The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane & Neil Martinez-Belkin. 2017. Simon & Schuster. 270 pages. [Source: Public library]. Trap God. Guwop. Gucci Mane. Radric Davis. All names for the same man whose career — and rap sheet — has read like a serious of unfortunate events. Admittedly, I am not a Gucci Mane fan. There are a handful of songs of his that I like, but otherwise, I’ve only been as familiar with him as Tw...

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Issa Rae. 2015. Atria. 225 pages. [Source: Public library]. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I’ve been a stan of Issa Rae since her co-worker caught her rapping along aggressively at a stop sign on Youtube.  That fandom exploded when her show, Insecure, hit HBO in 2016.  I’ve always related quite a bit to her experiences on her web-series, and (not surprisingly) the t...

Unforgettable. Delaney Diamond. 2014. Garden Avenue Press. 174 pages. [Source: Public library]. “This isn’t a forever thing. It’s just a for now thing. I have plans.” These are the words that Lucas Baylor shared with socialite Ivy Johnson in the midst of a short-lived, but hot-as-fire affair nearly a decade earlier.  In that time, he has skyrocketed to fame as a self-professed permanent bachelor who makes a living givin...

Before I Let Go. Marieke Nijkamp. 2018. Sourcebooks Fire. 372 pages. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Small towns don’t often take kindly to outsiders. Sometimes, they don’t even take kindly to their own. Such is the story of Before I Let Go, which follows Corey as she seeks the truth about the sudden — and suspicious — death of her best friend, Kyra.  Corey grew up in the small town of Lost Creek, Alaska, ...

  Anonymous Acts. Christina C. Jones. 2017. 364 pages. [Source:Kindle Unlimited.] ​As always, I devoured a great new book from CCJ. I had been reading samples leading up to its release, but was still pleasantly surprised with the plot twists and turns of Anonymous Acts. The book focuses in Monica Stuart’s legal woes, both for her once-thriving cosmetics company and for herself, as she faces murder charges in the death of her estranged hus...

So Easy to Love
Women's Fiction / October 31, 2013

So Easy to Love. J.A. Pak. 2012. Eden Street Press. 158 pages. [Source: Personal Copy] So Easy to Love is a novella from J.A. Pak, and it really wasn’t what I was expecting. I suppose I expected this to be a simple, run of the mill novella that told a trite story of a messy dalliance between colleagues. It definitely wasn’t that, and I’m glad. It’s actually the story of a young woman, Susanna, and her various relationships among fami...

The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen
Advance Reader Copy , Children's / October 16, 2013

The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen. Diana Prichard, Heather Knopf, ill. 2013.  32 pages. Little Pickle Press.  [Source: ARC provided courtesy of Edelweiss] This is a cute story about how Patrick discovers the origins of the foods he eats on a regular basis.  According to the the author, the book seeks to answer the question, “Where does your breakfast come from?” While he helps his father prepare “World Famous French Toast,” Pat...

Series: The Billionaire’s Obsession
Contemporary Romance / October 15, 2013

The Billionaire’s Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set (Mine For Tonight, Mine For Now, Mine Forever, Mine Completely) J.S. Scott.  2013. 286 pages. Golden Unicorn Enterprises Inc.  [Source: Personal copy] I’m reviewing this boxed set as a whole because it’s a serial novel.  Admittedly, I’m not a fan of serial novels at all.  Cliffhangers are best left for chapters where the resolution doesn’t string you along to purchase ano...

Make You Mine

Make You Mine. Niobia Bryant. 2009. 352 pages. Dafina.  [Source: Personal copy] First — I read this book in less than a day, it is THAT engaging. I absolutely could not put it down. This was my first time reading Ms. Bryant, and I was thoroughly pleased. Make You Mine follows Julius and Caress, who truly define the phrase “opposites attract.” She’s an unemployed slob; he’s a successful photographer who borders on OCD. When they go on...

Test Driven: High-Stakes Accountability in Elementary Schools
Education , Non-fiction / October 10, 2013

Test Driven: High-Stakes Accountability in Elementary Schools. Linda Valli, Robert G. Croninger, Marilyn H. Chambliss, Anna O. Graeber, Daria Buese. 2008. 208 pages. Teachers College Press. [Source: personal copy.] I can only hope that more people than just educators and those in academia are exposed to the invaluable information the authors provide here. The insights into how the educational landscape is being warped by a focus on s...