Thursday, December 31, 2009
Personally, I had a great year. I took some risks. I quit my job to further pursue my dream of being a business-owner. That decision was a tough one. It was scary, but I haven't looked back. I have grown my business this year. I have increased my online presence and I have acquired local clients. As I move into 2010, I look forward to continued growth.
I want to thank everyone that has made this year so wonderful. I appreciate all the support I have received from family and friends. To all of my customers - thank you for your business and I look forward to working with you in 2010.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My husband and I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Hawaii this month. We had an absolutely amazing time. Hawaii is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. From watching the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala to watching the sunset over the Pacific, Hawaii was breathtaking. I just had to share some of the stunning views we especially appreciated. Enjoy the show!
I can't say that I am a fan of Julia Child. Of course, I heard of her before. I knew that she cooked. That was about it. So, when I heard about the movie, it didn't interest me. I thought that it was kinda weird that someone would want to cook all of her recipes in a year. It turns out that it was far from weird. It was inspiring.
I remember the year that I turned 29. What a pivotal year! I thought...what am I doing with my life? What do I want to do? Have I accomplished the things that I want to or am I even close? Julie Powell asked herself the same things. She decided that she needed to do something. She wanted to be a writer and she liked to cook. Voila - write about cooking! It worked for her and it has worked for me, too.
When I did my soul-searching at age 29, I liked what I saw. However, there were some voids I needed to fill. I thought about what I like to do. I like to read. I have always wanted to be my own boss. Voila - I opened an online bookstore. I love my store. I have had various ups and downs, but who doesn't?? I'm glad that I took charge of my life just like Julie.
This movie spoke to me in ways that I never imagined. Besides the deeper meaning, I found it quite entertaining. Definitely a chick flick, though. I'm glad I didn't rent it for movie night with hubby. : ) Now I am inspired to do greater things. I can't wait to read the books that this movie was based on - "My Life in France" by Julia Child and "Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell. Both boks are on sale at http://www.thequalitycorner.com/.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
What career should I choose? What skills are needed for the careers I am interested in? Can I really do anything? These are common questions posed by young people. Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions a person will make in life. Guidance is needed to make a wise decision. Carolyn Mattocks has provided this much-needed guidance in her book “I Can Do Anything.”
Ms. Mattocks is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in History. She also has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University. Ms. Mattocks has taught African American History, American History, World History, and European History at both the community college and college levels. Based on her education and experience, Ms. Mattocks is well-qualified to help youths to decide on a career path.
Carolyn Mattocks has a love and passion for history, as shown by this book. She has researched seventeen different career options and the skills needed to be successful in each field. Each section is outlined in a very simple manner so that children of various grade levels can easily understand the information. A brief synopsis is given of each career, followed by historical references. At the end of each section, there are activities that help the student to retain the information. The student is encouraged to do additional research and write a paper.
My favorite part of the book is the profiles of successful African Americans in each field. There is a description of several blacks in every field, including pictures of each one. This gives black students a reason for pride and aspiration. If they can do it, you can too! That message is powerfully driven home throughout this whole book.
After reading each section, students can assess themselves. They can consider the skills needed for each career and decide whether they can or cannot be successful in that field. The student learns how to use the information in a practical way. The end of the book provides additional resources so that the student can find more information on a career that interests him/her.
This book is an extremely valuable tool for young people. It can also be used by parents and counselors to help guide young people to the proper career. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The conversation. You may be wondering, “What conversation do I need to have?” Hill Harper explains what we need to talk about in order for black people to have good, lasting relationships. There seems to be an endless number of books out there that discuss black relationships. However, as you read this book, you will see why this one is unique.
Hill Harper is an accomplished film, television and stage actor. Harper graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and graduated with a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, as well as with a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government. In 2004, People magazine selected Harper as one of their “Sexiest Men Alive.” Harper is author of the New York Times bestsellers “Letters to a Young Brother,” which won two NAACP awards and was named Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association in 2007, and “Letters to a Young Sister,” which was released in June 2008. With a good education, great career, and a “way with the ladies,” Harper is in a good position to give advice on relationships.
Harper’s latest book brings men and women together to explore the communication gap that has destroyed relationships. He offers advice on how to bridge that gap. Communication is the key in a relationship. Without good communication, a relationship is doomed to failure. This is true of any relationship, regardless of race. However, African-Americans face unique challenges. Historically, blacks in America have been able to endure oppression and hardship because of having strong families. In recent decades, the family has taken a severe hit. So many of our children are being raised in single-parent homes. If our relationships survive, the family unit can stick together. Not only will the children benefit, but our communities will grow stronger as well.
Regarding the relationship between males and females, Harper writes:
"...I started to wonder whether men and women even talk to each other. I mean really talk—easily and freely, without reservation—like we do with our friends. I even started to wonder whether men and women considered each other friends, or if we automatically compartmentalized our relationships: We're either lovers or we're platonic friends, but not both. Truth be told, the comments I heard made me wonder—despite all the emphatic "I love men" and "I love women" declarations—whether men and women really even liked each other at all." (pg. 21)
Even though Harper does not claim to be a relationship expert, he raises some good questions leading us all to think about how we handle our relationships and how we can make them succeed. I think this book is worth reading.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I recently started watching the Dr. Oz show. I actually like it. Even though I like Dr. Oz, I didn't think his show would be interesting enough to hold my attention. I was wrong. The topics that I have seen on his show have been very enlightening. In honor of his show, books by Dr. Oz are on sale this week. Visit www.thequalitycorner.com today. Sale ends Thursday.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, October 29, 2009
A positive view of slavery? I never thought I would see the words “positive” and “slavery” used in the same sentence. Prior to reading this book, whenever I thought of slavery, I would immediately think of the atrocities that my forefathers had to endure. How could I possibly think of slavery as being positive in any way? Well, Dr. Bowser’s book has shown me a positive view of the horrific tragedy of slavery.
Terry Bowser grew up in Pensacola, Florida. At the age of 21, he began his ministry of the gospel. He has been an associate minister, outreach director, assistant pastor, and a pastor. For the past 24 years, he has traveled throughout the United States and other countries to spread a positive message of hope and inspiration. His first book has captivated readers worldwide and opened the minds of many.
Bowser’s strong belief in God and the Bible led him to draw a parallel between the slavery of Africans and the Bible character Joseph. Just as Joseph was elevated to a high position in Egypt after being enslaved, African Americans have been elevated in America. If Joseph had not been enslaved, he would have never been appointed to such a powerful position in Egypt. While admitting that slavery was a gross evil, Bowser challenges individuals to consider the outcome. The fact that Barack Obama has been elected as president shows that African Americans have been elevated in the United States. If Africans had not been enslaved, would African Americans hold such powerful positions in America?
Readers cannot deny the strong parallel between Joseph and African Americans. I had never thought of it that way. I am grateful that this book has opened my mind and given me a different way to view slavery in America. This country has overcome monumental obstacles. If we can focus on the positives, we can continue to move forward. No one can deny that slavery was horrific, but look at where we are now.
Throughout this book, Bowser pays tribute to many African Americans who have made great contributions to America – inventors, civil rights activists, political leaders, etc. These great people have set an example for all of us. The words of Barack Obama are quoted in the book to highlight the importance of such examples –
“I will never forget that the only reason I’m standing here today is because somebody, somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn’t popular. And because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million stood up. And standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.”
Anyone that reads this book – no matter what race, religion, or background – will have a reason to hold his head high and feel a sense of pride.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Classic titles are on sale at The Quality Corner in honor of "Banned Books Week."
These two books are dear to my heart. I can't imagine not being given the opportunity to read these great literary works. Freedom of speech is a great thing!
Check out these and other great titles at www.thequalitycorner.com.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Oprah just announced her latest book club pick. For the first time, Oprah has picked a collection of short stories. Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances. A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees-a microcosm of today's Africa-a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.
Now available at www.thequalitycorner.com.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Venom Patton was born and raised in Niagara Falls, NY and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. “I Can Go To Hell….By Myself” is Venom’s debut novel. However, she has been writing for many years. Her skill and experience are apparent in this novel.
Through the eyes of the main character, Decadent, this novel explores subjects that many of us are familiar with – abuse, relationships, and tough decisions. All readers will be able to relate to Decadent on some level. She had so much to deal with at such a young age. Unfortunately, kids can’t be kids forever. Innocence is gone or taken so quickly. The experiences we have in childhood affect us for the rest of our lives, whether it’s good or bad. A look at Decadent’s childhood helps the reader to understand who she becomes. Of course, it’s up to each individual to make decisions. However, those decisions are shaped by experiences.
The main character’s name is very fitting. Decadent. She certainly knows how to indulge. Because of her continued indulgence, she concludes that she can go to hell by herself. She doesn’t need anyone else to get her there. Her sensual, erotic experiences will have you on the edge of your seat. Not a dull moment.
Decadent’s story made me feel so many emotions – sadness, laughter, pity, and even envy at times. As I read, I was so eager to find out what she would do next. This novel is truly a page-turner. From one stage of Decadent’s life to the next, I wanted to know how she would end up. I eagerly await the sequel to find out the next step.
Venom Patton is a talented, passionate writer. Her ability to paint pictures with her words is truly astounding. She is creative and her style of writing is gripping. I’m sure Venom will have a long, successful career as a writer.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Randy Pausch was a 47 year old professor at Carnegie Mellon. He had an outstanding career in Computer Science. He had become a true guru in his field. He was a husband and father of 3 young children. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 3-6 months to live.
The Last Lecture was Randy’s chance to relate his life experiences and pass on his wisdom to his children. His lecture was given to an audience of upwards of 400 people, but his words have touched the lives of millions. The live lecture he gave became the inspiration for the best-selling book “The Last Lecture.”
I had heard about this lecture for months. I had seen bits of interviews of Randy on news shows. I heard about how many people had viewed the lecture online. When the book hit the New York Times best sellers list, I quickly added it to my store. It wasn’t until recently that I understood what the hype was all about. I listened to the audiobook while on a road trip and now I know why so many lives have been touched by Randy Paush’s Last Lecture.
No matter what race, religion, or gender we are, we all have to face death. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or our own death sentence, we all have to look it in the eye at some point. The courage that Randy displayed in the face of death is truly something to be admired. He did not focus on his illness or his impending death. He focused on how to express gratitude to the people that had made him who he was. He used his time to let his family know how much he loved them.
In his book, he stated that he was grateful that he had been given warning of what was about to happen. Instead of being hit by a bus or dying of a massive heart attack, he had been told that he would die within a few months. Those few months gave him time to prepare his family for life without him. Most of us won’t know when we die. Are we prepared? Have we told the people that mean the most to us how we feel about them? I ask myself those questions.
This book has inspired me to live each day like there won’t be a tomorrow. I want to take every opportunity to show my loved ones just how much they mean to me. I may not have a chance to give a last lecture. Therefore, the way I live my life is my lecture and I hope you give your lecture, too.
Harlan Coben is a master of suspense and he is a great storyteller. I have enjoyed many of his novels. The Woods did not disappoint me.
Twenty years ago, two teens were murdered and two disappeared in the woods. What exactly happened in those woods so many years ago still had a great impact on several lives. The plot kept getting thicker. As each detail was revealed, my curiosity grew. What really happened in those woods?
This book painted several pictures. How secrets in the family can betray trust. How love for family can make you do anything to protect them. How true love never dies.
If you like suspense, you’ll love this book. Of course, it is available in my store.
What an intriguing title! In one word, that is how I would describe this novel – intriguing. I could not wait to turn the page and find out what would happen next. I read this book quicker than I’ve read any other. I just couldn’t put it down.
This is a story of a woman who finds her life spiraling out of control. She feels as if there is nothing she can do about it. The truth is, she’s caused the problems in her life. The moral of this story is – you reap what you sow. There are consequences to our actions – good or bad. We must take responsibility for the part that we play in our own lives.
Every twist and turn that this novel takes just makes you want more. Honestly, I am not a big James Patterson fan. However, I can see why a lot of people are. In this book, he shows his talent for suspense and imagination. If you are a Patterson fan, I’m confident you will love this book.
A young couple with two children living in the suburbs. Life is good, or is it? To look at this couple from across the street, one might think that they have the perfect life. He has a good job in the city. She stays home and takes care of their lovely home. Life is not always what it appears to be.
Inside this home is a couple that suffers from discontent, discord, and disunity. The life that they are living is not the one they want. They both want more.
As I read this book, I couldn’t help but ask – why would they want more? Sure, the life they were leading was not the one they intended to have. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it. However, if it turns out well, why can’t we just be happy? Truly, one of the keys to happiness in life is contentment. This couple sorely lacked that key.
I must admit that I did enjoy the story. I was always wondering what would happen next. I usually favor feel-good stories. This story did not make me feel good. It was a sad story. However, it made me count my blessings and to focus on inner contentment.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
“The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion Into Profit: How to Find and Grow Your Side Hustle in Any Economy” by Kimberly Seals-Allers
Kimberly Seals-Allers is an award-winning journalist, personal finance expert and public speaker. She most recently served as senior editor for Essence magazine and she was a reporter and writer for Fortune magazine. She has also written for numerous other magazines and newspapers. Seals-Allers is the founder of www.mochamanual.com, an online destination for moms of color. Her latest Mocha Manual is a guide to grow your profits – something we can all benefit from in our current economy.
The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion Into Profit contains the knowledge that we all need to be successful in this struggling economy. Although this book is geared toward women of color, anyone can benefit from this helpful information. Seals-Allers provides tools, resources, and examples of how to turn your passion into profit. She provides experiences of women that have been successful in the business world.
In life, it seems that we all come to a crossroads. A point where we have to make a life-altering decision. What will I do with my life – my career, my family, my marriage. Here is an excerpt from this Mocha Manual that describes a situation just like that –
“I continued working at my great job with the appearance of a great life. But inside I wanted more. So on this day I decided there was a better life for me and my children beyond a high-profile job at a high-profile women's glossy and that I could choose to create that life for myself. Time had become my most precious asset, my role as a mother had become my primary identity, and I needed work that honored that. And then, in that instant, standing in the mental sanctum I created for myself in that frantic moment and teetering on the brink of a failed marriage and single motherhood, I took a deep breath and decided to transform my life.”
This book can help you to transform your life. Who doesn’t want to do something that you’re passionate about? Passion motivates us. This book is designed to help readers start a new business doing something they love. Why not get started today?
Those of us that are a bit older know Rev. Run from the 80’s rap group Run DMC. Kids today would recognize him and his wife Justine from the reality TV show “Run’s House.” I was a big fan of Run DMC in the 80’s. Run has transformed from ‘My Adidas’ to ‘My Stacy Adams’….from rapper to loving father. It warms my heart to see Run raising a successful family. I have enjoyed watching his show. Not only is it entertaining, but it also offers practical advice. Run and Justine lead by example. Now, they have authored an amazing book on how to raise a happy, successful family.
This book goes deeper than their show. It offers parents advice on successful parenting, blended families, and how to keep children grounded. Run and Justine discuss how money can impact the family – whether you are rich or poor. They assert that any family, regardless of economic status, is able to succeed.
It definitely is not easy to raise kids today. I think we can all agree on that. Therefore, parents can benefit from the good advice and example of the Simmons’. One matter they discuss is how to make sure that parents have the biggest influence on their children. With all the influences in the world, both good and bad, this can truly be challenging. However, if parents focus on the importance of family, they will make their children a top priority in their lives. Here is an excerpt from the introduction of the book on the importance of family:
“Obviously, I'm not the first person who has suggested that raising a family is a great way to spend your time—the positive power of family is a truth that humans have understood since the beginning of time. But it's also a truth that we have just as long a history for forgetting. As much as we all pay lip service to the importance of family, it's very easy to lose sight of it in the pursuit of money, fame, sex, and adventure. As a society, we tend to celebrate the people who run big companies, hit a lot of home-runs, star in movies and yes, even sell a lot of records. But we don't pay as much attention to the people who simply do a great job of raising their kids. IN short, as important as we all say family is, it just isn't considered that cool anymore.”
Parents will enjoy this well-written, honest look at how to take back your family.
Lynia White is a columnist, book reviewer and the founder of The Quality Corner Bookstore. This book and others can be found online for 10% off at www.thequalitycorner.com.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
T.D. Jakes has written over 30 books and he is no stranger to the New York Times bestsellers list. This best-selling author is known as a leader in the global community. He has been able to reach people all over the world through his global missions and his weekly television program. Jakes has expressed concern over issues such as domestic violence, AIDS awareness, and homelessness. He has been an outstanding leader in fighting against these social issues. In his latest novel, “Not Easily Broken,” he has given insight into problems that plague many marriages.
This book is a very powerful look into many factors that can put a strain on marriage – finances, health problems, and emotional infidelity. Anyone that has been married for a while will be able to relate to this book. As you read this story, you can feel the pain of the characters. They face such a struggle to keep their marriage together in the face of calamity. When the marriage is fragile, almost anything can blow up. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 -
“He could tell when he came home that the evening wasn’t going to be smooth. The Board of Realtors dinner was that night, and wouldn’t you know it, one of his building managers had a shift leader quit right before closing time. Dave had to go over there and calm down the agitated manager, then walk her through the process of setting up a temporary shift roster so the building would be covered. They’d figure out a more permanent solution the next day, he told her. The main thing was that the customer’s building was clean and ready for the next day’s business. So he got home an hour late, and when he walked in Clarice had that pinch-lipped look, and the hands-on-her-hips pose told Dave Mama ain’t happy. Which was no big surprise, but he was hoping that for once he could get his explanation in without her going all eastside-westside on him. He couldn’t.”
Not only can you feel their pain, but you can also feel the love that they have for each other. Is love enough to withstand calamity? This triumphant love story examines that question. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sister Souljah, activist, entertainer, and best-selling author brings us her latest novel, “Midnight: A Gangster Love Story.” Souljah has a wealth of life experience. She was a global student, traveled throughout Europe and spent a considerable amount of time in Africa. Her experience and passion can be felt throughout her writing.
“Midnight” is a prequel to her best-selling novel, “The Coldest Winter Ever.” Even if you haven’t read “The Coldest Winter,” you will still enjoy “Midnight.” This compelling story is for people of all walks of life.
It is a love story about a foreigner, by the name of Midnight. Midnight had been raised in a wealthy Islamic African family. His father’s empire was attacked and Midnight was sent to the United States. He arrives in Brooklyn at a young age and fights his way to riches and love.
The story goes: “I am not who you think I am. If you love me, you love me for the wrong reasons.
Females tell me they love me because I'm tall. They love when I stand over them and look down. They love when I lay them down and my height and body weight dominates them.
Females tell me they love me because I'm pure black. They say they never seen a black man so masculine, so pretty, so beautiful before.
Females say they love my eyes. They're jet black too. Women claim they find a passion in them so forceful that they'll do anything I say.”
Truly a page-turner. This tremendous love story will leave the reader delighted.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Steve Harvey, comedian and host of the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” is now a best-selling author. This number one best-selling book has truly been a hit. It has blown away so many readers. The comedy that we have come to love from Steve Harvey is all throughout this book. Amidst the humor, there is actually some practical relationship advice.
Harvey discusses these topics –
- The Ninety Day Rule: Ford requires it of its employees. Should you require it of your man?
- How to spot a mama's boy and what if anything you can do about it.
- When to introduce the kids. And what to read into the first interaction between your date and your kids.
- The five questions every woman should ask a man to determine how serious he is.
Harvey has an interesting viewpoint of how relationships between a man and a woman should be. "Old-fashioned” concepts are praised. A man should be a man and a lady should be a lady. What’s wrong with that? That is how it should be.
Men are simple. Women aren’t. Obviously, men and women are different. Harvey provides insight into how a man really thinks. If you want to know about men, ask a man. For example, Harvey candidly explains how a man feels about the words “I want to talk.” --
“For a man, few words are as menacing as those four—especially when a woman is the one saying them and he's on the receiving end. Those four words can mean only two things to men: either we did something wrong or, worse, you really literally just want to talk. Now, we understand that we're not the essence of perfection and there are going to be times when you're mad at us and need to let us know it; we get that, though we don't necessarily want to have to concentrate on an hourlong angry lecture about how we screwed up. But even more? No man wants to sit around gabbing with you like we're one of your girlfriends. Ever. It's just not in our DNA to lounge around, sip coffee, and dab at our eyes with tissue as if we're in an AA meeting or on some psychologist's couch trying to get things off our chest. When men are talking, and especially when they're listening, it's with purpose.”
Monday, February 16, 2009
Today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. It's Monday morning and I am NOT at work. When I opened my bookstore last March, my goal was to eventually quit my day job. I am pleased to say that I have reached my goal. I had a great fourth quarter. I have seen a drastic increase in sales since I began shipping books internationally in October. I have expanded my off- ebay sales as well. I look forward to investing more time into growing my business. Have a great Monday...I will!