11. City Kid: A Writer’s Memoir of Ghetto Life & Post-Soul Success
by Nelson George
I’ve been a fan of Nelson George since I was in college and he was a music critic for the Village Voice chronicling hip-hop as a viable art form. In fact, he was my first adult “celebrity crush” (I like ’em cerebral) and I even got to hang out with him at a basketball game (I always meet my crushes eventually – and then I don’t care anymore! 🙂 Because of his close proximity to a lot of the creators and tastemakers of that time he was able to cast an educated, critical eye on what others saw as a passing phase. This memoir is great insight into how he became the acclaimed music critic, novelist, essayist, and filmmaker that he is today.
12. The Long Fall
by Walter Mosley
A great new mystery series featuring a new character, Leonid McGill, and a new city, contemporary New York. Although, McGill is a private investigator of sorts, this is no “East Coast Easy Rawlins” tale. Leonid McGill has done some bad things in his past and has straddled the line of the law to get things done. He decides to walk a straighter line than usual but the cases he is forced to take sometimes put him in a place he no longer cares to visit. What is the same as the Easy Rawlins’ mysteries is Mosley’s portrayal of family and community in these men’s lives. I look forward to more adventures with Leonid McGill.
13. Style Evolution: How to Create Ageless, Personal Style in Your 40’s
by Kendall Farr
Even though I leave the house everyday in a sort of uniform for work, I still read everything I can about fashion and style. And being in my early 40’s, I was interested in learning what I should be doing differently. The book did a great job of showing what age appropriate styles work and even how to incorporate passing trends into your wardrobe. The only thing I didn’t care for was the emphasis on weight. Although examples for every body type are included, it was kind of assumed that everyone gains weight as they age.
14. Bittersweet Love
by Rochelle Alers
The first in a series surrounding the Eaton family, who have for generations been educators. In this one, Brenda Eaton, a history teacher in a tough Philadelphia high school is forced to share custody of her twin nieces (her goddaughters) with their godfather, attorney Griffin Rice, after her sister and her husband die in an accident. The pair, who have always disliked each other, are forced to put their differences aside for the well-being of the girls. Great story, well written plot.
15. Quade’s Babies
by Brenda Jackson
This is one of those quick Harlequin reads featuring The Westmoreland family series. Quade Westmoreland had a one-night stand with a mysterious woman named Cheyenne while on a business trip in Egypt. A year later he sees her picture on the cover of a magazine and she is pregnant. Could the baby be the result of their one night together? I guess you can tell by the title that they are, but can he find her when he doesn’t even know her last name? Cute, fast read.