Tag Archives: books

Hot Summer Reads

By Gigi Hayes of The Yummy Librarian

It’s the middle of summer now and the majority of my favorite shows are in reruns, and frankly I only have a loyalty to a few summer series thus I have just the excuse I need to put down the remote and pick up a book.

Here a just a few of the titles on my list:

Platinum by Aliya S. King.  King, an award winning hip-hop journalist, gives readers a sexy and steamy inside peek at the some times turbulent lives of hip-hop wives.  If you secretly loved VH1’s Basketball Wives, then you’re not going to want to miss this.

32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter.  The story of a real-life, self-proclaimed ugly duckling/nerd girl who, if she doesn’t get in her own way, just might get the happily ever after she’s dreamed of since watching the John Hughes classic Sixteen Candles.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok.  She’s an excellent student by day and in the factory by night . This is the moving tale of an immigrant girl carrying the weight of living in two worlds, written with such realism that its more of a memoir than a novel.

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama.  A cute and funny look at matchmaking in modern day India.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I’ve renamed my copy “Pleasure Devotion Balance”. The movie staring Julia Roberts come out August 13, but before you go check out this true story of a woman in truly in search of balance.

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. Where tragedy confronts eternity. If you’re looking for a summer read to divinely change your life, then look no further. The New York Times Bestseller is flying off the shelf. Local book stores are running out of copies so try ordering online.

Have you read any of these books? Or do you have a book recommendation? Tell us about it!

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Spotlight On: Daisy Lewellyn

By JaSaun Buckner

Lauren “Daisy” Lewellyn is the queen of effortless chic, and author of the new book, Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart Spend Less Look Your Best Ever. Daisy has the astute ability to turn looks from the runway into reality for the everyday woman.  Early style inspiration hit Daisy from her grandmothers on both sides of her family-tree while growing up in sunny southern California.  Her love of fashion continued to flourish while attended college on the east coast and traveled abroad as a young fashionista with a burgeoning career in New York City. Daisy is not shy about giving credit to the excellent grooming and experience she attained at Howard University and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology along with key mentors while working at Glamour, In Style, and Essence Magazines.  Daisy says, “I learned so much during my days at Glamour & In Style working with tons of designers and real women with busy lives.” Daisy’s dazzling persona has also helped to expand her career onto a variety of platforms. Daisy spreads tips and tricks about fashion, beauty and style over the radio airwaves, online, and television (of course)!
Daisy admits that translating her passion and personality into print for the book was a slight obstacle early on, “I had to really make sure that my personality and voice were not lost when placed on paper in black ink.  I wanted my book to be very colorful, upbeat, and funny…like me.” In just three months time, Daisy poured herself into the process of completing the book. Passion motivated her drive to stay disciplined, which sometimes meant politely turning down social invitations from friends and family. The dedication and hard work really paid off; Never Pay Retail Again, published by Simon & Schuster was released on May 4 and featured on Good Morning America.   Daisy’s goal for Never Pay Retail Again is for women to, “feel like they learned something new that can boost the 3 S’s: their self esteem, style, and savings.”

Ladies always want to know where to find good deals on designer labels and, also to get invited to sample sales.  Never Pay Retail Again is right on time because, being in debt has never looked good on anyone.  Daisy provides readers of Never Pay Retail Again with a healthy compromise between both worlds of shopping and saving.  Daisy educates women on how to take their personal style and their budget and create looks that allow them to feel their best by suggesting that women wear clothing that do the following:
1. Flatter Your Body type
2. Work For Your Lifestyle
3. Suit Your Personal Style
4. Are Inspiring to You.

Currently Daisy is promoting her new book and keeping her website and blog updated daily with latest in fashion, beauty, & lifestyle as well as career advice.

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“Temptations of the Single Girl”

Not long ago a good girlfriend of mine, whom I affectionately call “Gordy”, loaned me a book she received from her sister. It’s a self-help dating book called “Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid” by Nina Atwood. Lately, most dating self-help books that hit the market are some comics entertaining rendition of trite advice wrapped around a punch-line (no judgment).  So I was eager to see what this book had to offer. I was pleased to find out that the author is indeed a licensed therapist, so I commenced to reading. And boy am I glad that I did.

If you can get past the ridiculously cheesy cover, what’s great about this book is that it’s told in a story format, centered on the main character, a woman named Kelly. Kelly is your typical single woman who’s fortunate in all areas of her life with exception to dating. She get’s offered the opportunity to work with a “dating coach” and the story unfolds as she continues going through her dating life and meeting with her “dating coach” regularly for insight, reflection and guidance on her decisions related to the men in her life.

You’ll find that each chapter is like sitting in on a real counseling session. Having been trained as a psychological therapist myself, I can say that Nina Atwood (the author) does a great job of offering meaningful self-help tips in such a way that provokes you to think about your own situation.

Here’s an exert from the back cover of the book:

Meet Kelly, a charming, pretty everywoman. She’s successful, intelligent, financially secure – and notorious for making bad decisions when it comes to men. As Kelly travels the bumpy road back to self-care, she sidesteps one emotional rut only to land squarely in another. But every time she dusts herself off and gets back into the groove, she comes one step closer to being an emotionally healthy woman who is ready and able to welcome true love into her life.

As with any self-help book, you apply the learnings that fit with your life and whatever doesn’t you take it for what it’s worth. The book is written in such a way that you get to accompany Kelly on her “journey of self-discovery” and get tips from an actual therapist along the way. Additionally, threaded throughout a few chapters in the book are a few subtle spiritual nuggets of advice, but nothing overwhelming or judgmental if you’re not a Christian. So if you’re looking for a practical, relatable self-help book for dating, give this one a try.

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Attending The World’s Largest Book Club Meeting

Bertice and Gigi

Dr. Bertice Berry and Gigi Hayes

By Givane “Gigi” Hayes

The National Book Club Conference (NBCC) was founded in 2001 by author Curtis Bunn.  At the time Bunn’s first book was number one on the Essence best sellers list, and after visiting with book clubs from across the country he says he was struck with the idea of hosting the world’s largest book club meeting.  The conference is now in its seventh year, with an average attendance of 550, but in the beginning no one, including Bunn, could have predicted success.  According to Bunn it was difficult to get author attendance in the beginning; however, once a few authors signed on more followed.  The conference is now an event authors feel they need to attend.

I loved the intimacy of NBCC, I don’t think I’ve ever attended a conference where I’ve been so up close and personal with authors I love.  I was sitting in a session with author and publisher, Tina McElroy Ansa, when suddenly her very good friend Pearl Cleage sat down right in front of me.  Just when I thought I could not be more overjoyed, I got to speak briefly with Dr. Bertice Berry, who told me I looked like her niece.  The overall familial feeling of the conference also extends to those that attend.  While standing in line for J. California Cooper’s (last time I’ll name drop) autograph and a quick picture, I spoke to one of the panelist about starting my own book club.  Without hesitation she gave me her card and the offer of advice on getting started.
While the focus of the conference is books and reading the panelist and award winners, merely by virtue of who they are, broadened the scope to include mental health, community service and mentorship.  Just about every panel I attended discussed the importance of reading as a tool for community development.  Anyone who has ever been a member of a book discussion group can tell you that the discussion begins with characters and plot and ends with personal reflection.

Planning for NBCC 2010 is currently underway, for more information visit:  www.nationalbookclubconference.com

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Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: Women’s Playbook or is the Joke on us?

Steve HarveyIs it me or did ‘comedian’ suddenly become synonymous with ‘therapist’? Between Greg Behrendt’s “He’s Just Not That Into You” and Finesse Mitchell’s relationship column “Oh Brother” in Essence magazine, I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I should have done my clinical training at The Laugh Factory in CA. There’s been a rash of comedians turned “self-help gurus” and the latest edition to the tribe is Steve Harvey with his NY Times Best Seller, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”. In it, he strings together comedy and personal stories to illustrate how men “really” think and then loosely ties together those experiences to offer advice to women on how to receive the treatment we desire from a man. Steve does an adequate job of acknowledging the paradox that exists between men with their simple needs and women with our complex desires. But beyond that it felt like the same old advice coming from a new comedic voice. Which begs the question, has relationship advice been reduced to a punch-line? Are we women so obsessed with the topic of getting a good man that we’re willing to re-purchase and re-read the same advice from just any body (e.g a comedian – no judgment)? Perhaps my therapeutic cynicism has caught up with me.

Tell us what YOU think of the book. Was it the ultimate playbook for women or is the joke on us?

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