I'm getting a lot of inquiries about the type of books that I developed/edited while working at the New York publishing houses. Here is a sample:
BACK IN THE DAY: My Life and Times with Tupac Shakur by Darrin Bastfield. The slain rap star’s high school buddy takes a nostalgic look back at their senior year in high school. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BARACK OBAMA IN HIS OWN WORDS by Lisa Rogak. A collection of quotes and commentary from the presidential candidate. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
BILLY JOEL: The Biography by Mark Bego. Life story of The Piano Man from his family roots in Nazi Germany to pop stardom. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
BURNT BREAD & CHUTNEY: Memoir of an Indian Jewish Girl by Carmit Delman. A Boston schoolteacher writes about her dual heritage. Random House/Ballantine Books.
DR. DRE: The Biography by Ronin Ro. Life story of the greatest producer in the history of rap music. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
FREEDOM IN THE FAMILY by Tananarive and Patricia Due. Miami Herald journalist and her mother, a former civil rights activist, talk about the struggle for black equality. Random House/Ballantine Books.
GROWING UP X by Ilyasah Shabazz. The third daughter of slain human rights leader, Malcolm X, writes her memoirs. Random House/Ballantine Books.
INNER CITY MIRACLE by Judge Greg Mathis. TV star talks about his years as a juvenile delinquent, his experiences in law school and how he became a judge. Random House/Ballantine Books.
THE LIL BOW WOW SCRAPBOOK by the editors of Word Magazine. Picture book type profile of the 14-year-old rapper. Random House/Ballantine Books.
LONG ROAD OUTTA COMPTON by Verna Griffin. Memoir from the mother of Dr. Dre, the greatest producer in the history of rap music. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
NO FREE LUNCH: One Man’s Journey From Welfare to the American Dream by Rodney Carroll. Memoir of a UPS executive who founded the Welfare To Work Foundation. Random House/Ballantine Books.
Reese Witherspoon: The Biography by Lauren Brown. Life story of the upper middle class Southern debutante turned Oscar winning actress. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
DIET FOR A POISONED PLANET: 21st CENTURY EDITION by David Steinman. A thoroughly researched guide to the foods that are safest and the ones that are most dangerous in each of the major food groups. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
SAFE TRIP TO EDEN: A Guide to Greening Your Patriotism by David Steinman. The publisher of Healthy Living magazine draws the connection between personal health and a healthy environment. He argues that global warming is a greater threat to national security than terrorism. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
BILL CLINTON AND BLACK AMERICA by DeWayne Wickham. A wide variety of black intellectuals, professionals and politicians explain why African Americans loved the Clintons. Random House/Ballantine Books.
YET A STRANGER: Why Black Americans Still Don’t Feel at Home by Deborah Mathis. Tracking legal progress since the civil rights movement in eliminating blatant racism and discrimination, Mathis explores the "steady diet of indignities, disillusions, rejections, and suspicions" that poisons the hopes and ambitions of African Americans and makes them feel like less-than-welcome citizens of the United States. Warner Books.
BEYOND THE LIMBO SILENCE by Elizabeth Nunez. Sara, at age 20, leaves the succulent green of Trinidad to take a scholarship at a Catholic women's college in America. Sara is reserved and intelligent but not only does she have to deal with learning how to become an American, she also sees her father's accepting humiliation as the price of polio vaccine for his family, and her mother's pain in trying to bear more children. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BITTERSWEET by Freddie Lee Johnson III. tale of three African American brothers: Clifford, who works hard to support his wife and two young sons while completing his MBA; Nathan, who long ago gave himself over to the Lord and is now a minister with a wife and two teenaged children; and Victor, a divorced absentee father who works as a bus driver and plays the field. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BLACK SILK: An African American Erotica Collection by Retha Powers. Explores exciting territory in the realm of the African-American experience. From Eric Jerome Dickey's rueful tale of lust to Lolita Files's scorching account of insatiable adventuring. Warner Books.
BLACKGAMMON by Heather Neff. Chloe and Michael, two ambitious black women, alternately recount their lifelong friendship and journeys of self-discovery in this debut novel. They met when Chloe was rebounding from a failed marriage and divorce and Michael was just embarking on womanhood. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BLAME IT ON EVE by Philana Marie Boles. In Boles's debut novel, former fashion model Shawni Baldwin, a buppie who appreciates the finer things in life, joins her wealthy fiancée and a hip-hop singer in an interplay of sensuality and infidelity. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BOMBINGHAM by Anthony Grooms. Walter Burke, a foot soldier serving in Vietnam, is trying to write a letter to the family of a friend who has been killed, but he can't find the right words. Memories triggered, he veers from the horrors of the present to those of his past as a black child in Alabama at the dawn of the civil rights movement. All mental paths lead to an examination of violence (sometimes graphically portrayed). Though the narrative returns to Vietnam periodically, this is chiefly the story of a period in Walter's childhood in Birmingham, whose black residents have dubbed "Bombingham" in recognition of the KKK's preferred method of attack there. Trade paperback reprint. Random House/Ballantine Books.
BRUISED HIBISCUS by Elizabeth Nunez. Winner of the American Book Award. The narrative focuses on two women, both native Trinidadians, one of English descent, childhood friends grown apart only to be reunited after the body of a slain white woman washes up in Freeman's Bay. Rosa and Zuela meet again by chance as each makes a pilgrimage to an Our Lady of Fatima shrine in response to the murder. The suspicions, hate and resentments unleashed in the region by the discovery of Paula Inge's body are multiplied when her husband, an Indian doctor, is fingered as the killer. Random House/Ballantine Books.
CONVERSATION WITH THE MANN by John Ridley. Set against the backdrop of 1950s-1960s Hollywood, Rat Pack Las Vegas and the Civil Rights movement. The fictional narrator is a mordant, world-weary Harlem-raised black comic, Jackie Mann, who irreverently recounts a journey from poverty to his symbol of success, an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, a path strewn with compromise and degradation. Author is a screenwriter for the TV sitcom “Martin” and is also a movie producer. Warner Books.
DISCRETION by Elizabeth Nunez. Oufoula is an African diplomat who lies as part of his job and who lies to his wife, his lover, and himself. He has the seemingly perfect life the African wife and family and the "second wife," the Jamaican artist who awakens his passion yet he wants more. In the end, he chooses tradition and reputation over love. DISCRETION received wonderful reviews in the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Random House/Ballantine Books.
DON’T BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES by Blair Walker. Someone will do almost anything, including committing a new murder, to keep the secret of how a black entrepreneur's glitzy wife disappeared. Billups breaks most of the rules during his investigation (but in an admirable sort of way meant to prevent confrontation with his live-in girlfriend), so he succeeds in getting dangerously close to the truth. Random House/Ballantine Books.
EDDIE KRUMBEL IS THE CLAPPER by Dito Montiel. Satire set I Hollywood about a young man who is paid to show up in studio audience’s and clap at the jokes. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
GRACE by Elizabeth Nunez. Trinidad-born Justin Peters seemingly has it all: a beautiful, accomplished wife named Sally; a precocious four-year-old daughter; a fabulous brownstone in the hip Fort Greene section of Brooklyn; and a professorship at a public university. Everything is picture perfect until his mate blindsides him by confessing that she is unhappy and planning to move out, taking their child with her. Random House/Ballantine Books.
IN THE ARMS OF ONE WHO LOVES ME by Jacqueline Jones LaMon. Nia Benson's universe teeters when she is fired from her job to make way for her boss's niece, and her boyfriend leaves her for another woman. Meanwhile, Seth Jackson, a self-confessed lothario hoping to succeed in the music business, falls for Lauren, a woman with a ton of baggage. Both Nia and Seth have affairs with other people, who are mere stepping stones along the learning path that leads them to each other. Random House/Ballantine Books.
A MAN FINDS HIS WAY by Freddie Lee Johnson III. Darius Collins's existence is an ongoing exercise in crisis management-his girlfriend dumps him as the novel opens, his relationship with his ex-wife amounts to a series of bitter skirmishes and he's thrust into the middle of some nasty racial politics at his Cleveland college when a group of students tries to enlist his support in bringing a notoriously anti-Semitic African-American leader to speak at the school. Life goes completely haywire, though, when his adolescent son, Jarrod, is accused of rape and Collins learns that his ex-wife is a former lover of the corrupt politician who is trying to frame the boy. Random House/Ballantine Books.
SATISFY MY SOUL by Colin Channer. New York playwright Carey is a lost soul who is nearing middle age and does not know what he believes in. Thus, he fritters away his youth and talent on a series of self-indulgent affairs and one-night stands. In Jamaica, he meets Frances, a sexually charged free spirit who believes that the two of them are reincarnations of separated African lovers, finally reunited. But Carey's obsession with Frances causes him to betray his best friend, Kwabena, with tragic and violent consequences. Random House/Ballantine Books.
SOMEONE TO CATCH MY DRIFT by Jacqueline Powell. Aspiring singer Nikai Parker is depressed. Her boyfriend has been sent to jail for dating an underage girl, and she feels abandoned and desperate. That is, until her best friend, Sheila, convinces her that a night of clubbing is exactly what she needs to forget her troubles and lift her spirits. While at the club, Nikai's luck begins to improve when she meets a handsome firefighter named Robert Hayes-whom she believes may just be the man of her dreams. As their relationship progresses, Nikai falls completely in love and begins making plans to spend the rest of her life with Robert. However, lady luck has other plans-because he is involved with another woman, and this sassy hairdresser named Karen is not going to give up her man without a fight. Warner Books.
TAMING IT DOWN by Kim McLarin. Hope is a woman with every reason to be mad. Her editor at a Philadelphia newspaper thinks she got her job merely because she's black. Her white lover dumps her for another, blonder woman, and her African American boyfriend considers her a traitor to her race. But when her temper leads her to commit a desperate and irreversible act, she is forced to reevaluate her relationships with her colleagues, her men, her family, and herself. Warner Books.
THE BEST OF EMERGE MAGAZINE by George Curry. A collection of articles from the now defunct Emerge which TIME once called “Black America’s best newsmagazine.” Random House/Ballantine Books.
MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS
THE LABEL: A Biography of Columbia Records by Gary Marmorstein. From Frank Sinatra and Billy Holiday to Janice Joplin and Michael Jackson, Columbia Records has nurtured a mind-boggling spectrum of talents and temperaments over the past 100-plus years. Author had access to the company’s archives. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES
EATING FIRE, TASTING BLOOD: Breaking the Great Silence of the American Indian Holocaust by Marijo Moore. Native American Studies. American Indian writers offer stirring reflections on the history of their people, telling the story of the most massive and systematic act of genocide in history. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
THE KENNEDY FAMILY ALBUM: Personal Photos of America’s First Family by Linda Corley with Forward by Senator Edward Kennedy. Stories interspersed with pictures that span three decades of Kennedy family life. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
THE DEVIL & DAVE CHAPELLE by Professor William Jelani Cobb. A look at America over the past ten years through the lens of music, literature and television. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
THE MESSAGE: 100 Life Lessons From Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs by Felicia Pride. With each life lesson aptly titled after a hip-hop song, such as Kanye West's “Jesus Walks” or GangStarr's “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” The Message explores spirituality, success, love, business, and more through hip-hop. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
MONEY SHOT by Lawrence Ross. A shocking expose of the African American experience in the porno industry. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
WE GOTTA HAVE IT by Esther Iverem. A look at African American Cinema from 1986 to the present. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
WHEN RAP MUSIC HAD A CONSCIENCE by Tayannah Lee McQuillar. A poignant look at the music before gangsta rap was invented. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
THE WITCH IN THE WAITING ROOM: A Physician Investigates Paranormal Phenomena in Medicine by Robert S. Bobrow. Popular Culture. Investigates paranormal activity like telepathy, reincarnation, voodoo and witchcraft with the aim of advancing science. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
BROKEN SILENCE: Tales of Black Women in Therapy by Dr. Kim Singleton. A clinical psychologist explores the reasons why African American females distrust the process and what happens when they venture into analysis. Random House/Ballantine Books.
SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS
THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 by Jane Poynter. Science and mathematics. Biospherian describes her experience living and working in a sealed environment with seven other people for two years, enduring hunger, low levels of oxygen, incredible drudgery, and tense relationships. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
TIME TRAVELER: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality by Ronald L. Mallett. Theoretical physicist offers first-person account of his research into the possibility of time travel, culminating in a recent promising discovery. Good Publisher’s Weekly Review. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
OH GOD! The Black Woman’s Guide to Sex and Spirituality by Reverend Susan Newman. Ebony Magazine named Dr. Newman the top woman preacher in the country. Ballantine Books.
THE ROAD HOME: How Fathers and Daughters Can Reunite by Jonetta Rose Baras. Washington DC columnist gives advice to fatherless daughters. Random House/Ballantine Books.
Golf Heaven by John Andrisani. Pro golfers, celebrities, politicians, business people, and others — about playing the course. The list of contributors includes everyone from Bill Gates to Annika Sorenstam, Clint Eastwood to Charlie Rose, Bill Murray to Rudy Giuliani. Thunder’s Mouth Press.
POSTCARD KILLER: The True Story of J. Frank Hickey by Vince McLaughlin. True Crime. The fascinating story of one of the first known serial killers, whose brazen postcards mocking the police eventually led to his capture. Thunder’s Mouth Press.