Mailbox Monday (April 24)

by Notorious Spinks on 04.24.2011

Mailbox Monday



Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


While you’re here be sure to sign up for our book hop, Showers 2 Flowers, to welcome the new season! It’s not too late!


I got all these from a library sale.

Sensual Confessions (Madaris Family) by Brenda Jackson

Blade Madaris has watched the men in his family surrender their single status one by one, and he has no plans to join them. But the gorgeous attorney he meets at his cousin’s wedding would make a fine notch on his bedpost. And when circumstances bring them together for six months, Blade formulates a plan to sweep Samari Di Meglio off her feet and into his arms.

Though Blade is the kind of player Sam has spent years avoiding, a no-strings one-night stand is too tempting to resist. But their sizzling night together comes with unforeseen complications. Blade can’t walk away from the most passionate woman he’s ever met. To break through her resistance, the consummate bachelor will have to bare his soul and confess everything that’s in his heart….

Freedom Days: 365 Inspired Moments in Civil Rights History by Janus Adams

Throughout the world, the twentieth-century quest for equal rights is filled with stories of courage, strength, and perseverance. Now readers can celebrate these powerful moments in the recent past in America and the Diaspora. Vividly told vignettes celebrate the amazing drive for liberty. From the March on Washington and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the first Negro History Week, this book takes us through historic moments in North and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Read as history or for daily empowerment, here is memorable writing about unforgettable heroes, overlooked milestones, and triumphs of the human spirit over racism and oppression.

Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks

This latest collection from hooks ( Yearning ) contains a dozen recent essays on the representation of the African American experience, an area in which, she argues convincingly, little progress has been made. The author draws more effectively on her own experiences and sense of identity than do most other writers in the critical theory arena. Her gaze often falls on the ostensible recuperation of blackness into advertising, fashion and pop culture. She denounces white radicals’ appropriation of an African American Other that revels in the oneness of a “primitive” people with nature. As she points out, the next step in that process is the commodification of the “primitive” by consumer culture. In other essays hooks offers brilliant analyses of the Hill-Thomas hearings and of Madonna, forcing readers to confront issues of race and representation that fans of the Material Girl would probably rather ignore and revealing the underlying reactionary bent of her music and videos. Equally striking is hooks’s linkage of feminism and gay and lesbian liberation to black liberation, with a resulting rejection of a narrow and facile nationalism. Imbued with hooks’s theoretical rigor, intellectual integrity, breadth of knowledge and passion, this book is a necessary read for anyone concerned with race in America. ~Publishers Weekly

Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out by Farrah Gray

Just 20 years old, Gray is a self-made millionaire, having founded ventures and made media appearances beginning at ages six and nine respectively. He chronicles and draws lessons from his successes and failures, from his first job selling handmade body lotion to his Los Angeles neighbors to his founding of Farr-Out Foods at 13, his sale of it two years later for over a million dollars and his current philanthropic and developmental projects like running INNERCITY magazine. With the help of freelance writer Harris, Gray presents a persona that is straightforward and confident, if somewhat generic (“Now, I want you to take a real ‘lemon’ from your life and make lemonade with it”), but the tale of his ascent is compelling. Fueled by his desire to help his family, especially his single, workaholic mother, Gray is virtually unstoppable; faced with rejection, he tries something else. It’s that resilience that comes through most clearly, reinforced with chapter-ending “Real Points” and “Reallionaire Exercises.” Despite the familiar gimmicks, the real parts of Gray’s experience come through, making this a sound book for anyone seriously interested in getting ahead on his or her own terms. ~Publishers Weekly

Thurgood Marshall: Warrior At The Bar, Rebel On The Bench by Michael Lewis & Hunter Clark

Though a competent survey of retired Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall’s career, this book offers neither great insight into the jurist’s private life nor close analysis of his public work. The authors, both Washington, D.C.-based journalists (Clark was once a Supreme Court page), apparently could not speak with Marshall himself; they interviewed only a few of his close associates and rely significantly on secondary sources. Marshall’s upbringing in Baltimore and his civil rights legislation–his work for the NAACP, his handling of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education –receive more thorough treatment in Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice. While a more careful assessment of Marshall’s 24 years as the sole African American on the Supreme Court must wait for another biographer, this book is a useful introduction. ~Publishers Weekly

Michelle: A Biography by Liza Mundy

She can be funny and sharp-tongued, warm and blunt, empathic and demanding. Who is the woman Barack Obama calls “the boss”? In Michelle, Washington Post writer Liza Mundy paints a revealing and intimate portrait, taking us inside the marriage of the most dynamic couple in politics today. She shows how well they complement each other: Michelle, the highly organized, sometimes intimidating, list-making pragmatist; Barack, the introspective political charmer who won’t pick up his socks but shoots for the stars. Their relationship, like those of many couples with two careers and two children, has been so strained at times that he has had to persuade her to support his climb up the political ladder. And you can’t blame her for occasionally regretting it: In this campaign, it is Michelle who has absorbed much of the skepticism from voters about Obama. One conservative magazine put her on the cover under the headline “Mrs. Grievance.”

Michelle’s story carries with it all the extraordinary achievements and lingering pain of America in the post-civil rights era. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, the daughter of a city worker and a stay-at-home mom in a neighborhood rocked by white flight. She was admitted to Princeton amid an angry debate about affirmative action and went on to Harvard Law School, where she was more comfortable doing pro-bono work for the poor than gunning for awards with the rest of her peers. She became a corporate lawyer, then left to train community leaders. She is modern in her tastes but likes to watch reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch.

In this carefully reported biography, drawing upon interviews with more than one hundred people, including one with Michelle herself, Mundy captures the complexity of this remarkable woman and the remarkable life she has lived.

Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights by Tananarive  Due & Patricia Stephens Due

While Martin Luther King was a major influence on Patricia Stephens Due, she knows that the civil rights movement was spurred on by average citizens like her throughout the South in the 1960s, and she sets out in this memoir to write her story as well as the stories of her fellow grassroots activists. Her tale is interwoven with that of her daughter, Tananarive, who won an American Book Award this year for her novel The Living Blood. Patricia’s narrative takes the reader through protests at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Florida and numerous arrests that garnered national attention, leading to a correspondence with King as well as baseball hero and activist Jackie Robinson. But Particia’s activism did not end with the movement; one of the memoir’s most powerful anecdotes, written by Tananarive, recounts a showdown years later between Patricia and an intimidating cluster of police officers who arrived at the family home in Miami in a misguided, racially motivated hunt for thieves. Also tracking the achievements of lawyer John Due, Patricia’s husband and Tananarive’s father, mother and daughter write (in alternating chapters) with an energy that is cathartic in its recounting of past obstacles, and optimistic in its hopes for the future. ~Publishers Weekly

What’s in your wallet mailbox?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Reading Has Purpose April 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm

This is my kind of book list! I heard Farrah Gray speak once, he’s definitely a motivator. Laurence Fishburne did a one man play not too long ago. He played Thurgood Marshall, couldn’t get a ticket because all of the shows were sold out. I think it aired on public television actually.

Looking forward to the reviews!



Mary April 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm

A little bit of (almost) everything. Enjoy!


mary Ann Langan April 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Great reads ahead of you, enjoy them all.

Stop and see mine and my giveaways.


Kay April 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

Those books sound really good – lots of nonfiction. Not my usual choice but sometimes it just hits the spot. Enjoy!


bermudaonion (Kathy) April 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

I hope you love them all!


Mystica April 25, 2011 at 3:14 am

Nice mixed bunch of books. Enjoy.


Jules April 25, 2011 at 1:43 am

A great selection! You managed to get quite a few books this week, I hope you enjoy.

Happy reading,


Jennifer, Snapshot April 24, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Wow — interesting list!!


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