Monday, December 27, 2010

New from Tom Clancy - "Dead or Alive"

Tom Clancy fans are very excited about the release of his latest book - Dead or Alive.  The novel soared to the top of the New York Times best sellers list last week.  Clancy has had phenomenal success with the Jack Ryan novels.  Several of his books were turned into movies - Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, and The Sum of All Fears, just to name a few.  His latest book promises to keep readers wanting more.

The publisher summarizes his latest novel this way: "For years, Jack Ryan, Jr., and his colleagues at the Campus have waged an unofficial and highly effective campaign against the terrorists who threaten Western civilization. The most dangerous of these is the Emir. This killer has masterminded the most vicious attacks on the West and has eluded capture. Now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their latest recruits, John Clark and Ding Chavez, Jack Ryan, Jr., and his cousins Dominick and Brian Caruso, are determined to catch the Emir and bring him in--dead or alive."

Book trailers are becoming a popular way to whet the appetite of readers.  Putnam Books, the publisher of Clancy's Dead or Alive, released this trailer:


Dead or Alive is available in print and audio with FREE shipping at

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book Review - The Sherman Turner Story Part I - Minorities Deceived, Part II - Kenya: Rehabilitation by Sherman L. Turner

Resilience is defined as “the ability to recover from illness or adversity.”  We all face various degrees of adversity in our life.  Therefore, resilience is an extremely important quality to cultivate.  Sherman Turner is an outstanding example of resilience.  He has chosen to share his remarkable story in two books – Minorities Deceived and Kenya: Rehabilitation.  His story inspires hope and helps readers to develop determination to overcome all obstacles.

Turner grew up in a poor family in Buffalo, New York.  Schools in his area were substandard.  It was very difficult for him to get a good education.  Despite his humble beginnings, he worked very hard to become a plumber.  Because of racism, he encountered many obstacles.  Even though Turner’s grades were the highest in his apprenticeship class, it was difficult for him to secure employment to receive the field-training that he needed.  He chose to take the Master Plumber test and start his own business.   At that time, the city of Buffalo had never had a black master plumber.  He received death threats for taking the Master Plumber test.  That fact did not stop Turner.  He was determined and it paid off.  He became Buffalo’s first black master plumber.  He paved the way for other minorities to reach their potential. 

He worked as a contractor for the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Turner was accepted into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program.  This program was designed to assist small businesses that are owned and operated by individuals who are at a social and economic disadvantage.  Turner intended to hire minority workers on his jobs.  However, the “Wall Street Money” contractors did not want black workers on government jobs.  Turner struggled for many years to fight for minority rights.

Partially due to the stress at his job, Turner suffered a massive stroke.  The stroke left him in a coma for several weeks.  When he woke from the coma, he realized that he was paralyzed.  In his second book, he tells the story of his recovery.  It was a tough road for him.  Again, he was determined to overcome all obstacles.  He worked hard to learn how to walk and talk again.  As a result of the stroke, he lost much of his memory.  His doctors encouraged him to learn a new language to help with his memory loss.

Turner enrolled in a local college and began learning Swahili.  He could have easily remained in that school close to home.  Instead, he chose to travel to Kenya to attend the School of Languages and Rehabilitations.  It was no easy task to travel such a long distance.  He did not let his disabilities stop him from making the trip.  In fact, he made several trips to Kenya.  He regained his memory and graduated from the language class.

The Sherman Turner story led me to question my own resilience.  I wondered how I would fare if I had to face all the hardships he endured.  This story truly touched me.  Turner’s life shows the strength of the human spirit.  Anyone who reads this heartwarming memoir will be strengthened and encouraged.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For Colored Girls

The latest Tyler Perry movie, For Colored Girls, opened November 5 and has grossed over $37 million at the box office.  The movie is based on a book by Ntozake Shange.  The book is a collection of twenty poems that reveal different issues that impact women in general and women of color in particular.

Here are the comments from the publisher about this book: "From its inception in 1974 to its critical success on Broadway, this work has excited and inspired audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange's words reveal what it means to be of color and female in the 20th century. Here is the complete text, with stage directions, of a groundbreaking dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world."

For Colored Ntozake Shange is available for purchase at 

Oprah's Latest Book Club Pick

Last week Oprah announced the latest selection for her popular book club.  She has chosen a combination of two classics by Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.  Dickens was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era.  Even though he died in 1870, his work lives on.

A Tale of Two Cities was set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.  Well over 200 million copies of this book have been sold.  It is one of the most famous works of fiction.  I remember reading this book in high school.  "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."  In fact, I still have the same copy I read in school.  I have often thought of picking it up to read again.

Great Expectations is the story of an orphan by the name of Pip who writes about his life.  The story takes place between 1812-1840.  I personally have yet to read this book.  When announcing the choice for her book club, Oprah admitted that she hadn't read either of these novels.  Based on their popularity, these novels were a great choice for the book club.  With over 800 pages, this Dickens combination will make a great escape for the winter.

To purchase your copy of the latest book club pick, visit

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Review - "Emancipating Your Spirit A Conscious Guidebook: Affirmations, Meditation, Liberty & Other Soulful Reflections" by Akosua Ali-Sabree

Everyone wants to have the best life possible.  We all seek happiness, good health and success in life.  However, many of us forget the most important key in our lives – ourselves.  We must take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone or anything else in life.  Emancipating Your Spirit is a guidebook that is designed to help individuals take care of themselves and to live the life they seek.

Dr. Ali-Sabree has been a wholistic health and wellness educator for over 42 years.  She has had many roles and responsibilities during her career including professional registered nurse, wellness coach and stress management trainer.  She produces and co-hosts the “Health is A Family Affair” talk show on the Harambee network and she is a regular columnist for the Black ST*R magazine.  Her extensive education and years of experience have given her the knowledge and wisdom to write this helpful guidebook.  She gives honor to those that taught her by passing on information and teaching others.

Emancipating Your Spirit is a guidebook that can be used by anybody.  However, it is targeted toward women in various roles such as homemakers, professionals, young women and adolescent girls.  It can be used privately or in a group.  It is designed to aid personal growth and liberation.  It stimulates the reader’s appetite, encourages thinking, arouses passion and promotes self-study.  It can be easy for us to see the good in others, but we may fail to see the good and inner beauty in ourselves.  This book helps readers to identify good qualities in themselves.  We must love ourselves and be our own best friend.  Women tend to spend a lot of time outside of themselves.  We can get so busy at work, in the community, with friends and family, etc.  Dr. Ali-Sabree encourages us to stop giving only lip service to our own well-being.  We need to take time for ourselves.

Dr. Ali-Sabree devotes a significant portion of this book to discuss the importance of taking care of physical health.  She challenges the reader with the question, “are you really healthy?”  She defines what good health really is.  She explores the topics of fasting, herbal remedies and exercise.  The most commonly asked questions about herbs, live foods, what to eat and how to stay healthy are answered.  A prime way to free yourself is to avoid being “drugged up and dumbed down.”  If we are over-medicated or eating toxic foods, our ability to succeed will be greatly impaired.  The importance of overall good health is stressed throughout this book.

I sincerely appreciated the positive message this book contains.  Happiness is a choice.  We have to believe that we deserve to be happy and healthy.  What we say about ourselves and our life has a great impact on who we are and how well we are.  On a daily basis, we need to affirm positive thoughts.  We cannot allow people, the media, or anything else to have a negative influence in our life.  We must take charge of our own happiness. 

As a nurse, the author witnessed many examples of dedicated women being proficient in performing their professional jobs but failing miserably in their number one job – taking care of self.  This valuable guidebook can help anyone to emancipate their spirit and live the best possible life.  I thank Dr. Ali-Sabree for sharing her wisdom in this book.  She is truly doing her part to make the world a better place.