Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Crayons (1st Time in a Long Time)

Whew finally a New Crayons post! I missed posting about new books. Borders closing has hurt my wallet significantly but ah well, it's for the greater good haha :)

From Borders (1st trip)

Till You Hear From Me by Pearl Cleage

From the acclaimed Pearl Cleage, author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day . . . and Seen It All and Done the Rest, comes an Obama-era romance featuring a cast of unforgettable characters.

Just when it appears that all her hard work on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is about to pay off with a White House job, thirty-five-year-old Ida B. Wells Dunbar finds herself on Washington, D.C.’s post-election sidelines even as her twentysomething counterparts overrun the West Wing. Adding to her woes, her father, the Reverend Horace A. Dunbar, Atlanta civil rights icon and self-described “foot soldier for freedom,” is notoriously featured on an endlessly replayed YouTube clip in which his pronouncements don’t exactly jibe with the new era in American politics.

The Rev’s stinging words and myopic views don’t sound anything like the man who raised Ida to make her mark in the world. When friends call to express their concern, Ida realizes it’s time to head home and see for herself what’s going on. Besides, with her job prospects growing dimmer, getting out of D.C. for a while might be the smartest move she could make.

Back in her old West End neighborhood, Ida runs into childhood friend and smooth political operator Wes Harper, also in town to pay a visit to the Reverend Dunbar, his mentor. Ida doesn’t trust Wes or his mysterious connections for one second, but she can’t deny her growing attraction to him.

While Ida and the Rev try to find the balance between personal loyalties and political realities, they must do some serious soul searching in order to get things back on track before Wes permanently derails their best laid plans.

-To be perfectly honest I picked this book up because it said "Obama-era" I love hearing/reading those words! But I also picked this book up because people (specifically Doret) speak highly of Pearl Cleage. I'm not going to be able to read a lot starting (basically now) but I'm hoping to finish this book at least before school starts.

Substitute Me by Lori Tharps

Zora Anderson is a 30-year-old African American middle class, college educated woman, trained as a chef, looking for a job. As fate would have it, Kate and Brad Carter, a married couple, aspiring professionals with a young child are looking for a nanny.

Zora seems perfect. She’s an enthusiastic caretaker, a competent house keeper, a great cook. And she wants the job, despite the fact that she won’t let her African American parents and brother know anything about this new career move. They expect much more from her than to use all that good education to do what so many Blacks have dreamed of not doing: working for White folks. Working as an au pair in Paris, France no less, was one thing, they could accept that. Being a servant to a couple not much older nor more educated, is yet another. Every adult character involved in this tangled web is hiding something: the husband is hiding his desire to turn a passion for comic books into a business from his wife, the wife is hiding her professional ambitions from her husband, the nanny is hiding her job from her family and maybe her motivations for staying on her job from herself.

Memorable characters, real-life tensions and concerns and the charming—in a hip kind of way—modern-day Park Slope, Fort Greene, Brooklyn setting make for an un-put-down-able read.

-I love Lori Tharps' blog My American Melting Pot and that played a big part in me deciding to pick up this book. Plus Terri had a glowing review that made me curious enough to pick up the book.

Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

After a terrorist attack kills Dani’s aunt and unborn cousin, life in Argentina—private school, a boyfriend, a loving family—crumbles quickly. In order to escape a country that is sinking under their feet, Dani and her family move to the United States. It’s supposed to be a fresh start, but when you’re living in a cramped apartment and going to high school where all the classes are in another language—and not everyone is friendly—life in America is not all it’s cracked up to be. Dani misses her old friends, her life, Before.

But then Dani meets a boy named Jon, who isn’t like all the other students. Through him, she becomes friends with Jessica, one of the popular girls, who is harboring a secret of her own. And then there’s Brian, the boy who makes Dani’s pulse race. In her new life, the one After, Dani learns how to heal and forgive. She finds the courage to say goodbye and allows herself to love and be loved again.

-I've never read a book set in Argentina! And I'm curious about the terrorist attack. What's going on in Argentina that has made terrorist attacks something that occur? I updated my Global Reading Challenge to add this book for South America.

From the library
The Door of No Return by Sarah Mussi

Zac Baxter's grandfather has always told him that he's the descendant of African kings, whose treasure was stolen when his ancestors were sold into slavery. Of course, Zac brushes this off as a tall tale until his grandfather is murdered and their apartment is completely ransacked. Clearly somebody is after something.

Heeding his grandfather's dying words, Zac is off to Ghana to track down his family's history. But what did his grandfather mean when he said that Zac had the map to the treasure? Following every clue he can find, Zac begins to suspect that the treasure is real, and hidden in one of Ghana's old slave forts. Too bad the killers always seem to be one step ahead of him. With no one he can trust and with everything to lose, Zac races against time as he tries to uncover the truth about the past and a fortune in gold.

-I'm currently reading this book and it's OK. Not great (at least not yet unfortunately). I'm reading it for the Global Reading Challenge, it's my second book set in Africa for the challenge.

What new books did everyone else get this week?


  1. I got With the Light a graphic novel about autism, but I haven't find some interesting African American reads at Border's yet. Sadly, I'm not even sure we have a section. Though I was happy to find a sci-fi book with a African American girl on the cover amongst all the rest. Granted this was at B&N, but I was still glad to see it. I might read it if I can get the money and/or find it at the library.

    Substitute Me sounds like my life right now.I can't wait to read it.

  2. About the terrorist attack in was the bombing of the Argentine-Israel Mutual Associaton, the AMIA (acronym in Spanish), in Buenos Aires in July 1994. The perpetrators are believed to be agents of the Iranian government, and there was no particular reason why Argentina suffered the bombing, except that the country has a relatively large Jewish population and not a lot of security because terrorist attacks aren't exactly commonplace there. Around that time, the Israeli embassy in Argentina was also attacked, and most people believe the terrorists intended to send a message to Israel.


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