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May, 2018

‘The Sun Does Shine’ for black convict

Books: You always keep your eyes on the prize. You’ve given yourself no other options and your steadfastness is your compass. What you believe will happen. What you know is truth. Say it enough, and everybody else will know, too — especially when, as in the new book “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin, the truth is one of innocence. Comment

Life meets literature in an odd way

Books: So what do you think? For sure, you’ve got opinions. You know what you like and what you don’t like. You have ideas and choices, attractions, and things you’d just as soon avoid. And sometimes, as in “Heads of the Colored People” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, you just don’t know what to think. Comment

April, 2018

Living in a fantasy world can be dangerous

Books: You love wearing your daddy’s shoes. You wear mommy’s shoes, too. You love that clomping around, the wiggly-wobbly feel, and the fun of pretending that you’re someone else. Dressing up is great but be careful. As in the new book, “Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima, things could quickly get out of hand. Comment

East Flatbush library to host kids storytime in Haitian Creole

Books: The Brooklyn Public Library’s East Flatbush branch will be hosting its weekend storytime event in Haitian Creole on April 28. Every weekend the library offers a story time session for children and their families, but this time around the reading will be in creole. Comments (1)

Havana nights

Books: Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura will be talking about his books at the PEN World Voices Festival at Nuyorican Poets Cafe on April 20. The famous writer will be joined by author Mark Kurlansky, who recently wrote a book about the city of Havana in literature. The pair will discuss the city, its history, and Padura’s representation of it in his novels, according to Padura. Comment

Tales of inspiration and amazement

Books: Apples, bananas, cherries, and oranges. Tasty things, available from an appropriate tree, perhaps even one in your back yard. But what’s the story about them? Who was the first brave soul to take a chance and take a bite? In the new book “Strange Fruit Volume II” by Joel Christian Gill, you’ll see that some histories remain hidden on the vine. Comment

Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat to discuss immigrant artists

Books: Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat will be speaking at a discussion with Paul Holdengraber at the New York Public Library in Midtown on April 6. Together the pair will be talking about the role of immigrant artists, the art they make, and their experiences. The award-winning author is going to explore her own work, and the work of other artists and writers who are immigrants. Comment

Old wounds reopen in new book on MLK Jr.

Books: One minute. That’s all it can take to change history. Sixty seconds, as long as an average TV commercial or two, a few blinks of your eyes and nothing is ever the same. And things can keep changing, as you’ll see in the new book “The Heavens Might Crack” by Jason Sokol. Comment

March, 2018

Teenager & senior offer ‘A Reason For Living’

Books: Julian Jingles was a teenager living in Kingston, Jamaica during the 1960s when he started writing a book he eventually titled “A Reason For Living.” Comment

‘Get woke’ and make a change

Books: I don’t like that! How many times a day do you say those words? Surely, you’ve been saying them all your life, about food, time-outs, bedtime, homework, curfews, clothes, and a hundred other things. So you don’t like that. Read “Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!” by Marley Dias… and do something about it! Comment
Books: Help yourself by knowing yourself! In a new self-help book by educator and debut author Nicole McLaren Campbell — wife of Jamaican artist Jeffrey “Agent Sasco” Campbell — she challenges readers to finding their true purpose in life with some self-examination. Her book titled “Make it Count,” calls on readers to headstart on a life toward their dreams without the many obstacles preventing them. She says if someone is stalling on a goal and overthinking its completion, her guide aims to help in deciding the next step. Comment

Getting to know your identity

Books: Who are you? Spoken or unspoken, serious or in jest, you get asked that question all the time. Where are you from? Who are your parents? Have you been here before, and what do you do? In “All The Women in My Family Sing,” edited by Deborah Santana, the questions stand: who are you and what is your story? Comment

Beach read

Books: The book is a sail down memory lane. A Pulitzer-winning author and former Brooklynite will launch his first children’s book at the Brooklyn Public Library in Prospect Heights on March 13. Junot Diaz said that his picture book “Islandborn,” about a young girl who must rely on her family’s memories of the island where she was born, was inspired by his own family’s journey from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Comment

A romance with a twist

Books: He did it on one knee. One knee, with a nervous grin on his face and a velvet box in his shaking hands, asking you the Question of a Lifetime. You’d talked about this day but it was still a surprise and now you have planning to do, just the two of you. Or, as in “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones, three… Comment

February, 2018

Words can put you down or light a fire

Books: Read this. And that. Read what’s next to it, what’s above it, and the next page. Read it, because words soar. Read it because you can. As you’ll see in “Black Ink,” edited by Stephanie Stokes Oliver, it wasn’t always so. Comment

January, 2018

It’s not all black and white

Books: It’s all there in front of you. Plain as day. Plain as the nose on your face with nothing left to tell, it’s all in black and white — or is it? When it comes to racism, says author Ijeoma Oluo, it’s complicated and in her new book “So You Want to Talk about Race,” there may be shades of gray. Comment

Book Review: ‘Aging Thoughtfully: Conversations about Retirement Romance, Wrinkles and Regret.’

Books: Martha C. Nussbaum and Saul Levmore have written a tome that delves into different ways of looking at life after retirement, about the onset of wrinkles, and other aspects of what some call the golden years. Comment

Frederick Douglass’ story too important to miss

Books: You’re not backing down. There’s a line in the sand and nobody’s crossing it on your watch. When something isn’t right and you can fix it, you’re going to defend it, too, even if it costs you. As you’ll see in “Facing Frederick ” by Tonya Bolden, if you lived in the mid-1800s, you’d be in good company. Comment

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