Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Books On Kwanzaa

I've found a few good books about Kwanzaa to help everyone learn more about this popular African American cultural celebration. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word for "first" as in ("first fruits"). It's also a contemporary African American celebration held from December 26-31 of each year to pay tribute to the African and ancestral heritage of Blacks in America.

Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa celebrations are centered around seven key principles. You are supposed to discussed and exhibit them during the 7-day celebration. They are listed below.

collective work and responsibility
cooperative economics

These were the essential qualities that African American ancestors had to harness after spending hundreds of years in bondage.They are the bedrock for building strong families, a strong culture and a strong nation. The cultural celebration also encompasses other meaningful traditions.

Kwanzaa Symbols

The main foundations of the celebration is based on the first-fruit harvest rituals of Africa. A unity cup, a long candle holder, ears of corn, hand made gifts, the tree of gratefulness, a straw mat and the Kwanzaa feast are the staples of the tradition.

It makes interesting reading to learn about cultures that are similar and different from your own. If you want to read more on Kwanzaa I've found a few good books that I'd like to recommend.

books about Kwanzaa Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Interior Design and Decorating: Interior Wisdom By Leah Richardson

Interior design and decorating gets an empowering boost in Leah Richardson's Interior Wisdom, Designing Your Home and Heart For The Lord (bright sky press). It gives understanding, meaning and incredible insight into how to create a spiritually vibrant home.

Richardson recognizes the prophetic wisdom found in The Holy Bible as the source of infinite creativity to fill a heart and a home. Unlike practitioners of the of the traditional Chinese method of fung shei who seek to align the human and social world in auspicious alignment with the wind, water and forces of the cosmos.

Design Your Living Spaces Into A Spirit-Filled Home

The author a certified designer, embraces the spiritual and physical interaction in decorating and furnishing a home.
She contentiously reminds readers that every home is a dwelling place for your spiritual and physical being.

I was enlightened by one of her powerful analogies of how color changes with artificial lighting versus the beauty of natural light "And in much the same way as we allow the Lord to design our lives by removing the draperies and veils that obscure our heart, light will come flooding in."

Scriptures From The Bible For Rooms In Your Home

Interior design and decorating becomes an empowering act when you use the scriptures from the bible found in Interior Wisdom. I shared this book with a friend who remarked "it's is a self-help book for your home and your soul". The color photos by Colleen Duffy supply a dramatic eye-appeal to the flow of the text in the book. This is a book where you can find individual scriptures from The Bible to invoke God's blessings for the entrance ways, children's bedrooms or any room in your home.

Every Christian who is serious about ensuring their residence is a place where love, peace and blessings flow in abundance,  will be empowered to design their home and heart for the Lord,  through the spirit-filled decorating advice from Leah Richardson, a certified designer, member of the American Society Of Interior Designers (ASID) and leader of her own ministry (Leah Richardson Ministries).
Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 22, 2009

African American Author From Houston: Katrina Spencer

Word on the street is that African American author and retired hair stylist Katrina Spencer's first novel is the bomb and she's ready to drop another one that's already washed and set to go. The former Houston stylist and writer penned Six O'Clock (Genesis Press)set in an upscale Houston Salon.

It's taken from her personal experience so I won't name the shop where she used to wash and weave. Who knows you may just be in her book in likeness?

This Houston mother not only uses an African American salon as the backdrop for this book, she hangs some dirty laundry out too. The main character in her book experiences some of the challenges that go with being less than bootylicious in a society where females crave body enhancements and a culture where bootyfull women are the Alpha-dogs.

Spencer throws the doors wideopen and you can expect to see this hot topic being discussed publicly a whole lot more. Then there is the Black hair thing. Chris Rock has taken this subject to task. But it was Houston's Katrina Spencer who's been hitting the pavement and the bookstore with it since February.

I haven't formally reviewed the book from the African American author from Houston, but the other reviews are tantalizing, so this book has to have plenty of substance and merits a place on the Books About Houston, next reads list.

I'm trying to get my hands on a copy so I can tell you who's in and of course who's not. If you see Katrina tell her she doesn't have to sign it, just send me a copy of Six'O Clock.
Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where To Sell Used Books In Houston

                                                 A Green Idea For Blog Action Day!

    Selling used books in Houston is a green idea. It's one of the many ways avid book readers can participate along with the rest of the world in Blog Action Day. Over 5,000 other blogs have pledged to remind everyone this week about doing his or her part to make a positive impact on climate change.

It's natural for a book lover to want to keep every book they've ever purchased. Each one evokes fond memories. They're held just as tightly and close to our hearts as we hold our babies and we often form a bond with our favorite characters and authors that is just as tight.

Selling Books In Houston

If you have a collection of books that are in great shape you can take them to some of the local used bookstores in Houston that will buy them from you. If you've doodled in them and dogeared the pages you don't even thing about trying to sell them. Here is a short list of a few local bookstore that will buy your used books.

Half Price Books
Becker Books
Katy Budget Books
The Young And The Restless
Brazos Books

Books that are in pristine shape are the best candidates for resell. Especially if they are popular titles and authors, they'll fetch you a dollar or two. Cookbooks, novels that are still on the best sellers list and how-to guides are some of the used books that are always in demand and are easier to sell. Don't expect much for your used books. I sold about a dozen books to a local used book buyer and came away with $5 dollars. If you're interested in collecting books as an investment you can get a few good tips on selling collectible books  from the article "How Reading Books Can Earn You Extra Cash".

Places to Donate Used Books In Houston

Unless it's a rare book from England or a bestselling 19th Century author, it might not qualify for donating to your local library. Instead there are plenty of other places you can consider. Drug and alcohol recovery centers, women's shelters and community centers in Houston can benefit when you go green and recycle used books through donating them.

Houston Area Women's Center has a library that accepts donations of books in all languages and needs ethnically diverse magazine subscriptions.

The Salvation Army Womens and Childrens Center is great place to take those used children's books and magazines for women and children.

Where To Buy Used Books In Houston

If you want to save some of the greenbacks in your pocket. You can further reduce the effects of climate change you can make a habit of buying used books. The depth of the titles that are available will surprise you.

There is not a college student today that couldn't benefit from purchasing used textbooks. You don't have to be in the market for an old title to find a good used book. You can often find some of the latest books. If you wait a month or two after their release you'll see them popping up in used book stores all over Houston.

Recycling books is a good thing to do everyday and particularly during this global effort on Blog Action Day. Reselling them, donating old books, or sharing them with friends are all ways to go green that bibliophiles need to be reminded about. If I missed any other green ideas for books leave me a comment and tell me about it. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Houston's Library: Books on the Bayou

book jacket from Books on the bayou

Houston's library Books on the Bayou is in full swing. Book lovers and burners are invited to be a part of this fantastic event. It's a way Houstonians can share their love for reading. The Houston Public Library sponsors the program each year.

It's a bold attempt to garner attention to the dynamic reading opportunities in Houston. The library is striving to get more people to take advantage of the programs and services they offer around the city. Other benefits include:

Utilizing the library's many resources
Encourage people to visit the local library
Cultivate a culture of reading
Community-wide discussions of books
Promote reading books
Explore popular authors works

A Harlem Reconnaissance Classic

The title selected for this year is written by one of the best known African American authors, Zora Neale Hurston. Her novel brought a lot of flack to Hurston from other black writers during the Harlem Renaissance, when it was first published. They resented how she fashioned the writing. It closely emulated the backwoods dialect of spoken by both blacks and whites in the South.

Their Eyes Were Watching God has been lauded in literary circles by getting named to TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
In 2005 Oprah Winfrey produced a film adaptation of the novel. You can join in a screening of the movie Thursday, October 8 | 5:30 PM Looscan library. Check-out these books by Zora Neal Hurston

The Big Read

To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, gathered data from a various sources that showed that Americans were reading less, and that our reading level was declining. In an ambitious attempt, The National Endowment for the Arts designed a program to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Houston Library's Books on The Bayou is held in conjunction with The Big Read. A nation-wide initiative to get communities to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate American and world literature.

Hats off to the staff at our library for making sure this city is involved with this effort and the community receives benefits from reading programs. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

E-book About Houston

I've got a E-book or two just bubbling waiting to get out of me but in the meantime I want you to take a look at this little ditty I put together to promote my E-book.

It's all about how much fun you can expect when you take cool classes in Houston. This episode is about horseback riding classes in Houston.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Houston Writer Follows The Barbecue Smoke

In "Follow the Smoke" (bright sky press) Houston writer John Demers reveals the continued evolution of Texas barbecue as it forges ahead into the new century, undergoing a melding of flavors, ethnic dishes and marketing to become a modern meal. On the surface it appears that the differences in a Bar-B-Q joint and a barbecue restaurant are all extrinsic, but it's more than just the wood, the rub and the food that sets them apart.

The book sets the backdrop as the storied past of "small scale hands-on Texas barbecue" and the present growth of homegrown chains that are at odds with each other to carry on the taste of Texas.

I don't envy the Houston writer and the amount of barbecue that he had to test, taste and consume to write this barbecue atlas. It had to take at least a ton of food and add to his girth, when you consider the meat and all the sides.

Baked Beans vs Charro Beans

The pages also echo another story. DeMeres points out the arrival of several new kids on the block, that are replacing the favored sidedishes potato salad and baked beans and some of the mainstays, links and chicken. For now, they're found more often in the chain-owned barbecue restaurants than the mom and pop joints; however they are locked in a battle for prominence on the menus. These new dishes, pulled pork topped with coleslaw, charro beans, turkey, smoked chicken salad and boudain, like most Texans, have drifted in from neighboring states and south of the border.

The tasty read is outlined like an atlas. It lists the places where you can find the best smoked brisket, ribs and links by region. DeMers also takes the time to recognize the masters of Texas bbq, the pit-bosses from the North, South, East and West Texas, and enlighten us to why they do what they do, aside from earning a living.

Who's The Pit Boss

The cooks we meet in "Follow The Smoke" aren't as closed mouth and secretive as the old school cooks, I remember, who were reluctant to even share how they lit their fires. This book is testament to how well John Demers, a seasoned Houston writer can elicit recipes, choice of wood and just about any answer he wants from the barbecue pit bosses through smooth conversations like a ninja writer stalking an elusive plot.

Maybe it's a byproduct of the change that today's pit masters like Bobby Flay have instituted. It's almost a norm for cooks to freely share their recipes for smoking meats, choosing wood and cuts of beef and pork. If you're a fan of Texas style barbecue with deep smoke rings, this is one book that won't leave you just wafting the smoke. DeMers throws in a few mouth-watering recipes for meats, sweets, sides and extras, that you can try out. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Houston Writer: Louise Parsley

Louise Parsley Book Cover

Houston writer, Louise Parsley's "Revelations in the Rearview Mirror: One Mother's Hard-Won and Hilarious Epiphanies on the Road to the Empty Nest" (bright sky press),
earned a place on the list of books I've read, on my Goodreads bookshelf.

If the themes from "War and Peace" were as straight forward, brief and to the point as the essays in this book, I might have found enough reasons to make it to the end of the classic.

I can't believe how Parsley honestly bears her soul to readers in this candid and humorous look at her formative years, on her journey to becoming an atypical mother. She escapes becoming your garden variety mom when she bravely admits to being the reason that her children "started off at such a disadvantage". Because she wisely refused to stand in line at 4 a.m. to register them for T.H.E Mother's Day Out program and did not sign them up for T.H.E summer camp, knowing the best things in life come without T.H.E. blueprint for success.

This Houston writer has penned what should be called, the ultimate survival guide for brides, young mothers and parents in their fight against graying hair and maintaining their sanity during child rearing. It's great preparation for enduring the marathon Dora the Explorer episodes, when Sharpie's attack your walls and being banished to last place on your teens "need to know list".

Louise becomes the light bearer for brides when she shares her epiphany, "I spent six months focusing on a wedding, not a marriage."

The Houston writer illuminates the zigzag path mothers climb from the land of "Holding On" to the welcome feeling of "Letting Go". This book will cause you to ingest big gulps of laughter into your soul and should be prescribed instead of Xanax for anyone considering hoovering on the brink of depression because family life ain't been no crystal stair. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good Books About Texas By Houston Authors


I'm caught in a loop of reading books by Houston authors and trying to finish my blog post. It's becoming a vicious circle fueled by two books that I've picked up just to browse through, and now feel torn between which of them to finish first.

One is a topic that I'm partial to, good food. The other is related to my other favorite subject spirituality. It's not entirely a spiritual treatise, but it does reflects upon a the impact of divine themes on the interiors of homes.

Okay, now that the cat out of the bag, I may as well give you the titles of the these two books that have Houston origins. They were both published in Houston by Bright Sky Press.

Whether you're passionate about cooking barbecue or just in to eating your fair share of the Texas staple, you'll find yourself drawn into the roadhouses and barbecue joints where burgers and fries take a back seat to their more filling, tastier kinsmen, brisket and potato salad.

Alright I'm not ready to tell you much more than that, but if I've piqued your curiosity, and you can't wait for the rest of the story, one is the 37th book, by former Houston Chronicle food editor, John Demers "Follow The Smoke". The Houston author solidifies Texas' bragging rights to the best barbecue north of the Rio Grande.

The Houston author takes the reader on a culinary journey through the great state one bite at a time. His fare? The food that won the west. Slow smoked, till you can see that perfect smoke ring in every mouthful, Texas barbecue.

A delicacy that's older than it's better known cousin barbeque. That citified version they serve up and down the Mississippi in places like Memphis and St. Louis, which lack the thick rich red sauce from deep in the heart of Texas.

I'll get back to you, with mo details, hopefully soon. It'll be later if I can't finish this last hundred pages or so without heading outside to fire up my Old Smokey. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Books About Houston

Book shelf

I'm really thrilled, about the changes about to take place for Books about Houston. I have tons of stuff to tell you about.

First and foremost, I’m really excited about some of the new things that are in the works for this blog. I've been busy behind the scenes trying to work out the details for a couple of important projects designed to do 3 key things.

1. Get the word out about this fantastic blog about Houston and it's lit world.

2. Find more talented local authors to showcase.

3. Harness more fresh ideas to create a blog that's sticky.

I've connected with a company that sponsors blog tours and other members in the book community to try and get more outstanding authors to stop by and chat with us.

It may seem that the blog is moving in all sorts of crazy directions, but the overall goal is still the same, to create a place that has the best resources and information for Houstonians who like to chill out with good read.

If you have a favorite author who you would like to see here, let me know and I'll do may best to reach out to them.

I thank you for staying with me as I focus on building a better blog for you. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Houston Writer Unlocks The Secrets Of Giving And Receiving

people cutouts in a circle
Houston writer Jana Mullins uses her graduate school project to a inspire others. In The Circle Of Giving, her book, more than 45 contributing authors share how their lives have been affected, in big and small ways, by the kindness of others.

This week she stops by the Inversions Coffee House to discus her book as part of The Houston library's Cafe Reads.

The author uses these powerful tales to explain that open hands and open hearts create an interdependence in our communities that enables us to achieve a higher level of existence. These heartfelt stories have inspired many who have read them.

The Houston writer, concludes her book noting that, the unending “circle of giving” remains incomplete unless a gift is both given and received with an open heart and open hands. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Author Tour In Houston

doomsday key

Writer James Rollins of Indiana Jones fame will be on an author tour in Houston to share his take on his books and the charcters his words so magically brings to life. This down to earth author deserves a visit to his website, by all of the fans of the many books he has written.

I enjoyed reading about his crank call to a fellow author during an author road trip. This gives us a look at the real human side of a guy who not only can write, but knows how to pull off a good prank or two.

His latest book is the Doomday Key. I haven't had the priviledge to read it yet, but I'm sure excitement and suspense two themes he weaves so maticulously thru his books, are waiting to be uncovered.

Rolllings author tour in Houston takes him to the downtown Houston public library. The exciting event is open to the public and everyone will enjoy this fantastic Houston event. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, July 3, 2009

Houston Writers | Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Reshonda Tate Billingsley photo

Houston writers are showing up at the Central library to talk about their new works. We'll be watching this popular Houston book event to let you know when your favorite local author is scheduled to appear.

This month's author meet and greets and summer reads are not the only things we will talk about. We'll discover some of the books that Houston's reading. I'll share some conversations about who's reading what. It's always good to know whats going on with other book readers.

Books About Houston

I'm working on the publishing schedule for the next quarter and I want to hear from some of you to make sure this blog has you, the reader in mind.

FYI, Books about Houston makes it easy for you to order new and used books. All of your favorite authors and topics are as close as the palm of your hand. You can purchase books and other products from Amazon through our site and it doesn't cost you extra to order.

Well, enough blog-keeping let's look at what's happening in the Houston book world.

Reshonda Tate Billingsley Blog Tour

deveil is alie cover

Houston author Reshonda Tate Billingsley stops by the central Library this month to chat about her latest book The Devil Is A Lie

Mrs. Tate-Billingsley has been a busy busy lady lately. ReShonda has won numerous awards for her journalism, fiction and poetry writing skills. She is a five-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists Spirit in the Words competition. Before I forget to mention it, The Devil Is A Lie was listed as a Summer Reads by Ebony Magazine.

Her latest Christian fiction book is one of 16 other books by the prolific author, who Houstonians should remember from Fox 26 News.

In addition to the library stop. ReShonda is part of the Tywebbin virtual blog tour from in July.

Publishers Weekly describes her new novel as a "fast moving, hilarious, slapstick. In it Billingsley main character ponders how doing the right thing gets her in trouble—and yet, somehow, love (and God) provides. "

Amazon Review put this way....

"Nina (the lead character) discerns the real wealth in her heart, not just her bank account -- or risk losing everything -- to find out what matters the most."

The Houston library book events aren't billed as author books signings, so I guess it's more of a meet and greet. Everyone who enjoys Christian fiction should come out to learn what's next for her and other interesting facts about ReShonda one of the best selling Houston writers. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Houston Book Lecture

people at pot luck

The Taft Street Coffee House, book lecture guest is Dr. Paul Nison, a raw food author, chef and educator. His Houston book tour is for his new diet book "The Daylight Diet." Nison is the featured speaker for a Pot Luck and Lecture series at the coffee house this week in Houston.

Earlier this month Paul's talk was in Austin for Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo and the Austin Raw Food Diet, Vegan Meetup and Movie Group touting the benefits of eating raw food. One of the people who attended the event made this notable remark.

Paul Nison is an excellent engaging speaker who really entertains his audience and gives them a wealth of information. He knows his stuff and doesn't just talk the talk, he also walks the walk. The "Daylight Diet" is solidly based on the Scriptures and should bring great health to anyone who follows it.

Reviews Of The Daylight Diet

Being a former vegan and contentious eater, I recognize there is more to eating than just stuffing your face full of whatever is put in front of you. I'm considering checking out the potluck. Since his books the Daylight Diet and Raw Food have gotten plenty of reviews from his colleagues, I'll give you a sampling of what other rawfers are saying about this new release and forgo my personal cooked-up and biased opinion.

Paul is his own best show case model he walks his talk and lives what he is teaching. His new book: “ The Daylight Diet” is a new breakthrough in Paul’s work. He demonstrates for everybody how easy it can be to live a healthier, happier and more energetic life. I will make this book to a must read for everybody I care for. Paul Nison’s insight and experience gives the reader a new way to understand and achieve better health, energy and quality of life.

Drs. Anna Maria and Brian Clement, Ph.D.,L.N. Directors of Hippocrates Health Institute

Taft Street Coffee House Lecture

Today at 7:pm at the coffee house, you can get some of the answers to those questions invoked by this scholarly work on how eating raw can benefit you and your family. Come and meet others interested in raw foods and health, share a raw pot luck meal, and hear Dr. Nison diet book on the raw foods lifestyle and health. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Events In Houston

Nia Promotions invites all the ladies in the house to indulge in Books, Beauty & Banter! This unique book event in Houston provides a literary getaway. This is your chance to connect with other women who have decided to slow their roll and elude the “real world” while experiencing, not just reading a good book.

This LADIES Only event will gives the diva in your family a enjoy fantastic books and vendors, and get in on a Passion Party®. An atmosphere that’s infused with energy, intellect, and fun!

If you haven't been to any of their Houston, or online events or even heard of this virtual promotions company, do yourself a favor and check out the Nia Promotions podcast. You'll be pleasantly surprised how they have elevated reading books from a hobby to an entertaining and enriching experience.

The latest books from Jean Holloway, TL James, Danyelle Scroggins and DeiIra Smith-Collard will be the topic starters. It's a time for conversation, camaraderie, and candid chats with authors and friends about exciting books that Houston women are reading. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 8, 2009

Houston Book Tours: Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the US House of Representatives, visits Houston to speak and promote her new book Know Your Power. Subtitled "The Message To Americas Daughters", has a variety of reviews that I found interesting. One from Amazon stated " relatively tame and not especially original—never lose faith, recognize opportunity, organize, don’t agonize, there is no secret sauce, etc.—readers will appreciate the spirit, the sincerity, and the context of the message delivered by one of the most powerful women in the nation.

Another person commented "Nancy generally writes in this strange first person way and how her logic is always best."

Pelosi wrote the book to shed light on what it's like to go from housewife to House Speaker. You can expect to her to share straight forward stories from the book and her busy life representing the good people in her home district in California.

The book discusses the women who motivated her and passes on words of wisdom to the young women of the world. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Houston Writer Joe Doggett At Brazos Books

Book cover for Outdoor Chronicle

Joe Doggett is a Houston writer with a name that is a familiar to most people because of his long tenure with the Houston Chronicle as as outdoor writer. His writing has also been a mainstay in Field and Stream for a couple of decades.

Now the award winning Houston author and photographer has combined the two talents into a book. The local writers latest literary work covers fishing in saltwater, freshwater and vivid details on bagging Costa Rican roosterfish.

The former Chronicle writer is not only apt to snag a trophy fish, but Joe nets his share of awards for his photographs of the outdoors and his alluring non-fiction adventure stories, that can compel anyone to head for the woods in pursuit of an outdoor adventure.

Brazos Books brings the Houston writer out this weekend to sign a few copies and share some insight about his book "The Outdoor Chronicles". Sphere: Related Content

Monday, May 18, 2009

Houston Writers-Gwendolyn Zepeda

Gwen Zepeda is a native of Houstonian and on of Houston writers whose latest work talks about life in Houston. The Houston book will be discussed at the downtown library. Can you believe the local author is taking time out of her busy schedule to hang out with fans at the Houston Public Library this week, smack dab in the middle of planning for her wedding in a couple of days. How cool is that!

Houston, We Have a Problema

Gwendolyn Zepeda’s Houston book, is a poignant novel tackles the issues affecting lots of young women in the 21st Century including, cultural, social, and professional stereotypes. Confronted with tough questions—in a world where everyone else already seems to know the answers, a young woman grabs the reins of her own life in "Houston, We Have a Problema".

Do check out some her recent Tweets, keep tabs on Gwen's wedding plans or share your feelings about her other books "To The Last Man I Slept With and All the Jerks Like Him" by checking out her blog, where she writes about the "everyday Gwen."

Books By Gwen Zepeda Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Black Writers in Houston

Russell Simmons, a Black author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, vegan and yoga enthusiast gets a chance to converse with a Houston audience in The Brilliant Lecture Series "A Conversation with Russell Simmons."

He and partner Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings, creating the foundation for the cultural revolution known as hip hop. Def Jam was just one part of his hip hop empire. He founded Rush Communications, Phat Farm clothing company, television shows, a management company, a magazine and an advertising agency.
cover of do you
Simmons sold his stake in Def Jam Records to Universal Music Group for $100 million, and in 2004, he sold Phat Farm for $140 million.

As always, the lecture series allows its guest speakers 30-to-45-minute to lecture, then an equal amount of time is set aside for an impromptu style forum for interaction and Q & A's with the audience.

Over 10,000 people have attended the past events, with 55% to 60% being students and their families. The Brilliant Lecture Series targets speakers who appeal to the leaders of tomorrow, our young people of today.

The forum's intent is to inspire and increase public awareness within Houston, and the surrounding communities by providing a platform where Texans can interact with national and international leaders, role models, philanthropists, humanitarians and authors.

Another of Simmons accomplishments is writing a book "Do You! 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success." Simmons is just another of the notable Black authors in Houston this weekend during the Houston Black Expo and National Black Book Festival. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Authors in Houston

crowd of Blacks at an event

Meet Black authors in Houston during the National Black Book Festival (NBBF), sponsored by Houston-based, the world's largest African-American online retailer, and Houston Black Expo May 16-17.

The Black book festival attracts authors, publishers, book clubs, libraries and book lovers from the all over the Southwest U.S. and nationwide. We may see more novels set in Houston after this fantastic festival ends.

Book signings,

Lively discussion sessions,

Informative workshops and seminars

This is just a small sampling of the smorgasbord of exciting activities at the national book event in Houston.

Popular Writers In Houston

Popular Black authors from 16 genres are scheduled to take part in this exciting book festival in Houston's George R Brown Convention Center. Black writers that are on tap for the event include:

Award-winning journalist Roland Martin,

Novelist R M Johnson,

New York Times best-selling author Mary B Morrison

Award-winning thriller writer, Brandon Massey

Author and web radio talk-show host G.L. Henderson
GL Henderson
(listen to a recent show)

This year's plans include a spoken word poetry slam and lots of book club give-aways for attendees during the weekend book festival.

There are several opportunities for individual readers to participate in the activities even if you can't make it to the Brown Convention Center for the entire show on Saturday and Sunday.

Black Book Festival Events In Houston

You can purchase tickets for the Black Book Festival Events in Houston, Friday's events begin with a "Welcome to Houston" reception at the Breakfast Klub in Midtown Houston to officially kickoff the weekend affair. Later that night, Mary B Morrison throws a ladies only slumber party that's sure to be a favorite with her Houston fans.

Akua Fayette
(Akua Fayette)

Saturday, authors and publishers will connect with book lovers at a 'Get Acquainted Breakfast" hosted by artist and writer, Akua Fayette and Sunday's Prayer Breakfast to wrap-up the weekend festival, will feed, fuel and give a boost to your spirit and body.

Black Writers In Houston Featured At Book Festival

The list of Houstonians participating in this year's festival is knee-deep with local talent. The annual Black Book show is an excellent place to meet and mingle with your favorite Black authors in Houston and local book clubs.

Former Houston news reporter turned writer Roshonda Tate Billingsley,

A Novel Idea Book Club,

Divas'and Gentlemen's Book Club

Houston Pastor Dr. Ralph West

These and many other Black authors in Houston are expected to participate in the event, find more details by visiting Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Matter What: Book Tour in Houston

Not many Houston book tours have had authors who are greater advocates of personal empowerment and a proven entrepreneur. This week in Houston you can hear
on of the best, Lisa Nichols, an international motivational speaker who brings her "No Matter What" book tour to Houston.

She is the Founder and CEO of Motivating the Teen Spirit, LLC which is recognized by many as the most comprehensive empowerment skills and self-development program available today for teens.

Her message is equally as powerful to professionals, and InHouston, one of the city's most popular networking groups invited Lisa to speak to their members, .

Lisa has written several books, You Deserve It!and co-authored the"Chicken Soup for the African American Soul" series. She introduces her latest book at the University of Houston and present "9 steps of living the life you love – no matter what!"

Her message impacts the reader as if she knows you as a friend. This refreshing, down to earth style can give that extra boost to your career, life and mindset.You can register to attend the tour at This exciting Houston book tour happens May 9, 2009 at the UH Science, Research & Engineering Center Auditorium. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Reading At Houston's S.H.A.P.E Center

Man in Jail

It will be "More Than Just a Book Party" at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, Live Oak building in Houston's Third Ward.

It honors the some of today's most unheralded writers, Texas writ writers Prince Imari Obadele, Bobby Mudd and Salvador Gonzales. People who write to keep men free.

Other participants include activists Ester King, Sister Ayanna, and Ray Hill, whose KPFT-FM talk-radio program, "The Prison Show" was voted Best Radio Talk Show IN 2006 by Houston Press.

After all isn't that why most of us write, to create works that can make a difference in someones life. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, April 17, 2009

Houston Genealogy Records and Books Now Online

stack of books

While doing some research on my family history, I discovered that some of the records I previously could only view on microfiche at the Clayton library are now online.

It's the result of a joint project to digitally preserve and publish Houston's genealogy library’s extensive collection of county records, local histories and registers of individuals. The partnership with FamilySearch and the Houston Public Library provides free access to the storehouse of online books and records.

Being able to access this vital information on the internet is a welcome treat for genealogy pros and for those of us who are simply trying to reconnect with our roots.

Before I forget let me give a plug to the blog Houston on the Cheap for "cluing me in" on the upcoming Friends of the Houston Public Library Annual Book Sale. This super sale takes place this weekend at George R. Brown Convention Center. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brazoz Books Host Mary Roach

Wednesday April 15th is your chance to meet author Mary Roach, who'll sign and talk about her book "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex".

Unlike other science writers, she ventures out to the fringes of science, where the oddballs ponder how cadavers decay (in her debut, Stiff) and whether you can weigh a person's soul (in Spook).

Brazos Bookstore will host this meet and greet at 7 P M. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, April 10, 2009

Books: Local Travel Ideas For Houston

Day Trips from Houston
By Carol Barrington, Sydney Kearney

You could never do most of the stuff in one day covered in "Day Trips from Houston", but it would be fun to try to.

You'll enjoy experiencing any of these unique and exciting adventures listed in this action packed local travel guide. Its full of great sights to see and palces to visit, in and around the Houston area.

The guide book presents you with a choice of regions to start your journey. Many of the getaway ideas are kid friendly and affordable enough for any budget conscious travelers.

Once you preview this local travel book on Google Book Search like I did, you'll find it's a valuable tool and resource, to have in your personal library, to find cool trips near the Houston metroplex, for friends, family or a group.

You may want to try the "Online Guide to Houston" to get more information about tkaing trips in and around H-town. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Down Home In Houston

Cover of Down In Houston

You can almost smell the cigarette smoke and barbecue as you turn the pages of "Down In Houston". I've just added this epic Blues chronicle to the list of Books About Houston.

Roger Wood and James Fraher follow the blues through riveting stories from the early days, when Lightnin' Hopkins was king of the blues,through the streets of Houston's Third and Fifth Wards to its impact on the American blues scene.

Wood and Fraher documented the story of the blues in Houston, by drawing on dozens of interviews with blues musicians, club owners, audience members, and music producers.

"Down In Houston" uses Fraher's dramatic black-and-white photographs of the performers and venues, and their memorable personal accounts to paint a detailed portrait of the Houston's blues scene, past and present.

You can find this treasure at most of the local bookstores or buy it here by clicking on the books about Houston link. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Tours In Houston

Bradford Gray Telford "Perfect Hurt" & Jericho Brown "Please"

These two southern gentlemen share several common threads that are weaved together through Poland's Krakow Poetry Seminar and the University Of Houston.
Telford was born in El Paso and raised in Dallas. His writing has recently appeared in Yale Review, Ninth Letter, Southwest Review.

Brown's book Please explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. These poems transform moments of intimacy and humor into spontaneous music. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 16, 2009

Texas Towns and the Art of Architecture-Richard Payne

Here's your chance to meet and greet author Richard Payne.

He will tackle topics from his latest work “Texas Towns and the Art of Architecture." A book signing and reception will be a part of this Houston event on Thursday, March 19 7 PM.

Where To See This Author

Architecture Center Houston (ArCH)
315 Capitol, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77002

This visit is part of Authors in Architecture. A new collaboration between the Houston Public Library Downtown and ArchiTypes, the membership group of ArCH.

This monthly series is free and open to the public. Need more details about this author visit? Find more about this event at Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Tours In Houston

Spend an Evening with Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Thursday, March 12 | 7 PM - 9 PM
Houston's Downtown Library

Stephanie Elizondo Griest will share excerpts from her latest novel, Mexican Enough. Mexican Enough tells her journey, from the drug-infested border town of Nuevo Laredo to the highlands of Chiapas. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Books on Texas History

book cover from The Texan Army

The Texan Army 1835-46
By Stuart Reid, Richard Hook

It stands to wonder if descriptions like "shabby black frock coat" are a result of appearance or contrived from opinion.

However these gentlemen echo the bleak facts to detail the grim reality of the daily struggles and the battle for independence by frontiersmen and the handful of army officers drawn together by destiny and hastily assembled into fighting units.

The book recounts the revolution, the republic and the army of the republic using vivid descriptions including drawings of the casual attire of the volunteers.

The Texan Army 1835-46 is more than just another book about Texas. It covers a period of the states history that bears reading for any serious lovers of Texas history. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Houston Events: Book Tours

Some people succeed far beyond the merits of their talents. In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that intelligence or drive doesn't ensure success or failure.
The book takes a indepth look at how and why some people succeed, making a hefty argument alluding to culture, circumstance, timing, birth and luck as uncontrollable factors that can contribute to our destiny. Sphere: Related Content

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