is yours. In Better Than Good Hair, Nikki Walton gives you valuable information and instruction on how to style and care for textured, natural hair. I personally, have been natural my entire life, and I have truly grown to embrace every strand on my head. I have a dream that the days of balded edges, and hairlines that start by the ears caused by too-tight weaves and braids, and perms that leave broken hair on pillows, are a thing of the past for little girls and women with textured hair everywhere. This book is a great start for anyone considering going “natural” to learn how to manage your mane.
In her debut novel, R.J. Palacio calls Wonder her meditation on kindness. Auggie, like most little boys his age is starting the fifth grade. However, he is also starting school for the very first time. Auggie had been home-schooled because of his severe facial deformities. With his eyes and mouth not exactly placed where they should be, Auggie knows that he is a startling sight but he has gotten used to the shock on people’s faces when they see him. Despite his deformities, he just wants to fit in and be treated like everyone else. Unfortunately, his classmates are not able to get past his face of wonder. How does Auggie handle the jeers of of his peers? And can he make his dream of fitting in come true? Perhaps it is going to take the power and courage of friendship.
To my hardcore reading audience (especially Michelle Petrillo), who have waited nearly 15 years for a sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever, your wait is finally over! In A Deeper Love, Sister Souljah picks up with Porsche Santiaga, the younger sister of Winter Santiaga. Porsche has the same fighting spirit as her big sister whom she worships. And like her father Rick Santiaga, she was born to hustle. Porsche refuses to accept her new life of group homes, juvenile hall, the foster care system that she was thrust into after her family was blown apart. With youth and beauty on her side, Porsche sets out to reclaim her status and all that belonged to the wealthy Santiago family. Can Sister Souljah reclaim the magic that catapulted her into fiction legendry with The Coldest Winter Ever? Will this satisfy those long-suffering fans?
It is the one-year anniversary of the death Whitney Houston and I still remember where I was when I learned that she had passed. As the subtitle of this book says, that was truly the night the music stopped for many because that voice, The Voice, will never be again. Whitney’s struggles with drugs are well chronicles, but what isn’t known is exactly what was happening behind the scenes with her family…until now. Her mother breaks her silence and paints a picture of tragedy and triumph that is both very sad and at the same time inspiring. In Remembering Whitney, Whitney’s mom, Ms. Cissy Houston, cathartically expresses how she felt at different moments throughout Whitney’s life and career, including the night she found out she lost her only daughter. Ms. Houston says the book is a tribute to Whitney and a chance for the world to glean just a little of what her daughter was like as person before the drugs and before reality television filmed her downward spiral near the end of her life, which all seemed to loom larger than the gift of music she gave to the world.