I've had a good book hunting month! I was able to grab books that I was interested in for bargain prices. I placed a BookOutlet order the other day that I will post about when it comes in. I'm very excited about that order! I also splurged and bought two new books from Barnes and Noble. So, let's get into my book goodies!
These are the two books that I splurged on since I had a good discount for them. They are new titles and I'd have had to wait a while before they are discounted enough to make buying from a vendor cheaper than just buying them from my local store. As you all know by now, I don't buy expensive ebooks and these are both way over my price limit. They are $14.75 & $13.99 respectively for the ebook versions. Not this chick!
Amazon For a runaway slave in the 1840s south, life on the run can be just as dangerous as life under a sadistic Massa. That’s what fifteen-year-old Naomi learns after she escapes the brutal confines of life on an Alabama plantation. Striking out on her own, she must leave behind her beloved Momma and sister Hazel and takes refuge in a Georgia brothel run by a freewheeling, gun-toting Jewish madam named Cynthia. There, amidst a revolving door of gamblers, prostitutes, and drunks, Naomi falls into a star-crossed love affair with a smooth-talking white man named Jeremy who frequents the brothel’s dice tables all too often.
The product of Naomi and Jeremy’s union is Josey, whose white skin and blonde hair mark her as different from the other slave children on the plantation. Having been taken in as an infant by a free slave named Charles, Josey has never known her mother, who was murdered at her birth. Josey soon becomes caught in the tide of history when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the declining estate and a day of supposed freedom quickly turns into a day of unfathomable violence that will define Josey—and her lost mother—for years to come.
Deftly weaving together the stories of Josey and Naomi—who narrates the entire novel unable to leave her daughter alone in the land of the living—Grace is a sweeping, intergenerational saga featuring a group of outcast women during one of the most compelling eras in American history. It is a universal story of freedom, love, and motherhood, told in a dazzling and original voice set against a rich and transporting historical backdrop.
Amazon A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.
A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor's salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all--though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.
Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.
Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.
Amazon When Mary-Mathilda, one of the most respected women of the island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados) calls the police to confess to a crime, the result is a shattering all-night vigil that brings together elements of the island's African past and the tragic legacy of colonialism in one epic sweep.
Set in the West Indies in the period following World War II, The Polished Hoe -- an Essence bestseller and a Washington Post Book World Most Worthy Book of 2003 -- unravels over the course of twenty-four hours but spans the collective experience of a society characterized by slavery.
Amazon Saunders' novel fuses the narrative style of fantasy fiction with a pre-colonial, alternate Africa. Inspired by and directly addresses the alienation of growing up an African American fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, which to this day remains a very ethnically homogonous genre. It addresses this both structurally (via its unique setting) and thematically (via its alienated, tribeless hero-protagonist). The tribal tensions and histories presented in this fantasy novel reflect actual African tribal histories and tensions, and provide a unique perspective to current and recent conflicts in Africa, particularly the Rwandan genocide and the ongoing conflict in The Sudan.
Amazon It begins with the reunion of Imaro and his kidnapped lover Tanisha, who has been taken to the ruined City of Madness. With the help of their new found friend Pomphis, a Pygmay from the eastern forests of Nyumbani, they learn of the sorcerous forces that may have been behind the dark wizard that destroyed Imaro's youth. The trio goes to Mavindi, the port capital of the Eastern Coastal kingdom of Azania, in search of the legendary Kingdom of Cush, where Imaro hopes to find answers to the questions that have plagued his life. Who is he? Who was his father, and why was he seemingly cursed, and hounded from birth by forces beyond his control.
Amazon When Achilles Conroy and his brother Troy return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, their white mother presents them with the key to their past: envelopes containing details about their respective birth parents. After Troy disappears, Achilles--always his brother’s keeper--embarks on a harrowing journey in search of Troy, an experience that will change him forever. Heartbreaking, intimate, and at times disturbing, Hold It ’Til It Hurts is a modern-day odyssey through war, adventure, disaster, and love, and explores how people who do not define themselves by race make sense of a world that does.
Amazon An extraordinary fiction debut: a large, stirring novel of suspense that is, at the same time, a work of brilliantly astute social observation. The Emperor of Ocean Park is set in two privileged worlds: the upper crust African American society of the eastern seaboard—old families who summer on Martha’s Vineyard—and the inner circle of an Ivy League law school. It tells the story of a complex family with a single, seductive link to the shadowlands of crime. The Emperor of the title, Judge Oliver Garland, has just died, suddenly. A brilliant legal mind, conservative and famously controversial, Judge Garland made more enemies than friends. Many years before, he’d earned a judge’s highest prize: a Supreme Court nomination. But in a scene of bitter humiliation, televised across the country, his nomination collapsed in scandal. The humbling defeat became a private agony, one from which he never recovered. But now the Judge’s death raises even more questions—and it seems to be leading to a second, even more terrible scandal. Could Oliver Garland have been murdered? He has left a strange message for his son Talcott, a professor of law at a great university, entrusting him with “the arrangements”—a mysterious puzzle that only Tal can unlock, and only by unearthing the ambiguities of his father’s past. When another man is found dead, and then another, Talcott—wry, straight-arrow, almost too self-aware to be a man of action—must risk his career, his marriage, and even his life, following the clues his father left him.
Now here are my Goodwill finds!
Amazon "No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story. We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition and by the sanctity of our exclusive calling...But I feel it is time to speak out." Celebrated as the most successful geisha of her generation, Mineko Iwasaki was only five years old when she left her parents' home for the world of the geisha. For the next twenty-five years, she would live a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and rich rewards. She would learn the formal customs and language of the geisha, and study the ancient arts of Japanese dance and music. She would enchant kings and princes, captains of industry, and titans of the entertainment world, some of whom would become her dearest friends. Through great pride and determination, she would be hailed as one of the most prized geishas in Japan's history, and one of the last great practitioners of this now fading art form. In Geisha, a Life, Mineko Iwasaki tells her story, from her warm early childhood, to her intense yet privileged upbringing in the Iwasaki okiya (household), to her years as a renowned geisha, and finally, to her decision at the age of twenty-nine to retire and marry, a move that would mirror the demise of geisha culture. Mineko brings to life the beauty and wonder of Gion Kobu, a place that "existed in a world apart, a special realm whose mission and identity depended on preserving the time-honored traditions of the past." She illustrates how it coexisted within post-World War II Japan at a time when the country was undergoing its radical transformation from a post-feudal society to a modern one.
"There is much mystery and misunderstanding about what it means to be a geisha. I hope this story will help explain what it is really like and also serve as a record of this unique component of Japan's cultural history," writes Mineko Iwasaki. Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha's development. Told with great wisdom and sensitivity, it is a true story of beauty and heroism, and of a time and culture rarely revealed to the Western world.
Amazon The first section of McFadden's unconventional love story belongs to Campbell. Despite being born to a brokenhearted mother and a faithless father, Campbell still believes in the power of love...if she can ever find it. Living in the same neighborhood, but unknown to Campbell until a chance meeting brings them together, is Donovan, the "little man" of a shattered home--a family torn apart by anger and bitterness.In the face of daunting obstacles, Donovan dreams of someday marrying, raising a family, and playing in the NBA. But deep inside, Campbell and Donovan live with the histories that have shaped their lives. What they discover--together and apart--forms the basis of this compelling, sensual, and surprising novel.
Amazon A powerful collection of novellas by four leading African-American women writers, each tackling the terror of domestic violence. In Other People’s Skin, Tracy Price-Thompson and TaRessa Stovall, along with writers Elizabeth Atkins and Desiree Cooper, took on intra-racial prejudice. The second book in their successful Sister4Sister Empowerment Series once again offers hope and healing, this time from the nightmare of abuse. In Desiree Cooper’s Breakin’ It Down, a highly successful talk show host, haunted by the abandonment and self-loathing she felt as a child, is shocked to find herself inflicting the same abuse she experienced on her seven-year-old daughter. Tracy Price-Thompson’s Brotherly Love goes deep into the disturbing relationship between a beautiful, accomplished teenage girl and the seemingly dutiful brother who raised her after their parents’ death. TaRessa Stovall’s Breakin’ Dishes reveals the turmoil behind the scenes of a picture-perfect marriage as an angry wife beats her cheating husband. And in Elizabeth Atkins’s The Wrong Side of Mr. Right, an outwardly beaming bride-to-be comes to terms with the inner turmoil brought on by her emotionally abusive fiancé. In all four novellas, redemption and hope appear when a pair of blue suede shoes enters each woman’s life, helping her to overcome her challenges and stop the cycle of abuse.
A raw, engaging, and enlightening collection from beginning to end, My Blue Suede Shoes is as informative as it is entertaining.
Amazon Pell's Station, orbiting the alien world simply called Downbelow, had always managed to remain neutral in the ever escalating conflict between The Company, whose fleets from Earth had colonized space, and its increasingly independent and rebellious colony worlds. But Pell's location?on the outer edge of Earth's defensive perimeter makes her the focal point in the titanic battle of colony worlds fighting for independence.
Amazon In the sweltering little town of Belle Helene, Alabama, Carmen Taylor keeps her weaknesses, her frustrations, and her tears to herself. She's too busy shouldering the burdens of her troubled friends, like Desiree Lucienne, the petite, pampered daughter of a doctor who tries to beat the wildness out of her. But it doesn't stop Desiree from trawling for men whenever she can, and trying to drag Carmen along with her. It's not that Carmen hasn't had her share of boozy pick-ups. She has, but they just can't compare to the one steamy night she spent with the man she's loved since they were both kids. Now a local cop, Chester Sheffield, with his Barry White voice and his all-too-fine body, keeps showing up in Carmen's life, wanting to do something about the feelings they obviously have for each other. But that would mean abandoning her "boyfriend" Burl Tupper and that's something Carmen just can't do. Ever since Burl ended up in a wheelchair because of a foolish teenage prank she played on him, Carmen's promised herself that she'd spend the rest of her life making it up to him. When Carmen doesn't take her chance with Chester, Desiree does, and when she learns that she's pregnant with Chester's child, it's almost more than Carmen can bear. Still, her loyalty to Desiree goes back a long way, and she's not about to let a man get in the way of their friendship--even when Desiree starts stepping out on Chester.
Then, on a sultry, reckless moonlit night, Carmen commits a desperate crime of passion, and, with Desiree, hits the road running. But she can't run from the truth she's avoided for years--and in a seedy hotel in the middle of nowhere, she confronts her demons head-on. Now Carmen has two choices--a life on the lam, or a full circle return to Belle Helene, the place where it all began. . .and the only place in the world she can lay down her burdens and seize her one true chance at love and redemption.
This is the only book in the group that I'm truly iffy about. The story is about the life of a white indentured servant who lives and works among slaves. I don't know how I'm going to feel reading this one. It was endorsed by Alice Walker, so I'm giving it a chance and will go into it with an open mind. BUT, I have mixed feelings about The Help, so I'll just have to wait and see. It was only a dollar and I was curious enough to take a risk. If I end up hating it, at least it was only a dollar, and that was given to Goodwill. Amazon In this gripping New York Times bestseller, Kathleen Grissom brings to life a thriving plantation in Virginia in the decades before the Civil War, where a dark secret threatens to expose the best and worst in everyone tied to the estate. Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family. In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master’s opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves. Through the unique eyes of Lavinia and Belle, Grissom’s debut novel unfolds in a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful story of class, race, dignity, deep-buried secrets, and familial bonds.