What’s on your summer reading list?

I look forward to setting aside precious time to read–one of the best ways to enjoy summer or anytime time of year for that matter!

There are several titles we hope you will explore–

Notes From A Young Black Chef, Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua

Chef Kwame Onwuachi

David Stein, ISBN 978-1-5247-3262-2, Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher

As much as I love a good read, cooking ranks right up there among favorite things to do.  This compelling story with keep you engaged from beginning to end…Talk2SV

An excerpt–

“When I was ten years old, I broke my mother’s wooden cutting board.  I can’t remember how it happened…but, regardless, in that moment both the cutting board and my life split into.”

Growing up in the Bronx, as a boy Onwuachi was sent to rural Nigeria by his mother to “learn respect.”  However, the hard-won knowledge gained in Africa was not enough to keep him from the temptation and easy money of the streets when he returned home.

But through food, he broke out of a dangerous downward spiral, embarking on a new beginning at the bottom of the culinary food chain as a chef on board a Deepwater Horizon cleanup ship, before going on to train in the kitchens of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country and appearing as a contestant on Top Chef.

HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE by Nafissa Thompson-Spires ISBN 978-1-5011-6800-0, Atria Books/ 37 Ink

A collection of short stories illuminating a canvass of black identity in a multi-racial world. Thompson-Spires, an award-winning new author, prized many times over, has an earned doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois.

An excerpt–

“Paris Larkin was meeting Riley at the convention center after two shifts of her part-time job for Dark Shadows Hollywood Cemetery Tours.  Her official job description said, ‘Tour Narrator: Vocal talent. Must be able to memorize stories and stand for long periods of time on moving bus while engaging audiences.’

“I ain’t saying she a gravedigger, Riley liked to begin when he

Nafissa Thompson-Spires

introduced her as his girlfriend, but really, she digs graves, like, loves them. It was one of the things that had attracted him to her when they first met, her dark cheeriness and her nonjudgmental approach to his lifestyle.  And his soft-landing punch lines were one of the things Paris liked about him, and his interesting face, and the way he wasn’t at all who she expected him to be.”

D. Watkins

WE SPEAK FOR OURSELVES, A Word from Forgotten Black America by D. Watkins, ISBN 978-1-5011-8782-7, Atria Books

We see it almost every day when we turn on the television, Black lives are often discussed from what D. Watkins, Editor-at-large for Salon and a winner of the BMe Genius Grant, calls a “drone like” perspective.

Those in low-income black communities–the hood–are opined and debated about yet never truly heard.  Watkins changes that in We Speak for Ourselves.

Acclaimed news journalist and author April Ryan says of this title, “Watkins’ latest work shows the black community is not a monolith.  Even as we may wear the iconic t-shirts of the struggle yet have different thoughts about the issues faced.  We are a diverse and proud community, trying to come to grips with who we are; sometimes wearing a mask within our own brother and sisterhood.”

Devon Franklin

A Hollywood mover and shaker– author, minister and film producer Devon Franklin lifts the veil in his latest book, THE TRUTH ABOUT MEN: What Men and Women Need to Know, ISBN 978-1-9821-0127-5, Howard Books

Franklin provides a manual for how men can change, on both a personal and societal level by providing practical solutions for helping men learn how to resist temptation, how to practice self-control and how to love.  He’s also transparent about the challenges he faces as he endeavors daily to “Master the Dog” within.

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