Outwords Books Top Picks: February, 2013
In honor of Black History Month, in February the Outwords Books Top Picks will feature New & Noteworthy titles illuminating the African-American LGBT experience.
Please note: the titles listed below are just a sampling of titles on display throughout the month of February.
For the Guys:
1. For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough. Keith Boykin
In his new book, For Colored Boys, Keith Boykin addresses longstanding issues of sexual abuse, suicide, HIV/AIDS, racism, and homophobia in the African American and Latino communities, and more specifically among young gay men of color. The book tells stories of real people coming of age, coming out, dealing with religion and spirituality, seeking love and relationships, and finding their own identity in or out of the LGBT community.
2. No One in the World, E. Lynn Harris & RM Johnson
E. Lynn Harris and RM Johnson unite with an insightful and emotional project that tackles themes of family, loyalty and identity. Cobi Winslow, a handsome district attorney learns that in order to inherit the wealth of his father’s estate and save the struggling family business, he must marry a woman before he turns thirty-five. The task becomes more convoluted when Cobi’s sister proposes to pay Austen Greer, a once-successful businesswoman, to be Cobi’s wife. As the clock runs down, Cobi’s attempts to save the family company through rash moves require life-altering sacrifices.
3. Harlem Renaissance: Five Novels of the 1920s, ed. Rafia Zafar,
In little more than a decade during the 1920s and 30s, a new generation of African American writers, artists, musicians, and intellectuals based mostly in upper Manhattan burst through aesthetic conventions with unprecedented openness and daring. Perhaps no one was more central to the creative upheaval that became known as the Harlem Renaissance than a group of novelists who were determined to describe their own lives and their own world frankly and without compromise.
4. Mogul, Terrence Dean
After the sudden death of his father, Aaron clings to music as an escape. His love for music lands him at the estate of Larry “Pop” Singleton, a Hip Hop music mogul. With the help of Pop and “the family,” Aaron finds success and starts his own music label. He’s signed and worked with some of the biggest Hip Hop artists in the country. One of them is Brooklyn native lyricist, “Tickman.” Together they are making sweet music together. However, at the pinnacle of his career, compromising photos of Aaron land on the desk of a national news program and for the first time he is at a crossroad in his career: come out publicly with his secret or watch his music empire crumble.
5. The VIPs, Scott Poulson-Bryant
On a steamy June day in New York City, mega-star rapper TNT gathers a group of four successful men together, childhood friends who called themselves "the VIPs," signaling the big dreams they all once had. These four men have a history and bond that could be torn apart by a night of passion one of them had long ago. The VIPs, who haven't seen one another in years, are greeted at the Hotel Gansevoort by an openly hostile TNT, who asks them the bombshell question: "Which one of you bastards is my father?".
For the Gals:
1. Heat Wave: The Life & Career of Ethel Waters, Donald Bogle
Bogle traces Waters’ life from her poverty-stricken childhood to her triumphant rise in show business, detailing her successes with recordings like "Stormy Weather" and "Am I Blue?"; her notorious feuds with stars like Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne; her professional relationships with Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and other entertainment legends; and her various, tempestuous love affairs. In addition, Bogle explores the significance her highly publicized life had upon audiences unaccustomed to the travails of a larger-than-life African American woman.
2. Nightshade, Fiona Zedde
Bronwynne St. Just has a knack for finding trouble, usually in the form of a beautiful woman. After fulfilling a haunting contract on her sister’s childhood friend and former employee, she takes off for the Caribbean and business as usual; but danger waits for her in the most unexpected places. With an endless appetite for luscious variety, Wynne courts danger and pleasure from all corners of the globe. But she must wrestle with her own demons as she trades kisses and blows with some of the deadliest women in the business.
3. Crossroads, Skyy
Skyy takes readers on another wild ride with former college friends Denise, Lena, and Cooley. These women still have the heart and the drama, but now they are all grown up. Denise, the sexy, soon-to-be pro basketball player can only hope that her emotional scars heal as fast as her physical injuries from the end of the school year. Lena finally knows who she wants. Cooley is finally far away from Memphis and all its heartache. Denise, Lena, and Cooley have come to the Crossroads. Where will they lead?
4. She Wants Her, Tasha C. Miller
Getting women into her bed is easy. Getting them out is hard. Women love Cleopatra Giovanni and she loves them back – in ways they’ll never forget. The masculine but very pretty butch radiates charisma and a magnetism that attracts flocks of women. Cleopatra enjoys their bodies, all the while hoping that the one who will make her believe in forever will come along. Jacqueline, a naïve but determined closeted lesbian, has been watching Cleopatra for some time, and goes above and beyond to possess her in a way no one ever has. Ultimately – Jacqueline wants her. The question is – how far will she go?
5. Taking a Chance at Love, Kesha Pride
Hospital policy clearly states that physicians cannot become involved with trainees. Thus the newest addition to the hospital, Dr. Tori Becker, and trainee, Dr. Kenya Jackson, are forced to ignore their mutual attraction. But that's not the only obstacle keeping them from one another. Old relationships, past flings all begin to surface. The two women must decide what lengths they are willing to go to for their chance at love.
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