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Fall Reads: New Books To Check Out

As we head back indoors, what better way to pass a chilly night than to curl up with a good book. Here’s a selection for your fall reading list.

The Blues

The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age by Bill Dahl is a comprehensive look at the history of the blues-not just the music but all that surrounded the blues, from posters and album covers to advertisements.

Detroit In Da House

Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination by Herb Boyd. Black Detroit not only takes you insight the history of this iconic city but gives great insight to the African-American experience in the Motor City. . As usual, award-winning journalist Herb Boyd does not disappoint in delivering a read that is inspiring and informative.

The Black Elite

The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor is sort of a cultural biography that tells the timely story of black politicos and professionals. Although it is cautionary in tone as many of the Black elite had the rug taken out from under them, it is a captivating story of the high-achieving Blacks thrived in DC during Reconstruction. It explores how race and class have played a role in who succeeds and who falls.

Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family by Bruce Haynes and Syma Solovitch tells us a powerful story of three generations of a black family in Harlem and their challenges in trying to maintain the much-coveted privilege they inherited. It explores race, class, and society.

The One And Only Ms. Baker

Josephine Baker by Jose-Luis Bocquet and Catel Muller. Much has been written about the one and only Josephine Baker (1906–1975). Baker, as you might already know, was only 19 when she left the U.S. due to racism and found herself in Paris. There, here singing, dancing and Vaudeville show took off. She was the queen of France’s entertainment scene. And, during World War II, she worked with the French Resistance. As far as her personal life, she had many ups and downs in love. But she also adopted 12 orphans of different ethnic backgrounds–her Rainbow Tribe. This latest book has a twist–it includes brilliant, captivating drawings.

The Punk Era

Punk Avenue: Inside the New York City Underground, 1972-1982 by Phil Marcade is a fun and fascinating memoir set during one of New York City’s most unique era. This book takes you back to the time when Punk was ruling–even if it was just on the underground.

Examining An Empress

Empress of the East: How a European Slave Girl Became Queen of the Ottoman Empire by Leslie Peirce. If you have never heard of Roxelana, this book will help you discover the dramatic life of one of history’s most controversial figures. Roxelana, who became become Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s wife. Roxelana turned out to be ruthless, was rumored to have caused the deaths of many of her rivals. But, Empress of the East contradicts many of the rumors about Roxelana and instead presents a clearer profile of the Ottoman queen.

According to the book, Roxelana was a young girl when she was captured by slave traders. Ultimately, she was given as a gift to Suleyman, soon becoming his favorite. Suleyman freed and married her, making her Queen. Roxelana and Suleyman had six children.

The Great Book Ever

Poets of the Bible From Solomon’s Song of Songs to John’s Revelation translated by Willis Barnstone explores some of the world’s greatest poetry that is found in the Bible. This is a fascination, enlightening, and enjoyable book.

Inside Food

Corn, a Savor the South cookbook by Tema Flanagan, discusses, yes, corn. She also offers recipes showing the versatility of corn. A fun book to add to your collection.

Best Job Advice

Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini is real-life career advice. Written as a memoir combined with a career guide, this book is not only funny but it is useful. The advice is so very practical while also being hilarious.

Beyond Tennis

Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together by James Blake with Carol Taylor is not just about his tennis career but about his personal mission of educating and inspiring others.

Book, Books, and More Books

Morningstar: Growing Up with Books by Ann Hood is well, a book about books. If you are a lover of books and reading, this is a book for you. Fun and enjoyable read.

About the Author

Ann is a freelance writer who started her professional career at the NY Trend more than two decades ago. Ann has since gone on to write for a number of major outlets including: Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire, Pathfinders, Frequent Flier, Playboy, The Source, Girl, Upscale, For Harriet, The Network Journal, AFKInsider, Africa Strictly Business, AFKTravel, among others.

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