Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Joanna Wang -- I Love You

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Isamu Fukui

Tor Teen, February 2010
Grade Range: 8 and up, Age Range: 13 and up
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2258-6, ISBN10: 0-7653-2258-7,
Young Adult Fiction, 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches, 432 pages,

Here's the blurb:
Some kids were rebellious….
In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist. Fighting against the Mayor and his repressive Educators is a group of former students called the Truancy, whose goal is to take down the system by any means possible—at any cost.
Fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to survive. His days are filled with sadistic teachers, unrelenting schoolwork, and indifferent parents. Things start to look up when he meets Umasi, a mysterious boy who becomes Tack’s mentor.
Then someone close to Tack gets killed in the crossfire between the Educators and the Truants, and he swears vengeance. To achieve his purpose, he abandons his old life and joins the Truancy, looking for an opportunity to confront Zyid, its enigmatic leader. But Tack soon finds himself torn between his desire for revenge and his growing sympathy for the Truants…

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Babygirl Daniels

West Babylon, NY : Urban Books, c2009.
172 p. ; 18 cm.
When her father dies tragically, Asia Smith's life changes dramatically as she struggles to adjust to living with her Auntie Joy. Asia thinks high school will help her world return to normal, but she soon ends her friendship with Tracey when she puts her new boyfriend first. However, Asia ends up pregnant and alone as the boyfriend she thought would be with her forever quickly disappears, and she's left to deal with the consequences of growing up too fast.
"Urban renaissance."

Native American Documentary: For the Generations

Movie: Hariyama Bridge

Friday, March 26, 2010

Last Bitch Standing

Last Bitch Standing
by Deja King

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: A King Production (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097558118X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975581186

Here's the blurb:

In the final installment of the bitch series, Precious Cummings only has one agenda and that is to destroy her most conniving enemy yet, Maya. There is no doubt in Precious' mind that she can shut it down. The only problem is locating her nemesis, who has disappeared with her husband, Supreme and daughter, Aaliyah. As Precious fights to not only win the battles but the war, she is determined to be the last bitch standing--P.

The characters from Stackin' Paper, Trife Life To Lavish and Stackin' Paper 2 will play pivotal roles in this story to prepare you for Trife Life To Lavish part 2 and Bitch A New Beginning. So if you haven't yet, read this series to get a complete understanding of how these stories intertwine!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friends and Fauxs

  • Publisher: Broadway (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767929934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767929936

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

"The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein. 

The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global “free market” has exploited crises and shock for three decades from Chile to Iraq

  • Paperback: 720 pages

  • Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (June 24, 2008)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0312427999

  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427993

  • "Confessions of an Economic Hitman
    by John Perkins, formerly of the IMF and World Bank.

    • Paperback: 303 pages
    • Publisher: Plume (December 27, 2005)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0452287081
    • ISBN-13: 978-0452287082
    • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    I'm Still Standing -- Shoshanna Johnson

    I'm Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen--My Journey Home 

    Shoshanna Johnson

  • Hardcover: 288 pages

  • Publisher: Touchstone (February 2, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1416567488

  • ISBN-13: 978-1416567486

  • Here's the blurb:

    In March of 2003, when Operation Iraqi Freedom was only days old, world headlines were made when a U.S. army convoy was attacked in the city of An-Nasiriyah en route to Baghdad. Several soldiers were killed and others were taken prisoner.
    Jessica Lynch became the face and name associated with this tragedy, but another female soldier, Shoshana Johnson, was also wounded and captured in the ambush. A video of Shoshana being interrogated by her captors was soon broadcast on Spanish-language television and then picked up by American media. Shoshana had become the first black female prisoner of war in United States history. She was held for twenty-two days.
    When Shoshana returned to the United States, she received numerous awards for her valor, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War medals. She appeared on news networks and national television shows such as OprahEllenThe Tonight Show, and Larry King Live, but she was bound by a military gag order. She was unable to discuss what really happened in Iraq -- until now.
    Shoshana holds nothing back in this harrowing account of an ordinary woman caught in an extraordinary circumstance. She reveals decisions made by higher-ups that may have led to the capture, describes the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, and shares the surprising story of how a specialist in a maintenance company ended up on the front lines of war.
    Divulging personal emotions and frustrations while raising fresh political issues, I'm Still Standing is the never-before-told and much anticipated story of the headline-making ambush, capture, and rescue described with the exceptional bravery and candor of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero.

    Shoshana Nyree Johnson was born in the Republic of Panama and moved to the United States with her family when she was a child. A second-generation Army veteran, she did not plan a career in the military, but became a JROTC cadet in 1991 and joined the U.S. Army in September 1998 while attending classes at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

    On March 23rd, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shoshana was in a convoy that was ambushed in the city of an-Nasiriyah. Wounded, she and five fellow soldiers were captured and taken as prisoners of war, making world news headlines. The POWs were rescued by U.S. Marines on the morning of April 13, and Shoshana returned to the U.S., retiring from the Army on a Temporary Disability Honorable Discharge in December 2003. Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal. U.S. Army officials also identified Shoshana as the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first black female POW in U.S. war history.

    Shoshana lives in El Paso, Texas with her daughter Janelle, her sisters Nikki and Erika, and two nieces.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    The Ex-Chronicles

    The Ex-Chronicles
    by Carol Taylor

  • Paperback: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Plume; Original edition (February 23, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0452295874

  • ISBN-13: 978-0452295872
  • Thursday, March 18, 2010

    A Girl From Flint

    A girl from Flint

    Treasure Hernandez

  • Paperback: 288 pages

  • Publisher: Urban Books (January 26, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1601622619

  • ISBN-13: 978-1601622617

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.

  • Here's the blurb:
    Hustling men for their money has always come easy for Tasha. Hailing from New York and raised by a junkie mother, she had to learn early how to use her beauty to her advantage. Tasha thinks she's seen it all on the streets of New York, but when she follows a childhood friend to the little city of Flint, Michigan, she realizes that sometimes the smallest cities breed the grimiest of individuals. When Tasha and her friends link up with Manolo, one of Flint's known stick-up kids, they take the hustlers of Flint for all they're worth. Any man who falls for a pretty face is a target, and under the guidance of Manolo, the girls quickly learn the game of manipulation and deceit. They become known as The Manolo Mamis, and their skills gain them thousands of dollars in no time. Tasha is living the life of the young and fly, but when tragedy strikes and the stakes are raised, she has to choose between loyalty and self-sacrifice. When the only man she's ever loved becomes her target, will she decide to save him, or will she remain loyal to The Manolo Mamis?--Cover.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
    by N K Jemisin

  • Paperback: 432 pages

  • Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (February 25, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0316043915

  • ISBN-13: 978-0316043915

  • Here's the blurb:

    Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.

    With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Yeine will learn how perilous it can be when love and hate - and gods and mortals - are bound inseparably together.

    Not only is N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms one of the most beautiful books I’ve seen for a while, it’s had some of the most stunning reviews too:

    ‘Jemisin’s first novel has a wistful, lyrical tone, and the intrigue – both romantic and political – is skilfully handled. Book one in the Inheritance Trilogy is sensitive, restrained high fantasy.’- The Guardian, Eric Brown

    ‘…a story that manages to be both fantastically grand and very personal. Definitely recommended.’- Waterstone’s Books Quarterly
    ‘More than the sum of its parts… Jemisin is well worth keeping an eye on.’- SFX, Guy Haley [also included in the SFX books of 2010 round-up]

    ‘Extremely well-written, imaginative, emotionally gripping, and featuring a compelling narrator,The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an almost perfect debut… and could end up being one of the best fantasy releases of the year.’- Fantasy Book Critic, Robert Thompson

    ‘Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin’s engaging debut grabs readers right from the start…a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.’-Publishers Weekly

    ‘Debut author Jemisin creates a mesmerizingly exotic world where fallen gods serve as slaves to the ruling class and murder and ambition go hand in hand… an engaging heroine and a fresh take on traditional dynastic fantasy make this trilogy opener a delight for the fantasy reader and introduce a strong new voice to the genre.’ – Library Journal

    ‘A similar blend of inventiveness, irreverence, and sophistication — along with sensuality — brings vivid life to the setting and other characters… The Hundred Thousand Kingdomsdefinitely leaves me wanting more of this delightful new writer.’ – Locus

    ’Wonderfully filled with family secrets, brutal betrayals, a remarkable romance and the mystery of a mother’s love, the book rises above others of its type not only by creating a complex world and mythology, but by populating the former with characters of many different skin colors. In this reviewer’s opinion, this is the must-read fantasy of the year.’ – Bookpage

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an impressive debut, which revitalizes the trope of empires whose rulers have gods at their fingertips. It feels suitably big, and yet incredibly intimate as well. And we can’t wait to read the other two volumes of the Inheritance Trilogy.’ –

    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an excellent novel… brilliantly weaves the themes of revenge, patience, justice, love, and power into an original fantasy setting that will hook you until the end, and leave you wanting more… A highly recommended read… one of the most captivating new voices in fantasy. I eagerly await the next novel in the trilogy.’-

    ‘I was not prepared for how GOOD this book turned out to be… Damn Near Perfect debut novel that is a great blend of fantasy and romance, religion, mythology, politics, gender and race. The writing is lovely, the plot is superb (with a few surprises) and the characters made a hole in my heart the size of a volcano. The only thing that can fill it now is book 2’- The Book [9/10]

    ‘One of the strongest debuts I’ve read for a while… A confident, mature, powerful, feminist, and entertaining debut in fantasy. And in the running for The Reads Top Five 2010.’

    ‘Author NK Jemisin pulls off an astounding feat in managing to combine fantasy, romance, political intrigue, and superb writing… high recommendation to all.’-

    ‘This volume should be enjoyed as one of the freshest new fantasy voices we have had for quite some time. (It’s also the first book that’s ever made me miss my stop on the London Underground, so immersed was I!)’-

    ‘…there does seem to be something for just about every type of fantasy fan in here… all woven together into a vigorous whole and there are plenty of surprises along the way. If you find other fantasies predictable and overlong try this one – it might remind you what you are missing. A treat.’-

    ‘An enthralling read… you wouldn’t have thought that The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was Jemisin’s debut… I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.’ – Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review[9.25/10]

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church

    The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church by Dave Gibbons
  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 1, 2009)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0310276020

  • ISBN-13: 978-0310276029

  • Here's the blurb:

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Weekend Movie-Viewing -Hansel and Gretel

    Okay, so I saw this Korean interpretation of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale last weekend but I was utterly utterly out of it and couldn't think. So I'm doing the review now. I totally loved this movie. It is flawless, beautiful, tragic, with a happy ending. It hits no false notes. What else can I say? Well, a lot more.

    When the story begins, Eun-Su is driving to meet his mother whom has a troubled relationship with. He's about to become a father but there's problem with that issue as well. Poor Eun-Su is a somewhat distanced son about to become a somewhat distanced father. He's just not that connected to family and he almost -- just almost-- doesn't quite know what to do with family.

    So he's driving along and has an accident where he bumps his head. When he wakes he finds himself in a forest, utterly lost. A little girl with a lamp -- who carries lamps in modern day Korea? -- leads him to her beautiful gingerbread house where he meets her brother, sickly younger sister, and their two very nervous-looking parents. Everyone is gaily dressed. A lit Christmas tree shines brightly, and dinner is made up of colored and pastel cupcakes and all manner of confections.

    The house is beautiful. Ah, the colors and the brightness! I can't remember a film where  brightness been used to show both sweetness and horror at the same time. And yet, something is terribly wrong. This story is like Stephen King's Misery meets . . . well Hansel and Gretel. After Eun-Su gets better, he'd like to leave. After all, his girlfriend is having a baby. And he has to see his estranged mom. But he's already caught up in the story of these children. He's become the hero of their tale. And well. . . no one gets out alive. Ah, the love of a child for its parent! Ah, the dangerous love of a needy wounded child for a perfect parent!  

    The effect all this has on a viewer is to fear innocence, especially wounded innocence. Wounded love can go over the top in its neediness and in its desire to have sweetness and certainly, there's a fascistic sweetness to the children's world. Who can glut themselves everyday on sweets? But that's what a child wants, right? And DEFINITELY what a wounded child wants.

    There world is lovely -- a child's version of all that is sweet and happy and good in the world. (A world created from a Christmas postcard and possibly from too many 1960's movies) But the world is also dangerous and the children accepts no challenges to the sweetness they so desperately desires. That a wounded child, a wounded human, could create such a stifling world based on the need to be happy....well, it rings dang true! And yet, one cannot dislike the children. One can, perhaps, dislike an evil dictator although one knows his wounded childhood. But not these children. Their hold is not on all the world. They simply have one corner of the world which they rule with a strong supernatural hand. And woe betide the mom and dad who turn out to be less than loving.

    Now, was this all in his head --- a kind of psycho-drama created by the psyche of a wounded child so he could be healed enough to become a loving father? Was it a ghost story? Are the children dead? Was it a story of magic entering the life of a person to bring about healing for the kids and the father-to-be?

    I really liked the kids. I thought there was some hint in the last scene that they had found some kind of happiness -- although in the "real world where Eun-su lives" people aren't always good to children. Although in Eun-Su's world children are suffering still without the benefit of magic... at least these three are free. I kinda got that idea. The memory of Eun-su in their life gives was a kind of healing thing for them. Perhaps they'll A) let the next stranger go free if he/she wishes to go or B) have some kind of growth toward understanding their own cruelty. They kept saying they were good children. And perhaps now they will perhaps kinda sorta believe they might also be doing evil as well. We can only help those we know...and unfortunately so much suffering is done behind doors so we don't really know.

    I believe that life is complex for us humans. I believe in Perfect goodness and perfect evil -- but not among the human denizens of earth. Humanity must be judged on the gray scale

    I'd like to believe that I've gone through life without harming anyone. I'm sure I haven't though...even though "I am a good person" as the kids would say. I have my guesses about moments when I've been cruel but I know I shall be unpleasantly surprised one day to discover I've hurt or wounded someone I didn't know. I like thinking I know these things. ;-)

    Anyway, here's the link to the movie. And here is a description of the film, along with some other wonderfully sorrowful films about kids. The vid was made by my cinematic brother, James in the UK. We argue passionately about films but the love and respect is always there.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    A Wish After Midnight

    A Wish After Midnight

    A WISH

    By Zetta Elliott

  • Reading level: Young Adult

  • Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: AmazonEncore (February 16, 2010)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0982555059

  • ISBN-13: 978-0982555057

  • The author has an interview on
    Here's the blurb: 
    Inspired by the work of Octavia Butler, the African American science fiction writer, as well as her favorite childhood book, The Secret Garden, debut novelist Zetta Elliott takes readers back to Civil War-era Brooklyn – and the draft riots – in her new book, A WISH AFTER MIDNIGHT (February 16, 2010; $12.95). Provoking the question “What if?”, Elliott’s characters yearn for what is possible in a tumultuous world. 
    A WISH AFTER MIDNIGHT gives readers a hopeful young heroine, Genna Colon, stuck in the confines of a tough neighborhood in 2001’s inner city Brooklyn. Frustrated by the drug dealers in her building, her family’s cramped apartment, and her inability to compete with the cute girls at school, Genna finds comfort in her dreams of a better future. Almost every day she escapes to the peaceful haven of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and tosses coins into the fountain, wishing for a different life, a different home, and a different body.  But when Genna flees into the garden late one night after an explosive family fight, her wish goes awry and she finds herself instantly transported back in time to the turbulent months leading up to the notorious New York draft riots. Facing the deadly realities of racism and class structure in Civil War–era Brooklyn, Genna must fight to survive, hold on to her individuality and rise above the hand she has been dealt in two different worlds.
     With broad appeal for both teens and adults, A WISH AFTER MIDNIGHT is a thought-provoking journey, offering the chance to re-live history and re-examine our present with fresh perspective. 
    Zetta Elliott earned her PhD in American Studies from New York University and has lived in Brooklyn for the past 15 years, where she has become a student of its unique history. She is also a poet and playwright, and her picture book,Bird, was the recipient of a 2009 ALA Notable Children’s Book award. Learn more about her at or watch the book’s trailer at 
    AmazonEncore is an exciting new publisher that serves an important purpose in the world of contemporary literature, bringing attention to exceptional books that have been overlooked by readers or traditional publishers. 
    By Zetta Elliott
    AmazonEncore; Publication Date: February 16, 2010
    Paperback; $12.95; 272 Pages 

    Zetta Elliott, PhD
    writer ~ educator
     “Zetta Elliott’s time travel novel A Wish After Midnight is a bit of a revelation…It’s vivid, violent and impressive history." ~ Colleen Mondor, Bookslut.  Learn more about A WISH AFTER MIDNIGHT here.
     Zetta Elliott's first picture book, BIRD, has “unusual depth and raw conviction… [the] child-centered narrative excels.” ~ starred review, Kirkus Reviews.  Find out more about BIRD at 

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    The Eye of Jade by Diane Wei Liang

    The Eye of Jade 

    by Diane Wei Liang

    • 304 pages
    • Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
    • Language English
    • ISBN-10: 0330447726
    • ISBN-13: 978-0330447720

    The blurb:

    "Having her own detective agency would give her
    the independence she had always longed for. It
    would also give her the chance to show those people
    who shunned her that she could be successful. People
    were getting rich. They owned property, money,
    business, and cars. With new freedom and opportunities
    came new crimes. There would be much that
    she could do."
    Present day, Beijing. Mei Wang is a modern, independent woman. She has her own apartment. She owns a car. She has her own business with that most modern of commodities -- a male secretary. Her short career with China's prestigious Ministry for Public Security has given her intimate insight into the complicated and arbitrary world of Beijing's law enforcement. But it is her intuition, curiosity, and her uncanny knack for listening to things said -- and unsaid -- that make Mei Beijing's first successful female private investigator.
    Mei is no stranger to the dark side of China. She was six years old when she last saw her father behind the wire fence of one of Mao's remote labor camps. Perhaps as a result, Mei eschews the power plays and cultural mores -- guanxi -- her sister and mother live by...for better and for worse.
    Mei's family friend "Uncle" Chen hires her to find a Han dynasty jade of great value: he believes the piece was looted from the Luoyang Museum during the Cultural Revolution -- when the Red Guards swarmed the streets, destroying so many traces of the past -- and that it's currently for sale on the black market. The hunt for the eye of jade leads Mei through banquet halls and back alleys, seedy gambling dens and cheap noodle bars near the Forbidden City. Given the jade's provenance and its journey, Mei knows to treat the investigation as a most delicate matter; she cannot know, however, that this case will force her to delve not only into China's brutal history, but also into her family's dark secrets and into her own tragic separation from the man she loved in equal parts.
    The first novel in an exhilarating new detective series, The Eye of Jade is both a thrilling mystery and a sensual and fascinating journey through modern China.

    wind follower

    wind follower