Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Book List

Okay y'all I must be stir crazy to be doing this.

Yesterday I received a list of 100 books from a friend. My instructions were to highlight the ones I've read then pass it on. As I read I couldn't help but notice that although the books listed are wonderful reads and ones I've enjoyed over the years, few titles presented spoke to my life experiences. 

Soooo, off the top of my head I began to compile a list of books I've enjoyed and found memorable. If you're so led, highlight those you may have read, add some of your own and pass the list on.

1.   A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry
2.   Jubilee – Margaret Walker
3.   The Color Purple - Alice Walker  
4.   The Wedding - Dorothy West
5.   Go Tell It On the Mountain - Richard Wright
6.   The Known World - Edward P. Jones
7.   Wench - Dolan Perkins-Valdez
8.   Beloved - Toni Morrison
9.   Slavery by Another Name:
     The Re-enslavement of African Americans from the Civil War to World War II
Douglas A. Blackmon
10.  The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx
11.  Known to Evil - Walter Mosley
12.  The Emperor of Ocean Park - Stephen Carter
13.  Roots - Alex Haley
14.  The Autobiography of Malcolm X - As told by Alex Haley
15.  Those Bones Are Not My Child - Toni Cade Bambara
16.  Business Unusual – Linda F. Beed
17.  Linden Hills - Gloria Naylor
18.  The Making of Isaac Hunt – Linda Leigh Hargrove
19.  Abrahams Well - Sharon Ewell Foster
20.  Unsigned Hype - Booker T. Mattison
21.  Their Eyes are Watching God - Zora Neal Hurston
22.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
23.  Budd Not Buddy Christopher - Paul Curtis
24.  The People Could Fly - Virginia Hamilton
25.  My Jim - Nancy Rawles
26.  Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships –
      Wanda B. Campbell, Maurice M. Gray, Jr., Linda F. Beed, Shenette Jones, Tyora Moody,
      Trinea Moss, Bernard Boulton, Tavares Carney, Dijorn Moss
27.  Don’t Blame the Devil – Pat G’Orge-Walker
28. Keeper of Secrets: Translations of an Incident - Anjuelle Floyd
29. Breath, Eyes, Memories – Edwidge Danticat
30. Redemption Song - Bertice Berry
31. Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Sun - J. California Cooper
32. Till You Hear From Me - Pearl Cleage
33. What I Know for Sure: My Growing Up In America - Tavis Smiley
34. The Classic Slave Narratives - Henry Louis Gates
35.  So Long A Letter – Miriama Ba
36.  The Bondswoman - Narrative Hannah Crafts
37. The Journal of Charlotte L. Forten - Charlotte L. Forten and Ray Allen Billington
38. The Audacity of Hope - President Barak Obama
39. Porch Stories - Jewell Parker-Rhodes
40. Ancestor Stones - Aminatta Forna
41. For the Children: Lessons from a Visionary Principle - Madeline Cartwright
42. Simply Divine Teen Series - Jacqueline Thomas
43. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – John Steptoe
44. The Hundred Penny Box – Sharon Bell Mathis
45. The Measure of a Man – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
46. 72 Hour Hold - Bebe Moore Campbell
47.  A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest Gaines
48.  Sugar – Bernice McFadden
49.  Douglass’ Women – Jewell Parker-Rhodes
50.  The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabella Wilkerson

Monday, November 22, 2010

The House by Anjuelle Floyd

A faithful wife for over thirty years all Anna Manning wants out of her divorce is the house where she raised her family. The only thing Edward Manning refuses to give her is—the house.

After a year of battling he abruptly chances his mind. Knowing him too well, Anna seeks the source of his sudden change of heart. What she discovers reroutes carefully laid plans for her future. It also opens the door to candor and insight from her children who will share their points of view regarding their parents and their own relationships.

Utilizing strong characters Ms. Floyd skillfully draws the reader into an intriguing story of what happens when we allow others to disrespect us and the consequences suffered by others because of it.

CHARACTER SKETCH: Meet Serine Manning

Have you ever wondered how a writer comes up with her characters? Author Anjuelle Floyd provides a peek inside the profile of one of the Manning’s children.

Like individuals in life, protagonists are known by the company they keep. The supporting cast of a story or novel reflect aspects, most often shattered, of the narrative’s main character.

Interactions with these characters unearths undiscovered aspects of personality, often times flaws, that the stand or lay too close upon the central character and thus out of range of their awareness.

I recently read an author’s statement that, “Plot is but an externalization of the central character’s deepest internal conflict.”

While on the surface, Anna’s dilemma sits squarely with Edward’s infidelity throughout their marriage. Coupled with her decision and her ultimate achievement of gaining his agreement to her requested divorce, and that they sell the house.

At outset of the The House, we see that Anna, in fact gains more than for which she fought. Edward does not simply agree to the divorce, he deeds her the house to do with as she chooses.

Anna has many choices. She could have divorced Edward, and sold the house. She could have sold the house and not divorced Edward. She chooses to focus on Edward and her children. In so doing, she does not divorce. She does not sell the house.

The night after of arrival Serine, Anna and Edward’s youngest child, puts many questions to Anna concerning not just Anna’s decision to divorce Edward, but mainly Anna’s desire to move to France.

One can only imagine the experience of having been the youngest child of a four, in a family where the father, thought responsible and loving of the children, had shown infidelity to their mother in the midst of providing well for his family.

My youngest daughter recently expressed fear and concern about her father and my husband choosing to abandon us. Her anxieties rose from having seen him in a bookstore reading Playboy Magazine.

He happened to be reading and article on football, something she did not see. Her eyes and attention had remained firmly focused on the cover containing a provocatively dressed, or perhaps undress woman.

Our youngest daughter is eleven.  Where the middle child or children present as the rebels, to that of the elder serving as the mascot and carrying the family banner or the royal standard, so-to-speak, the challenge of youngest children is gaining respect from those elder and eldest to her or him.

They want not only to be heard, but their words considered and weighed not so much for actual and literal truth, though they possess that too, but ultimately the emotional truth their words and ideas, observations and imaginings bear not simply for themselves, but for the family at large.

No, my husband is not having an affair, something I pointed out, not by saying it, but in stating, that if her father was having an affair I wonder how much time he was spending with this person, or how he ever got to be with them since he is always so busy doing things with and for her and her two older sisters, and for me.

On considering my question, our youngest child grew calm. I had presented a perspective of which she had been otherwise unaware. I also pointed out that the magazines about which she was speaking are usually wrapped in plastic and kept out of the reach of minors and children her age.

My husband has a continual physical presence in our family. He likes being home and talking with the girls, hearing what they have to say, playing board games and watching movies, television shows and sporting events with them. He also likes to be near me when I am writing. Often times he lies on the couch in our study while I write in the wee hours of the morning.

Our daughters know this, have seen this occur.

And yet my youngest held this concern when observing him read Playboy Magazine, to which she had attached certain meanings that held instability, disrespect, and lack of love and commitment.

Out of the mouths of babes...

The youngest child in a family stands in a unique position, one that allows them to observe the various machinations within a family that seal and protect it, and sadly, many times, rips it apart.


To celebrate the release of her novel, The House, author Anjuelle Floyd is offering a (1) Kindle Wi-Fi (retail value: $139.00) as a part of her promotional blog tour. A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 1, 2010.

About the Author 

Anjuelle Floyd is a wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.

A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on The Need for Family, the Writing Process as a Path Toward Self-discovery and Healing.

For More Information:
Visit the author online at
View the blog tour schedule at 

Purchase the Book Online at:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

“A movement without a leader…” They are simple words with generational impact. They imply that something of great importance took place. They are words spoken by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Isabel Wilkerson, in reference to her epic work, The Warmth of Other Suns.

This insightful work chronicles the migration of over six million African Americans from Jim Crow South to the North, West and Midwest portions of the United States. It is the journey of a people looking for more than what society deemed suitable for them changed not only the course of their lives, but that of generations to come.

What most believed would be a satisfying compilation of impersonal facts, is far from that assumption.  The Warmth of Other Suns is much more than that.

The title, borrowed from a phrase within Richard Wright’s ‘Black Boy’, sets the foundation of what would become Ms. Wilkerson’s twelve year quest to compile, understand and then present this masterful treatise. More than that, by determining which three of the over 1,200 personal interviews to focus upon, the mass exodus becomes as personal as receiving stored memories at the knee of an aging elder.

Its content is that which will provoke a variety of thoughts and reactions. Regardless the response it is a work of hardships as well as triumphs. Above all it presents truth presented in its purest form.

To learn more about Ms. Wilkerson and her works you can visit her online at: