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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book

Title: The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book
Author: Don Miguel Ruiz
Rating: 5
Headline: One of the Best Books I’ve ever Read

Just like his more well-known work, “The Four Agreements,” Ruiz knocks it out of the park. While the book states it is about relationships it is mainly focused on the relationship with oneself. The main concept of this book is that if you are not able to forgive, love and respect yourself then you cannot do those things to others and cannot expect others to do so unto you. “The Mastery of Love” really forces the reader to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Ruiz will make you stare your imperfections directly in the face and make you “remember you can only heal your half.”

The End Justifies the Means

Title: The End Justifies the Means
Author: T.H. Moore
Rating: 4
Headline: Easy to Get In, Hard to Get Out!

T.H. Moore has written a book that literally jumps off the pages with imagery and emotion. “The End Justifies the Means” is such a breath of fresh air from the typical urban crime book. The reader is introduced to the main character Jalen, when he is a young boy and he saw his father beat his mother on a regular basis. A tragedy occurs and Jalen and his mother relocate to her hometown of Camden, New Jersey.

As a teen, Jalen is regularly beat up and brutalized because he had made the choice to focus on his academics and leading a “straight” life rather than joining the drug game. Jalen’s older cousin, Kevin, looks out and protects him since he does have street credibility. Kevin is a drug dealer but once his girlfriend becomes pregnant he realizes he wants a better life for him and his family. Kevin decides to join the Camden police academy.

Jalen helps Kevin turn his illegal money into legal money in various real estate ventures. But, Jalen’s world is once again turned upside down when Kevin is shot. Moore then takes us, the readers, into an adventure to see if Jalen will continue to life his life on the straight and narrow or will he succumb to the family “business.”

Very well done T.H. Moore!

This book was provided by the author for review purposes.

Ko’ture: The Untold Story

Title: Ko’ture: The Untold Story
Author: Saunda N. Cunningham
Rating: 3
Headline:  The Anguish of Teen Life

“Koture: The Untold Story” by Saunda N. Cunningham tells the story of a teenage girl named Koture Peterson. Koture is a typical high school senior who is planning her future when she meets basketball player, Vashon. Vashon seems to be a regular high school athlete by day, but at night, he is a drug dealer. Koture finds herself attracted to Vashon and he is determined to make her his girlfriend.

Candice, another new student, becomes fast friends with Koture. Koture tries her best to maintain separate relationships with Candice and Vashon but each of them want to have all of her attention. “Ko’ture’ is a quick read which I was able to finish in one sitting. Issues such as teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, jealousy, and deceit are discussed which make this book a page turner. The drawbacks from “Ko’ture” are that it lacks character development and at times the story jumps all over the place and does not seem to flow.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes.

Proverbs 31: The Virtuous Black Woman, Volume 1

Title: Proverbs 31: The Virtuous Black Woman, Volume 1
Author: Russel Blake
Rating: 3
Headline: Not as Inspirational as Described

Proverbs 31: The Virtuous Black Woman by Russel Blake is a book of short stories, observations, psalms, and praises which uses Proverbs 31 as its central theme. This book aims to describe and show the value of a Virtuous Woman from a man’s perspective. Blake aims to be inspirational and uplifting, but it fell short in my opinion.

Some of the selections in the book have quite strong titles such as, “Black Woman Rising,” “Intensity,” and “Lioness,” but the substance of the piece does not match.  I admire Blake’s attempt to pay homage to African-American and his use of Biblical references throughout his pieces. I was able to read this book in one sitting but afterwards it did not leave me feeling inspired or uplifted.

This book was provided by the author for review purposes.